Author: Sarina Bowen
Title: "The shameless hour"
Book 4 in series The ivy years
Main characters: Rafael "Rafe" Santiago and Isabelle "Bella" Hall
This book, as all others in this series, was a pleasure to read... :) not only I love the characters from each story, there are always some really fun secondary characters who only add to the awesomeness that is this series... :) and to top that, Sarina Bowen has a really great style of writing, because each and every time, I have a really big problem with putting down her books when I have to go to sleep at night... I kid you not... it's always like "just one more chapter... no, it's already past midnight, go to sleep.... but... no, go to sleep... fine..." ;) but let's dive into this particular one with more details :) and as always, even though it's part of a series, and I always encourage you to read books in order for a little more depth and knowledge of the characters, you can read this as a standalone, cause all the informations that you need are in this book :)
Bella is a senior, a team manager for the hockey men team and just a super fun character... I read some opinions that people didn't like her, but I don't get that... :) I absolutely loved how fun, open and confident she is :) she likes sex and she doesn't hide that about her... and she shouldn't :) it's not like she cheats on her boyfriend or goes after guys that are taken or lies and tricks anyone... I love how honest she is... :) Rafe on the other hand is two years younger than her and has a totally different attitude... :) he's actually a virgin at the start of the book... he was raised by a single mother and her extended family who all run a dominican restaurant :) and it's not that he actively avoids sex... for him it's just something more... not just a hook up but he needs it to mean more... like in a relationship... :) he's absolutely charming, and sweet, and sexy as hell and I wanted to reach into the book and pull him out of there so I could have him all to myself... ;) especially since he has an accent and throws spanish words into conversations... <sigh> ;) the fact that I wouldn't understand a word, is not a problem to me... :)
Besides the main characters, there are some familiar, as well as some new, faces to read about ;) we have guys from the hockey team, but mostly Graham and Rikker from the previous book :) and it's no surprise, since she befriended Rikker when he transferred and she has a history with Graham... this sort of friends-with-benefits-but-with-a-bit-of-a-crush-on-her-side-for-him sort of a history... and since Graham is gay and very happy now with Rikker it's hard to stay mad at your friend, when you see him in such a great place in life, but at the same time it's not easy to get over some feelings... and about those new faces... we meet Lianne, a freshman :) she's a famous actress who live across the hall from Bella :) at first they definitely do not get along, but it all change in time... :) and I'm very happy that her book is next and already out :)
Now about that main couple again... it all starts between them with a very weird day that leads to an unintentional hook up... and when I mean weird I'm talking about the fact that it's his birthday and he planned to loose his V-card with his girlfriend (who's also a virgin) but instead of that, he finds out that she cheated on him and slept with someone else so they broke up... so the whole thing with Bella is... well, it's not a big deal for her but it's a true shocker for him... that event leads to a whole lot of misunderstanding when he tries to explain... so there's some tension between them at the beginning... it's all forgotten after some very nasty stuff happens to Bella... it's some very degrading and humiliating things involving markers and more... nothing physically harmful, but it's absolutely awful nonetheless... I don't want to go into too many details, so let's just leave it at that, but it's much more complicated and you need to read about it to fully understand it... he really helps her get back on her feet after that... very relentlessly I have to add... :) from that, it slowly grows into something more... and that's also when she befriends Lianne, since she starts to spend a lot of time in her own room... and who knew what was hiding in that tiny actress... :) with every scene I loved her more... :)
I have to congratulate Sarina Bowen on her amazing ability to write about difficult things... in each and every book there are some topics that actually makes you think... and it's not written in this judgemental tone, but it's flawelessly woven into the story and makes you think about it without even realizing what you're doing :) the same thing happened this time :) I know that some people didn't like Bella, but I don't get it... I loved her :) she was open and honest and didn't do anything wrong... and yet she was slut-shamed only because she chose to slept with more guys than your statistical student? how would you even decide what number is too many... not to mention that if the situation was reversed and it would be a guy, we wouldn't have that problem at all... cause in that case, even if the term "man whore" would be tossed around, it would be with a smile on the face, more as a joke that an insult... and yet she's called some derogatory names... I don't get it... me, personally, I'm more like Rafe... but I have no problem with people having different approach to sex and relationships... but I do appreciate how in this book we have a reversed situation... because we are all used to this virginal-heroine-and-a-guy-with-more-experience situations... it's a true delight to read a book where those roles are reversed... :) here, we have a virgin hero and heroine with a lot more experience :)
Again, Sarina Bowen gave me a great story, some very loveable characters and topics to think about, all in one, fantastically written story :) and it has two of my favourite things in a book... a guy with an accent... I mean come on... I can't be the only one who finds that hot... ;) and also chapters from both points of view... :) and I loved those glimpses into the minds of Rafe and Bella :) so if you're looking for some NA romances that are also smart, funny and give you something more than just the love story, look no further and dive into this series :) as I said before, they can all be read as standalones so you can choose the one that interests you the most :)
I have for you just a few quotes today... I wanted to find more, but the best ones were too spoilerific, so you just have to read the book to see them for yourself ;) but don't worry... there is a lot more fun where this few came from ;)
Part of a conversation between Rafe and Bella and the beginning, when he tells her about his ex :)
"'Why? Who was he?'
'Never met him before. But some rich dude in a fancy suit. Your basic nightmare.'
I let out a hoot of laughter. 'Rafe? Did you just quote <When Harry met Sally> to me?'
His gaze slid into mine, and a slow smile began to overtake his face. 'I might have. My mom really likes the chick flicks.'
Aw. 'And a good son watches them with his mother once in a while, right? Just to be nice. Not because they're funny as hell.'
His smile grew, and I felt more than a flutter. Because that smile? It was blindingly hot.
'That's right. Just doing my duty.'"
When Rafe helps Bella get back on fer feet... literally ;)
"'We don't have to talk. But you still have to get up.'
'Yes. We're going running.'
'What?' I was confused enough to turn my head again so I could see his face.
'Running,' he repeated. 'That's when you put shoes on and move your feet real fast, transporting yourself from one spot to another.'"
How Bella describes Rafe in her head ;)
"He was the whole package. Sexy. Fun. Sexy. Kind. Loving. Sexy. Did I mention sexy?"