Review: Beyond the Ivory Tower by Jill Blake



If there’s one thing math professor Anna Lazarev believes in, it’s the value of higher education. So when her younger sister announces she’s dropping out of college, Anna places the blame squarely on the man who inspired her sister’s rebellion.

Venture capitalist Ethan Talbot claims the US academic system is broken. His solution? Pay top students to “opt out” and pursue their entrepreneurial dreams without wasting time and money on a university degree.

In a passionate battle for the hearts and minds of a new generation, Anna will do whatever it takes to prove Ethan wrong. But when his demands take a more personal turn, will she sacrifice her principles to come out on top?



Anna Lazarev believes that a good education is what is important for your future.
Ethan Talbot believes that an alternate education is just as good for students requiring something different.
When Anna’s sister, Klara, gets accepted into the Talbot Fellowship scholarship, Anna is clearly upset and takes it upon herself to change her sister’s mind. When Anna tries to intervene and get in contact with Ethan, her correspondence is not replied to. Her last resort is to confront him to see if he can release Klara from his scholarship program.
What Anna doesn’t bank on is the chemistry that follows after meeting Ethan. A lunch discussion turns to dinner, and then so many things after that change her mind about Ethan. She’s unsure of what she wants. Slowly, but surely, she feels her first impression of him is changing. But is it for better or worse?
Ethan has been numb for a long time but the instant he meets Anna he knows there is a something between them. Even the smallest amount of chemistry can spark if you know how to look for signs. He’s had more signs from that one encounter with Anna than any other woman who has crossed his path.
Ethan can’t help but think of Anna all the time and does his best to get to know her. With the added threat of media involvement, will it be too much for Anna to handle? Can he convince her that his program really does benefit those who seek a different kind of education? Will he be able to get Anna to see he has the best intentions and not to judge him.
It takes an unfortunate incident to reveal their feelings for each other and a realisation that maybe they can compromise and make things work.

This is a beautifully written story. The chemistry between Ethan and Anna pulls you into their lives and holds you there from the start. Jill Blake has done an exceptional job with this book and I’m so glad that I got to read it. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

Reviewed by Rebecca

LLEP Review Team

About the Author


When I was kid, my mom would take us walking in the park. Whenever someone would stop to coo over my baby sister and ask how old we were, Mom inevitably answered: “The doctor is 7, and the lawyer is 1.”

Fast-forward a few decades, and what do you know? Doctor and lawyer, bingo!

I love practicing medicine. I especially enjoy the rewards of taking care of entire families over long periods of time.

But secretly, I always dreamed about writing. Over the years, I dabbled as time permitted: freelancing for various local newspapers, doing a summer stint as a teaching assistant at a creative writing program, penning a few manuscripts that promptly got relegated to the bottom of some desk drawer.

Thanks to my wonderful husband, who encouraged me to blow the dust off one of those manuscripts, I’m finally pursuing my dream! Not full-time, to be sure. I’m still a physician with a busy practice, and a mom with three kids. But after the charts are done and the kids are asleep, it’s just me and my laptop—and, boy, am I having fun!

Why romance, you ask? Because I love a guaranteed happy ending. I hope you do, too!

– Jill Blake

Goodreads | Amazon

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