Thursday, May 12, 2016
New Adult/Contemporary Romance
The Ivy Years/Book 4
Rennie Roads Books/April 12, 2015
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.
*Apologies. I planned to post this review before posting the review for book 5, The Fifteenth Minute, which I posted yesterday. This is what happens when you have numerous reviews partially written. You don't always finish them in the right order. :)
When you think of a hero, you don't usually think of a virgin. When you think of a heroine, you don't usually think of a promiscuous woman. But that is what the reader is given in The Shameless Hour. In some cases, this set-up might not work. Sarina Bowen not only writes believable characters but creates a plausible relationship.
Bella is the team manager of the Harkness hockey team which means she spend a lot of time around guys. Bella is comfortable being around the guys and it shows. It's safe to say she has far more male friends than female, in fact, she doesn't really have any true female friends, just some acquaintances. Most of the females tend to be either intimidated by Bella's confidence or jealous of her access to the hockey players. Whichever it is, Bella seems to have accepted her position in a world dominated by males.
I was surprised at how much I liked Bella. Admittedly, I thought I might have difficulty seeing past her promiscuity. She honestly doesn't see anything wrong with having sex simply for the sake of having sex. No lasting attachment necessary, just physical gratification for a short period of time - like an hour or two. The truth is, Bella is lonely. She seems to have all of these friends but in reality, there isn't anyone whom she can confide in. At one point, there was someone she felt close to, not only physically but emotionally, but she was terribly hurt and now trust is something she doesn't give out. I felt genuine empathy for Bella, which surprised me.
Rafe is perfect! This guy has it all going for him. A loving mom, a wonderful extended family, great soccer player, handsome and an all around nice guy. He also still has his V card when the story begins but Rafe has a plan to change that status. There's a saying that goes something like, "The Fates laugh when we make plans." Poor Rafe because the Fates must have really had it in for him. All his plans come crashing down in the most terrible way possible. Except no one died so it could have been worse. You can't help but feel sorry for this guy. He's tried to do the right thing and in doing so, gets screwed but not in a good way. But a little time, a bottle of wine and a desirable woman can make all the difference in the world. And in the end, Rafe really did ended up with the finest outcome.
The secondary characters are some familiar faces if you've been reading the series as well as some new faces. Rafe's roommates are the ideal foil for his perfection. And while Bella doesn't have a roommate, she does share a bathroom with an intriguing character. Harkness College creates its own presence with the dorms, dining halls, frat houses, library and hockey rink producing emotional reactions from the characters. It has all the aspects of a small town, both the good and bad.
The Shameless Hour was another welcomed addition to what has become a favorite series.
The Ivy Series ~
The Year We Fell Down
The Year We Ran Away
Blonde Date (novella)
The Understatement of the Year
The Shameless Hour
The Fifteenth Minute