Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
“‘I – I want you to teach me.’”
“‘I can do that.’ I hope.”
It is right here where Fiona Cole foreshadows the actions of this book. This story tells the story of Erik’s sister (Erik’s book is Savior), Hanna, and Voyeur co-owner, Daniel. Throughout Fiona Cole’s Voyeur series, these two have played parts as ancillary characters. If you’ve read Savior, then you should be familiar with Hanna’s traumatic past. It’s in Teacher, where Cole shows her maturity as a writer, as she develops the complexity of Hanna’s journey. While it is hard to say this is my favorite Voyeur book (it’s too hard to choose because I love each of them), I do believe it’s her most thoughtful and expertly-written one. Cole flexes her writing muscle here, showing us how much more she has to give in future books.
So, why should you read this book…this series?
- For one, Hanna’s trauma is human trafficking. In our world, this is an important issue as young women daily are sold into slavery. In Cole’s careful crafting of Hanna’s story in both Savior and Teacher, she exposes the dangers and consequences of this world. I was nervous going into this book because Cole would need to pull back from her typical characterizations of her heroines in this series. They are all powerful, intelligent, $exual beings. With Hanna, there is a careful line that she must walk as Hanna learns to embrace intimate moments. She is like Cole’s other heroines: intelligent and beautiful, but her strength has a depth that is greater than Cole’s other heroines. To walk with her through this story, Cole invests us in Hanna’s development, and she does it so seriously and astutely that you see Cole conscientiousness as a writer. As a devoted reader, you feel a certain amount of pride in acknowledging this growth. She deftly characterizes Hanna, so that you don’t feel uncomfortable with her evolution.
- The one way that Cole accomplishes this is through the elaboration of her hero, Daniel. If you’ve been paying attention in Lovers, Another, and Liar, then you know that Daniel, while seemingly averse to commitment, provides much of the relationship advice to other characters. He’s wise with other characters, and he sees the essence of a person more than most in Cole’s Voyeur world. Therefore, it isn’t a surprise that Daniel is, in my estimation, one of the most sensitive heroes in this series. There is a kindness to him. He is still very alpha in his characterization, but Cole creates a strain of vulnerability in him. And this is NECESSARY for a heroine such as Hanna. This coupling can only happen between these two because Daniel has a depth of experience (not just in the bedroom) that gently helps Hanna connect with intimacy again. Together, these two are magic.
- Another way that Cole illustrates her capacity as a writer of romance is in her development of the intimate scenes. Fiona Cole can write the heck out of a bedroom scene. Liar, one of her dirtiest Voyeur books (well, along with Lover), precedes Teacher. Yet, Cole writes these exquisite intimate scenes between Hanna and Daniel that build in chemistry and heat. There is no jumping straight into the fire. It’s clear how mindful Cole is in developing Hanna’s intimacy. For me, this was the biggest insight into Cole as a writer. There is such careful construction here that it is absolutely believable that Daniel and Hanna would eventually find their happy ending. It also is the showcase of Cole’s writing prowess.
I am officially in mourning now. With Teacher, the Voyeur world ends, and I am left to think about these characters who I have loved from the start. There is an incredibly sweet and steamy epilogue, but I already know that I will miss this world. This final book, Teacher, is a perfect ending to this world, but the careful artistry of this story feels important. It’s a reminder that our pasts don’t have to hold us captive in our present. Instead, as we see with Hanna and Daniel, letting go of those things that haunt us can lead to an abundant, love-filled future. I’m fairly certain I will need a bonus scene in the future, so I can spend more time with this world that has both titillated and challenged readers.
“He’d been my moment—my person that had helped me face the darkest parts and beat them. He’d been the person to remind me that I could have done it all along. […] He tasted like home.”
In love and romance,