Release Date: 26 May 2014
She's hiding something big. He's hiding someone small.
Scarlet Crowley's life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.
It's a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet's fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID -- with a newly minted name on it -- she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she's falling for.
Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.
The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won't work anymore. And if they can't learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they've struggled to keep.
New Adult romance, including sexual situations. Suitable for ages 17+
“Stalker,” Bridger said, cocking one ginger eyebrow at me. “I need to hear you play.”
“A song. I want to hear one.”
“Um… maybe. If you can do me a little favor.”
He crossed his arms, and I was momentarily distracted by the curved shape of his forearm muscles. “Favor? What’s this going to cost me?”
“Well… could you stop calling me Stalker?” I knew my objection to his nickname was a little silly. But the past year had made me sensitive to anything even remotely creepy.
His green eyes went wide. “Sure. That’s it?”
“Okay. Now play me a song,” Bridger said.
My hands felt a little sweaty, and I had to wipe them on my jeans. I shouldn’t have been nervous, because I spent a lot of restless hours last year playing the living crap out of my guitar. When nobody at school will speak to you, and there’s a full drama playing inside your house, there is really no better way to spend time than practicing music. But still, I was anxious to impress.
Putting the guitar strap over my head, I checked my tuning. Then I launched in to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Sweet Home Alabama. With its distinctive opening riff, I knew it would sound impressive. And I’d played it a hundred times before.
I kept my eyes on the fret board, not because I needed to look, but because I felt shy. After the first few bars I began to relax, the music pulling me in.
When the song was done, I waited until the last note died away. And then I couldn’t avoid his face any longer. Bridger was looking down at me with big eyes, dark green, the color of the sea before a storm. “Damn, Scarlet,” he whispered. “You amaze me.”
My cheeks did their thing, becoming hot. I busied myself with removing the guitar strap from around my neck. But I fumbled it, twisting my hair in the strap. “Ouch,” I swore.
Bridger reached up to untangle me, and I felt my status tumble quickly from “possibly cool” right down to “dork.” But just as I was beating myself up about it, I noticed something peculiar. After Bridger pushed my tangled hair off my shoulder, his hand stayed there, warming my skin. Then, his fingers cupped my cheek. My gaze flew to his, and I found him studying me.
Ever so slowly, he leaned in. Then his lips barely whispered across mine, and I felt myself break out in goose bumps. But he didn’t kiss me properly. Instead, his lips came to hover over the corner of my mouth, a spot on my body which I’d never guessed was so sensitive. “Is this okay?” he whispered, his lips so close that I could feel the words vibrate on my skin. “I find you a little hard to read.”
Hell yes. But I didn’t trust my voice to answer him. Instead, I turned my face the tiniest distance towards his, hoping he’d understand. My heart slammed against my ribs as his mouth found mine…
My Opinion 5 STARS
** Copy provided by the author for an honest review**
I have serious Bridger crush. Honestly I loved book one in the series, but this book is SOOO much better. Hell that guy is just awesome. Bright, Sporty, does anything to keep his little sister innocent and safe, then he also manages to carve a place in Scarlets heart and manages to keep her sane in her crumbling world.
Scarlet is also a very strong character and you really had to feel for her and the way her family are treating her, along with the residents of her town.
Both characters are dealing with a boat load of issues, making them stronger and wiser than their peers and I loved that we both met new characters and the we still got to see a little of Hartley and Callahan.
You can read this novel as a stand-a-lone book, however to get a better feel of the story and the series I do recommend that you read the first book in the series.
Sarina Bowen makes her home in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where she lives with her family, eight chickens and a large pile of skis and hockey equipment. She is a graduate of Yale University.
Sarina writes the popular Ivy Years series:
#1 The Year We Fell Down (March 2014)
#2 The Year We Hid Away (June 2014)
For Harlequin-e, Sarina Bowen writes the Gravity series:
#1 Coming In From the Cold (May 2014)
#2 Falling From the Sky (December 2014)
Q&A for Sarina Bowen:
Q: Is Harkness College from the Ivy Years series based on Yale?
A: Heck yes! But it’s based on a Yale which has gone soft and fuzzy in my mind, in all the best ways. So I’ve fictionalized it to avoid the errors and inaccuracies that I’d be likely to make if I tried to get everything just right.
Q: How many Ivy Years books do you have planned?
A: Five, if you’re counting the novella. After Bridger’s book, a novella is planned for one of Scarlet’s roommates. (Blond Katie.) The title is Blond Date (Ivy Years 2.5), and it’s funny as heck. Book 3 will be titled The Understatement of the Year, and it’s a heartbreaker. Book 4 is still a secret! You can read a bit more about these titles on The Ivy Years page on my website.
Q: How are the Gravity books different from The Ivy Years?
A: The Gravity books are a heck of a lot steamier than my New Adult titles. And book #1 is angstier, in my opinion. They’re set in Vermont, featuring top-level snowsports athletes. That part is so much fun for me, because we really do have a lot of awesome athletes that live up here. Today my husband spotted Olympic medalist Hannah Kearney in the grocery store. That’s the kind of celeb sightings we have on the Vermont / New Hampshire border.
Q: How did you come to write romance?
A: I’ve always loved novels—all kinds of novels. And my goal is to make the reader do three things when she’s reading my book: cry, laugh, and sigh. Romance is the best vehicle for that goal, and I’ve really enjoyed the ride.