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Posts Tagged: Sports: Hockey

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenRookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1) by Sarina Bowen
Series: ,
Published by Berkley on September 6th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast

Place(s) Traveled To: Brooklyn, New York // Denver, Colorado // Phoenix, Arizona // Dallas, Texas

First Line(s): Cobblestone streets did not pair well with high heels.

Long time readers will know that I am a big fan of Sarina Bowen’s books and I’ve really enjoyed her Ivy Years series. With ROOKIE MOVE, not only does Bowen make the leap from self-published to traditional publishing but she also starts her very first spin off series. We first meet Leo Trevi as a secondary character in the Ivy Years books but don’t learn a ton about him until THE FIFTEENTH MINUTE (my review) when his brother’s story is told. That first sneak peak was enough to have me eager for ROOKIE MOVE which is an adult read set in the same universe as the Ivy Years books only the characters aren’t in college any more. In ROOKIE MOVE, Leo is getting ready to start his first year on a professional NFL team and he’s both excited and nervous as this is everything that he’s ever wanted. Well, except for maybe his high school love, Georgia, who just happens to be the teams PR representative. To make things even more complex, Georgia’s dad is also the new Brooklyn Bruisers coach.

To say that ROOKIE MOVE has a lot going on is an understatement and I think that there are some plot points that could have been avoided. Especially the one where Georgia’s dad was just a complete and utter fuck-tard. Seriously, there was no reason for his attitude towards Leo and he acted more like a 3 year old in the midst of a tantrum than an adult professional. I don’t know why the team’s owner put up with it nor do I understand why Leo never took things up with HR because the man was out of control. That whole story line took away from my enjoyment of this book because there was no basis for it nor was it resolved well. It was just sort there and it didn’t fit in with the story as a whole. Drama for the sake of drama and really took me out of the story.

Rookie Move Quote

The other part of ROOKIE MOVE that was a disappointment was Leo and Georgia’s relationship. It just seemed too easy and there was no angst or drama to it. The only real drama in this book came from Georgia’s dad and so the love story seemed to be a bit forgotten about. Leo and Georgia were apart throughout their college years and then they just seemed to reconnect so quickly without ever fully dealing with their issues. I also didn’t feel any real chemistry between the two and thought that Leo had better chemistry (non-romantic)/storylines with some of his teammates than he did with the love of his life.

I wanted to love ROOKIE MOVE but, for me, this one just fell short of my expectations. I am looking forward to reading more books in this series and am glad that I read the story but it was just an okay read for me, not a great one. I just needed something more in ROOKIE MOVE that never fully materialized and I hope that other books in the series will read better for me as the characters and plots will be more new. As much as I wanted to see Leo and Georgia’s reunion I am now thinking that their story may have been better told as a secondary storyline in another book.

irishdarkblue

IR - Rookie Move

Add Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson to Goodreads.

Add Fair Play by Deirdre Martin to Goodreads.

three-stars
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Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyUs by Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen
Series: Him, Book 2
Also in this series: Him
Published by Self-Published on 08 March 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Health & Daily Living, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 328
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, Him, The Score, The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To:  Toronto, Ontario, Canada // Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada // Quebec City, Quebec, Canada // Chicago, Illinois // Nashville, Tennessee // Saint Paul, Minnesota // Dallas, Texas //  San Rafael, California

First Line(s): Vancouver is a beautiful city, but I can’t wait to leave it.

When it came to reading US by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy I was torn. On one hand, I wanted more story for Wes and Jaime after the end of HIM (my review) and on the other I have a severe dislike for direct sequel romances. I really really really don’t like when my happily ever afters are toyed with and so often in a direct sequel there is just unnecessary angst, drama, and pointless breakups. I just don’t see the need to have a story told in 600 pages and two books when authors can always show the beloved couple in cameos in companions if (s)he decides to stay within a certain world for other books. In the end though, my love of Jaime and Wes was bigger than my dislike of sequels so I picked up US and devoured it in quick succession.

US picks up not long after HIM ends and follows Wes and Jaime as they live a mostly closeted life during Wes’s first year playing professional hockey. As you can imagine, this isn’t an easy arrangement for either of them as it makes it difficult to form friendships when you are keeping such big secrets from other people. Where HIM had this magical falling in love quality there was just a little bit too much reality in US. Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows and relationships can be hard, especially when there is so much strain to keep secret. So you can imagine that there is a lot of angst and drama within the pages of US and while its all very realistic it really hurt my heart at times. And not in the happy gooey way that I love its the sad and depressed sort of heartache and I didn’t want any of that for my boys.

Us Quote

US also introduces the reader to many new secondary characters all of which had a good presence when they were on the page. The biggest of all was Blake who I absolutely did not like at the start of the book. But as he’ll mention to Wes and Jaime, he grows on folks, and its so true because by the end I adored him and hoped that he and Jess (Jaime’s sister) would get a book. Because my of my did those two have some sparks!! I was also glad of Blake by the end because he added in some much needed light and laughter into the story that was a little to real and depressing. US is a good story and I like how it tackled some serious issues in regards to loneliness and depression but it was just a little too real for me to love as much as I did HIM.

While I didn’t love US I was glad that the angst and drama, while a bit much at times, all stemmed from real issues and wasn’t over something silly like most new adult reads. There was no easy fix here, like one character keeping a secret that wouldn’t amount to much if they just talked to their partner. There were real issues and it all worked and fit with the story. I also liked how there was no pointless breakup. Yes, Jaime and Wes hit a rough patch but they work through it and move on until they find their joy once again. Both in life and in each other. Its nice to see a book that shows that couples can survive troubles and come out stronger on the other side. Though my original statement still stands, I hate when my happily ever afters are messed with so while I loved parts of US I would have been happy with cameos in companion reads over a full on story.

irishdarkblue IR - Him

 

Add Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Come Back to Me by Mila Gray to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

three-stars
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: The Score by Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Score by Elle KennedyThe Score by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus,
Also in this series: The Deal, The Mistake
Published by Self-Published on 11 January 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 249
Format: eARC
Source: Publicist
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, Him, Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, Massachusetts // Brooklyn, New York // Manhattan, New York

First Line(s): Can we talk? 

Nothing makes me all bouncy with excitement like a new Elle Kennedy book and so I jumped at a chance to read THE SCORE which is the newest book in her Off-Campus series. THE SCORE stars Dean, the roommate of the male leads in THE DEAL (my review) and THE MISTAKE (my review), and Allie who is Hannah’s BFF, also seen in THE DEAL. Allie is just getting over a breakup with her long term boyfriend after a night that involved Tequila she ends up sleeping with resident man-whore Dean, king of the one night stand. And like all good man whores he falls hard when he finally meets his match. I loved the chemistry between Dean and Allie and loved how their story progressed. I was engrossed from the first page and I found that I couldn’t put this down once I’d started. It made my heart ache in all the ways that I love and I may have let out a happy little sight when I finished.

There’s just something about Allie and Dean that really works in THE SCORE and I loved reading about them, learning their backstories and see their journey to their happily every after. As with most New Adult stories THE SCORE comes complete with a break up moment and while not a pointless one as in most it seemed to lack a certain something. THE SCORE was filled with some great moments, Kennedy really built a great relationship with Allie and Dean and then you have this moment. Its sad and tragic and just seemed to come out of nowhere. It lacked….something….and just left me a bit underwhelmed. Then there was that moment at the end that just seemed so forced and while it acts as a lead in for THE GOAL (goodreads) I am not sure if that is a story I want to read based on the characters involved. Well, one character in particular.

The Score Quote

One thing that I really liked about THE SCORE was all the cameos in this book as Dean’s teammates really make me laugh a their antics and its always fun seeing how old friends are doing. I love seeing the friendships that exist in this book continue throughout the various stories as they really help to flesh out the world. Even those characters that you don’t really care for. Elle Kennedy’s THE SCORE is a Mary Poppins sort of book which means its nearly perfect in every way. THE SCORE has its flaws but they don’t keep you from loving the score and characters and world that Kennedy has created.

THE SCORE is a book that can be read independently, just as any of the Off-Campus books can, but the whole story becomes richer when you read them all. This is one of those series that I can’t help but recommend to all who enjoy a good new adult romance. Kennedy writes smart, funny characters and really knows how to write the sexy times. I know that I will be entertained by an Elle Kennedy and even though I’m currently on the fence about THE GOAL. I was once on the fence about ALL BROKE DOWN as well and we all know how that turned out (my review.)

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Score

 

Add Rule by Jay Crownover to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Whisper to Me by Christina Lee to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

four-stars
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina BowenThe Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour
Published by Self-Published on 13 October 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Movie Stars, New Adult, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues
Pages: 294
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Harkness, Connecticut // New York, New York // Huntington, New York

First Line(s):promised myself that I wouldn’t spend my second semester of college huddle in my room playing Dragonfire.

In The Fifteenth Minute, Sarina Bowen returns once again to Harkness University and this time tells the story of Lianne and DJ, both of whom we meet in The Shameless Hour (my review.) Though this is part of a series, just like the other books, it can be read independently. The story starts the semester after Shameless Hour ends and so Lianne and Bella have settled into their friendship. Lianne is still shy about wandering out in public due to the mixed reactions she gets but she is trying. She and DJ also have a really cute meet/cute near the end of Shameless Hour and I was glad to hear that they would be the stars of this book.

Both Lianne and DJ are dealing with complicated life issues and while Lianne’s issues are known (she’s an actress in a famous book to series film franchise – think Emma Watson as Hermione) DJ’s are not. Over the course of the story you do learn what demons DJ is facing and while at times the crypticness of it all annoyed me it wasn’t overdone. The story was heartbreaking at times as these two characters couldn’t always find a common ground despite the growing attraction that they had for each other. As with many a romance it tended to come down to all or nothing and there was no way to exist in between. Which also frustrates me in books. When that happens I just want to reach into the pages and shake the characters and yell at them to find a compromise!

Fifteenth Minute Quote

DJ could also be such a Debbie downer at times but I did love seeing him start to find hope in his situation. And I loved how he and Lianne interacted. I also loved Lianne’s interactions with DJ’s housemates and other hockey team members. It was fun watching them learn that she was more than just a childhood movie star and was someone who could kick their collective asses at one of their favorite past times, outside of hockey. The Fifteenth Minute was a quick read and I enjoyed it but in the end it didn’t give me those heart achey feels that I adore in stories. There was just something missing that kept me from loving this one completely.

Maybe it was because of DJ’s doom and gloom side or maybe its because I wanted a little more from the ending or maybe it was just that DJs epiphany came on so quick and sudden that it was hard to believe. There just seemed to be a few things left incomplete and it left me feeling unsatisfied. But overall I do still love this series and I enjoy each installment. I love all the cameos of characters from previous books and seeing where they are traveling to outside of their stories. I’m looking forward to Bowen’s next Ivy Years book as I do so adore the students of Harkness University and I am looking forward to catching little peaks into DJ and Lianne’s life to see where they end up next.

irishdarkblue

IR - Fifteenth Minute

Add Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Revived by Samantha Towle to Goodreads. (Review coming soon.)

three-stars
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review2 Comments

Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle KennedyHim by Elle Kennedy, Sarina Bowen
Series: Him,
Also in this series: Us
Published by Self-Published on 28 July 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, People & Places, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 268
Format: eARC
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, The Mistake, The Score, Us, The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Boston, Massachusetts // San Radael, California // Lake Placid, New York // Toronto, Ontario, Canada

First Line(s): The coffee shop line is a little long, but I know I’ll make it to the rink on time. Some weeks just click.

Over the last year or so I’ve discovered and become a fan of Sarina Bowen’s writing. More recently I discovered Elle Kennedy and then to learn that the two were collaborating on a book together? Well, I knew that was a book that I needed to read. The moment the egalley of HIM arrived in my inbox I knew I had to start it and that is exactly what I did and I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished the book and the clock was ticking into the single digits. But the loss of sleep was worth it because HIM was everything that I was expecting and maybe even a little bit more. Yes, there were things that I had issues with (hello awkward and pointless breakup) but overall I loved the vibe of this story and the connection that existed between Wes and Jamie.

From the very beginning HIM had my heart aching as both these characters struggled with events that had happened four years prior and wondering if there was a way to move forward. These two didn’t always make the right choices but sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you just can’t see clearly and its easier to ignore an issue than to face it. And boy did I love how Wes and Jamie faced their past issues. I loved their journey throughout this book and though there were times when I wanted to shake them both and make them talk it out I get where they were coming from. Falling for your best friend, be it male or female, is never any easy thing to do and Bowen and Kennedy handle all the complexities of it so well.

Him Quote

HIM is filled with many a hot and steamy moment so its definitely not for everyone but if you like kissing in the rain and all that comes after well, then you’ll want to have this book on your shelves. HIM manages to hit all the right notes in what I like in a story and even with the weird, awkward breakup moment I still loved the overall story. The epilogue was a little too cutesy but I LOVED…like LOVED LOVED LOVED seeing Jamie’s family and it made me wish that they all had a more active roll in the book. They were just so much fun and with their short stint on the page they provided so much entertainment. There were also times when HIM reminded me of Sarina Bowen’s other books, especially The Understatement of the Year (my review) but I am ok with that because its another story that I adored.

HIM was total book crack for me and I am not ashamed of it. Bowen and Kennedy created a wonderful story and I hope to see them collaborate again at some point in the future. They are a solid writing team and as a reader you wouldn’t know that this story had two authors if it weren’t for the two names on the cover. This book felt like a Sarina Bowen novel and it felt just as strongly as an Elle Kennedy one. This book was just pure fun and as I said above once I started reading it I just couldn’t put it down. Seriously folks, this is one you are going to want on your shelves so go forth and get it now because it was just one deliciously, hot and steamy and heart achy read.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - Him

Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Come Back to Me by Mila Gray to Goodreads. (Review coming soon)

four-stars
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Mistake by Elle KennedyThe Mistake by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus, Book 2
Also in this series: The Deal, The Score
Published by Self-Published on 28 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 297
Format: eBook
Source: Gift
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Deal, Him, The Score, Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, Massachusetts // Munsen, Massachusetts

First Line(s): Lusting over your best friend’s girlfriend sucks.

Once I finished The Deal by Elle Kennedy (my review) I was itching to dive into Logan’s story, The Mistake. Luckily I didn’t have too long to wait from finishing The Deal in order to do so. The Mistake was just as good as The Deal, if not better because I liked both the main characters so much better. Grace was just so sweeet and likable and Logan….well Logan was totally swoon worthy and I loved beyond loved how he wasn’t to woo Grace. Granted he did make a big mistake and while I wanted to shake him for it I liked how he owned up to it and did all he could to win Grace back. I liked that he was less domineering with Grace and let her set the terms of potentially getting back together. The terms being a list of things for him to do to prove his seriousness. Things like finding a red chaise lounge chair for example, the purpose of which you’ll have to read The Mistake to find out.

I also liked how we had some amazing cameos from Garrett and the various characters from The Deal as I find that these things really help flesh out a story and make it more real. Friends don’t just disappear from a persons life when they find their happily ever after, well, not true friends. So it always seems a little false that in many books that we rarely see the characters that came before the current story just because they already found their happy ending. For the most part, I really loved The Mistake. I did hate Grace’s BFF and wish that I could have skipped scenes with her in it. She just didn’t seem like a good fit for Grace and she was definitely one of those fake best friends who care more for herself than for anyone around her, Grace included.

The Mistake Quote

But Logan, oh dear sweet foolish and lovable Logan he totally made up for any and all dislike I had for Grace’s BFF. My heart ached for him so much and when you learn his backstory you will know why. Though I do think that the resolution to The Mistake was a bit too nicely wrapped up in a bow I am glad that things worked out as they did. Reality can be hard. And in the real world things would have ended up differently for Logan so I am glad in a work of fiction the author can engineer things that the realities of the world aren’t too harsh and soul crushing.

Now I’m sure that Elle Kennedy gets various things wrong with hockey and the draft and other things too but sometimes you just don’t care about any of that when you fall for the story. The Mistake is the sort of book that I would have read in a single day if I was able. I hated to put it down and was very sad when I ran out of words to read. Its the sort of book that I almost turned back to page 1 in order to read it all over again. Its a sweet story and a believable one. Its a book that can be read independently but the reading experience can only be better if you first meet Logan in The Deal. I fell in love with this world and these characters and I can’t wait to see what Elle Kennedy comes up with next.

 

irishdarkblue

IR - The Mistake
Add The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add The One & Only by Viv Daniels to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

 

four-stars
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Deal by Elle KennedyThe Deal by Elle Kennedy
Series: Off-Campus,
Also in this series: The Mistake, The Score
Published by Self-Published on 24 February 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 358
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Mistake, Him, The Score, Us

Place(s) Traveled To: Hastings, Massachusetts // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): He doesn’t know I’m alive.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy was first released in February but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I first heard about it because it seemed like everyone in my social media was talking about it. The chatter made me curious and so I purchased a copy for myself to see what all the fuss was about. At first I was super frustrated with The Deal because Hannah was often bitchy and judgmental. She’d rail at Garrett for little things like not knowing her name despite sharing a large lecture hall class but then she’d forgive others of the same slight and even did it herself. Hannah was a bit of a cliche being the klutzy beautiful girl with self-esteem issues but as I continued to read The Deal I began to like her better as I learned her backstory and as she grew over the story.

But the thing that bothered me most was the trope of a popular crowed on a college campus. That Garrett was somehow more because he was on the hockey team. That Hannah became well known and easily recognizable because she spent some time with Garrett. I don’t care what size college you went to this just does not happen. College is not high school and I’ve yet to find or hear of a college with a popular crowd. My eyes also almost rolled out of my head when Garrett was able to make all the guys on this campus avoid dating Hannah just because he said so. Because in what universe would that ever happen on a college campus?? None! None I tell you!! So yes, there were times when The Deal frustrated me to know end but despite all this the story was like crack and I couldn’t stop reading.

The Deal Quote

While I didn’t really like Hannah at first I adored her by the end. She made my heart ache and I loved how she and Garrett interacted. These two had chemistry that sizzled off the page. By the end of the story I was totally invested in Hannah and Garrett my heart ached for them and all I wanted was for them to find their happily ever after. I also enjoyed all the secondary characters and want them all to have their own stories so that I can spend more time in this world. There was a great camaraderie among these cast of characters and with a the few exceptions mentioned above you can believe that they are all real.

The Deal isn’t a perfect story. Its riddled with flaws and yet despite all the things that annoyed me during my read of it I still walked away happy and entertained. I devoured this book and couldn’t get enough of it. It was witty and fun and a great way to spend an afternoon. The Deal is a book that I’ve already campaigned for others to read that like sportsing new adult stories. Elle Kennedy doesn’t get everything right (my hockey loving friend had many things to say about how the hockey draft really goes) but a book doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. Yes there are plenty of times when inaccuracies take me out of a story but sometimes I fall in love with a book despite its flaws and that was the case with The Deal. I enjoyed this story and think that you might as well.

 

irishdarkblue

 

IR - The Deal

 

Add Scoring Wilder by RS Grey to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add All Broke Down by Cora Carmack to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Shameless Hour by Sarina BowenThe Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 14 April 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 317
Format: eBook
Source: Author
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // New York, New York

First Line(s): It had been two hours since I blew out twenty candles on the cake Ma made for me, but my ass was still parked at Restaurante Tipico.

The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen is the fourth book in her Ivy Years series and is Bella’s story. Bella is a well known secondary character in the series and you learn a bit more about her in The Understatement of the Year (my review) and I was really excited when I heard that she was finally getting her own book. Bella’s love interest is Rafe, a quiet guy who lives in her building and who is an acquaintance of Bella’s. After a bad night for them both they end up sleeping together which is no big deal for Bella but is huge for Rafe because he was a virgin and while he wasn’t saving himself for marriage he would have preferred to be in a more committed relationship. There are then awkward moments between the two as they both misunderstand the other until something happens that shakes Bella to the core and brings her and Rafe closer together.

Oh how my heart ached for Bella in this book and I thought that Rafe was the perfect boy for her. They are both flawed but together they make this perfect whole, that is when they aren’t totally misunderstanding each other. But unlike most books where misunderstandings lead to breakups as the people involved never talk Bella and Rafe only end up closer together. Yes, there are things between them that aren’t said right away but when details are revealed they listen and grow more and more in like with each other. They may have started as casual acquaintances with a one-night stand but over time they become friends and then fall in love.

Shameless Hour Quote

There were a few things that I didn’t like though, like how Bella was sometimes so stubborn that she wouldn’t really listen to Rafe was saying but I loved how he kept trying. Or that there weren’t enough cameos from Graham and Rikker because those two!!  Though I did like the addition of, Lianne, the semi-reclusive neighbor of Bella and who becomes a really good friend to her when Bella allows her to be. Because Bella, for all her spunk and brash behavior has a habit of never letting anyone get to close to her. She’s flirty and fun but she doesn’t get real until life really forces her to take a hard look at herself and she allows herself to trust and let people in. And in the end she’s still flirty, sassy and brash but she’s also so much more because she has people beside her holding her up when she needs it.

If you like new adult romance then I would highly recommend Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series, they are books that just keep getting better with each one. I loved seeing Bella in flashes over the previous books but it wasn’t until The Shameless Hour that you really get to know her in all her complexity. I loved Rafe and I adored the two of them together. This was a real heart-achy book and I hope that we get to see more of these two in the next book in the series because I do hate saying goodbye to them. Though I am sure that this is a couple that I’ll re-visit every so often with a re-read and so even though the story is over it doesn’t really end.

irishdarkblue

IR - Shameless Hour

 

Add Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Easy by Tammara Webber to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

four-stars
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenThe Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years,
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 15 Oct 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, New Adult, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Etna, Connecticut // Brattleboro, Vermont // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): In all my favorite movies, when something bad was going to happen, the protagonist usually sensed it.

Internet,

Let me tell you a secret. I only started reading Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series to get to this book, The Understatement of the Year. This is the third book in the series and came to me highly recommended by a friend. She said I could probably start the series here with this book but I do like to read my series in order when I can and while I liked the previous books, The Year We Fell Down (my review) and The Year We Hid Away (my review). I didn’t love them although I did really enjoy the novella Blonde Date (review to come) and wish that had been longer. The Understatement of the Year takes place almost concurrently with The Year We Hid Away and follows Michael Graham, the one who takes Bridger’s place on the Harkness hockey team. We quickly learn that Graham has secrets and most revolve around the new player John Rikker, who just happens to be one of the first openly gay hockey players on the collegiate circuit.

The Understatement of the Year is a contemporary romance that will make your heart ache. The angst and the longing and the emotions that Graham and Rikker put you through make you want to turn the pages faster and faster. Its a book filled with friendship and redemption and finding yourself. Its also a book that contains one of my favorite romance tropes, the second chance at love. I do so adore a story where the characters have a back story, an existing relationship and heartache that they need to overcome. It just adds a little something to overall story arc when it is done right and Sarina Bowen does it right.

Understatement of the Year Quote

Of all the books in this series to date, The Understatement of the Year, is my favorite. It hits all the right notes and really tugs on the heart strings. This book made my heart ache and I just loved watching Rikker and Graham come together as they sought their happily ever after. My only real disappointment was that the book had to end as I wasn’t ready to leave these characters behind. I wanted more of their story and more of some of the secondary characters like Rikker’s grandmother and Skippy.

The Understatement of the Year is a wonderful romance story for those that like a good romance. Its a quick read and hard to put down. Its a book that I know that I will re-read on those days when I just need to get lost in a book that I know will make my heart happy. I enjoyed it and I think that you will too.

irishdarkblue

IR- Understatement of Year

Add Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson to Goodreads.

Add Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

four-stars
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Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: The Year We Hid Away by Sarina BowenThe Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years, Book 2
Also in this series: The Year We Fell Down, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, The Fifteenth Minute
Published by Self-Published on 01 June 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, New Adult, Parents, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Sports & Athletics
Pages: 274
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: The Year We Fell Down, The Understatement of the Year, Blonde Date, The Shameless Hour, Him, The Fifteenth Minute, Coming in from the Cold, Us, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)

Place(s) Traveled To: Sterling, New Hampshire // Etna, Connecticut

First Line(s): The minute I heard the hum of the garage door opener, I was in motion.

The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen is the second book in her Ivy Years series and picks up about a year after The Year We Fell Down takes place. This book follows Hartley’s friend and Hockey teammate Bridger and a new character named Scarlet. If the theme of The Year We Fell Down was healing than the them of this book was secrets as both Bridger and Scarlet are hiding some pretty big ones. At the start of this book we learn that Scarlet has changed her name and essentially run away from home to college and Bridger has quit the Hockey team for reasons that are revealed over the course of the story. We also learn that like Corey, Scarlet is also a Hockey player and she too has quit the sport for reasons that are also revealed as the story progresses.

OVerall, I did like The Year We Hid Away better than The Year We Fell Down but I still had some issues with the story. There were some continuity errors that took me out of the story and just drove me mad. For example, in one scene Scarlet is reading a newspaper but then it turns into a website and then in the next paragraph its a newspaper again. *le sigh* It was enough to make my head spin at times. Scarlet was also annoying as she was so judgmental of others, especially her roommates, and a bit slow on the the uptake with certain reveals that others saw coming from a mile away.

Year We Hid Away Quote

 

Bridger and Scarlet did annoy me at times and there was the cliche of the pointless breakup. But I did like how they interacted with each other when they were together. Scarlet had a lot of character growth throughout the novel and she went from a spoiled, judgmental princess to someone who was a little bit more down to earth. Although she did still have some entitlement issues and a lack of understanding on how the world worked. One thing I did like was Scarlett’s friend from high school and Bridger’s neighbor Andrew. He added a sense of normalcy and balance to all the crazy that was going on and I just loved all the scenes that he was in.

I also found The Year We Hid Away to be a bit slow moving and then the ending it was all rush rush rush time to wrap up ALL THE THINGS! And there were a lot of things to wrap up because Scarlet and Bridger had SO MANY ISSUES! It was almost too much at times and it became a bit overpowering. The Year We Hid Away is not without its issues but there are definitely worse books out there and while I didn’t love this one I did like it enough that I didn’t feel as though I wasted my time and money on it.

 

irishdarkblue

Irish Recommends - Year We Hid Away
three-stars
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