Tag Archives: series: life lessons

Learning Curve by Kaje Harper

18335673Title: Learning Curve (Life Lessons, Book 4)
Author: Kaje Harper
Published: September 6, 2013
Pages: 370
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The finale of the Life Lessons series follows Tony and Mac as they work to settle into their family life while Mac works to overcome the injuries he suffered at the end of <i>Home Work</i>. Mac is called in to consult on a case that involves one of Tony’s students and the two once again find themselves forced to try to balance all of their responsibilities and their relationship. Mac’s career, Tony’s peace of mind, and their life together are all on the line here and they’ll do whatever it takes to make it through.

This was a nice end to the series. I actually liked the balance between the case and the relationship story more here than in the previous three books. In the past ones, I felt like the cases were somewhat convenient to making the rest of the plot go the way it needed to, but here it seems like more of an overlay. They fit together perfectly. It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t curious to know what happens to Mac and Tony after this book ends, but Kaje Harper has given them a fitting end here in a way that gives readers closure.

Home Work by Kaje Harper

15706627Title: Home Work (Life Lessons, Book 3)
Author: Kaje Harper
Published: October 5, 2012
Pages: 356
Publisher: MLR Press
Publisher Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
It’s interesting to see the ways in which Mac and Tony (and their relationship) have developed over the course of this series. There has been a number of changes and the way they’ve grown separately and together is definitely endearing. Following along as they work through the challenges of coming together as a family and raising two children on top of the stresses of their respective jobs – well, it’s refreshing to me in its own way.

I did feel like the case/mystery in this one dragged a bit slowly at the beginning and then rushed to a finish – especially more so than in the previous two books. But I still enjoyed it overall and it did keep me guessing through much of the book as well.

Title: Breaking Cover
Author: Kaje Harper
Publication Date: July 22, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
It’s great to see what is happening next for Tony and Mac. I really found myself starting to like them in the first book in this series. Of course, I’m not at all surprised to see them wrapped right up in trouble again, though.

The tone of this book, the characters and their interactions, and the word in which they live had a seamless consistency with the first book – something I haven’t always seen in series. Even though it’s been a while since I read the first book, I was able to jump back in and re-immerse myself rather easily.

My only complaints would be that this one probably goes on a bit longer than necessary and that too many things happened that just seemed overly convenient for the story. This happened a bit in the first book, but they were close enough to feeling natural that it didn’t throw me too much. I started to feel otherwise here, and am hoping I’m on the wrong path and it’s not where the rest of the series is headed.

Title: Life Lessons
Author: Kaje Harper
Publication Date: May 1, 2011

Rating: ★ ★ ★  ☆
The last thing teacher Tony Hart expected was to get pulled into the investigation of a fellow teacher’s murder. But when a teacher’s body falls on him when he opens the elevator, that’s exactly what happens. Enter Jared MacLean, a heavily closeted homicide detective assigned to the case. He knows he shouldn’t get involved with witnesses, but there’s something about Tony he just can’t seem to shake.

This one wasn’t bad – and I absolutely appreciated the little things the author put in that show she definitely knows the setting of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The characters were likable, if a bit frustrating at times (especially Mac). But the story seemed to go on a bit longer than it needed – and the way it played out started to border on a bit unrealistic for me. That said, those notions can easily be set aside to have a rather enjoyable read.