One of my discoveries this year has been Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years series. I’m still chastising myself for waiting so long to read this series. The Ivy Years is a series of standalone books set against the fictional Harkness College. The first book is The Year We Fell Down, which I adored, followed by The Year We Hid Away, Blonde Date, The Understatement of the Year and then this book–The Shameless Hour.
I’ve only read The Year We Fell Down and The Shameless Hour at this point but I got to tell you, this series is addicting. Aside from the wonderful writing, the characters in this series really stood out for me. I loved them. Bella is one of those characters that almost be too easy to hate but Sarina made her sympathetic and relatable.
I’ll explain more in my review later on but for those of you who haven’t read this book or any book in this series, they are available to purchase on most online retailers.
The Shameless Hour
♥ my review ♥
In romance, it’s not common to find a book with a virgin heroine and a hero who gets around. It’s a common trope. One that Sarina Bowen has successfully subverted in this book.
Bella is the manager of the Harkness hockey team. She’s gorgeous, charming and yes, she’s got a reputation among the players as someone easy. Rafe is a soccer player and a virgin. When plans with his girlfriend fell through, he found himself in the company of Bella. That night, they hit it off right away but a little misunderstanding got in their way and sets off a string of events that had dire consequences for Bella.
I loved Bella. Her strength and courage was amazing. I loved that she wasn’t perfect. I also appreciated that Sarina didn’t justify her promiscuity as a result of childhood trauma or something. She was just a wild child who enjoys sex. I didn’t always agree with her decision but really, her actions are no different than any other book hero in NA right now. The only difference is she’s female, so she’s judged harshly because of it. What happened to her was unconscionable. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. Nobody.
Rafe is a really sweet hero. He is loyal and just an overall wonderful character. I loved how he supported Bella without restraint or judgement. It was his presence and friendship, together with Lianne, that helped Bella pull through her situation. I seriously loved them both for it.
The issues (slut-shaming, bullying, etc) tackled in this book is scarily accurate with what we see in social media today. It’s so easy to laugh and jeer at someone who we think has loose morals, thinking they somehow deserve whatever is coming to them because they act or dress a certain way. This book really made me think about my own attitude about this. So thank you, Sarina Bowen for putting this out there.
I feel that this book is really part coming of age and part romance. The romance, I thought, dragged a bit. Bella is one stubborn woman. I wish Rafe had pushed harder with putting his feelings for Bella out there. Other than that, their romance was sweet and satisfying in the end.
Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty contemporary romance from Vermont’s Green Mountains. (Her ancestors began logging and farming Vermont during the 18th century. These were rugged, outdoor types without benefit of a laptop or a good latte. It boggles the mind.) Sarina enjoys skiing, skating and good food. She lives in Windsor County, Vermont, with her family, eight chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.
✯ GIVEAWAY INFO✯
The giveaway is open internationally and ends 05/03/2015.
- (1) An Ivy Years Notebook (It’s super cute)
- (1) eBook box set of Ivy Years #1-3
- (1) Signed paperback of The Year We Fell Down