Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Ivy Years Series

The Year We Fell Down - Book One

By Sarina Bowen
Rated 4 Stars
Kindle Edition

I have always loved Romance novels but have learned over the years to be able to suspend my disbelief and skip past a lot of badly written icky sex scenes to get to the heart of the story.  So I am finding this new to me author refreshing.  Don't take this the wrong way.  I am not slamming the Romance genre its self but it's just like any other genre there are very good ones and very bad ones and thousands of in-between ones.  And since I read a lot of romance novels it only stands to reason that I run into my fair share of wall bangers.  But my point is that when I find an author who tells a great story, writes really well and touches my heart that's a real red letter day in my reading world.  This is one of those books and Sarina Bowen is an authors I will certainly follow.

 I really liked both characters.  Especially Corey who faced the new life she was unexpectedly dealt with common sense, courage and a sense of humor.  She only whined a little bit but that only made her more human in my eyes.  She deserved more whines than she took.

Hartley, well I had a little trouble with him.  In some ways he was a little too good to be true and in other ways he spent a lot of time with his head up his . . . in a dark place. But I learned to like him even before he got his act together.

As for as Hartley's snooty girl friend, well I had to cut her more slack than she deserved because I have a Granddaughter named Stacia and it's not all that common a name.

Book Description
 March 20, 2014
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else. What now?

She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.

Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He's way out of Corey's league.

Also, he's taken.

Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the "gimp ghetto" of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.

They're just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she's falling. Hard.

But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won't, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness -- one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who's afraid to love her back.

The Year We Hid Away - Book 2


These New Adult novels have so much more depth than I expected.  Both of the main characters in this book faced some daunting challenges, the kind of challenges that could believably happen to a young person.  I really love it when I don't have to supped my disbelief a single time in a book about relationships.  I also liked it that I was not sure until nearly to the end whether or not Scarlet's Father was guilty or not. Hat tip to the author for keeping the reader in suspense. 





Book Description

 May 26, 2014
She's hiding something big. He's hiding someone small.
Scarlet Crowley's life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.
It's a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet's fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID -- with a newly minted name on it -- she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she's falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won't work anymore. And if they can't learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they've struggled to keep.


The Understatement of the Year (Ivy Years #3)

Rated 5 Stars
Kindle

My word, this book really got to me.  It is is the first book I have ever read that really address the subject of how  how miserable life can be for a gay young person to live in the closet. At an age when at lot of young people are dealing with all of the issues that come with being a teen ager to have the added stress of knowing their  sexual orientation is going to add complications that will alter everyones perception of them is terribly painful.  Even if they come from loving homes where they are unconditionally loved and accepted they know, in fact have almost certainly already found out, that there are a lot of ugly and hateful people in the world.  


Book Description

 September 29, 2014
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he's made an art of hiding his sexual orientation from everyone. Including himself.

So it's a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team's new left wing could destroy Graham's life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it's worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only "out" player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn't exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won't even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former... best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn't doing so well. He drinks too much and can't focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won't be easy is the Understatement of the Year.

Blonde Date  - Novella

Rated 4 Stars
Kindle










Book Description

 July 6, 2014
A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could go wrong?

As a sorority pledge, there are commandments that Katie Vickery must live by. One: thou shalt not show up for the party without a date. Two: the guy shall be an athlete, preferably an upperclassman.

Unfortunately, Katie just broke up with her jerkface football player boyfriend. Even worse, her last encounter with him resulted in utter humiliation. She’d rather hide under the bed than attend a party where he'll be.

Yet staying home would mean letting him win.

Enjoying herself tonight was out of the question. She could only hope to get through the evening without her blind date noticing that he was spending the evening with a crazy person.

Andrew Baschnagel is living proof that nice guys don’t finish first. He’s had his eye on Katie since the moment her long legs waltzed into his art history class. So when her roommate sets Andy up to be Katie’s date, he’d be crazy to say no. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of practice with either girls or parties. Yet.
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