Cover Reveal: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

I’m a huge fan of Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series so I was thrilled when I heard the news that she has a new series that will be released this year. Yay, for more hockey romance! Trevi and Georgia’s high school romance was briefly mentioned in The Fifteenth Minute (Ivy Years #5), and I’ve been curious about them ever since. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that they’re getting their own book. Both the cover and the premise have made me even more excited to read more about this couple.

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Rookie Move

COMING SEPTEMBER 6th: A sexy new hockey series from Sarina Bowen.

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…

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“Romantic and hilarious, Rookie Move will hook you from page one. Nobody does hockey like Sarina Bowen.” – Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of the Off Campus series.

ForeverNightStands

SIGNED PAPERBACK GIVEAWAY: Sarina is giving away a signed paperback (reader’s choice) and the right to name a teammate in Brooklyn Bruisers #2. WordPress doesn’t allow me to embed a Rafflecopter in a post but if you want to join the giveaway, here’s the link.

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Cover Reveal: Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen have both written awesome new adult hockey romances (The Ivy Years, Off-Campus) and I was thrilled when they decided to team up to write Him. I did both a cover reveal and review for it. I thought Him was going to be a standalone novel so it came as a pleasant surprise that the authors were inspired to write a sequel! It’s going to be so much fun to find out how Wes and Jamie have been doing. Both the premise and the cover look great. I like how the cover design matches the first book in terms of look and feel and muscles on display. Simple and such a good fit for the story.

Us

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 noisiest 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.

To be released on March 8! Check out its Goodreads page, and add it to your shelf.

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Social media links for the two lovely authors:

Sarina Bowen
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Elle Kennedy
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Cover Reveal: The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen

Ahem, ladies and gentlemen, we have a book cover for The Fifteenth Minute by Sarina Bowen! This is the next installment in the Ivy Years series which I glommed through late last year. Sarina made me realize how much I enjoy sports romance novels, and I can’t wait to read her one. Boy, does she write fast! I’m thrilled that we’re getting another Ivy Years book before the year is out, considering that The Shameless Hour was just released a few months ago.

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Announcing: Ivy Years #5
The Fifteenth Minute
by Sarina Bowen

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.

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Pre-order on Amazon

LINKS for Sarina Bowen:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
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Gorgeous cover, right? I like the scruffy look that this hot guy is sporting. And I’m a fan of aviator sunglasses (I have two RayBans myself). I always appreciate series covers that have consistent matching designs – The Fifteenth Minute definitely has the same look and feel as the rest of the covers in the series. Partially hidden faces, sky background, and a color scheme that’s easy on the eyes. I’m not sure how to describe it but I also like the type of filters and faded effect used on the photos. Funny, but I just realized that all of the Ivy Years cover designs have nekkid people on them! How could I have missed that? Here, I’ll make it easy for the rest of you to check them out:

The Year We Fell Down The Year We Hid Away The Understatement of the Year ShamelessHour

So, so, so, what do you guys think of this shiny, new cover? And if you haven’t read Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years, you still have time to catch up before the release of The Fifteenth Minute. 🙂

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

In my cover reveal post for Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, I quoted a Twitter conversation where I mentioned that I would be thrilled if these two hockey romance authors worked on a collab title. Given how much I enjoyed both the Ivy Years and the Off-Campus series by these authors, I was pretty sure that I’d enjoy Him. I was lucky enough to receive an early review copy of this title and I was so glad it was sent out just as the weekend started. That gave me enough time to read it without worrying about real life getting in the way. As is the usual case lately, it took me a while to write a review so Him has been released since then so feel free to grab a copy of it!

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

HimThey 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.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

I had so much fun reading Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s Him. So much so that the next day, my flatmate asked me what I was reading in the middle of the night because she said she could hear laughter from my room. Yep, some of the scenes in this book really made me laugh and smile along with the characters. It’s hard not to when Wes and Jamie tease the hell out of each other. I really liked that they have a solid friendship that was formed through years of spending summers together in hockey camp. They come from different family backgrounds but they’ve always had hockey to bond over. That friendship get a break after Wes walks away because he mistakenly thinks that he ruined what they had with a careless bet. On the other hand, Jamie didn’t think that incident was a big deal and was more hurt by the silence from Wes more than anything else. After reconnecting at a championship game, Wes decides to join Jamie as a coach in their old hockey camp. Surprisingly, there wasn’t that much angst in their story as these two guys change the status of their relationship from friends into something more. It felt like a natural and realistic transition of friends to lovers, with a nice summery vibe while they’re both having fun coaching a sport they’re both passionate about.

I thought it was nice that Jamie and Wes had such distinct personalities, that were contrasting to a certain extent. Jamie is an easygoing, California surfer type of guy while Wes is more serious and prickly. I think their personalities are reflective of their upbringing. Jamie comes from a big family who supports him in basically everything, which is saying something considering how he makes some pretty big decisions during the duration of this book. Wes comes from a wealthy but cold and uptight family. He makes a point of keeping people at a distance because of this. I felt so bad that Wes doesn’t have a warm and welcoming family but at least he has Jamie in his life. I wish there were more scenes that had Wes interacting with Jamie’s family because they’re awesome. I also really liked Jamie’s friendship with Holly and how understanding she is of his predicament. Even with their career decisions, these two guys were in different places. Wes was totally committed to being the best professional hockey player that he can be, while Jamie was indecisive about playing pro. I really don’t know much about hockey but I liked that these aspects of their stories were fleshed out because it’s something that guys their age think about. Also, these career decisions affected their relationship as well.

Him was an engaging read that had me rooting for Wes and Jamie right from the start. Sexy, funny, sweet and swoon-worthy! To be perfectly honest, M/M sports romance wasn’t something that was at the top of my list of books to read. I tried it because Sarina Bowen wrote The Understatement of the Year in the middle of a series that had earlier M/F books. That was the first M/M book that I read and thus has a special place in my heart given how much I cared for the characters. So yay Sarina for that strategy! Him is only the second M/M romance that I’ve read and it solidified my resolve to read more books like it. If M/M isn’t really your thing, I still recommend giving Him a try. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Elle and Sarina will work on another collab title because I would love to read more from them!

Other reviews:
SmexyBooks
Me and My Books

Him2

Cover Reveal: Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

I am thrilled to be participating the cover reveal for Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s Him. I’m a big fan of both of their new adult hockey series, the Ivy Years and Off-Campus. It’s funny because I have been looking forward to their collab even before I knew they were writing a book together! Check out this Twitter conversation:

So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about Him! I seriously cannot wait for this book to be released and you can bet that I will be recommending it to everyone I know. I’m so glad they chose to write a MM novel because The Understatement of the Year was one of my favorite reads last year (Rikker and Graham! ♥♥♥) and I would love to read more books like it.
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Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, the cover for Him:

Him

Here’s the summary from Goodreads:

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.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition.

Him2

To be released on July 28!

Links:
Goodreads
Barnes & Noble
iTunes
Kobo

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Social media links for the two lovely authors:

Sarina Bowen
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

Elle Kennedy
Website
Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook

And there’s also a great Facebook group called The Locker Room where both Sarina and Elle are coaches.

Cover Reveal: The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

I’ve been doing my best to spread the word about Sarina Bowen’s books ever since I discovered her Ivy Years series last year. It’s an amazing series set in a fictional Ivy League setting focusing on characters who play hockey. I know next to nothing about hockey but that doesn’t matter because I still loved these books. I read them one right after another and had the best kind of book hangover after finishing the series. I’ve been recommending it to anyone who would care to listen, both to my blogging and real life friends.

So you can just imagine my excitement when I heard the news about the next installment in the series! It makes me so happy to take part in the cover reveal for The Shameless Hour, who will have one of the secondary characters in The Understatement of the Year (my personal favorite in the series) as its MC. Can’t wait to read Bella’s story – both the cover and the summary below have made me super curious about this book. I think the cover is such a good fit for Bella’s character, with that gorgeous hair and bright red lipstick. I also like how all the covers in the series match in terms of color scheme and tone, very understated but so appropriate for the stories. If you haven’t tried Sarina’s books, now is the time to do so! The first book in the series, The Year We Fell Down, is now available for just USD 0.99.

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Announcing: Ivy Years #4
The Shameless Hour
by Sarina Bowen
Coming on or before May 1st

ShamelessHour

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 nasty 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.

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LINKS:
Pre-order The Shameless Hour at iBooks
Add The Shameless Hour to your Goodreads Shelf
Follow Sarina Bowen on Amazon.com
Sign up for Sarina’s Mailing List
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Cover Reveal: Gravity Series by Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series was one of my favorite discoveries last year. I can’t wait to read the next book in that series! In the meantime, Sarina is relaunching her Gravity Series and I’m participating in today’s cover reveal for the three titles. Check out the shiny, new covers for the series as well as all the relevant information for Falling from the Sky.

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Gravity Covers

Here is the description for FALLING FROM THE SKY:

Angsty Vermont snowboarders, anyone?

She’s the woman he doesn’t remember. He’s the man she can’t forget.

Bad boy Hank “Hazardous” Lazarus used to have everything: a gorgeous girlfriend, a career as a freestyle snowboarder and a spot on the US Olympic team. Nine months ago, after a bad crash in the half pipe, he woke up in the hospital, unable to move his legs. Now he’s landed there again, but gravity is not the culprit. With his family pressuring him to try a groundbreaking treatment, Hank self-medicates with too much tequila instead.

Doctor Callie Anders has the courage to restart a patient’s heart with a thousand volts of electricity, yet she’s afraid to risk her own. So she doesn’t confess to the clinic’s newest patient that they met just before the accident, an encounter that he doesn’t remember. Even as their friendship develops, she won’t admit she regrets turning down his dinner invitation, or that her heart stutters every time those inked shoulders roll through the door of the therapy department.

With another Vermont winter coming again, Hank needs a hand out from under the avalanche of his disappointments. If only Callie were brave enough to take the job.

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Purchase at Amazon.com: http://amzn.to/1EY6tyy
Purchase at Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1KivHc9
Purchase at iBooks: http://bit.ly/1KldR8j
Purchase at Kobo: http://bit.ly/1BX4g5E

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“One of the highlights of my 2014 reading year.” — Jane Litte at DearAuthor.com

“4.5 stars. Hank and Callie are an inspiration to love stories everywhere. HOT.” — RT (Romantic Times) Book Reviews

“What a book! I’m always looking for different, inspiring, more in my books and Sarina Bowen delivers every time.” — The Bookish Babe

“Sexy and heartwarming, Falling From the Sky is a story of redemption, trust and falling in love.” — Mandi Schreiner of SmexyBooks

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To celebrate the cover reveal of this series, Sarina is hosting a Rafflecopter GIVEAWAY (open internationally): click here for the giveaway

The Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen

I was chatting with my good friend Angie about books recently and she mentioned that the Ivy Years by Sarina Bowen is pretty good. Here’s the tweet where she recommends them:

Since this series has Angie’s stamp of approval, further evidenced by her glowing review of The Year We Hid Away, I read the books as soon as I could.

recommended by Angie

An image created by fellow YAcker Laura

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve tried ice skating (obviously it’s not common in sunny Manila or Singapore) and what I know of hockey is basically what I’ve seen on the Mighty Ducks movies when I was young. But I think it’s a fun sport, even if I’m not familiar with it, so that’s one aspect of the series that I enjoyed reading about. Another thing that I really liked was the fictional Ivy League college setting of the book. I loved my college years and it makes me happy to read about characters who are at that stage in their lives. So far, the only books that have a college setting that have made a positive impact on me are Easy by Tamarra Webber and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Now I can add Sarina Bowen’s books to that (short) list.

The Year We Fell Down and tea

The Year We Fell Down and TWG’s Grand Wedding tea

The Year We Fell Down

I started The Year We Fell Down late one night and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to get into the story. I stayed up late and was able to read a good chunk of it, but had to eventually go to bed and get some sleep because I had work the next day. For a novel that has a main character who was recently in an accident, The Year We Fell Down didn’t have as much angst as I was expecting. I really liked Corey and sympathized with the situation she found herself in – to suddenly have lost the function of her legs is brutal for someone who has always wanted a career in sports. I feel like she handles her issues well in spite of all the difficult adjustments that she has to make in her life. At first, she mostly interacts with her roommate Dana and their neighbor Hartley, but eventually she starts exploring her options and expanding her circle. I really enjoyed reading about how she takes charge of her life. I liked the slow burn romance between Corey and Hartley and how it started with the two of them hanging out as friends. Hartley is a great guy but he has his own problems to deal with and I felt that it took a while for him to work through them. He was being quite dense for a while there. I also felt like the build-up of their relationship was much better than the final few chapters of the book. It’s still an enjoyable read overall but I think the other books in the series are stronger than this installment.

The Year We Hid Away

The Year We Hid Away

Oh boy! Bridger and Scarlet sure have some pretty serious problems in their lives and none of it is their fault. Both are caught in difficult situations because of their parents. Bridger and Scarlet are just doing the best that they can and taking things one day at a time. Bridger doesn’t even have room in his life for a relationship and he doesn’t plan to get involved with Scarlet but they just click and become friends anyway. It’s a very realistic college development: how they hang out during lunch, walk to classes together and study together. It’s funny that these two are both hockey players but they don’t even bond over the game because they both have their reasons for not joining the varsity team this season. That’s one thing that I wish we got to see more of, it would have been nice if they got to spend some time together on the ice. I’m glad we got to see more of Bridger than how he was shown in the first book, basically a player who parties hard. There’s really so much more to him than that and it’s amazing how he copes with everything that’s going on with his life. I really liked Scarlet and could understand her need to move away from her parents and get a fresh start in college. Bridger and Scarlet are pretty similar in the sense that they felt like they had to deal with their problems on their own, so I liked seeing them rely on each other as their relationship developed. I was hoping to see more of Hartley and Corey in this installment but Bridger was actively distancing himself from his friends because he didn’t want to burden them with his problems. But that’s a minor issue that I had with the book and I was fully absorbed from start to finish. I was happy with how things worked out towards the end.

Blonde Date and granola

Blonde Date and breakfast (granola with almond milk)

Blonde Date

Blonde Date is different from the rest of the books in the series because it’s a novella that occurs in between books 2 and 3 and has nothing to do with hockey. If you read The Year We Hid Away, you already know how Blonde Date will end. I enjoyed this quick read because it features secondary characters from the second book. Andy was such a nice guy and was a huge help to Bridger so I liked seeing him in the limelight. He really deserved to get a date with a girl he’s been crushing on. It was also nice to see that there was Katie had more depth than was initially depicted in the earlier book. Short and sweet, Blonde Date was a fun read that had its funny moments (e.g. Andy’s internal monologue).

The Understatement of the Year and green tea brioche

The Understatement of the Year and green tea brioche

The Understatement of the Year
Rikker and Graham! Oh my goodness, these two boys have such a bittersweet romance. So much history between the two of them. And then so much tension when they meet again a few years after they’ve parted ways. I wanted to hug these two and tell them that everything will be all right. I love that Sarina Bowen chose to do something different by bringing in an M/M romance in a series that has earlier M/F novels. I found it fascinating to read two different perspectives in this novel: Rikker who is openly gay vs. Graham who has hidden deep inside the closet. It’s funny that the situations they find themselves in are so different and yet they’re both so isolated and lonely. Rikker struggles with being accepted and recognized as a part of the hockey team and also has to deal with being a transfer student. Graham can’t even figure out whether he’s straight or gay and therefore, can’t really be true to himself, his friends or his family. He tries to numb himself with as much alcohol as he can take the moment Rikker enters the scene because he has no idea what to do. To be honest, there were moments when Graham was being frustratingly difficult but I forgive him because he has reasons for being like that and he really is sweet and loyal in his own way. I was a little nervous while reading their story because I really wanted things to work out for them. They’ve already had enough heartbreak in their lives and they deserve to have some happiness. I liked that the story didn’t just revolve around these two guys but also involved their teammates (Hartley was a steady presence in this one), their friends and their family. I loved Graham’s mom, Rikker’s grandma, their mutual friend Bella and even Rikker’s ex Skippy. It was a pleasure reading about Rikker and Graham and their story stayed with me days after I finished the book. A solid installment in a series that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

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These books are companion novels and can stand well enough on their own. Some characters overlap but I don’t think one book spoils any of the others. If anything, I wanted the books to be more closely tied together – to see all of the characters hang out and be good friends to each other because they all deserve to have trustworthy friends who will stand up for them. I feel like Sarina Bowen has a knack for writing about characters in messy situations, with more serious problems on top of the usual ones that a regular college student would have. I always root for her characters and I’m more than satisfied with how their problems are resolved. The Ivy Years is a really good series and I’ve been recommending it left and right, definitely one of my favorite discoveries this year. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, I heard it’s going to be about Bella, who was a pretty important character in The Understatement of the Year. Good to know she’ll be getting her own story!