Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Excerpt and Review: The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years #5) by Sarina Bowen

Rating:  ★★★★★ stars
Date of Publication: October 13th, 2015
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Synopsis: 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. There's something 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.


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?”
“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 and Saturday. “Thursday it is. I shall prepare to be amazed.”


I know I'm going to love some books from the very first page and others I fall in love with as the story progresses. The Fifteenth Minute was a first page kind of l book. How could I not? Lianne is an adorable heroine and DJ is an irresistible hero. Together these two are wonderful and their story is unique.

The characters are what makes this story so amazing. Lianne may be able to play a sorceress and any number of characters, but she's genuine and a little lost. She's not as confident and secure as one would expect a famous well known actress would be. Instead, she is shy, more of a closet geek, and happiest playing video games rather than interacting with most people. She's a great friend to those she cares for. I loved seeing her out of her comfort zone, interacting with new people and trying new things. 

DJ was a total surprise. He's hot, sensitive, and caring.  I can't tell you how much of a turn on it was to see DJ being so careful with Lianne, even when the things he did may have hurt her feelings. I personally have very strong views about the situation he found himself in, but it was very refreshing to see it from another perspective, one I had never thought about. I hated to see how much turmoil he was in while waiting to find out what was going to happen, but I must say I appreciated the detail and effort Sarina Bowen put into it. DJ was truly tormented by the possibility of what he might have missed, and what could happen to him as a result. I could feel his pain coming off the pages as I read.

Lianne and DJ were great together. I loved watching DJ bring Lianne out of her shell and comfort zone, while Lianne provided Daniel with the support and care he needed, even when he was trying to push her away. I loved seeing them make overtures toward each other that were hesitant and cautious, but still brave and bold. I loved how they made each other laugh and there were many times when they made me smile and laugh out loud. I had plenty of, "Aww," moments, and there were some time I was frustrated and upset as well. Over all, when it came to the feels, this book had them all.

I've got to say the only flaw I can find in this book is that it was too short and I read it too fast; I wasn't able to put the book down. I would've loved to have seen more of Lianne and DJ in the future. I loved seeing Rafe, Bella, and numerous other familiar faces from past books. As it is, I would love to read about the older Trevi, DJ's brother and a couple of other people introduced in this book. I have a feeling their stories are going to be epic and unforgettable. The Ivy Years gang has come to feel like family and I can never get enough of them. Kudos to Sarina Bowen for writing a story that manages to be hot and sweet at the same time, and one that also entertains, and addresses issues many colleges and universities face in a very tasteful and meaningful way. This is a contemporary romance with heart and depth and you're going to love it! 

Purchase Links

About the Author

Sarina Bowen writes steamy, angsty contemporary romance from Vermont’s Green Mountains. (Her ancestors began logging and farming Vermont during the 18th century. These were rugged, outdoor types without benefit of a laptop or a good latte. It boggles the mind.) Sarina enjoys skiing, skating and good food. She lives in Windsor County, Vermont, with her family, eight chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.
*Thank you to the publicist for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

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