Review: Keepsake (True North #3) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

There’s a first time for everything.

Lark Wainwright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.There’s a first time for everything.

Lark Wainwright used to be fearless. Her life was a series of adventures, each one more exhilarating than the last. But her recent overseas adventure was one too many. Now she’s home and in one piece. Mostly. But her nights are filled with terror.

When her best friend offers her a stay at the orchard in exchange for help at the farmers’ markets, Lark jumps at the chance to spend fall in Vermont. But her nightmares don’t stop. Desperate to keep her fragile state a secret, she relies on the most soft-spoken resident of the Shipley Farm to soothe her when her dreams prove too much.

Zachariah is a survivor, too. It’s been four years since he was tossed aside by the polygamist cult where he grew up. He’s found a peaceful existence on the Shipley’s farm, picking apples and fixing machinery. But getting thrown away by your own people at nineteen leaves a mark on a guy. He doesn’t always know what to make of a world where movie quotes are the primary means of communication. Before hitchhiking to Vermont, he’d never watched TV or spoken on the phone.

Actually, there are a lot of things he’s never done.

Zach and Lark slowly grow to trust one another. One night they become even closer than they’d planned. But Lark may still be too broken to trust anyone. When she pushes Zach away, he will have to prove to himself that he’s good for much more than farm labor.

Review:

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and I’m so sorry to be posting this one week after release day, but I’ve been through some stuff and honestly couldn’t bring myself to read, and less so to write reviews. I did enjoy this book, though. It was quite intense and emotional. Continue reading

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Review: Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Review:

I was so lucky to receive an ARC of the first book in Sarina Bowen’s new series, Brooklyn Bruisers. This author knows how to write romance, and she’s never disappointed me. A few chapters into Rookie Move and I knew she had me once again. Continue reading

Review: Steadfast (True North #2) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there’s no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.

For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.

She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.

No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie’s police chief father. But it’s a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.

Review:

I’m so happy to have received this ARC! Since reading Bittersweet I’ve been waiting for Jude’s book, and thank goodness it wasn’t a long wait. I think among Sarina Bowen’s books, this is the “darkest” one, at least considering that it deals with addictions. But as per usual, she did a great job of making it all understandable and hopeful.

I used to be so proud of the way I kept my two loves separate from one another-the drugs and the girlfriend. Even when I was snorting an unsustainable quantity of oxy, I was still functional in the garage and still a good lover. What an achiever! Until the night it all went wrong.

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Review: Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Review:

Gosh, I was so lucky to receive an ARC of Bittersweet! I love Sarina Bowen’s books, and although I was a little skeptical because I thought I’d miss the sport setting, I just adored this book. It’s a nice take on a modern-day farm life, probably with one too many hotties, but hey, I ain’t complaining about that.

“Having the sink over here keeps us out of the way,” he said. “And keeps the cooks from getting cranky.” “What keeps you from getting cranky?” I called after him. “Whatever it is, have some of it.” All the Shipleys laughed except for Griff.

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Review: Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

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Summary:

Can your favorite hockey players finish their first season together undefeated?

Five months in, 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?

Warning: contains sexual situations, a vibrating chair, long-distance sexytimes and proof that hockey players look hot in any shade of green.

Review:

Oh God! I was so excited to read this because I loved book one, and I love both Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, and it was amazing! It’s just a wonderfully written look at what happens after the proverbial HEA.

The man I love. Even now, the phrase sticks in my mind with damn near wonder. I didn’t freak out when I realized last summer I was bisexual, and I’m not freaked out about it now. It’s not the word man that fascinates me in the sentence, but love.

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Review: The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen

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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.

Review:

Once again Sarina Bowen hits us with her originality, and characters that you can’t help loving. The Ivy Years series set high standards for this one, and I wasn’t disappointed, not even one bit.

People don’t expect me to be competent. They think that because I’ve done a lot of smiling into the camera, that’s all I can manage. DJ’s different. He listens when I talk.

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Review: The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years #4) by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.

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.

Review:

If you’ve been following my reviews, you know how much I love Sarina Bowen; but I never thought she’d be the one to finally write a book like this one. The Shameless Hour is a big, fat and loud middle finger to slut-shaming, and to double standards. It’s also a big shout out to feminism, and to diveristy, both cultural and sexual.

Bella’s enthusiasm had obliterated all of my caution. She wanted me. And I could no longer think of any reason why I couldn’t have this.

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Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Summary:

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

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.

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Review:

**4 SEXY HOCKEY STARS**

“My weakness is him.”

I added this book to my TBR pile without reading the description because I love the authors. So imagine my surprise when I realized it’s M/M romance. It is like opening a gift box and finding Chris Evans inside. FREAKIN’ AWESOME! Continue reading

Bookreleases in July

New month, new books! Do you also have trouble keeping up with when which book comes out? We know the feeling.. That’s why we will post an overview every month of the books that come out in that month. Which book are you most excited for this month? 

July 7th:

 Chasing River (Burying Water #3) by K.A. Tucker
Armed with two years’ worth of savings and the need to experience life outside the bubble of her Oregon small town, twenty-five-year old Amber Welles is prepared for anything. Except dying in Dublin. Had it not been for the bravery of a stranger, she might have. But he takes off before she has the chance to offer her gratitude. (more

 

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Pain & Rule (Pure Corruption MC #1) by Pepper Winters

She is a woman divided. Her past, present, and future are as twisted as the lies she’s lived for the past eight years. Desperate to get the truth, she must turn to the one man who may also be her greatest enemy . . .

He is the president of Pure Corruption MC. A heartless biker and retribution-deliverer. (more)

italy_quality_flag_circle_sticker-rf5ddc720fe054927a4fb16be480ac15e_v9waf_8byvr_324 Manwhore +1 (Manwhore #1) by Katy Evans

Billionaire playboy? Check.
Ruthless businessman? Check.
Absolutely sinful? Check.
Malcolm Saint was an assignment. A story. A beautiful, difficult man I was supposed to uncover for a racy exposé. (more)

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Toxic by Kim Karr

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not…

New York Times bestselling author Kim Karr turns up the heat in a smoking hot, emotionally compelling new novel that takes you into the world of Manhattan’s elite.(more)

 

July 21st: 

Pale Kings and Princes (TfSA #6) by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman

Simon has an encounter with Downworlders and is reprimanded for not following the rules for Academy students interacting with Downworlders. A story within a story: Andrew Blackthorn, while a student at the Academy, becomes enthralled by a faerie and has two children with her: Mark and Helen. (more)

July 28th:

Every Last Breath by Jennifer L. Armentrout:

Some loves will last ’til your dying breath.
Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust. (more)

Racing the Sun by Karina Halle:

From the USA TODAY bestselling author of Where Sea Meets Sky comes a new adult novel about a young woman who becomes a nanny in Capri and falls for her charges’ bad-boy brother. It’s time for twenty-four-year-old Amber MacLean to face the music. After a frivolous six months of backpacking through New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia, she finds herself broke on the Mediterranean without enough money for a plane ticket home to California. (more)

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy:

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?
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. (more)

Another Day by David Levithan

The eagerly anticipated companion to David Levithan’s New York Times bestseller Every Day.
In this enthralling companion to his New York Times bestseller Every Day, David Levithan (co-author of Will Grayson, Will Grayson with John Green) tells Rhiannon’s side of the story as she seeks to discover the truth about love and how it can change you. (more)

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Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

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Summary:

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS BOOK IS A STANDALONE. NO CLIFFHANGERS. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.

Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.

Review:

Hi, it’s Manu! First of all, let me tell you that this series, The Ivy Yearsis amazing! So please, check it out, it’s different and each book can be read as a standalone.

In all my favorite movies, when something bad was going to happen, the protagonist usually sensed it. He saw a sign, or felt a disturbance in the force. But that’s not how my real life worked. And I’m no action hero. So you can be sure that I didn’t see it coming.

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