Aussie Book Review: The Yearning by Kate Belle

The Yearning

My Rating:              5 / 5
Format:                   Paperback courtesy of
                               Simon & Schuster & The Reading Room
Publication Date:    May 2013
Category:               Erotic Fiction
ISBN:                      9781922052643
Extent:                    336 pages
RRP:                      AU$17.99

The Blurb

“First Love Forbidden Love

It’s 1978 in an Australian country town and a dreamy teenaged girl’s world is turned upside down by the arrival of the substitute English teacher.  Solomon Andrews is beautiful, inspiring and she wants him like nothing else she’s wanted in her short life.

Charismatic and unconventional, Solomon easily wins the hearts and minds of his third form English class.  He notices the attention of one girl, his new neighbour, who has taken to watching him from her upstairs window.  He assumes it a harmless teenage crush, until the erotic love notes begin to arrive.

Solomon knows he must resist, but her sensual words stir him.  He has longings of his own, although they have nothing to do with love, or so he believes.  One afternoon, as he stands reading her latest offering in his driveway, she turns up unannounced.  And what happens next will torment them forever – in ways neither can imagine.”

Thoughts and Summary

A young girl’s life is irrevocably changed when the new English high school teacher moves in next door to her.

As she sits in her bedroom, not far from the window overlooking the new teacher’s house, her longings for real, timeless love are evident from the perfect prose that this emerging sexual being writes in her diary along with the secret love letters she slips between the pages, and her clandestine, or so she thinks, almost voyeuristic observations of the “God” who lives next door, begin.

Twenty-something years old, Solomon Andrews is spiritual, charismatic and beautiful.  A man who grew up in the immoral clutches of his mother where his first sexual encounter was downright sinful, he has a questionable past which threatens to catch up to him and has moved to this new town seeking a new life, perhaps some new conquests, “a field of skin yet to be tasted”.  He soon realises that he is being observed but, used to the wide attention he generally receives from his female students, he tries to ignore the girl’s attentions knowing that if he acts on his impulses there will, yet again, be dire consequences.

Not long after a confrontation takes place in his driveaway between the girl and another female student from school, the perfumed love letters begin to arrive in his mail box.  He knows he should resist, but the girl’s passionate declarations of love stir something deep inside him causing a yearning for something real and tangible.  When she finally presents herself to him, he is unable to resist the allure of teaching this naive young girl all he knows.

Their illicit affair begins and the sexual awakening she has yearned for is made all the more beautiful as we see her become enraptured by his kind and gentle sexual teachings, yet he knows what they are doing is wrong, but he just can’t see his way out.

Unfortunately, and as they say, all good things must come to an end and, as a result of their affair being discovered, Solomon says goodbye to a town that held so many possibilities and leaves behind a broken-hearted young girl.

As the emotional consequences of the heartfelt but forbidden union reverberate through the decades, we meet the young girl again, but this time as a thirty-something year old woman who has never quite been able to move past her memories of Solomon, remaining ever-hopeful that she will find “the one”, constantly comparing every man who comes into her life with him.  On meeting Max, their attraction is almost instant and they begin a relationship, but still, she remains disillusioned about her sexual encounters and is unable to move past what her and Solomon shared.  When fate sees her and Solomon’s paths crossing once again, we wonder who, at the end of the day, will have the power to sever a connection steeped in yearning.

Having read a lot of erotica in the past and coming close to throwing most of them against the wall due to the bad writing and constant replay of the same old salacious smut, I was a bit hesitant to pick this novel up due to its genre labelling, in case I was disappointed.  I can excitedly say that while it has been classed as erotica, it is so much more than that and I was  hooked from the very first page.

There is a love story of deep, emotional meaning contained within the covers of this book along with a well-rounded story and, while most of us are brought up to understand that any kind of sexual relationship between a teacher and student is taboo and we ultimately end up not transcending those moral and ethical boundaries, Kate Belle has not written about a teacher’s debauched unions with under-age girls, but rather has created something beautiful and intensely intimate.

This is a powerfully seductive, sensually evocative and tastefully written tale in which Kate Belle explores forbidden love and sexual desire with a narrative that is lyrical and filled with substance, and I wish to thank Simon & Schuster and The Reading Room for providing me with a paperback copy of this delicious, darkly threaded love story.

A Little About the Author (taken from her website)

Kate Belle is a passionate author, adequate wife and devoted mum/step-mum.

Kate has long been a collector of erotic literature and believes a randy read can be almost as satisfying as good sex.  Her unique brand of erotic fiction with a difference aims to entertain, arouse and give you something to think about. You might not get a boy-gets-girl traditional happy ending, but her heroines always find healing and resolution (and often a yummy man to love).

Kate has many strings to her bow. She holds a tertiary qualification in applied chemistry, half a diploma in naturopathy and a diploma in psychological astrology. Her employment includes a video library, a travel agent, cleaning campervans for hire, the Victorian public service, a disability organisation and a university sports centre. She has ridden a camel through the Australian desert, fraternised with hippies in Nimbin, had a near birth experience and lived on nothing but porridge and a carrot for 3 days.

Kate also believes the world would be a better place if human beings could learn to appreciate the smallest pleasures of life.


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