At 2:15 this afternoon I posted in a discord chat: “I was surprised to get an arc of Jackie Lau’s newest, The Professor Next Door, this morning and now 3 1/2 hours later I have finished it, have a sore neck from reading without moving, and I wish I could gorge on cheese. I really liked the book.” The response was: “Welcome to the Jackie Lau experience.” Accurate. The Jackie Lau experience is a reliably enjoyable read, with excellent food and good sex. Anyway, I’m moving to Toronto and getting a new digestive system because I need all of this cheesy food.
In the decade since ending her first and only major relationship, Nicole has been very happy being single and having a variety of men she sleeps with. She wants the convenience of a regular lover without the complication of a relationship. David can hear his neighbor (Nicole) when she has sex, and while it bothers him, it also turns him on. He’s determined to not make it weird though. After they get stuck in an elevator together on Nicole’s birthday, he brings her a cake from a bakery around the corner and they start a friendship. Eventually, he does confess he can hear her having sex, and after she checks to make sure he isn’t a creep, their friendship adds benefits.
Nicole is at a point where she has become so invested in a certain idea of herself that she is having trouble making the changes she wants in her life. David isn’t what she thought she wanted. David loves making Nicole happy, whether with good food, playing with her sex toys, or making tiktoks with her grandmother. David has a little stern professor daddy energy, but he is fundamentally kind, thoughtful, and respects Nicole’s boundaries.
There are no incidents of slut-shaming, racism, or homophobia in the book, but both Nicole and David have removed people from their lives for being racist. There’s also no pandemic, which is nice.
If you happen to be in Toronto, please go get a cheese tart or some cheesy udon noodles and tell me all about it.
I received this as an advance reader copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.