The Year We Hid Away by Sarina Bowen

22372440She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Bridger Macaulley used to be a player both on and off the ice. But now, while his teammates chase the next hockey victory, Bridger worries that the dean will discover he’s housing his eight-year-old sister in his dorm room. Juggling a full course load and a big secret, it’s only a matter of time until the other skate drops.

Scarlet Crowley is the only freshman at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. Her name is as new as the shiny student ID it’s printed on. The only way to survive college will be to conceal her identity, even if it means lying to the green-eyed boy she’s falling for.

Bridget and Scarlet 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.

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My Review:
4 stars — continuing on with my Ivy Years series binge-read, I decided to go back and read book 2…b/c reading books in order is for suckers.  😛  It’s been a while since I actually read the first book in this series, but I remember falling in love with Bridger and wanting to read his story, and it definitely did not disappoint (even if it took me forever to get to it finally).  And when I first read the teaser at the end of the first book for this book I remember being thoroughly intrigued by Scarlet’s story…  I mean seriously, having a father accused of molesting children?  Holy wow, that’s fucked up.  And so I needed to know how that all was going to play out….

So a LOT happens in this book, a lot of twists and turns in each of the character’s own stories…so it ended up making for a, well, not quite action packed, but drama packed book.  There were even a few extra twists at the very end that I DID NOT see coming whatsoever, that *might* have been a bit much, but didn’t detract from the story (the Uncle Brian stuff for those who have read it).  I actually really enjoyed all the challenges and struggles that they each faced…two characters with such difficult pasts, it was gratifying to see them find some solace in each other.  I kind of liked how they just had a natural chemistry from the beginning, despite Bridger not having time for another “complication” in his life.  Scarlet was adorably shy and awkward, having little experience with the opposite sex (especially recently).  They just fit and their flirting was adorable to watch.  I liked that it was kind of a slower start at a relationship, and I found them really sweet together.  And even though they had issues trusting each other (sort of), I really enjoyed watching them support each other when they finally figured things out.  I’m probably not making any sense, but what else is new?

So loved the sweet romance, but really enjoyed the plot that ran alongside that with Bridger and his little sister, and Scarlet and her family troubles.  My heart broke for both of them at different times, and I just felt really fulfilled and happy by the time the book was finished.  I’m even contemplating a 4.5 stars for this one.  Maybe I should just say 4.25 and average it.  You know, I say screw it!  4.5 stars from me!  Which means that that part you read at the beginning is a lie, but then that also means you read to the end of this babbling, so I commend you!!  Go read this book.  Done.