ARC Review: The Fifteenth Minute by @SarinaBowen

The Fifteenth MinuteThe Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

Author’s Summary:

Just because she’s famous doesn’t mean she’s happy.

Freshman Lianne Challice is known to millions of fans as Princess Vindi. But sometimes a silver screen sorceress just wants to hang up her wand, tell her manager to shove it, and become a normal college student. Too bad that’s harder than it looks.

She’s never lived a normal life. She hasn’t been to school since kindergarten. And getting close to anyone is just too risky — the last boy she kissed sold the story to a British tabloid.

But she can’t resist trying to get close to Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games in the arena. Something’s haunting his dark eyes, and she needs to know more.

DJ’s genius is for expressing the mood of the crowd with a ten second song snippet. With just a click and a fade, he can spread hope, pathos or elation among six thousand screaming fans.

Too bad his college career is about to experience the same quick fade-out as one of his songs. He can’t get close to Lianne, and he can’t tell her why. And the fact that she seems to like him at all? Incredible.

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My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


When you see the cover or read the summary of The Fifteenth Minute, you might think you’re getting just another typical New Adult romance filled with angst. You would be totally wrong.

That’s one of the things I love about Sarina Bowen’s The Ivy Years series. Each book is a New Adult romance but you also get a special story dealing with an issue that is relevant to today’s college age adults. It’s those stories that set books like The Fifteenth Minute apart from other NA reads.

In The Fifteenth Minute, Lianne is dealing with the pressures of growing up in Hollywood. She wants to make the transition from child to adult actress without giving up too much of herself. Lianne also wants to be a typical college student, which is near impossible when everyone knows who she is.While this isn’t something most people are going to relate with, it’s easy to relate with the part of Lianne that wants someone to be interested in her for her, not who she’s supposed to be or looks like. I think we all want to be loved for who we are on the inside.

What really stood out about The Fifteenth Minute, though; was DJ’s story. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m just going to say I think it’s very relevant to college culture today. I also liked the message it sent about believing in yourself, fighting for what’s right and the truth.

As for the romance aspect of the story — Dang, it was cute! I couldn’t help but sigh dreamily every time DJ called Lianne “smalls.” It was so adorable! I also loved the way he wanted to protect her.

I absolutely loved The Fifteenth Minute. If you’re looking for a sweet college romance filled with real life issues, this one is for you.

**I received an electronic copy of The Fifteenth Minute from the author in exchange for an honest review. For more about the book, check out an excerpt below and links to pre-order/purchase The Fifteenth Minute.

Excerpt from The Fifteenth Minute:

Lianne Challice is chatting me up.

As I fetch the pizza I ordered from the window, I try to decide whether or not I’m going insane. Maybe all the stress in my life has finally cracked me.

But no. When I deposit the pie on a table, her big eyes cut from the jukebox over to me, before darting away again. She is so freaking cute and so feminine that it’s making me crazy. Her mouth is like a little red candy that I’m dying to taste. And who has teeth that straight? She intimidates the fuck out of me, to be honest.

I make another trip to the pizza counter for paper plates and napkins. Usually we just grab slices off the tray like animals. But tonight I’m trying to be classy. The idea makes me snicker to myself. As if. Impressing Lianne Challice isn’t something I’m capable of. But I’m having fun trying. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of fun in this year for me. So that’s something.

Years from now I’ll look back on this night and laugh. Guys, did I ever tell you about the time I chatted up a movie star? I mean, my father is still telling people about the time he sat one table over from Tina Fey at Nobu.

Lianne sneaks another glance in my direction and I beckon to her. “Have a slice?” If she wants one, now is the time. In a minute my brother and his teammates will fall on the pizza like seagulls.

“Thank you. I guess I should. I didn’t make it to the dining hall tonight.”

“Your enthusiasm for Capri’s pizza overwhelms me,” I tease. “Aren’t you a fan?”

She slides a slice onto a paper plate, considering the question. “Pizza is like a nineties hit. Pretty good, especially if that’s all there is and you’re hungry.”

My own slice stops halfway to my mouth and I laugh. “Seriously?”

“What?”

“I don’t know if we can be friends,” I say before taking a bite.

“Because I don’t love pizza?

I shake my head. “Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s, like, a basic human desire.” I cram a bite into my mouth to prove my point. Smooth, right?

She bites her bottom lip, and I realize I’d rather have that for dinner. “It’s okay. But it’s mostly just something you eat when you’re in a hurry or need to feed a crowd on the cheap.”

“Ah, I see,” I say when I can speak again. “The problem is that you haven’t had any great pizza. You’re a freshman, right? You don’t know all the glory that is Harkness pizza. Have you been to Gino’s Apizza?”

Lianne shakes her head. “I don’t think so.”

“She doesn’t think so,” I scoff. “Baby, if you’d had great pizza, you’d remember.” And now I sound like a real perv, but Lianne Challice is smiling at me, watching me with her big doe eyes, and I feel it like a drug. “They make everything from scratch. Even the sausage. We’ll go together, so I can prove my point.”

Annnd I think I just asked a movie star out on a date. Here comes the crash and burn.

First her eyes widen just a smidge. Then two pink spots appear on her face, one on either cheekbone. “Well, it would be a shame to live in this town and never know its true pizza greatness.”

I replay that sentence in my head and realize that she didn’t turn me down. “True,” I agree. “Do you think Thursday would be a night to experience pizza Nirvana?” I’m overselling the hell out of Gino’s now, but it’s working for me.

She gives me a serious frown, and I’m hoping she’s not busy on Thursday. Because I have back-to-back hockey games to DJ on Friday andSaturday. “Thursday it is. I shall prepare to be amazed.”

​You can pre-order The Fifteenth Hour NOW! !:

Amazon – iTunes – Barnes & Noble – Kobo

Other books in this series:

  

  

Irresistibly Yours

Irresistibly Yours (Oxford #1) by Lauren Layne

Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Publisher: Loveswept

Synopsis:

Cole Sharpe has been a freelance editor for Oxford men’s magazine for years. He’s finally ready to take a more permanent editor position with the magazine. It should be his, no problem. All he has to do is say he wants it.

When he does, Cole is shocked to learn that he has to apply for the position. Not only that, but Cole has competition. Female competition in tiny tomboy, Penelope.

Penelope Pope needs the Oxford sports editor job. She’s moved to New York to escape her past in Chicago. This job is exactly what she needs to pick up the pieces of her life and career.

Neither Cole nor Penelope is looking for love. Cole likes his playboy ways and Penelope is not his type. She’s all tomboy, while he likes curves. So, why can’t he stop thinking about her?

Penelope knows she’s just one of the guys–always destined to be in the friend zone. She’s fine with that. So, why does being around Cole make her long for more?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Irresistibly Yours is the first book in the Oxford series, but it’s a spin off of the popular Stiletto series by Lauren Layne. I have read a couple of the Stiletto books in the past and thought they were a lot of fun, so I requested an electronic copy of Irresistibly Yours from NetGalley.

Irresistibly Yours was just as much fun to read as the Stiletto books. The chemistry between Cole and Penelope was hot! I liked their easy banter with each other and the way they tried to avoid falling for each other.

I would recommend Irresistibly Yours to readers that like a quick paced contemporary romance. Some of the characters from the Stiletto series are mentioned, but Irresistibly Yours can be read as a standalone novel. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series about Lincoln, Cole’s friend and co-worker.

**I received an electronic copy of Irresistibly Yours from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Going Long

 Going Long (Waiting #2) by Ginger Scott

Publication Date: September 25, 2013

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

High school sweethearts Reed and Nolan have been through many ups and downs in their relationship. College is no different — especially when they’re at schools two hours apart. Can Reed and Nolan make their love last? Or will football, school or misunderstandings ruin any chance they have of happily ever after?

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I had to jump right into Going Long the minute I finished Waiting on the Sidelines. I couldn’t help myself. I was curious to see where Reed and Nolan’s relationship was going next. They had been through so many ups and downs.

From the start, Going Long had me on pins and needles. Even though things started out happy enough, I was worried for Reed and Nolan. I knew it was only so long before something drove a wedge between them.

I was totally right, too. Going Long was filled was just as much drama as Waiting on the Sidelines. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. That probably sounds impossible, but it’s the only way I can think of to describe it.

It sucked watching Nolan’s insecurities get the best of her. I understood, but her strength in Waiting on the Sidelines was something I really admired. I was sad things were harder for her this time around. Reed, though — Reed made me love him. I wasn’t so sure I liked him after the first book, but he definitely redeemed himself in my eyes in this one.

Going Long was an outstanding coming of age romance. I would highly suggest this series and any of Ginger Scott’s books. She’s quickly becoming one of my go-to authors.

Other books in this series:

Waiting on the Sidelines

Waiting on the Sidelines (Waiting #1) by Ginger Scott

Publications Date: November 13, 2103

Publisher: Ginger Scott

Synopsis:

Nolan Lennox’s boyish name fits her. She’s a tomboy at heart, her clothing choices filled with boys’ soccer shorts, sports logo tees and knee socks. Nolan was happy being who she was until her freshman year of high school. Then, a couple of devastating comments changes it all. Now, Nolan’s changing her style and trying to catch the eye of the most popular boy at Coolridge High without losing too much of herself.

Reed Johnson is following in his father and older brother’s footsteps. He’s quarterback of the Coolridge High School football team with college scouts watching from the sidelines. He’s got a hot, older girlfriend and his dad’s rich. There’s not much else Reed could ask for. He’s got it all.

Then, Reed meets Lennox. She’s nothing like the girls he’s dated before. He doesn’t understand why he’s drawn to her, but he can’t help but be. Reed wants to be the best person he can for Lennox. He’s just not sure he can avoid breaking her heart.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I stayed up until 1:00 am reading this book. I got up in the morning and continued reading this book. I have not put this down except to sleep. I couldn’t.

The story consumed me. There was so much going on! I can’t believe how many different issues Ginger Scott was able to work into one book! Waiting on the Sidelines was a rollercoaster of emotions and events from the beginning to end.

Through it all, Nolan Lennox shined. She started out a self-conscious tomboy but quickly matured into a girl who knew herself and what was worth fighting for. The way she treated herself and others was special. Ginger Scott made her true to herself from beginning to end. Sometimes, I think that’s missing in YA books.

I have to admit I didn’t always like Reed. I’m still not even sure if I like him after finishing the book. I’m not sure if his sweet moments with Nolan were enough. But his actions and reactions to life felt real. In some ways, he reminded me of boys I dated in high school or college.

Oh, and I just have to say that I loved the Arizona setting. I went to ASU and it felt like taking a trip back in time. I remember those desert bonfire parties and the heat. It made me smile a lot while reading this book.

Waiting on the Sidelines was spectacular. It is going on my list of favorite books. Once again, Ginger Scott has emotionally levelled me. I feel a huge book hangover coming on. Luckily, I have the next Waiting book ready to read.

Other books in this series:

More Than Forever

 More Than Forever (More Than #4) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: July 11, 2014

Synopsis:

Lucy and Cameron have been it for each other since they were fourteen. Their love  has never wavered. It’s always been about forever for them. But, sometimes, forever isn’t enough.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

More Than Forever started out as a cute coming of age romance. It was more along the lines of a sweet YA contemporary romance. Cameron was the perfect friend and boyfriend that would do anything for Lucy. I loved the interactions between the young lovebirds and their parents. They were so funny and adorable.

Then, slowly, Lucy and Cameron’s relationship matured along with them and More Than Forever  became a beautiful New Adult romance. While it was still sweet and incredibly funny, there was now the angst and a sexual relationship as well.

Lucy and Cam’s sexual relationship was one of my favorite parts of the story. In the beginning, it felt honest and true to real life. As time went by, it was sexy and funny — just like it was reading about them in previous books.

As for the angst, at times I wanted to yell at Cam for being so blind and at Lucy for not truly seeing Cam. I ached for them as they dealt with the problems they faced. I wanted them to make it. The love they shared was so special.

Obviously, I loved More Than Forever. I thought More Than This was my favorite in the series, but More Than Forever stole its place in my heart. It was sweet, funny, steamy and most of all emotionally loaded.

I would highly suggest reading More Than Forever and the entire More Than series. I loved the way all of the books tied together and that I got to see not just the romances bloom but the friendships as well. I can’t wait for the next book More Than Enough to come out. I hope it’s Heidi and Dylan’s story!

Other books in this series:

More Than Him

More Than Him (More Than #3) by Jay McLean

Published: January 27, 2014

Synopsis: 

Logan Matthews’ deepest fears have come true. His past has ruined his future. It’s taken away his happiness. It’s taken her away.

Once again, he knows he’s going to have to fight to get her back. It’s going to take everything he’s got to show her that he’s worthy.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a harder review to write. I don’t want to give too much away for people that haven’t read the first two books in the series yet. So here’s my limited review:

Holy moly. If I liked Logan in More Than Her, I freakin’ loved him in More Than Him. I felt like I finally truly got to know him.

I absolutely loved More Than Him. It was so emotional. I couldn’t put it down. There were just so many ups and downs. I had to devote myself to reading in one sitting simply because I had to know that everything was going end up.

Once again, the end of this story ties into the next book. No worries, though. It’s not a cliffhanger for Logan again. It’s a completely new story. I can’t wait to start it!

Other books in this series:

Blonde Date

Blonde Date (The Ivy Years #2.5) by Sarina Bowen

Publication Date: July 6, 2014

Publisher: Rennie Road Books

Synopsis:

Freshman Katie Vickery does not want to go to her sorority’s party. She knows she’s in for the most humiliating experience of her life. Her football player ex-boyfriend and his friends are going to be there. Katie knows they will be laughing behind her back.

Katie can’t miss the party, though. There are unwritten rules. She has to go. She has to bring an upperclassman. He has to be an athlete. Luckily, her roommate set her up with a blinde date.

Andrew Baschnagel isn’t the typical jock. The basketball player is tall and lanky. He’s also a nice guy. He’s watched Katie in his art history class all semester, hoping for a chance to win her heart. Now, he’s got one date with her, one chance to show her what she’s missing.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I love The Ivy Years seriesBlonde Date was the perfect addition to it. It was cute and funny. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Andrew. I knew he was a good guy after meeting him in The Year We Hid Away, but I didn’t expect to love him this much.

My only complaint about Blonde Date is that it was a novella. I wanted more Andrew and Katie! They were just too cute! I can’t wait to read more of this amazing series.

Other books in The Ivy Years series:

   

More Than Her

More Than Her (More Than #2) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: November 18, 2013

Synopsis: 

Logan Matthews thought he made the right decision walking away from her. Turns out he was wrong. Now, he’s stuck chasing her and trying to prove he’s worthy of her love.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

My summary and review are both going to be a little sparse on this one. I don’t want to give too much away in case anyone is thinking about reading this series but hasn’t read More Than This yet.

More Than Her begins where More Than This left off. This time, the story revolves around Logan. It alternates between the present and the summer before they all started college at UNC.  We get to learn more about Logan’s past and his relationships with both Jake and Mikayla.

While I really enjoyed More Than Her, it wasn’t quite as good as More Than This. I think it was the execution of the time jumps. They just weren’t as smooth as I would have liked them to be. At times, I felt a little lost in the past stories.

I did love the twists and turns the story took, though. It wasn’t what I expected at all. And rude, playboy Logan from More Than This wasn’t who I thought he would be either. I didn’t love him quite as much as Jake, but it was close!

More Than Her ended with more of a cliffhanger than More Than This did. Instead of book 3 being about a different couple, it will continue Logan’s story from More Than Her. I’m excited to continue the series and see where it goes!

Other books in this series:

Sincerely, Arizona

Sincerely, Arizona (Sincerely, Carter #1.5) by Whitney Gracia Williams

Publication Date: September 10, 2015

Publisher: WGW Books

Synopsis:

Sincerely, Arizona is an epilogue to Sincerely, Carter. It is FREE, but you must read Sincerely, Carter first.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely loved Sincerely, Carter when I read it a few months ago. It’s another one of those best friends to lovers stories that I adore. Sincerely, Arizona is a continuation of Carter and Arizona’s story and picks up where the first book left off. It was the perfect ending to Carter and Arizona’s story. It was short, but had all the things fans of the first book loved. It’s definitely worth reading if you liked the first book.

Other books in this series:

More Than This

More Than This (More Than #1) by Jay McLean

Publication Date: July 10, 2013

Synopsis:

Mikayla’s prom night should have been the best night of her life. Instead, it turned into a nightmare she never could have imagined. Her entire world was turned upside down in one night.

The one bright light in it all is Jake. She may have just met him but he immediately becomes her everything. Jake is her safe place, her home. As their feelings for each other and physical chemistry grow, Mikayla must choose between keeping her heart safe or accepting the love she desperately wants.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A week or so ago, I read Jay McLean’s Kick Push. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t overly impressed. There was just a little something missing to make it amazing. So when one of my Goodreads groups suggested a buddy read of More Than This, I hesitated a little. I decided to see if I could borrow it from the Amazon Prime Lending Library before joining in. It was available, so I decided to go ahead and download it.

I am sooooo glad I did. More Than This was incredible! It brought out so many emotions! It was heartbreaking at times, yet it made me laugh, too. There was also amazing chemistry between Mikayla and Jake.

Mikayla was a little annoying at times, though. I get what she was going through, so I tried not to let her decisions get to me. Her emotions added some great angst to the story. I just hated some of the stuff she was putting Jake through.

Because Jake. Jake. That guy was all sorts of awesome. I have decided to declare him my new book boyfriend. I loved him that much!

I have to admit I went ahead and downloaded the rest of the More Than series as soon as I finished More Than This. I couldn’t help myself. The ending left me needing to know what was going to happen next! It wasn’t quite a cliffhanger, but it was close.

I would tell anyone that likes a good, angsty New Adult romance to read More Than This. It brings out all of the “feels.”

Just a warning: I’m probably going to be reviewing the books in this series one right after another. I’ve chucked my TBR list to the side for now and am plunging into the series. I’m that wrapped up in the story. 😉

Other books in this series: