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Learning Curve by Terry McLaughlin
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Learning Curve

by Terry McLaughlin

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"Joe Wisniewski has a new teaching assistant, twenty-nine-year-old Emily Sullivan. She is seen by family as constantly changing her mind on what she wants to do with her life. Though Emily feels herself a failure, she thinks she's finally found her calling. When Joe first meets her at Caldwell High, he sees a perky, happy, attractive young woman whom he cannot stand. She's way too much of a cheerleader type for him. Emily is Joe's opposite. She's the daughter of a military man from a very conservative Republican family. Joe was raised by his mother's sister Anna, a liberal, free-spirited lesbian who lives with her life partner.

Joe is the teacher Emily idolized while growing up. He mentored her older brother, who credits Joe for who he is today. Emily had a huge crush on Joe, worshipping him from afar, and is excited to be working with him while she gets her degree. Everyone at school loves Emily, teachers as well as students. Unfortunately, Caldwell High's principal, the creepy Kyle Walford, is one of them. Emily knows she has to watch herself with him. Emily and Joe both feel strong chemistry, but know it would be inappropriate to pursue a relationship outside their professional one. Joe has never had a committed relationship, and is known for sleeping around. He wants to hide this from Emily, at least in the beginning. What Emily sees in Joe is a caring and nurturing teacher, despite his gruff attitude. After much deliberation, Emily invites Joe to a Halloween party, where her friend Marilee notices something going on between them. Emily and Joe find that sexual tension makes working together difficult. As things become hot and heavy between them, they are very careful not to let anyone know what is going on."
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