Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexual preference from everyone. Including himself.So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the cover reveal of The Understatement of the Year that I am super excited to share with you. The awesomely talented Sarina Bowen is giving you a chance to win a signed set of paperback books which includes: The Year We Fell Down (Ivy Years #1), The Year We Hid Away (Ivy Years #2) and Blonde Date (Ivy Years 2.5). The giveaway is open internationally. You can enter the giveaway below, good luck!Excerpt from The Understatement of the Year
Bella grabbed the front pocket of my Vermont sweatshirt and actually pulled me through the din of the most crowded room, toward a table where Graham sat in a booth, across from Hartley.
Ugh. I had no idea this would be so cozy. In fact, there was nowhere for me to sit. For a second there I felt like it was seventh grade all over again, and I didn’t know where to sit in class.
That’s how I met Graham — seventh grade Spanish. We were the two runts in the back row with terrible gringo accents and no friends. The teacher always made the class pair up to practice dialogue. Graham and I were partners.
Te gusta el futbol?
Sí, me gusta el futbol.
The early days of middle school had been awkward. But this? So much more awkward than that.
“I’ll sit on Graham’s lap,” Bella suggested, grabbing a slice of pizza off the tray.
“Naw, let me find a chair,” I said, turning quickly into the crowd. And lo, by the grace of God, I found one in front of an ancient pay phone. Setting the chair at the end of their booth gave me some much-needed distance. Bella sat on the end, boxing Graham into the corner. Bella’s hand found its way onto my knee about two seconds after I sat down.
Someone filled my glass. “Have a slice?” Hartley offered.
“Thanks, I already ate,” I said quickly. But I sucked back some of the beer. It was pretty wimpy stuff, but I’ll bet the price was right.
“Tell us about your transfer,” Bella prompted while the others dug in. “You said you’d tell it over beers.”
Right. Too soon. “Well,” I hedged. The thing was, I’d told people I was gay many, many times. I was actually pretty good at it. But you don’t say it when you’re all trapped at a table. You have to drop the bomb when your victims are free to walk away from you. Because even the people who are going to turn right back around and be there for you often need a minute to digest the idea.
And the fact that Graham was sitting three feet away, staring at his slice of pizza as if it might reveal the secrets of the universe, made this a particularly bad time. I didn’t want to look vulnerable in front of him. I’d tried that before in my life, and it ended badly. Very badly.
“Thing is, I haven’t had enough beer yet to tell it.”
“There you go with the buildup again,” Bella said, nibbling on a slice.
“Yeah? Well my stories don’t usually disappoint.” That was a bit of pointless bravado. But it was probably true.
I happened to glance toward Graham then. And even in the low light of the pizza place, I saw him freeze. And I realized just how far a little smack talk about stories I might tell would freak him out. I hadn’t meant it like that. But the effect on him was instant and powerful. His jaw went hard and his fist clenched on the table.
Easy, boy. “Tell me about the practice schedule,” I said to change the topic.