Sarina Bowen’s Ivy Years is my favorite New Adult series of all-time!”
— Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of The Deal
“A love story brimming with emotion and tenderness. Read it and fall in love like I did.”
— Kristen Callihan, USA Today bestselling author of The Hook Up
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.
I broke the rules – and it was totally worth it. I confess, I read The Fifteenth Minute out of order – as a standalone. It worked like a charm, because even without knowing the secondary characters, this book was perfect. It had everything I look for in a book of this genre: it was tender, funny, sexy, passionate, and sweet, with enough breath-taking, panty-melting AND heart-wrenching moments to satisfy any fan of the new adult/sports romance genre.
It’s been a long time since I first went to college, but this story evoked memories of the experience. I could immediately relate to the sense of awkwardness, the desire to fit in, the need to define yourself apart from your family, to succeed, to have fun, to make lasting friendships, and to be swept off your feet by your first ‘real’ love. Lianne and DJ have so much going for them, but so many obstacles to overcome, that all the reader can do is hope that they are strong enough to fight for themselves and for each other, and see how the ultimate, inevitable conflict plays out.
The characters are so well-developed and the story is so well written, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll be hooked. You’ll want more. That’s the very definition of a great read.
If you need a sweet, funny, romantic, sexy read with just enough emotional suspense to keep you hanging on every word, pick up The Fifteenth Minute today. And if you haven’t read the rest of the series yet, don’t let it stop you. The beauty of the series is you won’t be lost — you’ll be captivated enough to one-click books 1 – 4 while still under the spell of The Fifteenth Minute.
Now it’s time to go back and catch up with the other books in the Ivy Years series – and I already know I’ll love them. I can’t wait to put the rest of the pieces together, to enjoy the stories of the other characters, because I’m sure it will make me love The Fifteenth Minute all the more. It will also give me a great excuse to read it again.
I lean out of bed just far enough to grab the FedEx envelope that arrived yesterday afternoon. When I tear it open, a fat script tumbles onto the quilt.
Nightfall. Screenplay by Roland Sebring. Based on the novel by Helen Botts.
I wondered what Helen Botts will think about Princess Vindi showing some skin. If the scene they’ve written is truly awful, I could appeal to her. I’ve met Helen Botts, and she’s a lovely silver-haired librarian type, who now drives a Bentley. I suppose if Helen Botts doesn’t like the movie, she can weep into her royalty statement.
Let the skimming commence. They’ve opened the film at the castle gates. Lucifer has found a way to appear like a storm cloud over the city, terrifying the children.
Yada yada yada.
Princess Vindi’s first line is on page eleven. “I am not interested in your excuses, Lord Shelter. The time for excuses has passed.”
Sigh. It could be worse. In fact, I’m sure it gets worse. I keep flipping.
The sex scene is on page 132.
They grope, caress, moan and fondle. Vindi’s robe slides off her velvet breast. Valdor ducks his head to catch the pink teat carefully in his fangs. The camera pans downward to reveal clothing falling to the floor. With a heated rush of sexual urgency, Vindi mounts Valdor. The soundtrack rises with the keening writhings of intercourse. Valdor’s shouts are increasingly loud. The camera pans Vindi’s milky white, heaving bosom as she screams in consummation. Cut to Vindi’s shuddering face. Valdor moans deliciously, pulling Vindi softly into his embrace.
I let out a shriek.
A few seconds later Bella comes tearing through the door, mouth gaping. Her eyes skate around the room until she finds me in my bed. “What is it? A spider?” She’s wearing a Harkness Soccer T-shirt and her bathrobe.
I fall back onto my pillow. “There’s no spider, Bella. I wish that was the problem.”
“What is it then?
Words can’t do the problem justice, so I just hand the script over. Her eyes scan the page, and I know exactly when she’s found the object of my horror. Because she bursts out laughing.
“Stop,” I whine. “It wouldn’t be funny if it was you.”
“Oh, honey,” she giggles. “I’m sorry. Do you really have a velvet breast?”
I throw my stuffed bear at her. “You mock my pain. I can’t shoot a sex scene. And I really can’t shoot a sex scene with Kevin Mung.”
She cocks an eyebrow. “Why doesn’t that boy take a screen name? He’s pretty to look at. But I always think of mung beans.”
“Stay on topic.” I grab the script from Bella. “This is ten times worse than I thought it could be.” I feel sick just imagining a roomful of leering cameramen, and me with no clothes.
And Kevin. Shoot me.
“Let’s break down the problem.” Bella sits on the bed. “Is it the boob shot? Is it the scream upon consummation? Is it the mounting? Is it the awful, awful writing?”
“It’s… all of the above!”
About the Author
The Ivy Years is her college hockey series. Centered around the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college, The Year We Fell Down began breaking hearts in March, 2014. There are three novels and a novella in the series so far. See http://www.sarinabowen.com/TheIvyYears for updates.
HIM is a bestselling sexy, sporty hockey LGBT novel co-written with Elle Kennedy.
For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.
Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary. According to her website, she is also askier, hockey fan, drinker of bubbly wine, finder of lost objects.
She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com
Social Media Links
Lianne Challice is chatting me up.
As I fetch the pizza I ordered from the window, I try to decide whether or not I’m going insane. Maybe all the stress in my life has finally cracked me.
But no. When I deposit the pie on a table, her big eyes cut from the jukebox over to me, before darting away again. She is so freaking cute and so feminine that it’s making me crazy. Her mouth is like a little red candy that I’m dying to taste. And who has teeth that straight? She intimidates the fuck out of me, to be honest.
I make another trip to the pizza counter for paper plates and napkins. Usually we just grab slices off the tray like animals. But tonight I’m trying to be classy. The idea makes me snicker to myself. As if. Impressing Lianne Challice isn’t something I’m capable of. But I’m having fun trying. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of fun in this year for me. So that’s something.
Years from now I’ll look back on this night and laugh. Guys, did I ever tell you about the time I chatted up a movie star? I mean, my father is still telling people about the time he sat one table over from Tina Fey at Nobu.
Lianne sneaks another glance in my direction and I beckon to her. “Have a slice?” If she wants one, now is the time. In a minute my brother and his teammates will fall on the pizza like seagulls.
“Thank you. I guess I should. I didn’t make it to the dining hall tonight.”
“Your enthusiasm for Capri’s pizza overwhelms me,” I tease. “Aren’t you a fan?”
She slides a slice onto a paper plate, considering the question. “Pizza is like a nineties hit. Pretty good, especially if that’s all there is and you’re hungry.”
My own slice stops halfway to my mouth and I laugh. “Seriously?”
“I don’t know if we can be friends,” I say before taking a bite.
“Because I don’t love pizza?”
I shake my head. “Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s, like, a basic human desire.” I cram a bite into my mouth to prove my point. Smooth, right?
She bites her bottom lip, and I realize I’d rather have that for dinner. “It’s okay. But it’s mostly just something you eat when you’re in a hurry or need to feed a crowd on the cheap.”
“Ah, I see,” I say when I can speak again. “The problem is that you haven’t had any great pizza. You’re a freshman, right? You don’t know all the glory that is Harkness pizza. Have you been to Gino’s Apizza?”
Lianne shakes her head. “I don’t think so.”
“She doesn’t think so,” I scoff. “Baby, if you’d had great pizza, you’d remember.” And now I sound like a real perv, but Lianne Challice is smiling at me, watching me with her big doe eyes, and I feel it like a drug. “They make everything from scratch. Even the sausage. We’ll go together, so I can prove my point.”
Annnd I think I just asked a movie star out on a date. Here comes the crash and burn.
First her eyes widen just a smidge. Then two pink spots appear on her face, one on either cheekbone. “Well, it would be a shame to live in this town and never know its true pizza greatness.”
I replay that sentence in my head and realize that she didn’t turn me down. “True,” I agree. “Do you think Thursday would be a night to experience pizza Nirvana?” I’m overselling the hell out of Gino’s now, but it’s working for me.
She gives me a serious frown, and I’m hoping she’s not busy on Thursday. Because I have back-to-back hockey games to DJ on Friday and Saturday. “Thursday it is. I shall prepare to be amazed.”
The Ivy Years Series
Life at the elite Harkness College is brought to you in four tales, each one sexier and more heartbreaking than the last. Contains: hockey hotties, snarky T-shirts, a slow-burn love affair, a liar (with reasons,) a virgin (with reasons,) and one adorkable basketball player.
Book 1: The Year We Fell Down
The sport she loves is out of reach. The boy she loves has someone else.
Corey was supposed to start college as a member of the women’s ice hockey team. Instead, she’ll spend it in a wheelchair. The only upside? Her too-delicious-to-be-real neighbor across the hall.
Book 2: The Year We Hid Away
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Dorm rooms are supposed to be for sleeping, studying, and partying. Not for hiding your eight-year-old sister.
Novella: Blonde Date
A blind date. A nervous sorority girl. A mean-spirited fraternity prank. What could go wrong?
Book 3: The Understatement of the Year
What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.
Michael Graham will never tell anyone the truth about himself. Too bad his past walks right into the locker room on the first day of hockey practice.