I’m in love with a new adult series. I know – I never thought I’d say those words. I actually scrunch up my nose and shake my head when someone tells me to read a new adult series. Usually because the new adults I’ve tried are filled with the most ridiculous angst and I feel old reading them (although I will say, there is a reference to the hero’s mom watching Melrose Place when she was pregnant with him that made me feel old. But I’ll deal.)
But I’m in love with this series (not to be a total spaz, but I’m also totally in love with this new adult book just released yesterday, but we’ll talk about that one another day. But seriously it’s amazing.)
Anyway! The Year We Fell Down ($.99 right now!) and The Year We Hid Away take place at Harkness college. Each book has a new hero and heroine, but the characters do recur in supporting roles. Besides the protagonists being of college age, they all share a love a hockey. Actually, they all play hockey (both hero and heroines) but they can’t play in college for all different reasons.
In, The Year We Fell Down, Corey starts college paralyzed in a wheelchair. A star hockey player in high school, an injury while playing hockey could mean she will never walk again. Her spirit is strong though. Sometimes the embarrassment of asking for help or people looking at her weighs on her, but getting out of her extremely doting and overprotective parent’s house helps everything greatly. She finds a great roommate and is eager to start her ‘new’ life. It’s at Harkness where she meets Adam Hartley. Hartley is also a hockey star but with a broken leg. They bond over their struggles to get to class and get lunch and become friends. Now let me just say – Hartley does have a girlfriend to start this book, and things do happen between him and Corey before this girlfriend is officially let go. If you are extremely sensitive to cheating, this may get you going, but I think it all plays out quite well. I don’t like cheating at all in my books but this never rubbed me the wrong way (parts were definitely rubbing in the book though!) While it took me a chapter or two to get into this one, I ended up loving it. Hartley is a great hero – sweet, supportive, and sexy as hell. I loved his attitude and the way he flirts and gives Corey a hard time through the entire book. Corey is so strong and stubborn and it’s hard not to root for these two to get together.
Then I picked up The Year We Hid Away and I could barely put my kindle down. This book features Adam’s best friend Bridger and a new character is introduced as the heroine. Shannon Ellison’s senior year of high school falls apart when her father, the local hockey coach, is accused of sexually molesting a boy (who took his own life and left a note). When more boys start coming out of the woodwork accusing her father, Shannon is stunned. Never once having an inkling her father could be capable of this, she wants to believe him when he says he is innocent but with all of the accusations it’s hard. Having media trucks in your front yard 24/7 and a mother who is all about appearances is even harder. So when it’s time to leave for school, she legally changes her name to Scarlet and gets the hell out of town, desperate for a new start.
Bridger has his own drama. His drug addicted mother can’t safely care for his eight year old sister anymore and he decides to take care of her – in his dorm room. Bridger is on full scholarship and has not other option until he can finish school. Terrified of someone finding out he is housing his sister and getting social services involved, he is extremely cautious. Bridger meets Scarlet in their first period class and they hit it off as friends fast. There is definite chemistry between them but they hesitate because they are both harboring such dark, and scary secrets. The trial is getting ready to start for Scarlet’s dad and the pressure is almost too much for her to take. But they finally trust one another to expose their secrets. Meanwhile, their romance heats up and it’s super sexy.
I know this sounds super heavy, and the topics surely are. But the author weaves in a romance and even humor so the reader does not get dragged down. Both Bridger and Scarlet can make each other laugh and try to find the good in each day. I just adored them both and the conflict kept me completely riveted.
And it’s so, so sexy. As they pass notes in their music class:
Bridger swiped my notebook off my lap. When he gave it back, the margin read: “my dissonance craves your consonance.”
I drew an arrow pointing at his words, writing “DORK” under it. When I angled the notebook toward him, I heard him laugh. He snatched my notebook again, scribbled something and then handed it back.
Make love to me. Right now, it read.
Just reading it, my face and neck heated.
Beside me, Bridger flipped his notebook closed. He got up, hefted his backpack and walked out of the lecture hall.
And you guys – they totally do it.
So yes these are angsty new adults, but they are also funny, sweet, super sexy, and so well done. Sarina Bowen has a great voice.
Book three, The Understatement of the Year releases in October and it’s a male/male. I’m very excited – I’ve heard from a few that have already read it that it’s damn good. I’ll be posting a review at Smexy near release date. Until then, read these two!