Teacher of the Year, Teachers in Love #1 by M.A. Wardell

Trying to manage a classroom of children, filling out the proper reports for a potential award, and developing feelings for a student's dad is... A lot! Teacher of the Year is the start of a new series by M.A. Wardell.

From the blurb:

Love: Not as easy as ABC.

They were supposed to keep things casual. Who’d expect they’d be schooled in love?

Those who can, teach. Marvin Block is one of the best kindergarten teachers out there. And despite his anxiety, Marvin’s life is sweet. He knows what he wants. And what he wants is the Teacher of the Year Award. Not just for himself – his school needs him to win.

Returning from break, the New Year finds Marvin all set to welcome a new pupil to his class. But when Illona walks in with her cute-as-hell single dad beside her, Marvin’s focus starts to slide.

Sure, his students always come first, but he deserves to have a life outside the classroom, too, right?

As their friendship starts to deepen, Marvin realizes Olan has the potential to teach him things about love he never thought possible. But with the Teacher of the Year award and his school’s future on the line, now’s not the time for anything complicated.

Education has always been Marvin’s world. And he needs to keep a cool head if he wants to win the award and save his school. But will it be worth it if he loses Olan in the process?

With Olan’s past and Marvin’s present colliding, their experiment in love hangs in the balance. Marvin knows what he wants out of life. But now he’s forced to consider what he wants out of love.

Will Marvin chalk the relationship up to experience? Or can they revise their story into a textbook romance?

Teacher of the Year is a steamy open door friends-to-lovers gay romance novel that explores the balance between friends, family, career, and relationships while overcoming trauma and dealing with anxiety.

Heather's Review:

Told from Marvin's POV, Teacher of the year does not provide a straight path to love for these two MCs... The relationship stops and starts, speeds ahead and slows down... and for me it was a little bit hard on the ability to stay in the world and focused.  I was craving Olan's voice throughout the story - needing to know why he was making the choices he was and what he was thinking... especially when Marvin's response to challenges is not communication.  This book, while not specifically a slow burn, often feels like one.

I struggled with parts of this book and I can't put my finger on it beyond really wanting that second POV and perhaps more descriptions in place but the premise is there and I would definitely read another M.A. Wardell story in the future.

Rating: 3.5 Stars rounded up

Angel's Review:

I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, I had a feeling I would enjoy it, but I didn't expect me to enjoy it as much as I did! 

I wasn't prepared for all of the humor elements and the gritty, tough conversations that these characters had when they talked  about their childhood trauma. While this book was mainly lighthearted and had really goody moments, there was also serious topic matter discussed in this story as well. Which I really appreciated, it wasn't all fluff, it was a nice mix of serious life topics, but there was also lightness and humor, and sticky fingers. And a cat who I am jealous of. None of my pets have ever been as cuddly as Marvin described Gonzo to be! I'm jealous of a fictional character and his cat! 

The relationship that Marvin has with his students is so precious, and his friendship with Jill is so strong, you can really tell how much they care about each other's well being. Olan is such a great dad to Illona, you can feel the bond they have come through the book. I liked that it was more of a slow burn between the two main characters, the building of their relationship was done really well. It was believable and even though Marvin freaked out Olan was still so supportive and understanding. I really liked how their relationship developed, along with Marvin's relationship with Illona outside of his classroom. 

This book was really well written, with laugh out loud characters who you can't help but relate to! Fantastic storytelling, and this has a fantastic ending! 

"The taste of HIS cherry ChapStick.." you'll know what I mean by that, once you read this. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Teacher of the Year is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with kindle Unlimited subscription.