Third Degree: Flirt New Adult Romance [NOOK Book]

Overview

Fans of Monica Murphy and Tammara Webber will savor this novel about coming of age in the heat of the moment from Julie Cross, the internationally bestselling author of the Tempest trilogy.
 
I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency ...
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Third Degree: Flirt New Adult Romance

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Overview

Fans of Monica Murphy and Tammara Webber will savor this novel about coming of age in the heat of the moment from Julie Cross, the internationally bestselling author of the Tempest trilogy.
 
I used to be “Isabel Jenkins, child prodigy.” As lame as that sounds, at least it was an identity. But now I’m not sure what I am. I just failed the most important exam of my life—the emotional readiness test required to get into a medical residency program—and it turns out my parents can’t stand each other. Now I’m trying to figure out how to pick up the pieces of my life, and that means re-enrolling as a college freshman, but this time I’m shutting the books and majoring in being eighteen.
 
But so far, my roommate hates me and I’m not into the party scene. The only good thing about school has been getting to know my insanely hot RA. Marshall Collins makes me wonder about everything I missed while I was growing up too fast. Pretty soon we’re hanging out constantly, but for the first time, I find myself wanting more than a no-strings-attached physical relationship. And the lesson I really need is one Marsh definitely can’t teach me: love. Because I’m going to be alone forever if I don’t learn fast.
 
Praise for Third Degree
 
“[Julie] Cross’s character development is beautiful and a pleasure to read in this medical romance!”Library Journal

Third Degree is a refreshing New Adult story full of quirky characters and heartfelt, sexy romance.”New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy

“I loved every. Damn. Second of Third Degree. Isabel and Marshall are so intense yet so lost at the same time, and that’s exactly what I love about this novel.”New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Emma Hart

“What a fascinating read.  It’s like Grey’s Anatomy meets college life.”—My Reading Room
 
“Splendid! . . . A refreshingly different take on romance.”—Crazy Four Books
 
“Thank you, Ms. Cross, for this enchanting story—you not only made me believe in these characters but led me to fall in love with them too.”—Martini Times Romance
 
“I honestly couldn't put this book down!”—Miss Book Lover
 
“Sweet, hilarious, and emotional—sometimes all at the same time—Third Degree is a remarkable novel about accepting people for who they are beneath the surface.”—My Library in the Making
 
“I just loved these characters. I loved how Marshall dealt with Izzy, and how Izzy freaked out when she realized she had actual feelings for him.”—Red Hot Books

“I love a book that makes me forget all about the real world and sends me on a journey with its characters.”—Turning Pages

“With quirky characters, laugh-out-loud moments, and a touching romance, Third Degree is a refreshing entry in the New Adult genre. I can’t wait to read what Julie Cross comes up with next!”—Roni Loren, bestselling author of Need You Tonight

“I fell for quirky, brainy, socially awkward child prodigy Izzy and even more so for her sweet, compassionate, and hot RA, Marshall. I was rooting for their happily-ever-after and was sighing with satisfaction by the end.”—Christina Lee, author of the Between Breaths series
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553390346
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/25/2014
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 324
  • Sales rank: 3,213
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program director with the YMCA. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and New Adult genres. She’s also a committed (but not talented) long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Amazing book!

    I don't usually write reviews but this book was really a pleasure. If you are looking for a good romance novel to read on the beach, this is it. It was a great college romance that didn't involve the characters having huge emotional problems but enough to keep you intrested and the book a good read. I would highly recommened this novel!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2014

    I loved everything about this book! 

    I loved everything about this book! 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    4 stars - Fast paced, funny, sexy and fresh, this NA will please

    4 stars - Fast paced, funny, sexy and fresh, this NA will please you.
    First Impressions...

    Of course I love the cover but what really drew me to this book was the blurb. It sounds totally different from other New Adult books. Izzy is like other eighteen year-olds. She's a genius without social skills. I couldn't wait for the fun to begin.

    The Characters...

    Even though I have been around students who have similar lack of social skills and lack of filters, I was floored at some of the things that Izzy did and said. One particular one-night stand her roommate has had trying to decide if I should die laughing or for embarrassment for her. It's like she's been emotionally turned off and she only sees things through the lens of her medical training. She reacts with that in mind and with no thought to how the people involved feel. But what was so incredible was how she woke up emotionally. Marsh was the reason. Her feeling for him developed and then as things about his life came to light, she found herself feeling. It was fascinating to watch her emotionally engage.

    As for Marsh, I was totally in love. He's so sweet. As the RA, he shouldn't be "getting frisky" with the residents but he can't seem to help himself. I love his creative excuses to touch Izzy. I loved how he called her out on behavior and was patient with her as she figured things out. I loved how he got jealous but tried so hard to keep Izzy at arms length. Yeah, right - all the while finding excuses to touch her. And speaking of touching, that hands-on anatomy lesson was brilliant.

    The Story...

    So unique, this story isn't like any other NA book I've read. Though it's clearly a "figuring out who you are" kinda of NA book, the approach is completely new. Loved that.

    I enjoyed the writing as well. I've read other books by this author and wasn't surprised that the book was so readable and that I loved the characters so much.

    Could I Put It Down...

    I didn't want to. That annoying problem of needing to sleep before I face a class or middle schoolers forced me to put it down. I did read it in two evenings.

    In The End...

    If you enjoy New Adult but have been looking for something fresh, then this is the one you need to pick up.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Cute Story

    Good read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    The best book ever! Julie Cross - Third Degree

    This book was the book that gave me my first 'breakthrough'! I love Julie Cross. Totally recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Sweet story

    Loved it. Yes, write a sequel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2014

    Third degree

    Just down right boring. Whats all the capital abrv' stuff....... do not see what so good about this book. Got to page 30. Enough for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    LOVE everything about this book. Izzy and Marsh are addicting; I

    LOVE everything about this book. Izzy and Marsh are addicting; I couldn't put it down. Can I get a sequel???????????

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

        I wanted to read this because my attention went to the medic

        I wanted to read this because my attention went to the medical student and I love medical drama, it makes my heart happy. I loved ER, love Grey's, and although Izzy is going to college to learn to fit in to keep practicing medicine, you can tell it is written on her DNA and she can't help herself but be nerdy. 
       Nerdy girls make me happy. She is hardcore smart and did everything at an accelerated pace, but now she is told she doesn't have empathy and that she isn't connecting her delivery to patient care, so off she goes to "regular" college to experience some of the life she missed because of school work. She is so awkward and it makes for some pretty blush inducing and interesting situations, making me laugh and feel for her at the same time. 
        She slowly learns how to interact with her peers, and she has the help of her hot RA Marsh. He is certainly swoon-worthy because they have an intense chemistry causing feelings for Izzy that she isn't sure what to do with. She's done the affairs, the benefits, but no real boyfriends persay. So, they flit on that forbidden line because as an RA he isn't supposed to cross the friends line, and she is frustratingly smart and something in him is turned on and drawn to help her. 
        After a bad start (not to mention hilarious and embarrassing) with her roomate, Marsh manages to get Kelsie on board with helping Izzy. Marsh knows Izzy's full story but she isn't telling anyone that she was a medical intern, so the cover story is that she was homeschooled to cover up the social awkwardness. But Marsh grew up in the same town and had Izzy's mom as a teacher so he knew about prodigy child from the start, and he keeps in on the DL for Izzy. 
        The chemistry was amazing and overall fun and fast NA read. The twist in this one did surprise me though. I liked that it was more the guy that had some vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It didn't show in his character, he still put others first, was a family guy, and always put forward his best foot and tried his best at school. Marsh loved hard, but his secret broke my heart. Maybe I should have seen it coming with Izzy being a doctor in training and all.
       With the medical stuff involved Julie handled subject very well, it can be embarrassing and debilitating, but I think that she handled that well. It gave details, but not enough to freak anyone out or gross out (unless pretty squeamish). 
        I liked how everything wrapped up as well as the epilogue. I would have liked a little more closure from the epilogue I think, if it is going to be there, then give me a wrapped in a bow ending, but that could just be me. 
       
    Bottom Line: The chemistry was amazing and overall fun and fast NA read with a twist that surprised me.

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  • Posted May 23, 2014

    Isabel Jenkins failed her emotional readiness exam for her resid

    Isabel Jenkins failed her emotional readiness exam for her residency. That means no residency at Johns Hopkins. Which throws her whole world upside down. What is she to do now? Izzy Jenkins is a surgeon. She has six months before she can take the test again. So now what?

    At her parents urging, she re-enrolls in college. Taking classes that dabble in a little bit of everything. Enter Marshall. The RA for her dorm floor. After pissing off her roommate royally for the last time, he decides to help her in her quest to prepare for taking that psych exam given by the "not a real doctor" psych doctor at the hospital.

    Marshall and Izzy end up spending a lot of time together doing everything from studying to dinner. They know each other's secrets and give each other advice on how to handle their secrets. But then Izzy realizes something. Are they helping each other or hurting each other? There's only one thing to do.

    I liked this story a lot. I would have given it 5 stars, but to me it seemed to start off a bit slow. I'm not sure if it was because I had a hard time connectiny to Izzy in the beginning or what my deal was. It made me laugh out loud and feel sorrow at the right times. This book was very well written. The author did her research for this book and it shows. I would definitely read more from Julie Cross!

    ***I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2014

    Great read!

    I absolutely loved this book. Unique story line and great characters! A must for summer reading!

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  • Posted April 28, 2014

    Third Degree by Julie Cross is her first try at New Adult. Writ

    Third Degree by Julie Cross is her first try at New Adult. Written in a similar style she wrote for Letters to Nowhere, Julie once again gives us a different, but very well written & refreshing story of a coming of age of a young prodigy. Isabel Jenkins is a medical genius, and is expecting to receive a residency at the famous John Hopkins hospital at the age of 18. When she fails the emotional readiness test for the residency, Izzy is thrown for a loop, as she has never failed in anything before. The problem, despite her ability to be the best doctor in the hospital, she has no bedside manner; she is socially inept, being too abrupt & direct, not to mention robotic when dealing with patients and families.

    Izzy never had a normal childhood, and she is sent by her family to spend a semester living on campus to learn about life, friends, and normal relationships. She immediately meets our hero, Marshall, who is the RA in her dorm. What follows is a wonderful story that starts out as friendship, and then a beautiful romance. There were so many humorous parts, where Izzy is totally out of her element, but Marsh was usually there to teach her what she does wrong and how to act. I really got a kick out of Marsh teaching Izzy, and believe me some of the things she did at first were hysterical.

    It is the slow build of their romance that is the crux of the story. They both find themselves falling in love with each other, with each having their own issues that would bond them, but also threaten the longevity of their relationship. Julie Cross does a wonderful job of allowing us to see Izzy slowly change from a direct and unfeeling person to a young woman whom we came to care very much about by the end of the book. Marsh was such a great character from beginning to end. I loved how sweet and patient he was with Izzy, not to mention how sexy he was when their relationship turned steamy. I am not going to give spoilers, but I loved how Julie gave us the vulnerability & trusting side of Marsh; then the strong loving emotional side of Izzy when she needed to be there for Marsh. Third Degree was wonderfully written story, with a tense and great ending. I enjoyed this book by Julie Cross, and I’m sure you will too.

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  • Posted April 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    @IsabelJenkinsMD: Humans share 98.4% of our DNA with chimps - an

    @IsabelJenkinsMD: Humans share 98.4% of our DNA with chimps - and 70% with slugs.




     So of course I found myself being both amazes and grossed out by that science facts. Third Degree is my first experience with Julie Cross and I absolutely enjoyed every moment of it. I actually found myself laughing out loud. Super glad that I decided to pick this lovely read up.




     Izzy is an academic genius she’s probably a member of Mensa, but socially she is a complete and utter nightmare. Which was both funny and awkward. I cringed  in a good way whenever she encounter another human being. I can’t say enough how much I loved her social disaster. Things took a turn for Izzy when her plans for her starting her residency program were derailed, forcing her to take time off to re-evaluate her “emotional readiness”.




     Stepping outside of her comfort zone and in search of new life experiences Izzy decides to enroll in college. Living in a dorm with other human beings that are not as academically smart as she is. Luckily for Izzy her first encounter is with a cute RA name Marshall or Marsh. As fate would have it Marsh is from Izzy’s hometown and he also knows Izzy’s problem.




     It was so easy to fall for Marsh. His almost constant flirting with Izzy was so gradual and innocent. Not to mention all of his swoon worthy traits. Just couldn't get enough of him. What Izzy didn't know about about Marsh was that he had things of his own that he was dealing, that he wanted to keep to himself.




     Overall Julie Cross has definitely made an impression on me with Third Degree, while I would hope I continue to follow the story of Izzy and Marsh I would be okay if this was it for the two of them.  
    **An arc copy was given to me in exchange for my honest opinion**
    Follow my  reviews shawnashauntia at blogspot dot com

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  • Posted April 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    None of the clichés I¿ve grown to expect and all of the romance I was hoping for

    Isabel Jenkins is a genius, but that doesn’t mean her life is perfect. Sure, she’s already graduated medical school and completed her internship, even though she’s only eighteen, but when she faces her first major failure, not getting the residency she had her heart set on, she’s adrift. All the smarts in the world don’t make up for her lack of socialization, and inability to relate to her patients. Now determined to recapture the opportunity to be a “normal” young adult, she returns to college, for the first time attending with students her own age. And that’s where we meet Marshall, the Resident Advisor who knows all about the child prodigy.

    Judging Covers...
    While not a bad cover, it just didn’t do it for me. It doesn’t scream “socially inept genius meets hunky RA” or capture the wonderfully sweet romance that develops between Marshall and Isabel. Not that I have any better ideas. I just think it makes the book look like just another young romance when it’s soooo much more.div

    The Verdict...
    Izzy’s romance with Marshall is delightfully awkward, and Marshall is refreshingly sweet. Rather than insta-love, a fun friendship builds, with Marshall determined to show Izzy how to loosen up and for once in her life have a good time without worrying about her next big goal.

    What really makes the story, though, is that Marshall isn’t set on changing who Izzy is at heart. Instead, he simply shows her how to live and patiently waits as she follows. And behind his gorgeous mug is a kind, caring man of depth who finds himself letting his own guard down.

    Third Degree is nothing I thought it would be, with none of the clichés I’ve grown to expect and all of the romance I was hoping for. While the story doesn’t lack drama, it’s drama done right, a rarity lately in the world of New Adult books. There’s growing up, letting go, falling in love, and discovering each other. Izzy’s super-intelligence makes for an interesting narration and a heroine who, even if I couldn’t completely relate, fell in love with. And Marshall… He’s gonna be number one on my wishlist to Santa this year.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Review: Third Degree

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Third Degree by Julie Cross is hilarious. The dry humor that Izzy spouts is just fantastic. Add in she's a nineteen year-old genius medical doctor and this is such a different story.

    Passionate in a fade-to-black way, funny, intense, and a little sad. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the world through this girls eyes. Marshall is a sweetheart and will have your heart-bleeding for him (not literally).

    I look forward to reading more like this from this author.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    This story is about learning to overcome physical illnesses, you

    This story is about learning to overcome physical illnesses, your own personal struggles and be the best person and reach goals that you never thought you wanted to begin with.
    Isabel, aka Izzy, has always wanted to be a surgeon but is unable to pass her emotional readiness exam. This lands her taking classes in college and totally out of her comfort zone. She meets Marshall Collins, her RA, first once arriving and there is something special about him but she just brushes it off because Izzy isn’t into boys or looks or anything else.
    I would have to describe Izzy as socially awkward. She doesn’t know how to have a friendship or any type of relationship with anyone and it starts to blow up in her face. Her professors dislike her, her classmates dislike her, and even her roommate dislikes her. She keeps doing some really crazy things that would probably make me wonder about her too! She eventually and slowly builds some type of relationship with Marshall that I don’t even know how to describe at first but eventually it turns into a friendship. She opens up to him and explains a little about her past so he knows about her history working in the hospital.
    I love the build up between Izzy and Marshall! The little touches, looks and the way they try and help each other. I laughed while she was trying to help him study and they were talking about eating a taco and he just kept talking in circles. I loved it when his sisters and he came up with the list for her to have college experiences and so on. They just had such a wonderful natural flow between them that made you fall for both of them. There was always that awkward thing that Izzy would say or do though and Marshall would know how to respond or wouldn’t let it faze him.
    Izzy isn’t the only one with a past though… what happens when Marshall’s secrets come out?? Plus, school is only supposed to be temporary for Izzy… what happens when it is time for her to return for retesting of the emotional readiness exam??
    This book is definitely a must read and will keep you interested from beginning to end! I fell in love with it and couldn’t put it down! One of those that will be on my favorites for 2014 and Marshall is now a 2014 book boyfriend!

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  • Posted March 31, 2014

    5 Refreshingly Different Stars Isabel Jenkins struggles during

    5 Refreshingly Different Stars

    Isabel Jenkins struggles during her surgical internship, not because she is inept, or because she is sleeping with and at odds with another intern. It is because she is too much of a genious, lacks interpersonal relationship skills, and oh yeah, she is only eighteen. As a prodigy, she was on the fast track to success until she is totally derailed by failing her psychologic evaluation. Attempting to find some semblance of normalcy for a teenager, she re-enrolls in a different college and meets Marshall.

    Marshall is the totally hot RA who has taken an immediate interest in Izzy. Izzy is initially put off that Marshall knows her history but she cannot deny her attraction to him. Marshall wants to help Izzy assimilate into college life and Izzy decides to go for it. We learn along the way that Marshall has his own secrets, but that is partly what helps solidify their relationship. Unfortunately, when as Lizzy starts to care more for Marshall she also learns that there is more to dealing with patients then just figuring out their disease. The revelation rocks Izzy and she gets confused by what she wants. A life in Medicine? A life with Marshall? Does she have to sacrifice one for the other?

    I really loved this story. Cross does a great job getting you to feel for the characters. I found the storyline to be unique and really enjoyable. Izzy was definiteyly not your cookie cutter heroine and I found myself pulling for her to just ler herself "feel" for Marshall. Marshall was great. He was your typical hot college guy, but the twist, his secret, was unexpected. I sort of figured something was gonna come up, and initially my thoughts were much worse, but I think it added so much to the story and to Izzy's growth as a person.

    I also commend Cross on her ability to build up some hot chemistry between Izzy and Marshall without being too crude. The book is rounded out with a great supporting cast. Marshall's sisters were so funny and I loved the sense of closeness in his family. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I was so pleased with the ending. Nothing better than a HEA in a stand alone book.

    Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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  • Posted March 31, 2014

    3.5/5 stars Ok all you New Adult lovers- are you ready for thi

    3.5/5 stars

    Ok all you New Adult lovers- are you ready for this?

    Finally we have a different type of storyline! No bad boy meets good girl trying to reform him or vice versa, no virginal main characters, and no page after page of angst! Instead we have a main character who is so intelligent and gifted that she does not know how to act socially. Her social awkwardness is OFF THE CHARTS. This did make it a bit more difficult to connect with Izzy as she really has no filter and says what she is thinking. However, as the story progresses and with a little help from a cute college RA, Izzy starts to learn social cues and what is and is not socially acceptable. There were so many times I chuckled at Izzy's inner and outer dialogue because she really didn't have a clue as to how to engage in acceptable social behaviors.

    Marshall (Marsh) is probably my favorite character. After Izzy's dreams get put on the backburner, she is forced to adapt and do what a normal 18 year old would do: go to college. It is here she meets Marsh, as he is her RA. Marsh is sweet, funny, and ends up taking Izzy under his wing as her social ineptness is going to get her in serious trouble. He doesn't want that for her and ends up becoming one of the few people Izzy can call a friend. As the two spend time together, her helping him with his A&P studying, and he with her social skills, the two end up forming more than just a friendship and now have feelings to deal with as well. Marsh knows he shouldn't do this with Izzy, as relationships between RA's and residents are frowned upon. The rules go out the window once Izzy discovers that there is more to Marsh than she ever thought and she is there for him in a capacity he won't let anyone else be.

    Marsh's situation really raised awareness for me, as I had no idea exactly what that situation entailed and I have a student who is also in the same position Marsh is. My heart broke for exactly what Marsh is going through, but I absolutely loved Izzy's persistence to have Marsh let her in.

    Marsh and Izzy's relationship is a really cute one and I loved reading about them. Cross added just the right amount of steam between the two and I felt their relationship developed naturally and fluidly. That's not to say it's perfect by any means. Marsh and Izzy definitely have their kinks to work out. Both are incredibly stubborn individuals and Izzy must learn how to deal with new revelations that will impact everything she's ever known about herself.

    For the most part, I was engaged in this story and I really enjoyed how different it was from other New Adult novels. Yet, there was something that just kept me from being blown away by this one. I'm not sure if it was my initial struggle to connect with Izzy or if it was something else, but I can't quite put my finger on what it is that didn't work for me. I definitely applaud Cross for creating such a uniquely different heroine and I really liked the development of her relationship with Marsh, as well as Kelsey (her roommate). Izzy is still young and while she may feel as if her life is coming down around her, things happen for a reason and in the long run she will appreciate this 'time-out' from the medical world, as it really makes her stop and think about what she wants for her life.

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  • Posted March 28, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Well, this is a major stomach shaker in more ways than one. I st

    Well, this is a major stomach shaker in more ways than one. I started reading this story from Julie and I got caught like a fish on a hook. Isobel has a major mixed up childhood. She is adopted, has a photographic memory and is working to follow her Dad as a Surgeon. She is 18. Then she fails a test to be a resident. She goes back to school for another degree so I guess this is where the title comes from. She meets Marshall , her RA. She peps him up and he settles her down. There are a lot of twists coming up so no spoilers from me. Keep the tissues at hand as this story turned me into a contemporary watering pot. I would recommend this story to everyone over 18. Enjoy!

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  • Posted March 26, 2014

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    Izzy is a child prodigy. She's brilliant, oddly literal and does

    Izzy is a child prodigy. She's brilliant, oddly literal and doesn't possess many social skills. As a med student, social skills weren't high on the list of qualities she needed to have. Now she's been kicked out of the residency program because they didn't think she had the emotional readiness to be a surgeon. The medical board has agreed to let her retake the test in six months. She decided to reenroll in college so she can have the normal college experience and make up her mind about what she wants to do. It's a huge shift for someone who always had her life planned out and there are lots of bumps along the way. 

    Izzy reminded me a lot of Brennan from the TV show Bones. Or at least I was picturing a younger Bones while I was reading this. I feel they share many of the same traits. I never found Izzy unlikeable, it just took a couple chapters for me to warm up to her fully and connect with her. If anything, I felt sorry for her because I just can't imagine what her life must have been like. She began college at 12 years old. Her emotional development was obviously stunted. But, her heart was in the right place, even if her actions and way of speaking were off-putting to others. 

    The first person Izzy meets when she gets to college is Marshall. He's an RA on her floor and they strike up a fast friendship. He's from her hometown, so he knows all about her. He insists on helping her have a true college experience and also helps her understand more about boundaries when it comes to other people. She calls it babysitting her, and maybe there's a little truth to that. He's just a genuinely sweet guy and he's helping her a lot. It's not all that long before the lines get muddled and the friendship begins to turn into something else entirely. Something it's not supposed to be since he's an RA and she's one of his charges. Something she's conflicted about because she feels she's not "normal" and she doesn't want to keep him from something normal. 

    I absolutely adored Izzy and Marsh. They had chemistry and their banter was great. I loved the support he gave her, without ever really holding back from her. He was a sweet guy all around and something about them just clicked. When they were friends, I wanted them to be more. When their relationship was growing, I cheered them on with all I had. I definitely had a case of the warm fuzzies over these two. 

    Third Degree was all set up to be a regular, run of the mill new adult novel. Until that moment where it wasn't anymore. I won't say anything that I think will ruin any part of the story for you, but I had to point this out because this switch is what really made the story for me. This is when Izzy truly began to grow as a person. She began to see what was missing before and made changes towards claiming those missing pieces. Her emotional connection to those around her grew. I just wanted to hug her. 

    This story really was something special. I laughed and cried. I loved the characters and the journey they went on together – and separately – in this book. Happily-ever-after lovers, don't fret. There's some angst, but you won't need boxes of tissues to get through it and the ending is quite rewarding. I've never read anything by Julie Cross before now and I'm glad I chose this as my introduction to her work. I was taken completely by surprise with this book and that doesn't happen too often. I can't recommend it highly enough. 

    I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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