She's not looking for a hero. He's not looking for a hookup.
For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men's hockey team, sex is a second language. She's used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don't (often) bother her. So she can't understand why her smoking-hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there's something in those espresso eyes that makes her second-guess herself.
Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor - but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright nasty fraternity stunt, it's Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.
Bella doesn't want Rafe's help, and she's through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can't be extinguished.
©2015 Sarina Bowen (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Love this book and this entire series! I wasn't expecting Bella's book to be so serious but it was perfect. Bella and Rafe make perfect sense to me. They are so opposite but that is what works for them. This book hot a lot of emotions for me. Sarina Bowen has moved up to a must buy author for me. If you haven't tried her books yet, you really should!
Really great narration too.
"A pretty good story"
Loved Raf and at times I did like Bella but sometimes this book felt kinda white feminist-y. Because I listened to the audiobook I'm mostly judging my review based off the narration read to me. The narrators were pretty great aside from when they spoke words in spanish. I pretty much cringed every time they said words in spanish because they were spoken just like a person with 3rd grade knowledge of spanish. Speaking of the spanish, a lot of it was incorrectly written and since Raf was Dominican, I was sort of hoping for Dominican Spanish cuz I mean, they were from NYC, I can't imagine him speaking spanish all textbook like, but alas, the author didn't recruit any native spanish speakers otherwise she would have known that. Like I said, I loved Raf regardless of the lack of research she put in to make him authentically Dominicano. He was a virgin when he met Bella and he was so sweet and a nice change from the man-whores I read in books. He actually wanted a relationship and was there for Bella through the thick and thin.
I think my biggest disconnect was the fact that it took Bella and Raf so long to get together so it didn't really feel like a romance until the last 30%. They were literally just friends(not even friends with benefits) until the 70% mark. For that reason I put the book down several times because I was always waiting for something to happen between them and yet, nada! I will say that the book did a decent job at unveiling the ugliness of slut shaming but I think with Bella being a girl with few girlfriends, it sort of made her that type of girl who doesn't feel like she gets along with other girls. But I liked that Bella was a girl in charge of her own sexuality and wasn't a darn virgin like most girls in NA romances. I get so tired of the silly virgin. It was nice that the author switched the roles of the guy and the girl. The good boy and the bad girl. I wished I read more books with that combination.
So why a 3? Like I said the book was sort of white feminist-y at times. Here comes this working class Latin kid who is in awe of this pretty, blonde, rich white girl who pretty much has the world in her hands. And then she has a latina maid which Raf didn't even blink an eye at. It just made me uncomfortable to see all the PoC in this book aiding the white girl with her giving so little in return. Overall, I enjoyed it though. Not sure if I'd listen to the rest in the series though. I picked this one up because of the Latin hero and because there are no other PoC in the series, i'm not sure it would interest me.
"Sexy addition to the ivy series!"
I loved the Bella got her own story with an unlikely, sexy and hard working hero! I loved the role reversal for female/male stereotypes as well. The narrators as expected were amazing as always! Perfect addition to the series!
"Bella took getting used to"
I really enjoyed this book. It challenged some stereotypes and prejudices I have about women. I do want to be less judgmental of women and more respectful even if the choices aren't ones that I'd make for myself.
Bella (before): Just a common sports groupie. Everyone has a turn on that ride.
Bella (now): Independent, confident, unafraid. She knows what she wants.
I was entertained with drama between Rafe and Bella because it was cool having the guy be the clumsy and inexperienced one. Rafe was very sweet and sure about what he wanted. It was always something monogamous and committed. I don't think Bella and Rafe grew that much as characters, but they certainly gave each other strength to go for what they wanted and eschew fear.
I think the author dealt with a very sensitive subject without trivializing it. I was comfortable with how it played out and I am happy that Bella learned more about herself in this book. I didn't really care for Bella in the prior books, but I grew to appreciate her more in her own book. She has a certain inner strength that can be overlooked because of her cavalier attitude towards sex. Rafe was a really great guy from a good mother and he really helped Bella see herself in a different light.
Sarina Bowen really creates an interesting college environment that is fun but has real life issues. I look forward to the roommate's chance at love.
Really. The heroine needed to be used by her brother-in-law, get an std, AND get roofied. If she had to go through all that I'd have liked more kickassery and less cowering in the wake of it all. She just gave up all of the things she loved without a fight for 95% of the book and never really fought to get them back even then. Just grr!
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