Title: The Partnership
Series: Extra Credit
Author: Charlotte Penn Clark
Publication Date: March 1st, 2017
Shelves: New Adult; Contemporary; Romance; College
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3 stars
They’re just partners….
Kyle’s got a problem. He needs to pass college composition to graduate but he can’t get words on a page. And it’s landed him in a pilot class called Extra Credit for students in trouble — when all he wants is to be left alone.
Lani’s got a problem too. She doesn’t like making waves and it gets her stuck in that Extra Credit class. When she ends up partnered with Kyle things start getting complicated. Kyle is angry, restless, impatient; Lani is calm, introverted, bookish. But when these opposites attract how will they manage to stay “just partners”?
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Victory Editing in exchange for an honest review.
Contains minor spoilers
Struggling to write his final college paper, Kyle Madison ends up in an Extra Credit class for students in borderline situations. In this class, Kyle meets Nalani Ito, a beautiful, reserved dance student and yoga instructor who doesn’t seem like the type to land herself in any sort of trouble. Lani doesn’t like to ‘make waves’ or draw attention to herself in any way, so when she takes the blame for a friend in need, she lands herself in Extra Cred to avoid further punishment. When Kyle and Lani are partnered up for a project, they help each other overcome the problems that landed them both in Extra Cred: Lani needs to start standing up for herself, and Kyle needs to decide on a career path after college. When their attraction toward each other grows, they must decide whether to deepen their relationship or remain strictly partners.
This novel kind of reminded me of Elle Kennedy’s The Deal in that both these characters are both so likeable and a joy to read about. From the first chapter I was laughing at Kyle’s POV because he swears SO much! He’s sarcastic and cocky and comes across as such a grump in the early chapters. He’s a really funny and entertaining character and he’s so sweet to Lani from the beginning.
And I loved Lani’s character, she’s such a sweet and fun person who works hard and takes nothing for granted. It was great to see her take new risks, defend herself against her crappy, racist “friends” and meet new people in the Extra Credit class. Having said that, I do feel that Lani’s character growth wasn’t very gradual. Lani hates attention, and this impacts her dance and yoga classes because she doesn’t like to have an audience. But to me it seemed that she changed SO much in such a short time span. I mean it was a great thing to see her grow more courageous and happy, but it didn’t seem authentic to me. As someone who is also incredibly shy, I was excited to see how she would overcome her apprehensions, but I didn’t really take anything away from this development.
As for their relationship, I loved these two characters together. Initially, they don’t seem to be each other’s type (a trope I love) but their relationship didn’t feel forced in any way. They help each other grow and change for the better: Kyle helps Lani step out of her comfort zone and stand up for herself, and Lani is a calming force on Kyle. They were very cute together!
The plot was pretty simple; Kyle and Lani have differing personal problems and they help each other solve them while their friendship grows into a relationship. I was interested in both their personal problems but Lani’s issues in particular were not explored as much as I’d hoped. An aspect of Lani that irked me was her relationship with her brother. Her older brother Scott is severely autistic and receives round the clock care, mostly from her parents. Lani admits to Kyle that she feels a massive amount of sadness and guilt that Scott is this way, and that her parents care for him back home in Hawaii while she is away at college. I feel like Lani’s feelings regarding her brother needed more attention than what it got. I anticipated a discussion about this between Lani and her parents but it never really happened. I was slightly disappointed by this.
I will admit that the conflict in this novel wasn’t very interesting, I’m actually slightly confused by it. But I will say that I’m so happy that there weren’t any bad or ‘bitchy’ characters thrown in to the mix for the sole purpose of getting in between the couple. It was a nice change for me to not have to experience that in a romance. Also, there weren’t many sex scenes in this novel which is another plus for me. Some NA novels out there have an overwhelming amount of sex scenes and they can get tedious!
The Partnership was a cute read, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!
Would you read this novel again? No, but I will happily continue with this series
Who would I recommend this novel to? College romance fans, romance readers searching for an ‘opposites attract’ read