Title: The Year We Hid Away
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #2
Release Date: June 1st 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror.
It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.
Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.
The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.
My Review of The Year We Fell Down (The Ivy Years #1)
Whereas the first in The Ivy Years series focused on two characters who were physically imperfect, in The Year We Hid Away Bridger and Scarlet are dealing with emotional scars.
Anyone who has read The Year We Fell Down will remember Bridger as Hartley’s best friend and a love ’em and leave ’em kind of guy. In this novel, Sabrina Bowen strips all the bravado away to reveal Bridger’s soul to her readers. Bridger has taken on responsibilities beyond those usually expected of a ‘brother’; putting his personal life on hold and his college place in jeopardy. Although Bridger is clearly breaking the rules, we can never condemn him because every action he takes is out of love for his sister.
Scarlet too is making sacrifices, but she is doing so to protect herself from the shame and embarrassment caused by her parents. Scarlet is a much tougher character than Bridger, because of the drama within her family and the fact that cutting herself loose is the only way she can see to escape.
Despite their circumstances, when Bridger and Scarlet meet, we immediately want their friendship to become something more, but understand their reasons for remaining uninvolved. I love the fact that initially the relationship between the two is innocent, with just a look or touch during study time and then it becomes HOT!
The Year We Hid Away is written in a dual narrative, helping us to see the parts of their world they keep hidden. Sarina Bowen’s writing is utterly addictive and emotional as both character’s lives implode. I was so immersed in the story that I ignored the time and before I realized, it was 3am and I had reached the end.
I have 3 more books by Sarina Bowen, which I am now very eager to read. The Ivy Years is a perfect series for any fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance.