Book Review: Us by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen

Genre: 

New Adult, cialis 40mg Romance

Pages: 

328 pages

Part of a Series?:

Him #2

Release Date: 

March 8th, search 2016

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Elle’s Website / Sarina’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Five months in, side effects NHL forward Ryan Wesley is having a record-breaking rookie season. He’s living his dream of playing pro hockey and coming home every night to the man he loves—Jamie Canning, his longtime best friend turned boyfriend. There’s just one problem: the most important relationship of his life is one he needs to keep hidden, or else face a media storm that will eclipse his success on the ice.

Jamie loves Wes. He really, truly does. But hiding sucks. It’s not the life Jamie envisioned for himself, and the strain of keeping their secret is taking its toll. It doesn’t help that his new job isn’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped, but he knows he can power through it as long as he has Wes. At least apartment 10B is their retreat, where they can always be themselves.

Or can they?

When Wes’s nosiest teammate moves in upstairs, the threads of their carefully woven lie begin to unravel. With the outside world determined to take its best shot at them, can Wes and Jamie develop major-league relationship skills on the fly?

My Review:

I loved this book. I love both Elle and Sarina and I think they both have such a way with romance, especially when it has a hockey element in it, and I loved loved loved this sequel to their first novel, Him.

I just gotta say…the biggest reason why I loved this book so much is because of the realism of it. And there are two parts to that. One…I love that Jamie and Wes don’t just live happily ever after after book one. Relationships are hard work. They aren’t all sunshine and rainbows as much as we wish they were. Some books and movies just paint relationships as so perfect. We never really get to see what happens AFTER the kiss, you know what I mean? The fact that there are struggles in this relationship, and there are ups and downs, and they have to fight for each other, even when they sometimes don’t feel like it, just made the book feel so much more real to me.

And the second part of that is…I’ve only had experience with heterosexual relationships. And I connected with this so much. Which just shows again and again and again how much you can connect with love and friendship and affection and compassion and all of that, whether its a heterosexual and homosexual relationship. I loved every minute of that.

Plus I just adore Jamie and Wes so much. Everything about them is so genuine, so real, and I wish I knew them in real life because I would so want to be friends with them. Except I wouldn’t interrupt them so often like the others… ;)

Also, I just don’t think anyone is as capable as causing my cheeks to go as red during steamy scenes the way these two do! I know that I definitely use them as inspiration when I write my own NA. Those scenes are just so good, and I read a good chunk of this book in public, which was even better, because no one knew what was going on with my red cheeks haha.

 

Rating: 

4 out of 5 stars

Book Review: The Fifteenth Minute (ARC) by Sarina Bowen

Genre: 

New Adult, find Contemporary, website Romance

Pages: 

294

Part of a Series?:

5th in the Ivy Years Series

Release Date: 

October 13th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. There’s something haunting his dark eyes and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

My Review:

Dear Sarina Bowen,

I have always had a soft spot for hockey. I have. I used to live next to this big empty lot when I was a little kid…that eventually became the Arrowhead Pond, now called the Honda Center…which houses the Anaheim Ducks. I love hockey. I had a friend in grade school who had season tickets. I got to meet some seriously awesome players back then. I love hockey. I haven’t been as attached to it over the past couple years because my first love is baseball. This is true.

Because of your writing, your stories, and your characters…I am now massively in love with hockey. Your stories freakin ROCK. Every single story is so different and the characters so unique, but you make them all lovable and you make it so we want to keep reading about them, book after book after book. Seriously. This fictional world you’ve created at Harkness College feels so incredibly real to me and I love every moment of it.

Which brings me to DJ and Lianne. I ADORE every moment of Lianne. I love that she’s this super famous actress in this super cheesy film series, and that she just wants to go to school and be normal but even without the whole famous-actress-super-rich-thing, she’s just SO awkward as hell and it just makes the whole book to me. You’re trying to figure out how to handle that she’s this famous person, but you’re too busy laughing at how insanely normal and silly and awkward and awesome she is. Seriously. I’m jealous of Bella for being her sort of roommate because I want Lianne to be my best friend. I love that behind this facade of supposed perfection is this girl who is literally just trying to figure out who she is, and where she stands. She’s insecure with boys and she is embarrassed at Bella and Rafe’s sexy times next door. She’s so refreshingly normal and I fall in love with her at every page.

And then there’s DJ. I adore DJ and I think its because we’re able to keep this connection to the hockey theme of the whole series but in a totally different new way. I love that he used to play but that being in the booth, playing music, playing with the reactions of the crowd, and using the music to interact with the players. I love music, a lot, but I have no connection to it other than loving it and listening to it. DJ makes it seem like so much, and connects it with something I do love: sports. I never thought of the music other than something they play through the speakers but it can have an effect on the crowd and the players and I LOVE it.

Plus, okay, besides all of that…you just write amazing books. I laugh a lot, and the sexy times are ALWAYS so good, and it makes me want to become a better NA sports romance writer, and you are a huge influence.

Keep writing these. I’ll keep reading. For sure.

Also, can I, like, HAVE Rafe? I know he belongs to Bella and all that, but I’d like him to kind of belong to me too? Is that okay? Is that a real thing…

Let me know.

Love, Sara

Rating: 

5 out of 5 stars

Cover Reveal: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

I am SO insanely excited to bring this cover reveal out into the open today. I am a HUGE fan of Sarina’s and this series so I’m excited for the new cover and I’m excited that this book is only weeks away from being released!

Before I reveal the cover though, viagra dosage I’m going to tell you a little bit about Sarina, there a little bit about the Ivy series, sick and then we’ll talk about The Fifteenth Minute. I know not all of you are familiar with this series but I’d love to tell you more so you can fall in love with these hockey guys and gals just like I did!

About Sarina Bowen 

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

You can Find Her At: 

Website / Twitter / Instagram / Tumblr

About the Ivy Years Series

New Adult Sports Romance

In The Year We Fell Down, two injured ice hockey players are thrown together by their own bad luck. Adam Hartley will play again, but Corey Callahan will not. Over video games, tequila and physical therapy sessions, the two must figure out what really matters.

The Year We Hid Away is the tale of two lovers, Bridger and Scarlet, hoping to hide all the ugliness in their lives. But if they can’t learn to trust one another with the bad as well as good, everything they’ve built together will be lost.

The Understatement of the Year. With Bridger off the team, Coach brings in an unfamiliar replacement. But when the new guy reveals the reason for his transfer to Harkness, some of his new teammates aren’t so happy to have him in the locker room. And one is too devastated by past secrets to even look him in the eye.

The Shameless Hour. Things get a little crazy between Bella and her hot upstairs neighbor. And then they get awkward. But when something shocking happens to Bella, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

About Book Five: The Fifteenth Minute

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. Something’s haunting his dark eyes, and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

The Cover Reveal

The Fifteenth Minute

Preorder on Amazon now and make sure to add it to your GoodReads TBR list!

***********

Book Review: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Genre: 

New Adult, help Contemporary, this site Romance

Pages: 

276 pages

Part of a Series?:

Standalone Novel

Release Date: 

July 28th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Sarina’s Website / Elle’s Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

My Review:

Warning: The following review is based on a book that features a male on male relationship. Yes, this book is sexy and awesome but if you are uncomfortable with this, please click away now. And probably never come back. 

I just read this book a few days ago and I am in love love love love love with it. The first time I ever read a male on male relationship was in Sarina Bowen’s The Understatement of the Year and I knew that I was totally hooked on books like this. I adore both of these authors so so so much and I’ve been pushing them on pretty much every single person I know and I was ECSTATIC when I learned they were writing a hockey book about two guys falling in love, and they were writing it TOGETHER.

Rewind to a few nights ago when this book was released. I had preordered it in order to get it around 9 pm so I could stay up all night and finish it. That was the plan. Then I had some last minute things go through on my debit card and I didn’t have enough money for the preorder to go through. I was so SAD. Luckily, a good friend of mine sent me an Amazon gift card and I was able to buy it. Saved by Chris! You rock, Chris. I’m just saying.

I stayed up all night to read it and I just…I love everything about this book. I love that it had two beautiful hockey boys. I love the romance and the friendship between those two characters. I love that you can hear both Sarina and Elle’s voices in the book but they write so beautifully together and its just perfect. I love that they teach younger kids about hockey, the way they learned it as kids. I love the sex scenes because holy moly, grab me a cold washcloth, those things were steamy as hell! But what I loved the most about this book was the character of Jamie.

There are not enough bisexual characters in YA and NA and as someone who is bisexual and struggles to keep her anger in check at the completely misunderstanding of what that means…it means a lot to have a character like Jamie in the book. While I definitely adore Wes to no end, I think the person I fell in love with the most was Jamie. Jamie struggles to figure out who he is. He likes girls but he loves Wes too, and its a hard thing to go through. Its confusing as hell but I love how fearless he can be and I love that he feels this attraction and he has these feelings for his best friend and he just goes for it. I LOVE Jamie Canning so much. I wish he was a real person that I could just hug and love and be friends with because Elle and Sarina created a great character in him. He’s real and genuine and familiar and I connected with him from beginning to end.

But just like both of these authors tend to do…they made me laugh and cry and they made me want a cold shower STAT and they just wrote an incredibly GREAT romance novel about two people trying to figure shit out and finding each other in the process. I can’t speak highly enough of Elle and Sarina and their books and I love that they wrote a book together and I loved every minute of the book they wrote together. Brava, ladies, please do it again sometime soon!

Rating: 

3.75 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: The Mistake by Elle Kennedy

25031450Genre: 

New Adult, cost Contemporary, price Romance

Pages: 

297 pages


Part of a Series?:

The second novel in the Off Campus Series

Release Date: 

April 28th, viagra order 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…

After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.

My Review:

While this review will NOT contain spoilers, I cannot guarantee there will NOT be spoilers for The Deal. Please read that review here

Okay so when I read The Deal by Elle…I thought, I love this book. This book is amazing and she won’t be able to top it because I just totally love this book and I just love it. I finished it and was like, in heaven, and I’ve been shoving it down all my friend’s throats and NO ONE HAS READ IT YET. Lame. Its okay. But anyway, I love The Deal.

So when The Mistake released, I got it on release day. I needed it. I adored what little we saw of Logan in the first book and I had to read his story, especially knowing the feelings he has for his roommate Garrett’s girlfriend, Hannah, the couple in the first book. I didn’t know that I would love it even more than I loved the first book.

First off, I love Grace. I love how bumbling she is and how she’s kind of trying to figure boys out, and she’s intimidated by Logan and his experience and his charm…but she’s also strong as hell and she doesn’t let anyone, including him, walk all over her and that’s badass as hell. She’s a feisty person, even when she doesn’t believe it and I adore her.

But I really love Logan. Because he’s kind of an idiot. Its obvious he’s attracted to Grace and its obvious that he genuinely likes her too. Sure, he just kind of uses her to get Hannah out of his head but he actually likes her and anything with a brain and a pair of eyes can see that going down. So watching him totally screw it up…you kind of want to pat him on the head and say “Oh, Logan” with a big sigh. Because you also can’t help but love him. He has the hockey player thing down, and he wants nothing more than to be drafted, and Elle just creates sexy hockey players. Seriously. Why am I not more into hockey…I need to rectify this and soon…

All in all, great romance, steamy scenes, both characters are absolutely amazing, loving all the hockey parts in it and I seriously can’t wait for another book in this series because Elle has me totally hooked.

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

24504048Genre: 

New Adult, information pills Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

358

Part of a Series?:

The first in the Off-Campus series

Release Date: 

February 24th, 2015

You Can Find the Book At:

Check your local bookstore!

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice… even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.

…and it’s going to be oh so good.

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

My Review:

In my continued quest to find really good sports related NA romances, I found The Deal by Elle Kennedy, and I’m so incredibly glad that I did.

I’m becoming more of a hockey fan as I read more and more romances that take place along the hockey life. Seriously. I might watch more hockey.
I liked The Deal a lot because while it had some similarities to Sarina Bowen and her series, it really stood on its own. While there was a definite seriousness to The Deal, there’s also a lightheartedness too. It was awesome just to see these two characters come together, under the weirdest circumstances. Hannah enlists the help of Garrett to win the heart of another boy and instead falls for him. He’s sexy and impossible and I know he drives me crazy, but I’m with Hannah…he leaves me panting and wanting more too.
I love Hannah the most though. She’s so…real and she makes me laugh. I love that she falls madly in love with a boy she barely knows and enlists the help of Garrett to figure out how to get him. It’s absolutely fantastic and sounds like a romantic comedy where the plan is obviously doomed to fail but you enjoy the journey to the explosion any way. You know that Garrett helping Hannah is just going to lead to them falling in love but I loved every single minute of it.
Simply put, I enjoyed this book. I loved Garrett and Hannah and I loved their antics and their ups and downs and I loved the integration of hockey and I loved Logan too, who had a small part but will be in the next book and my god I can’t wait for that! Elle has a way of making you care not just for her main characters, but for all the people she introduces and I love that.

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars

Book Review: The Ivy Years Series by Sarina Bowen

20896313Genre: 

New Adult, viagra 100mg Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 

A lot

Part of a Series?:

4 books + 1 Novella

The Year We Fell Down
The Year We Hid Away
Blonde Date
The Understatement of the Year
The Shameless Hour

Release Date: 

N/A

You Can Find the Book At:

Check your local bookstore!

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble (You can get the full series PLUS novella for 6.99 on Nook!)

Book Depository

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

Life at the elite Harkness College is brought to you in four tales, each one sexier and more heartbreaking than the last. Contains: hockey hotties, snarky T-shirts, a slow-burn love affair, a liar (with reasons,) a virgin (with reasons,) and one adorkable basketball player.

 

Book 1: The Year We Fell Down
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.
Corey was supposed to start college as a member of the women’s ice hockey team. Instead, she’ll spend it in a wheelchair. The only upside? Her too-delicious-to-be-real neighbor across the hall.
Book 2: The Year We Hid Away
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Dorm rooms are supposed to be for sleeping, studying, and partying. Not for hiding your eight-year-old sister.

Novella: Blonde Date
A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could go wrong?

Book 3: The Understatement of the Year
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Michael Graham will never tell anyone the truth about himself. Too bad his past walks right into the locker room on the first day of hockey practice.
Book 4: The Shameless Hour
For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.

Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.

Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can’t be extinguished.

My Review:

I hadn’t planned on reviewing the entire series as once but I fell massively behind in reviews and need so desperately to catch up. Know this: I love every single book in this series, including the novella and these short reviews will not do this entire series justice like I had hoped to do!
The Year We Fell Down: I’m so glad, especially after reading the entire series, that this is the first one. Corey and Hartley have a beautiful friendship that expands into so much more and I enjoyed every single minute of it. But it’s more than that. I enjoyed this book because of Corey’s struggle. She cannot play the sport she loves the most in the world because of an injury she got while playing. And she falls for a boy who can’t play either…but only until he’s healed. And he’s taken too! It’s a lot of heartbreak for her, and it’s painful to watch her go through it and I want to hug her and be her best friend and cheer her on. I loved the first book because it was her story.
The Year We Hid Away: There are so many reasons that I loved this second book and it boils down to Bridger. I love Scarlet and her part in the story and what she does for Bridger and for the romance in the story but it’s Bridger that makes me care from beginning to end. He’s given up so much and taken on so much more in order to keep his sister taken care of and safe. It makes me fall in love with him, easily, because I know what it’s like to sacrifice your own cares and worries and life for the love of a sibling. I root for the two of them to end up together because of him, because from the beginning I want him to succeed and be happy.
The Understatement of the Year: I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this book. I have not had the chance to read a male to male romance novel like this before. Or really ever. And I loved every single bit of it and I need more. Now. Not only does Sarina tell a wonderful romantic story between the two main characters, it really captures the struggle to be gay, both as an out gay person and someone who is hiding. Rikker and Graham struggle but they have a great friendship and eventual relationship, and it’s incredibly sweet and over the top sexy as hell.
The Shameless Hour: I just read this recently because it just came out! And I can honestly say…it’s my favorite. I think it comes down to the fact that I just genuinely love Bella and Rafe so much. I feel a connection to both of them. I love Bella and everything she is. I love that she embraces who she is, but also she struggles with it when it’s blasted all over campus. It’s hard to deal with being a girl, open about her sexuality, when people tend to judge girls about their sex lives. It’s easy to feel familiar when reading Bella’s POV. And I love Rafe because he’s so genuine. He could come across in so many ways but he’s beautiful and charming and kind and I love every little bit of him. Their story is incredibly sweet and I love watching them fall in love.
———–
All in all, I think Sarina creates an incredible series with beautiful romances wrapped around the love of hockey. I’m not a huge hockey fan but I can totally get behind sexy hockey players, both girls and guys, and fun and deep and awesome romantic stories. Everything about it makes me so happy. I wish there were more in this series but I know that these are books that I will definitely revisit them in the future!

Rating: 

4 out of 5 Stars