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Heidi Hart

By day, I'm a domestic violence prosecutor. By night, I read romance to restore my faith in love, relationships, and humanity in general. 

More Vignette than Novella (PS FREE AT AMAZON NOW)

Blonde Date: An Ivy Years Novella (The Ivy Years 2.5) - Sarina Bowen

I devoured the whole Ivy Years series in a long weekend, including this novella, which involves some minor characters introduced in The Year We Hid Away, and which takes place at the same time as that longer novel. Katie is a sleek, blonde, polished freshman who must have been reasonably intelligent to get into an ivy league school like Harkness College (think Yale), but who has so far used her energies to rush a sorority and date athletes. Unfortunately, the douchenozzley antics of her last boyfriend have left her publicly humiliated, and she realizes it's time to change her strategy.

 

Her roommate Scarlet (heroine of The Year We Hid Away) sets Katie up with Andy, who is a nice guy and and athlete (a basketball player), but too tall and gawky and introverted to be on Katie's radar. Over the course of their date, Katie finds that Andy is everything she didn't know she was looking for: smart and decent and funny and, yes, sexy.

 

This is an entertaining geek-gets-the-girl story, but by virtue of the novella format, it's not long enough for the character development and arc that I crave in this type of story. Andy is delicious, and it's easy to see his appeal, but Katie seems shallow and flaky at the start of the story, and though we get glimpses of the better person she could become, this novella doesn't really take us there. (Not that that kind of personal development would have been believable in the course of a single date anyway.)