The Perks of Higher Ed An African American Office Romance by ND Jones

The Perks of Higher Ed

  • Publication Date: October 31, 2018
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Series: The Styles of Love
  • ISBN: 9781732556744

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Those who teach never cease to learn and a lesson on love is on the syllabus for two educators who are due for a little romance.

When the air turns bitter cold and the leaves begin to change, the campus of Eastern Bluebird College welcomes back students and faculty, old and new, to chilly Buffalo. Despite the dropping temperatures, things in the office of Diversity Progress Committee are only starting to heat up. Upon her arrival to campus, Director Sky Ellis finds herself in a precarious situation. Having left her beloved hometown of Annapolis, Sky is thrust into an unwelcome situation, where a closely guarded introvert is suddenly in the position to accept new people into her life.

When met with Dr. Malcolm Styles' warm charm and inviting sense of humor, Sky finds herself wanting things she never considered were missing from her life. While an office romance is dangerously out of her comfort zone, Malcolm challenges Sky in ways that shape her as not only an individual but as an educator. However, with her past carried so closely behind her, Sky realizes it will take more than a handsome face to free herself from its grasp. It is only when they decide to grow together that true change can take shape and encourage both Malcolm and Sky to accept love from the most unlikely of places.



“I have another call, Robert, I have to go.”

“Robert? Well, I guess that’s better than Captain.”

“I could call you Bob.”

“I hate that name.”

“I know.”

“Fine, Robert then. I want to meet him.”

“Meet who?”

Sky made short work of the distance between the sofa and the small, functional kitchen and to her cell. One touch brought the phone to life. Sure enough, she had a text message.

“The man who’s calling you at eight-thirty on a Saturday night.”

Not a call but definitely a man. Her house phone slipped from her hand, Sky’s attention riveted to the text message from the walking temptation that was Dr. Malcolm Styles.

16% of people met their spouse at work. The celestial sphere, a dome under which the sun, moon, and stars dance and sing in cosmic harmony, is an astrological phenomenon eclipsed only by the limitations of our vision and the gravity of our fears.

The African American Studies professor had a way with words. Perhaps he should’ve chosen the field of English or astronomy because no one, other than astronomers, referred to the sky as a celestial sphere. Men were forever using sky idioms with her, some for seduction, others for humor, but all with the goal of appearing unique and clever.

In her thirty-five years, no one had weaved such a creative and thoughtful sentiment about her nature name. But what had Sky forgetting her father on the other phone and taking a seat on a barstool at the island and rereading the message were the man’s arrogance and insight.

limitations of our vision and the gravity of our fears

Dr. Styles didn’t know Sky well enough to make such bold statements. Yet he had, which angered and intrigued her to the point of shooting off a reply text.

You have my number for school-related purposes only. Our next scheduled committee meeting is in two weeks. Be on time.

Before sending the text, Sky searched the net. It didn’t take her long to settle on the right article. She pasted the link to the message and sent the text to Dr. Styles.

A grin played about her lips when she picked up the phone. “Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to—”

“What’s his name?”

“I’m not telling you.”

“So, there is someone. I knew it.”

“No, there isn’t.”

Her cell beeped again, and Sky’s smile returned.