The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen ~ Review & Quote-tastic (@SarinaBowen)

I started this series last year, reading the first two books quickly, and even though it's been a while since I read Scarlett and Bridger’s book, I was excited to dive back into Sarina Bowen's fabulously crafted world!
The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3)
Title: The Understatement of the Year
Author: Sarina Bowen
Narrators: Teddy Hamilton & Christian Fox
Series: The Ivy Years #3
Genre: Sports Romance, M/M
Published: June 20th 2016

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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 preference 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.

It's been a while since I read the first two books in the Ivy League series, and why not jump straight back in with a M/M romance!! I actually haven't read a M/M before, but I was quite surprised as to how much I enjoyed it. The way one of the guys acted was a bit of a surprise for me. But nevertheless, it was a sweet and intense sports romance that had me hooked until the final page.

Michael Graham and John Rikker (Graham and Rikker) were close friends at high school. They had a strong connection and gave into their feelings until an incident occurred and Rikker was sent away. Fast forward five years and Rikker walks back into Graham's locker room after a controversial transfer.

I loved how open and honest Rikker was, although he was a bit of a loner as he didn't have any friends at this new college. The team learned early on what his sexual preferences were, and even though most of them treated him the same, there were others that didn't handle it so well. It surprised me the way that Graham reacted having Rikker around again. I could see that he was struggling with what happened in the past, his feelings towards Rikker, and his public appearance.

I liked seeing Graham and Rikker together, although it took a while before they crossed those lines. Graham's feelings were getting stronger and Rikker couldn't deny his first love. They were sweet and caring when they were together, but in public they hardly interacted.

It still boggles me the way some people see same sex relationships and that people go to extremes to keep their straight lifestyle, regardless of who they love, I just wanted Graham to forgave himself and own who he was.

I can see why people are addicted to M/M romances. They have their own set of challenges but are just as intense and sexy as any other read I would pick up. I am continuing to love this world that Sarina Bowen has created, and even listening to the book was remarkable too. Teddy Hamilton & Christian Fox delivered both characters superbly and I was pulled into the story by their strong voices. I am keen to get my hands on Bella's story next!

I'm sharing a couple of teasers today so you can get a feel of Graham and Rikker's connection and the passion that they have for one another.

“Rik?”
It took me a second to answer, because I was swallowing tequila. “Yeah?” I stood up to put my glass onto the desk beside his.
Before I could retreat again to my corner, he moved into my space. When his big hand landed at the side of my neck, I quit breathing. Time slammed to a halt for a second, until I realized that he was examining the place under my jaw where Eros had slashed me with his stick.
“How bad does it look?” I whispered, just to say something normal.
But Graham wasn’t even listening. He dropped his hand, only to put it on my bare waist. And then his mouth dipped down to graze the juncture between my neck and my shoulder. A pair of soft, moist lips began to nibble at my skin.

Kindle Page 117


“Rik,” he whispered. “I had fun tonight.”
“Me too, G.”
He moved then, hitching across the seat to reach me. “One more,” he breathed. “For old time’s sake.” Then he turned my face toward his, capturing my mouth in a kiss.

Kindle Page 156

Hosted by Anna @ Herding Cats & Burning Soup

Sarina BowenSarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.





Other reviews featuring Sarina Bowen

The Ivy Years series
True North series

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