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 sexual orientation 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.
Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.
Sarina Bowen's Ivy Years is my favorite New Adult series of all-time! -- Elle Kennedy, New York Times bestselling author of The Deal
"It's so well done that I just want to read it over and over again." - Mandi Schreiner of Smexy Books
"Sarina Bowen serves up yet another gut-wrenching story that left me limp at the end with relief that these two found their happily ever after." - Amy Jo Cousins, author of Off Campus
"A beautiful love story about self-acceptance. I laughed, I swooned, and I shed a view tears. This is a must read." - Megan Erickson, author of Strong Signal
Customer ReviewsSee All
Very well written
Very well written. I enjoyed this book from the first page till the last. I liked it was set in a hockey background, since I love hockey. I learned a lot from this book on the world out there. A must read if you have a open mind.
hot Hot HOT!
First of all, I’d like to apologize because I was supposed to have written this review a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been sick for 3 weeks now. I’m feeling much better, so I’m gonna try to catch up with all the reviews I have to write.
Warning: Unlike Sarina’s other books, this one tells us the story of two guys. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, I suggest you stop reading this review. However, I must say that Rikker and Graham’s story is worth reading.
Now, before starting my review, I have to add that despite the fact that this story is “not made for vaginas”, it’s hot Hot HOT!
Graham is everything a lady’s man should be. He’s rough, he’s tough, he has girls crazy for him, he plays the field, he plays to win both on the ice and in bed (or so he thinks). The thing he doesn’t have is peace in his heart. He’s constantly afraid of getting caught with his pants down (ha! Pun intended). He’s so wrapped in his own lie that the only way out is to burn down… But this could also set him free!
Rikker is new at Harkness. What is not new is how some people look at him, as if being gay is some sort of disease or something. But, that’s ok… He’s “out”, so he’s used to it by now. Another thing that is not new are his feelings for one of Harkness players. 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.
Rikker: The scars on my face had long since healed, and the broken ribs were a distant memory. I’d moved on in so many ways. Crossing that crowded room, I’d only gotten a glimpse of him. But a glance was enough to make me understand just how hard this was going to be. Because you never really get over your first love, right?
This is how the story started… At least for me. When I read this part my heart broke in so many little pieces… I don’t even know how to write this review without getting emotional (but I’m gonna do my best ;-) )
As I said, I read this part and got so so sad for Rikker… It must have been really hard for him to be broken both physically and emotionally… And now having to be teammates with the person responsible for it! Then, I got angry. Jesus, I wanted to kill Graham, and I didn’t even know what had happened, but still! He left Rikker behind somehow…
Later, I got to know what really happened and my heart broke again… Really!!! Saying that they had (and still do) a hard time while growing up is, as the title of the book suggest, the Understatement of the Year. The one thing that appeased my heart and mind is how Rikker’s life took a 180 after the thing that happened in the quote above. However, Graham… Poor Graham. I think I felt more sorry for him than for Rikker, because Rikker got to live after the “incident”, but Graham lost his boyfriend, was always in fear of other people finding out he was gay, and half lived, pretending he was straight (the key word here is “pretending”).
Now, let me tell you something: when they finally got back together, it got good. Really really goooooood.
Then Graham raised his head, his tongue landing at my ear. When he sucked my earlobe into his mouth, I let out a gasp. “Do I still do it for you?” he whispered.
Oh! There are some great supporting characters too!!!
1) There’s Skippy, somebody from Rikker’s past, but still present. He has a great spirit and even funnier personality. I wish more people were like him!
2) Rikker’s grandma, the most lovely and supportive person in this whole book. She’s so sweet and helpful, but also super tough! It made me miss my own grandma.
3) The Last person that HAS to be in this list is Bella. She’s a bit too much and obvious at the beginning, but she’s also the type of friend we all need: funny, helpful and completely loyal. Please tell me she’s gonna get her own book. She so deserves it!
Finally, to get sweet (I promise I won’t take much more of your time):
“Does this mean tonight isn’t just a one time thing?” Graham buried his face in my neck. “It’s always been you for me. Always.”
Owwwww…. That’s how I know I’m gonna die alone =p
This book is a totally worth reading!!! It’s really great and is tied in 1st place (with The Year We Hid Away) in my heart! Hey! Stop reading this review now! You already know how amazingly awesome it is! Go get the book to see it for yourself!!!
PS:As always, I need to write to the author too:
Dear Sarina Bowen,
Do you have any idea how great your books are? No? Well, let me tell you something: You’re in big trouble now! WHAT??? Well, it’s not my fault you write amazing stories with even more amazing characters (and I’m not only talking about the main characters. All of them are great – even the ones you want to punch in the middle of the face). Now, I WANT MORE BOOKS! No, no… 3 novels and 1 novella are not enough. You’re gonna have to keep writing because I’m addicted to the Ivy Years series. I don’t care… I need more books! WE need more books (yes, I’m talking on behalf of all your fans).
Your biggest fan!!!
This book is everything and more!
Whoa, I loved this book so much, more than I expected I would, especially since this is not a genre I read often. So far I've really liked all the books in the Ivy Years series (this is book 3), but this one by far has been my favorite. As a heads up this is an M/M book, if this is not your thing look away, but if you have an open mind and are up for a beautiful love story then this book is it. I promise you, you will absolutely fall in love with Rikker and Graham. Hola Juan! Hola Miguel! Kudos to Sarina Bowen for stepping out of the box and adding this story in the series. Off to read book 4 The Shameless Hour!