I’ve really enjoyed Sarina Bowen’s new adult books because she tells a well-balanced story and this one is no different. This is the fifth book in the series, but they can all be read as stand-alones.
Lianne Challice hoped that college would be her chance to escape from the insanity of growing up in Hollywood. Sadly, it’s not exactly going the way she planned, because when you spend your childhood traipsing around Europe or being home schooled in lot trailers and the only friends you have are those that are on the set, it’s difficult to figure out how “normal” is supposed to work. Lianne holed herself up in her dorm room until Bella, her suite mate, finally broke her out of her shell. Little by little, Lianne has opened up to new experiences, like going to parties and hockey games where a certain sexy guy spins music during the game. After their first meeting was foiled by too much liquid courage, Lianne is determined to try and get closer to the only guy who’s ever made her heart pound.
Daniel “DJ” Trevi has been having the worst year of his life. He stands accused of a very serious allegation that landed him on social probation with the possibility of expulsion. DJ feels trapped with his life under a microscope and the last thing he should be doing is flirting with the famous Lianne Challice, but he just can’t help himself. They bond over their love of music and music trivia – and a healthy dose of lust, to boot.
Lianne is adorable as a geeky gamer who is a bit socially awkward with her peers. The fact that she has no family other than her negligent mother and money-grubbing manager breaks the heart a bit. She’s completely earnest in her feelings for DJ, even if she doesn’t exactly know how to express them. DJ is a pretty solid character, as well, and the stress he is under is real. I appreciate the delicate balance the author rode in writing about his situation. The maturation that DJ goes through is apparent through the book.
Their romance is mostly sweet and a little steamy, however, the knife dangling over DJ casts a pall over a budding relationship. The book is nearly over by the time everything is resolved. I’d love to see them pop into some stories down the line. Also, there are less outside interactions from the hockey team and other Harkness people which I missed a bit.
Overall, this is another solid new adult contemporary from Bowen that goes beyond a college romance and delves in to this age when maturity begins to evolve as people begin to understand they are responsible for their own lives.
*ARC provided by Bocci PR
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Fifteenth Minute
by Sarina Bowen
October 13, 2015