Cover Image: The Roads Left Behind Us

The Roads Left Behind Us

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Callie Lewes is a little late working on her PhD, but she’s made it back to school and determined to finish. Since she’s older than her fellow candidates and has a history with the school, she’s friends with one of the professors and friendly with most of the English department. There’s a new professor in the department, though, but Callie is determined to ignore the allure of Dr. Kate Jory. She’s brilliant, and Callie is thrilled for the opportunity to work with her, but that’s it. There can’t be anything else. No kisses, no sex, and definitely no relationship. As Callie and Kate work more closely together and their attraction grows, the rules might be a little tough to follow.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’m a sucker for a college campus romance. Throw in an older-younger dynamic, and I simply swoon. I loved Callie (and somewhat identified with her), even when her wishy washiness annoyed me at times. Kate was a formidable romantic interest, and her smarts were super attractive to me. I loved their chemistry and the slow burn build of their attraction. It was the perfect distraction from my own academic woes as I tried to get through yet another semester of grad school in my own, never-ending program. Highly recommend for a quick and steamy read.
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“The Roads Left Behind Us” by Kat Jackson is an age-gap romance set mainly on a college campus. This isn’t a student-teacher relationship but it is between a graduate teaching assistant and a professor, though not a professor she’s assisting.  

Callie Lewes is 34 when she decides to go back to her alma mater to get a PhD. In her interview to become a teaching assistant she meets new faculty member, Kate Jory. Kate is 50 and very mysterious as she’s more private than the other English professors, who Callie already knows from her previous time at the school. 

I absolutely loved this book! This a character driven book so it was all about the characters for me. I loved Callie and Kate and all the side characters that surround Callie. This is told from her point of view and by the end of the book she felt like a friend. Everyone felt real and imperfect and I just really enjoyed them. (Jackson has also revealed she’s writing Dr. Renee Lawler’s story and I can’t wait.) 

However, I think my favorite thing about this was the writing. Jackson is gifted and knows how to bring a story to life, there were several instances where I would go back and reread a sentence just because I loved it so much. 

There was one thing that I didn’t love and that was how mysterious Kate was. She’s a very private person and Callie (and the reader) doesn’t get a whole of insight into her. Things are either left unsaid or vague and when we do learn stuff, it’s not a lot. I still very much enjoyed her character but I would’ve liked to know more about her past and what led to her moving to New Hampshire. 

I loved this and would highly recommend it to fans of character driven stories that are beautifully told. 

I received an arc from Bella Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an ARC copy of Kat Jackson’s “The Roads Left Behind Us’’ from Bella Books (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.
So, here it is !!! => My rating : 3 ⭐️

Callie Lewes is thirty-four and heads back to college to complete her PhD and get her life together. She is one of the new teaching assistants in the Pennbrook College’s English department and she has no time for, or interest in, anything else. Especially not dating. Dr. Kate Jory is fifty and she recently joined the Pennbrook College’s English department. She is both intimidating and a closed book but also brilliant and fascinating. She has some ideas for a new curriculum which’ll shake up the department, big time. Callie and Kate often interact professionally (more and more as the story progresses) and they develop an engaging and flirtatious friendship…

Kat Jackson is a new-to-me author and it has been a good discovery. I really liked the good writing style, the academic settings and the funny side the book sometimes has. There are both comical expressions and situations that I really appreciated.

The book is told in a third person POV, but only from Callie’s side which, sadly, leaves Kate’s character as a total mystery apart from what Callie observes and learns as the story goes. I think it could have been way more interesting to have a narration telling both MCs’ POV because, the way it is now, Kate’s continuous hot and cold behavior, her feelings and even her motivations are really confusing, and not just for Callie, for us (readers) as well. It’s also frustrating and slightly tiresome.
The book is quite good but it could have been really amazing if it hasn’t been so short (sometimes I had the disturbing feeling that some entire parts have been deleted).The shortness decreases the depth the book could have had. Given the complexity of the MCs, especially Kate, I wish the story had been way much longer with more character development :
° about Callie => more drama coming from her family ; more info the way she supposedly wasn’t able to find her way in life ; (leading to) more details about her ex —Kelly— and the reason why she dumped her ; more stalkerish situations coming from Maddie ; more essays by KP to proofread coming her way, etc… 
° about Kate => more background/ info about her past is definitely needed : why she acted like she did where Callie was concerned? ; why on earth was she married and how did she figure out her sexuality? ; what happened in her past to make her become this way and supposedly prevent her to be with Callie? – the reasons are pretty unclear IMO—etc … All this allowing us to better appreciate the roads they strolled on before leaving them behind once and for all, like the title of the novel makes us think it’ll be about… 
° about the recurring (and sometimes strong) secondary characters who, sadly, almost all disappeared. Because some were a big part of the academic life and all of them had some good banters or other kind of interesting (if not balanced) interactions with the MCs, it would have been great to know more about them.

I wasn’t fond of their unhygienic / unsafe (and pretty un-romantic) first sexual encounter where it’s about fucking and not making love. Aiming straight to the G-Spot without any washing involved after they spent some times in a public establishment, that’s yucky as hell and not the best way to begin an intimate love life unless the best gift you want to offer your new partner is a vaginal thrush or a huge bacterial vaginosis (which is, without kidding, potentially deadly... JS) 🤢🤮

IMO, it would have better to have an epilogue resembling a HEA (so giving more info about Kate and Callie as an item in a couple of years) rather than a HFN like it does right now. At least there is an epilogue, so I won’t complain too much about this.

If I had to make a very short and quite different version of my review, it’d be something like this :
- Did I enjoy this book? => Yes and no
- Did I find the characters believable? => Not as much as I wanted to due to the lack of character development (especially regarding Kate) and the choice of the narration only in the third-person POV on Callie’s side.
- Is this book now included in my "must be re-read"-list? => Maybe, especially if the author releases a re-worked/improved edition of the novel. Otherwise …
- Will I purchase the paperback? => Maybe, especially if the author releases a re-worked/improved edition of the novel. Otherwise …
- Would I read another book by this author? => Yes. I want to give her, at least, another try 
- Would I recommend this book => I’ll let people use their free will to read the novel, or not … 

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Carlie is a 31-year-old who has left her job 10 years to apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistant job at a university in Vermont. Kate is a new professor at the same university and is a recent hire. The plot revolves around how the feelings of Carlie and Kate grow but has complications for both their lives as they work together and become friends.
I found the main characters well written along with the supporting characters. I like the drama from the new feelings as Carlie and Kate find a new relationship.
I recommend this book for romance readers. just reviewed The Roads Left Behind Us by Kat Jackson. #TheRoadsLeftBehindUs #NetGalley
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Unfortunately, the writing wasn't my favorite, but this was a cozy quick read with an engaging plot. I especially loved the setting of PA and the cute detail of the Greek Mythology themed bar. A good read for the fall if you do pick it up at some point!
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Academic setting, I enjoy that. Kate Jory, new faculty member in the English Department at Peenbrook College. Kate was hired to bring freshness and shake things up with new courses. Callie Lewes new teaching assistant and also working on her PhD. This work place age gap slow burn romance provided an interesting story about finding the one when you least expect. I thought Kate was tough and a mystery as she struggled with her attraction to Callie. I thought Callie was determined as a student and teaching assistant and she suffered whiplash as she interacted with Kate which in my opinion impacted the chemistry.
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Dr. Kate Jory has just accepted a job teaching at Pennbrook College and is just getting used to the new world she finds herself in. 
    Callie Lewes has also returned to Pennbrook to complete her PhD program after being out in the ‘real world’ working. Now after ten years she’s back and hoping to find a position with the English department as a TA to help offset her income. She shares an apartment with some other women who take it upon themselves to fix her up with a lady to date in her down time, which she has very little of. If not studying she works as a TA and it’s there she meets the smart, sexy woman, Kate. 
    There is a little flirting between the two but as far as Dr. Jory feels she is too old for someone like Callie. When she decides to develop a new program the only one that is really qualified to work with her is Callie. With a fair share of ups and downs caused by Callie’s friends, can  they have the romance Callie longs for.  So begins the romance even though Kate is trying hard to keep her distance where Callie is concerned. 
    Ms Jackson has written a story with some very interesting characters and a plot that moves along smoothly. A  nice read.
ARC via NetGalley/ Bella Books
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I received an ARC from netgalley, this does not affect my opinion in any way.

Honestly this book could’ve been so good, but it ended up being a little frustrating and drawn out, Callie and Kate were not the most engaging of characters, and the reasons why they couldn’t be together were a bit unrealistic. All that aside, I did reasonably enjoy this book, the spice was well written and I enjoyed the academic settings. 3/5 stars.
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This was an enjoyable book with well developed characters, and a fun plot line! Thanks for the ARC!!
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Academic setting, and FF couple - check and check! Loved this story, for the setting, the characters, and the sweet storyline. This is my first Kat Jackson book, but I look forward to checking out more.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bella Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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*Thank you NetGalley and publishers for the ARC. All thoughts and opinions are my own*

I really enjoyed this book. I've been looking forward to it ever since I read the synopsis. This is a romance book with an academic setting. A teaching assistant, Callie, is starting her PhD in English at 34 years old. The story follows her as she navigates grad school, being a TA and interacting with a hot new professor, Dr. Kate Jory. Kate is new to the university and a hard character to read. From Callie's initial meeting with Kate, she can't help, but be drawn to her. 

The book was an easy read. Kat Jackson is an excellent writer, so I really enjoyed the sentence structure and dialogue. There are a few elements of the story that prevented me from rating this book higher than a 3. The first is that all the characters in the book are relatively superficial. There are some plotlines mentioned, but never fully fleshed out. I think the story could have benefitted from hearing Kate's POV as there are some mentions of a difficult past, but we don't quite delve in to the depths of her background. Because of this, some of Kate's reactions/behaviors are hard to understand.

Ultimately, I did enjoy reading this book. I am a big fan of books with an academic setting and a relatively drama-free romance.
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I've only read one other book by Kat Jackson,  ‘Across the hall’ which did peak my interest in this author, and I'm glad I read her new novel, ‘The roads left behind’ us’.  These are something about age gap romances that I enjoy and always draws me in., I've noticed quite a few people don't like these love stories, but for me ( one of many) makes a good story. The story involves a professor and the student, the ups and downs that they face. There was quite a lot of sulking and stubbornness from one of the main charters and that did get tiring as the book went on.
All in all, ‘The roads left behind us’ was a good read, and kept me turning the pages.
I've given ‘the road left behind us’ a 3.5/5
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When I read Jackson's previous novel, Across the Hall, last year I remember being hooked by it purely through its characterisation. For me, this happened again with The Roads Left Behind Us. Jackson managed to write two very realistic characters that were endearing. I wanted to follow their day to day life, let alone the romance that developed between them, even if I thought the storyline itself wasn't particularly engaging.

This book has a very simplistic plot - Callie begins as a TA for Dr Kate Jory and sparks fly but both are worried about the repercussions of beginning a relationship due to their careers but also previous personal experience. This novel was engaging in the way it sets the scene. We are thrown into a pure Academic setting and as I've worked in this space for a number of years now I really liked reading a book set in a way that feels very realistic to this type of environment. 

Another aspect that I really liked was the writing style. Kat Jackson had a beautiful way of words within this. It read easily and it was exceptionally written. I particularly loved reading the example pieces from Callie's work at 'Sapphisms'. They were gorgeous pieces of literature. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel due to the exceptional writing, the slow development of our main characters and their romance, as well as the academic setting. 

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bella Books for a copy of this novel. ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.
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Not having read any of Ms. Jackson's previous books I went started this one with no set expectations other than looking for a good romance....I was not disappointed in the least.  The MCs Callie and Kate are just wonderful on their own but when you get them together, sparks.

I know the description gave me the impression this was going to be a student/professor relationship, and it is BUT Callie, the student is 34 (which thank you, I always cringe when this type of genera has younger ages in the student-20s).  Callie is working on her PhD and is a TA who first meets Dr. Kate Jory in the TA interview.  From there the story picks up steam (and I don't only mean in pace <smile>).

There is lots of dialog with I just love!!!....and so many supporting characters that make the book humorous along with the angst of the MCs.  The story overall is wonderful to follow along and in my opinion so many facets-you have; age gap, late coming out, forbidden relationship, friends to lovers and of course add in some meddlesome friends and a very tipsy Dean at times and you will be laughing and cheering them on.

Ms. Jackson is definitely on my 'watch for' list and I recommend she become one of yours.  I hope we see more of these characters in the future, see how Callie and Kate are progressing maybe?

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but would have written the same opinion if I had come across this author on my own.

To see my Amazon review, it is under CC-Great read with lots of loving characters
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I really enjoyed this book.  The main characters, Callie and Kate both work at a college.  Callie is a PhD student working as a TA and Kate is a professor.  
The relationship between the two women begins as flirty remarks mainly started by Kate.  Callie is enjoying the banter.  That  is until the banter stops with Callie telling Kate that she is a lesbian.  She thought that Kate knew this information, but judging from her behavior afterwards, she did not have any idea.  
Kate is very aware of the age difference, but Callie is less concerned with that and more concerned with becoming more and more attracted to Kate. Callie wants to get Kate's attention again and see what the future could possibly hold for them.
I would recommend this book.  
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest  review.
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This book managed to age-gap (16 years) troupe, professor-TA and forbidden romance in such a respectful manner while maintaining a strong and welcoming light academia atmosphere. It gives a respectful and open view onto both LGTB relationships with an age gap and uses strong independent women to bring focus to women in academia. This is unlike any book I’ve read before and one I would highly recommend which is why it is a 4 star read for me. 

Callie’s return to academia is shaken with the introduction of Dr. Kate Jory. The path to discovering if their suitable or not is one which I’ve throughly enjoyed. They’ve showed how important communication and allowing your heart to open up is.
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Whizzed through this in a day, couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the exploration and description of the US university TA to professor training and the focus on obscure literature. The character development was well thought out and there were good friendships portrayed which I always enjoy. The romance was believable, had tension and was fun to follow. 

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Callie Lewes is 34 and has taken a TA position and is working towards getting her PHD in English. Dr. Kate Jory is a new professor in the English dept. Callie is drawn to the older woman but Kate isn't an easy egg to crack.
This is my first Kat Jackson book. There were aspects of it that I enjoyed and others that didn't work as well for me. I liked the character of Callie. She's kind, intelligent and hard working. I enjoyed her relationship with her mentor and friend, Courtney. There bond was forged while Callie was her student and grew after that. Courtney and Renee were my favorite characters. Renee was an absolute legend and Jackson did a great job of writing humor with her character. Courtney's husband Nick was another very comedic character. Kate's writing that was featured showed how beautifully Jackson can write.
This was written in third person from Callie's point of view. That didn't give me much of a feel for who Kate was. The two women obviously shared a mutual attraction, but I wasn't drawn into their relationship as much as I would have liked to have been if I was able to get into Kate's head more. And while I understand the need for a little weariness when there are obstacles to starting a relationship, there was just too much indecision on Kate's part. This was a decent read and it's obvious that Kat Jackson has ability. I will look for more from her in the future and hope that I connect more than I did with this one.

An ARC was received Bella Books via NetGalley for an honest review.
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This is my first foray into Kat Jackson's work -- my first impression is that The Roads Left Behind Us is very well-written. My second opinion is that I wish it had been written in dual POV's instead of merely Callie's. "Merely" may not be the right word to use, because Callie's POV is marvelously expressed. I just think that Kate was the more interesting character and would have loved to have understood her "come here, go away" actions.

I will not give a synopsis nor a summary as you may find both elsewhere. I will just state that after reading this book, I bought Jackson's Across the Hall. Any time I want to read more of an author's work -- I consider that a ringing endorsement.

Therefore, I recommend The Roads Left Behind Us. I'm giving it only 4 stars because, I felt a bit deprived at not knowing Kate's story better.
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I became a huge an of Kat Jackson last year when I read her debut Begin Again. Her writing style is just so hard to describe, but it almost feels like she is reading her book to me. The Roads Left Behind Us is an age gap/teacher student slow burn romance. There is a reference to the title in the book, but I wish the title could signify that it's a teacher/student story.

This story is told in third person from Callie's POV. She is an older PhD student who finds herself falling for Kate, a 50-year-old professor. I would have loved a dual POV because Kate just seems fascinating and I'd love to know what she's thinking and what type of baggage she's bringing from The University of Tennessee (my alma mater!) to New Hampshire.

If you're looking for something different, non-standard, pick this up. I highly recommend it.
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