Sunday, April 26, 2015

Blog Tour: Author Interview, Excerpt, Review, and Giveaway for The Shameless Hour by Sarina Bowen

Bella finally gets a chance to shine and boy does she!  For everyone who hasn't met her, there's an excerpt and so much more!

Title: The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years, #4)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Genre: NA | Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Tour Hosted by: As the Pages Turn


The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.

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 sinister 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.

Purchase The Shameless Hour

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Author Interview

1. What inspired The Shameless Hour?

Bella was the kind of character who just walked into chapter one of my last book and wouldn’t leave. It was clear that she deserved her own book.

2. Did you do any research while writing this book?  How did you do the research?

One of my college roommates became a nurse midwife. She is so much fun to talk to (at least if you don’t mind the word “vulva” cropping up in half your conversations.) There’s a minor medical issue that occurs in this book, so of course I had to call up my college roomie and chat about what Bella calls “the fun zone” for an hour. For research, of course.

3. Did you base any of the events or characters off your real life?

Rarely. But the living situations of my characters are a lot like my own college days. The whispered stairwell conversations, and the four-flight climbs to your dorm room. Shared bathrooms. Squabbling roommates. It was all part of a fun four years.

4. How long did it take you to write the first draft?

I have no idea! I usually work on more than one book at once.

5. Will there be more The Ivy Years books?

Lianne from The Shameless Hour will get a book. I don’t like to promise things before I know they’re deliverable, but I feel really confident about this one.

6. Are you currently working on any manuscripts?

Always! But I don’t like to talk about them, in case things don’t pan out.

7. What was the last 5 star book you read?

Sweet by Tammara Webber. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. Both made me cry.

8. What do you think you would be doing if you weren't a writer?

I have been a waitress, a derivatives trader on Wall Street, a food writer and a real estate appraiser. I like to mix it up.

9. Did you know you always wanted to write or was it a surprise discovery?

I have wanted to write novels since the third grade. It’s probably a good thing that I didn’t try it then, though.

10.  What's been your wildest fangirl moment where a reader was fangirling over you?

Last year on my birthday, suddenly Tammara Webber and Colleen Hoover posted on each of their Facebook pages that they loved The Year We Fell Down, Ivy Years #1. That was a good, good day.

11. Is there any particular author or celebrity you would totally fangirl over if you met?

Ed Sheeran for the win!

I held her a little closer as we danced. The band had no vocalist, but I could hear Louis Armstrong’s voice in my head. Give me… a kiss to build a dream on. “I’ve always loved this song,” I confessed.
“Wait, really?” Bella stood up taller so she could look me in the eye. “Have you listened to the lyrics? The guy gets a single kiss, and he basically says that it’s enough — he’s just going to fantasize about it for the rest of his life. I mean… what a rip.”
I bit back a smile. “It’s romantic.”
“It’s unsatisfying,” she countered. “Here, I’ll show you.” Before I knew what was happening, Bella came closer. Her silky thumb stroked once across my cheekbone. Then she stood up on her toes and kissed me.
The first press of her sweet lips against mine stopped my breathing. Though you couldn’t have paid me to resist her. Sheer instinct made me lean into that kiss with my entire being.
Bella’s mouth melted onto mine, and a needy little sound issued from the back of her throat. Heaven. I deepened the kiss, and our tongues touched once. She tasted of red wine and desire. An electric pulse traveled the length of my body. Unbidden, my hands pulled her closer, my fingers in her hair…
The sound of applause brought me back to earth with a thunk. The song had ended, and the band segued into some kind of swing tune. Bella and I broke apart on a gasp. For a second we just stared at each other. “See?” she said eventually.
But I didn’t have the faintest recollection of the point she’d been trying to make. “What?”
Amusement tickled her features. “Never mind. I hear my wine glass calling me.” She tugged on my hand.


★★★★★ stars

You'd think I'd be used to the fact I devour Sarina Bowen's books.  It doesn't matter if she's writing heterosexual romances or m/m romances, I'm guaranteed an amazing story and always want more when the book ends.  I loved getting to know Bella better and if Rafe was a real person, I would totally try to steal him away. 

I don't know who I loved more, Rafe or Bella.  Lets just call it a tie.  I loved Bella for her boldness and her willingness to take risks.  I loved her for being unapologetic about who she was.  I hated the fact others put her down for it. I loved Rafe for knowing what he wanted and sticking to it.  I loved him for the care and consideration he had for his family and friends.  I loved him for being upstanding and honorable, not just for Bella, but for everyone around him too. I also loved the fact Rafe was the virgin and why he had remained one for so long.  I also loved how he was patient with Bella in all matters. They were opposites but yet perfectly matched for each other.

One reason I loved this book was because all of the issues Rafe and Bella faced and how they were handled. These are issues that are currently pressing and I have a feeling always will be. I hated what happened to Bella.  It made my blood boil, especially when she was not at fault and was doing the right thing. I completely understood and empathized with her reaction to everything, but it sucked seeing her brought low like that.  I would've preferred her to be the warrior I expected her to be from experience, but then again everyone reacts differently when notoriety is thrust on them the way it was on her. However, I supported her 100% with how she chose to get those who wronged her back.  I loved how all of her friends supported her, including Lianne an unlikely ally, Rikker, Graham, Trevi, Hartley, Corey, and others from the hockey team. It wasn't just in getting revenge, but trying to draw her out of the funk she was in.

The best books are ones I enjoy reading and then have the hardest time figuring out how to convey why I loved them so much.  With The Shameless Hour, it's been a struggle to find the words.  In fact it's been that way for the entire The Ivy Years Series. Each book has been better than the last and I always look forward to seeing how Sarina Bowen will surprise me with the next story. I'm really hoping to read more about Bella and Rafe.  I wouldn't mind reading another book about them. 

*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.*

Books in the Ivy Years Series

Purchase Ivy Years Series

Amazon + Amazon UK + B&N + Kobo + iTunes
About Sarina Bowen
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.
The giveaway is open internationally and ends 05/03/2015.
  • (1) An Ivy Years Notebook (It’s super cute)
  • (1) eBook box set of Ivy Years #1-3
  • (1) Signed paperback of The Year We Fell Down
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

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