The Understatement Of The Year (The Ivy Years # 3)

By Sarina Bowen

BR The Understatement Of The Year


What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now. 

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 orientation 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.


THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR is a second chance romance between Graham and Rikker after their budding teen relationship was destroyed by a terrible event.  Both men meet again when Rikker transfers to the Harkness hockey team after being kicked off his old team.

I liked Rikker and Graham and thought they made a hot couple, but Rikker was my favourite because although he didn’t like to promote that he was gay, he was at least honest about who he was.  Unlike Graham, who was in denial and so firmly entrenched in the closet out of fear of what people would think of him if they ever found out.  Sadly for Rikker, with Graham refusing to acknowledge their connection outside of the bedroom, he is destined to being nothing more than Graham’s dirty little secret.  He has to question if his love for Graham is worth the crumbs of affection he receives from him, and Graham has to question whether staying in the closet is worth losing the love of his life over.

Apart from some oral sex, there are no sex scenes in this book.  I thought this was a little odd as from memory, the sex scenes weren’t skipped over in her previous books as they were in this one.  So if you’re expecting to read some hot and heavy scenes between two very hot guys, you’ll end up as disappointed as I was.  I was also disappointed that Saint B’s was seemingly never punished for their deplorable actions and behaviour.  Call me bitter or vengeful, but I really would have liked to have seen them suffer for what they did.

THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR was another great read in The Ivy Years series.  I like how Sarina takes serious issues and turns them into an amazing story.  I liked how not everyone on the team accepted Rikker with open arms and he was still subjected to gay slurs from a handful of players.  Did I like the gay slurs or how he was treated?  No.  But sadly that’s how it is in the real world.  Sarina keeps it real and I love that about her.

Graham:  “It’s always been you for me.  Always.”

The Understatement Of The Year (The Ivy Years # 3)

My Rating:  5 Hearts

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The Ivy Years Series