She expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that Corey Callahan will start school in a wheelchair instead.
Across the hall, in the other handicapped-accessible dorm room, lives the too-delicious-to-be real Adam Hartley, another would-be hockey star with his leg broken in two places. He’s way out of Corey’s league.
Also, he’s taken.
Nevertheless, an unlikely alliance blooms between Corey and Hartley in the “gimp ghetto” of McHerrin Hall. Over tequila, perilously balanced dining hall trays, and video games, the two cope with disappointments that nobody else understands.
They’re just friends, of course, until one night when things fall apart. Or fall together. All Corey knows is that she’s falling. Hard.
But will Hartley set aside his trophy girl to love someone as broken as Corey? If he won’t, she will need to find the courage to make a life for herself at Harkness — one which does not revolve around the sport she can no longer play, or the brown-eyed boy who’s afraid to love her back.
The Year We Fell Down
by Sarina Bowen
The Ivy Years #1
Rennie Road Books
March 20, 2014
I am not really sure where I first saw this book, but when I did, I read what it was about, saw all the excellent reviews, bought it, and read it. Less than a day’s read for me, I was immediately sucked into this wonderful story, and really didn’t stop reading except to sleep sometime around 5 am today. It was just that good of a romance and story.
This is the story of a young woman just entering college as a freshman. Only she’s not an ordinary girl as she has been recently partially paralyzed, and is in a wheelchair. Meant to spend her freshman year as a star ice hockey player, instead she has to learn to manage in a world not always made for a person with a disability. She is given a first floor two bedroom suite across the hall from a one bedroom, also given to a student with a disability-of sorts. When she meets the guy across the hall, she can’t believe how attracted she is to him. But there’s a difference, he’s only temporarily disabled, and he has the most beautiful girl on campus as his girlfriend.
Corey was easily my favorite character of this story. She’s smart, brave, and even though broken by her accident, she still strives for an ordinary life. Adam, otherwise known as Hartley, is disgusted with himself after an accident that shouldn’t have happened(drunken fall), sidelines him from ice hockey for the season. He actually was a pretty great character as well, friendly, almost endearing at times, way too good looking, and he is also a bit broken by things in his past. Corey’s roommate Dana was the perfect person to be her roommate, and was a good addition to the story. When Stacia, Adam’s girlfriend leaves to spend a semester overseas, it’s the perfect opportunity for Hartley to start spending his time across the hall in the girls room-the one that has a big tv. It’s not long before a wonderful friendship begins between the two.
The banter between these characters was probably the best part of the read for me. I always love good conversation between characters, and the author totally delivered. I also really enjoyed the slow burn romance. Hartley isn’t really a cheater, but that doesn’t stop his girlfriend. One drunken night things really change between him and Corey, and the story goes very differently from there. Corey has to change things up and starts to get a life besides Hartley.The question becomes, can Hartley man up and be the person he should be, or is he just another womanizing athlete like some of this friends? (Which I never for a moment believed!) For Corey’s part, she wonders if any man will ever love the new her?
I thought the writing was pretty perfect, and the pacing spot on. The premise was one I have never really read ever before, and I thought it worked out really well. I enjoyed the whole read, and have already purchased book 2, about Hartley’s best friend.
One thing I didn’t like would have to be the cover-if I hadn’t read what this was about, I probably would never have bought it.
I recommend this to all new adult readers or adults, due to sexual situations and language.
The review copy of this book was purchased by the reviewer.
The Ivy Years is her bestselling series. Centered around the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college, The Year We Fell Down began breaking hearts in March, 2014. There are three novels and a novella in the series so far. See http://www.sarinabowen.com/TheIvyYears for updates.
For lovers of angsty snowboarding heroes, Sarina also writes the Gravity series! Coming in From the Cold features a downhill ski racer and one of the most unique plot conflicts in contemporary romance today. Falling From the Sky is book #2, about a freestyle snowboarder who nearly loses his life in the halfpipe.
Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.
She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com.