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!

***********

The Time I Shared the Official Synopsis for Benched and a WHOLE sneak peek Scene!

Today, sales I might do something really exciting.

Heavy influence on the “might”.

I’ve been writing a lot this month. I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands and I’ve been frustrated and discouraged. And instead of letting that get me down, cheap I’ve been more determined and passionate and ambitious. I’ve been working really hard to develop this story, make these characters feel real and finish it. Benched has been my floating device this month.

And I’m really pleased to say…that today I could possibly finish it.

I don’t want to get you guys overexcited or anything but I really believe that its possible that it could get done tonight or in the next couple of days. I’m extremely excited and I can’t wait to get this finished, and on the path to sharing it with the rest of the world.

P.S. I’ll be needing beta readers for this in about a month or so, so please keep an eye out for that!

So today I decided to share TWO things. One is the official synopsis for Benched, and the other is a sneak peek. I hope that both of them catch your interest, because I’m really excited about this book and I’m really excited about its potential.

Please keep in mind that this is NOT young adult literature. It is new adult romance so there are mature themes.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.16.40 AM

Benched Synopsis 

Benched tells the story of nineteen-year-old Evie Cordova. Evie has grown up in the central California coastal town of Santa Isabella, where the obsession is the college baseball team, the Quakes. Her father has been the head coach for as long as she can remember and her happiest memories are at that field. That is, until her heart is broken by one of the players and she can’t even look at a baseball without remembering the pain.
Now she’s in college, the very same college that houses the baseball boys that she wants nothing more than to avoid. Working for her dad brings her face to face with Austin Young, a transfer student who throws Evie off guard, with his dedication to baseball and his Southern charm. Suddenly, Evie can’t remember why she avoids baseball players. There’s an undeniable pull between the two of them and the more she runs, the closer they become. Evie has to decide whether to stick to her rules, or if Austin will be worth the risk of getting her heart broken once again.
But Evie has her own secrets that are holding her back and they just might ruin everything.

Benched Sneak Peak 

I blush. “I mean, it was fun.” I lower my voice even more. “Really fun. But it can’t happen again. I wasn’t lying when I said no baseball players.”

A corner of his mouth quirks up a little at this. “A very unusual rule.”

I ignore this. “You’re on my dad’s team. I don’t date baseball players. I really…” I swallow hard and meet his eyes. They’re such a dark brown, deep, and they reveal nothing. “I just think it would be better if we were friends. Just friends.”

“Just friends?”

Is he really repeating every single thing I say right now… God I wish I could tell what he was thinking. I bite my lip. “Yeah.” Was I being stupid? I didn’t want to date him; that was the truth. He was a goddamn baseball player and, even worse, a Quake. But was “just friends” even a possibility? He’s hot, incredibly so, and even with a desk between us, my body was tingling with want.

He still hasn’t responded and I start to turn back around, feeling embarrassed.

His hand reaches out for me, grabbing my arm. He’s keeping me from turning around and my eyes watch the way his fingers flex around his biceps before I raise them and meet his. I swallow hard, blinking rapidly.

Austin smirks and it shocks me for a moment, because this is not what I expected. “If you want to be just friends, princess, well then that’s okay.”

I am taken aback by his response and it takes me a moment to think of something to say back. My eyebrows raise. “Really?”

He winks at me. “OF course. My mama taught me to respect a lady’s words and I stick to that.”

I can’t help it. I laugh a little at that. “Your mama?”

Austin leans back and his smirk becomes a full-fledged grin. “Yes, my mama. Maybe I’ll tell you about her sometime. Seeing as we’re friends and all.”

The professor walks in and starts handing papers out. I pull my gaze away from his and turn to the front. “Right. Friends.”

Austin

It’s hard to concentrate on whatever the professor is saying with Evie sitting in front of me. Her long, dark blonde hair is hanging loose down her back and some of it falls on my desk and it smells amazing, like coconut. Like lying on the beach.

She wants to be just friends and damn, I know I should be okay with that but she has no idea the effect she has on me. She’s gorgeous. I wasn’t lying when I said she and her sister looked alike but there’s something about her that’s much sexier than her sister. It’s not her eyes. Its something in the way she carries herself.

I can’t get the memory of her coming apart in my arms out of my head. The noises she made, the way her body literally shook while she was pressed against me…I get hard just thinking about it.

I shake my head. She’s a distraction, the ultimate one, and I can’t let myself get distracted. Not now. Not only is she the coach’s daughter but she could derail everything I’ve worked so hard for.

My path is simple. Play ball. Get scouted. Get drafted. There’s nothing else. A girl like Evie could pull me away from all of that. Nothing is worth losing that.

Evie turns in her seat to hand me a paper and her eyes, one brown and one blue, meet mine. She licks her lips nervously before turning back around.  

Fuck.

I’m in so much trouble.

*******

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Book Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Genre: 

Young Adult, online Contemporary, cialis 40mg Romance

Pages: 

283 pages

Part of a Series?:

Book #1 of the Hundred Oaks Series

Release Date: 

December 1st, 2011

You Can Find the Book At:

GoodReads

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

iBooks

Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

My Review:

 

I had a lot of incredibly high hopes for this novel. Really high hopes. When I heard it was about a girl that plays football and is goal driven on football and it had romance as she kind of falls in love for the first time…I was so sold. Especially since the rest of the series follows a bunch of other sports.

We know how I get when it comes to sports novels.

And I was just disappointed with the book. I loved the character of Jordan and I super loved the character of Sam Henry but honestly, no one else really sold the book for me. The concept was definitely there, and its what kept me turning the pages. It had a ton of potential. The story was there. You have Jordan struggling to prove herself as a girl quarterback, especially with her famous quarterback dad, and she wants them to take her seriously, but she also is a girl and has feelings for boys too and its HARD. The potential is there and I think that’s why the book was such a disappointment to me. It was RIGHT THERE.

The biggest issue I had with the book was that it was so incredibly rushed. Everything felt rushed and I had a hard time keeping up with everything. The writing felt rushed, the feelings, the story, the character development, all of it. It was like whiplash sometimes. The writing just felt like it was rushed. I wanted the author to slow down at times and just let me enjoy getting to know the characters and that sort of thing. Often times, I just felt nothing because I didn’t feel like I was given the chance to really care. It all happened too fast.

I’m definitely going to be reading book #2 because I always like to give an author another chance but I’m going in with less expectations than I had for the first book, especially since book two is that magical sport, baseball. Wish me luck!

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