quotes Jennifer likes


"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid."— Jane Austen

Friday, November 28, 2014

REVIEW: "The Understatement of the Year" by Sarina Bowen


The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3)
The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen
(The Ivy Years #3)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 17+ (Language, Sensuality)
New Adult/Male-Male -- Contemporary

Rennie Road Books -- Published in October 2014
Ebook, 300 pages
Read in November 2014
Purchased from Amazon

THEMES
Dual Points of View, Sports

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.



FIRST LINE
"In all my favorite movies, when something bad was going to happen, the protagonist usually sensed it."

MY THOUGHTS
Sarina Bowen is definitely one of my favorite finds this year.  I have fallen in love with her NA romances and she really seals the deal with this emotional male/male love story.  The Understatement of the Year continues the series story line of focusing on the Harkness College ice hockey team.

Michael Graham's life takes a drastic turn when his high school best friend (and former boyfriend) transfers to Harkness.  Graham has kept his sexuality a secret from everyone except for John Rikker and he fears that everything will be revealed since Rikker is known for being an out gay athlete.  These two guys have some major chemistry as well as baggage to deal with before they can get their happily ever after.

I really liked the way that Sarina Bowen approached this story.  She allows readers to really understand both Rikker and Graham and their alternate reactions to the attack that shattered their friendship so long ago.  I admired Rikker for his strength in being known as a trailblazer even though he got outed accidentally.  And I really felt for Graham whose entire being is focused on making sure no one knows that he is gay.  

Graham and Rikker were a great couple, but they had to work for their happy ending.  I liked how they began their friendship again and just learned more about each other.  There were definitely moments when I became frustrated with Graham's inability to really go for it with Rikker, but those instances showed how deeply he hid his true feelings.  While it was a long, hard road, the resolution was amazingly sweet and emotional.

The Understatement of the Year was another very successful installment in this series.  I love Sarina Bowen's approach to the New Adult genre and admire that she isn't afraid to take risks in her writing.  I definitely am excited to read more of her books especially if Graham and Rikker's student manager, Bella, gets her own story.


4.5 STARS

STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

FAVORITE QUOTE
"Getting along together was never the problem with you and me," he said. "We’re both easy. It’s just the rest of the world that’s hard."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. The Year We Fell Down
2. The Year We Hid Away
2.5. Blonde Date
3. The Understatement of the Year
4.  The Shameless Hour (Coming 2015)

OTHER REVIEWS
The Fiction Vixen (A)
Dear Author (B+)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

THROWBACK THURSDAY-HISTORICAL ROMANCE EDITION (54)

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is a new feature hosted by Buried Under Romance and Love Saves the World.

What is Throwback Thursday: Historical Romance Edition?
Traditionally, Throwback Thursday celebrates nostalgia, asking participants to post a personal photo or an image from their past -- usually from 5 to 10 years ago. There are a lot of book blogs that also do a book-related Throwback Thursday.  Since Tin and Mary C. are unapologetic lovers of historical romances, they've decided to focus on this beloved genre.

Here are the rules:
1. It must be posted on a Thursday.
2. It must be a historical romance novel published before October 2008.

THIS WEEK I AM FEATURING...

The Texan's Wager (Wife Lottery, #1)
The Texan's Wager (Wife Lottery #1) by Jodi Thomas
Originally Published in October 2002

Thrown off a wagon train with two other women and trying to avoid jail for a murder they committed, Bailee Moore agrees to enter a "wife lottery"--a ploy concocted by the Cedar Point sheriff to secure wives for the men in the small Texas town.

For the sensible Bailee, however, marrying Carter McKoy is like exchanging one life sentence for another--especially since her new husband hasn't even seen fit to utter a single word in her presence. But still, she can't help thinking that something about this strong, silent farmer could be the key to leaving her troubled past behind...and making a worthy wager with her heart.

*******************
I really enjoy western-themed romances even though I don't get to read them very often.  This book introduced me to Jodi Thomas and it was a fabulous beginning.  Carter's journey still makes me teary-eyed.  I am always going to root for the troubled beta hero.  Bailee is a decent heroine who tries to understand Carter's quirks and gets the happy ending she deserves.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

2015 MYTHOLOGY READING CHALLENGE: Sign-Up Post


Check out the introductory post at Lili Lost in a Book.

The Rules:
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2015 - December 31, 2015. You can sign up at any time.
  • The book does not need to be released in 2015, but it does need to be read in 2015. Any books read before or after 2015 will not count toward this challenge. ARCs are okay.
  • Crossovers from other Reading Challenges are also okay!
  • You don't need to pick your books ahead of time, but you can if you want to!
  • You do, however, need to pick a level (see below). Keep in mind that you can move UP in the levels, but not DOWN, 'kay? ;)
  • The books read must have a prominent mythology theme. They can be Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Norse... you get the idea.
  • The books can be YA, MG, adult... pretty much anything!
  • Books can be any format (e-book, audio, print).
  • You do not need to have a blog to participate. You can link up using your Goodreads account, Library Thing or any other platform.
  • And the most important rule of all, HAVE FUN! :D
The Levels:
  • Demigod Level: 1-5
  • God Level: 6-10
  • Titan Level: 11-20
  • Monster Level: 21+
 
**************
I am going to try for the TITAN LEVEL (11-20 mythology-themed books)
  1. The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan (MG)
  2. The House of Hades by Rick Riordan (MG)
  3. The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan (MG)
  4. The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (MG)
  5. The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan (MG)
  6. The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan (MG)
  7. The Son of Sobek by Rick Riordan (MG)
  8. The Staff of Serapis by Rick Riordan (MG)
  9. The Crown of Ptolemy by Rick Riordan (MG)
  10. The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan (MG)
  11. Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout (YA)
  12. Sentinel by Jennifer L. Armentrout (YA)
  13. The Return by Jennifer L. Armentrout (NA)
  14. The Eternity Key by Bree Despain (YA)
  15. Tricked by Kevin Hearne (UF)
  16. Trapped by Kevin Hearne (UF)
  17. Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon (PNR)
  18. Dragonbane by Sherrilyn Kenyon (PNR)
  19. The Darkest Craving by Gena Showalter (PNR)
  20. The Darkest Touch by Gena Showalter (PNR)