I've read all of the Ivy Years books and have enjoyed all of them. And I'm really not a fan of YA. But, these are good. That said, this was my least favorite of them all. I never liked Bella, the heroine. I thought I might warm up to her while reading her story, but I really didn't. I loved Rafael, the hero, though.
Bella and Rafael sort of seem like opposites, in some ways. Bella is very happy, carefree, completely unconcerned about her future and she loves sex. She does not do relationships and is the queen of casual sex. She seems completely unaware of other people's thoughts/feelings about sex and just bulldozes straight ahead with what she wants. She's the team manager (I guess that's the correct term) for the men's hockey team. She organizes the bus trips, hotel rooms, equipment, etc. But, she also sleeps with the players. Sometimes more than one at a time. Of course, it's alluded to in this book, but you get the bigger picture of it in the previous book (Graham's book). It's toned down in this book because of what happens to her.
Rafael is two years younger than Bella, but has his shit way more together than Bella. He knows himself. He knows where he wants to go. He seems to go through life with purpose. He's genuinely a good guy. He's also a virgin and this is part of how he knows himself - he knows he is not cut out for casual sex. He wants to care for and have a relationship with the person he has sex with.
And then he loses his virginity to Bella (she doesn't know this at the time) on his birthday - the night he finds out his girlfriend cheated on him after putting off sex with him for months.
Rafael did everything right. He's considerate, accommodating, attentive, etc. Everything most women would want in a boyfriend. And Bella is just a hot steamy mess that seems to do nothing but take advantage of him. I didn't get their relationship. Yes, he was there when she needed him. Even when she didn't know she needed him. I loved that part, but she never seemed to fully appreciate it. And I didn't like that. I just didn't like her. :(