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The Freshman

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I started flirting with a guy while waiting for my car to be serviced. Now granted, he wasn’t just any guy. Tall. Dark. Hot. Mysterious. Can you blame me for wanting to talk to him? He’s in town visiting his parents. So am I. He goes to the same college as I do. Such a coincidence. Almost as if our meeting is destined... But I shouldn't believe in that sort of thing. I am s I started flirting with a guy while waiting for my car to be serviced. Now granted, he wasn’t just any guy. Tall. Dark. Hot. Mysterious. Can you blame me for wanting to talk to him? He’s in town visiting his parents. So am I. He goes to the same college as I do. Such a coincidence. Almost as if our meeting is destined... But I shouldn't believe in that sort of thing. I am single as a Pringle and always ready to mingle. Until I keep running into Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious everywhere I go. Tony Sorrento. Turns out he’s on the football team. I mean, I’m not one to chase after a sexy jock but, okay. I’m down. And did I mention he’s only a freshman? Our fathers are business rivals, and they forbid us from dating. We need to keep this on the low. Can we remain friendly? Sure. Maybe turn our friendship into friends with benefits? Most definitely. Here’s the thing though. I didn’t plan on catching feelings for him so quickly. Seems like he’s falling pretty hard for me too. Defying our fathers’ wishes is only asking for trouble, but is being with Tony worth the risk?


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I started flirting with a guy while waiting for my car to be serviced. Now granted, he wasn’t just any guy. Tall. Dark. Hot. Mysterious. Can you blame me for wanting to talk to him? He’s in town visiting his parents. So am I. He goes to the same college as I do. Such a coincidence. Almost as if our meeting is destined... But I shouldn't believe in that sort of thing. I am s I started flirting with a guy while waiting for my car to be serviced. Now granted, he wasn’t just any guy. Tall. Dark. Hot. Mysterious. Can you blame me for wanting to talk to him? He’s in town visiting his parents. So am I. He goes to the same college as I do. Such a coincidence. Almost as if our meeting is destined... But I shouldn't believe in that sort of thing. I am single as a Pringle and always ready to mingle. Until I keep running into Mr. Tall, Dark and Mysterious everywhere I go. Tony Sorrento. Turns out he’s on the football team. I mean, I’m not one to chase after a sexy jock but, okay. I’m down. And did I mention he’s only a freshman? Our fathers are business rivals, and they forbid us from dating. We need to keep this on the low. Can we remain friendly? Sure. Maybe turn our friendship into friends with benefits? Most definitely. Here’s the thing though. I didn’t plan on catching feelings for him so quickly. Seems like he’s falling pretty hard for me too. Defying our fathers’ wishes is only asking for trouble, but is being with Tony worth the risk?

30 review for The Freshman

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melanie (mells_view)

    Life is messy. Love is even messier. Remember quiet and calm Tony from the Callahan series? Well now he’s getting his endgame love story. His heart is a little bruised from his break-up with Sophie in high school, and he’s sort of anti-relationship at this point, because he’s never seen an example of a good one. Divorced parents who really pay him zero attention when he was at an age where he still needed it, and just his friends having angsty relationships. Halfway through his first year of coll Life is messy. Love is even messier. Remember quiet and calm Tony from the Callahan series? Well now he’s getting his endgame love story. His heart is a little bruised from his break-up with Sophie in high school, and he’s sort of anti-relationship at this point, because he’s never seen an example of a good one. Divorced parents who really pay him zero attention when he was at an age where he still needed it, and just his friends having angsty relationships. Halfway through his first year of college, he meets Hayden by chance, and what do you know she has the same opinion on relationships and love. That said they have instant attraction and and instant connection to one another. This story is them trying their damndest to not fall for each other while being friends, and maybe friends with some fun benefits. Their story is easy and fun. There’s a tad bit of angst, but really it’s just these two reluctantly falling in love and figuring things out with their family and friendships. Also is it too soon to declare myself on a team for book three? #TEAMG 😂 Just putting that into the universe. 🤷🏽‍♀️ AVAILABLE NOW!!! *ARC

  2. 4 out of 5

    MELISSA *Mel Reader*

    4.5 Stars! (ARC provided by Valentine PR) Hayden Channing is a college student at Fresno State who meets a gorgeous guy while waiting to get her car serviced. She's single, and enjoying flirting with Mr. tall, dark, and handsome. They are both in town visiting their parents and learn they have a lot in common. They both come from wealthy families and have demanding fathers with high expectations. Sparks fly and they share an undeniable connection, but they soon learn their dads are business ri 4.5 Stars! (ARC provided by Valentine PR) Hayden Channing is a college student at Fresno State who meets a gorgeous guy while waiting to get her car serviced. She's single, and enjoying flirting with Mr. tall, dark, and handsome. They are both in town visiting their parents and learn they have a lot in common. They both come from wealthy families and have demanding fathers with high expectations. Sparks fly and they share an undeniable connection, but they soon learn their dads are business rivals and enemies. They are told to stay away from each other, but that's easier said than done. As they continue to run into one another on campus the temptation is real. Will they stay just friends so things don't get complicated, or will they break all the rules and have some fun? Tony Sorrento is a freshman playing football for the Bulldogs. He attends college about an hour away from his small hometown in the mountains. In his friend group he's the quiet, reserved one who nothing seems to affect. He's loyal, and a good guy, but is guarded. Then he meets Hayden. He's intrigued, and likes her way more than he should. There's bad blood between their dad's and she's supposed to be off limits, but it's not their rivalry. Maybe they can keep things casual, and enjoys a friends with benefits relationship. Neither believe in love or feelings so everything should stay simple, but when they cross that line and defy their fathers wishes, will it be worth the risk? -This girl is twisting me up inside. Making me feel things I didn't think I could. The Freshman (College Years, #1) by Monica Murphy is a sexy friends to lovers, forbidden college sports romance about chemistry, friendship, family rivalries, and fate. This book is the first standalone in the college series, that is a Callahan series spin off. We get appearances by some of the Callahan's, but these stories are about their friends. This was Tony's book. I've wanted more of the mysterious, sweet Tony Sorrento since we first met him, and he didn't disappoint. He's super swoony and has such a beautiful heart! I loved this book, and can't wait for more in this series! ***NOW AVAILABLE*** https://amzn.to/3tEgd0t

  3. 4 out of 5

    Siobhan Davis

    Prepare to fall hard for sweet, sexy, swoony Tony in this awesome first book in Monica's new series. Well written, with a likable heroine, and an intriguing cast of characters, this is one romance I could not put down until I had finished it. I can't wait for Jackson's, and Caleb's, book. Prepare to fall hard for sweet, sexy, swoony Tony in this awesome first book in Monica's new series. Well written, with a likable heroine, and an intriguing cast of characters, this is one romance I could not put down until I had finished it. I can't wait for Jackson's, and Caleb's, book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Monica Murphy

    The Freshman is now LIVE and FREE with Kindle Unlimited! This is the first book in my new College Years series, which is a spin off from The Callahan series. Tony and Hayden's story can be read as a complete stand alone! If you love college set sports romance, click here: https://geni.us/FreshmanAmz The Freshman is now LIVE and FREE with Kindle Unlimited! This is the first book in my new College Years series, which is a spin off from The Callahan series. Tony and Hayden's story can be read as a complete stand alone! If you love college set sports romance, click here: https://geni.us/FreshmanAmz

  5. 5 out of 5

    mila

    3.5 || Don't you love when authors keep spinning off their series, giving us new characters and stories, but also little crumbs of old couples? BECAUSE I DO!! The Freshman is the first installment in Monica Murphy's new series The College Years series and follows Tony Sorrento, a recurring character on The Callahans who is now starting college with zero expectations for his personal life. Tony is your rich guy with abandonment issues. Not only did his parents not care about him beyond their inter 3.5 || Don't you love when authors keep spinning off their series, giving us new characters and stories, but also little crumbs of old couples? BECAUSE I DO!! The Freshman is the first installment in Monica Murphy's new series The College Years series and follows Tony Sorrento, a recurring character on The Callahans who is now starting college with zero expectations for his personal life. Tony is your rich guy with abandonment issues. Not only did his parents not care about him beyond their interests, but he also went through a horrible breakup with who he believed was his love forever. So no, he's not interested in a new relationship... unless it's one with the daughter of the enemy of his father's. Hayden Channing is the complete opposite of Tony. Where he is shy and quiet, Hayden is outgoing and loud, but despite being opposite, they can't fight the obvious attraction between them. What started as a friendship turned into something casual and then the feelings got involved and what a mess! Their past experiences make them believe they are destined for failure, but maybe it's just a matter of going for it and fighting for this new relationship. Tony and Hayden's relationship was quite sweet, with some surprises about them that made me enjoy this book even more because it's not something you usually see in sports romances. Nor was there much conflict beyond the doubts they had in their minds about this relationship, and after all the feud between families wasn't so relevant, which perhaps was something strange for me because I'm a drama person and I expected a bigger blow up honestly. One of my favorite parts was obviously the EliAva and DiegoJo+babyG breadcrumbs and also all the clues about what's to come for the other characters! In a short time I have become very hooked on these characters and this universe, so I can't wait for their stories too! ARC provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ria | Abstract ♥ Books

    ALL MY REVIEWS CAN BE FOUND ON MY BLOG: ABSTRACT BOOKS Star Rating : 4/5 Stars POV : Dual Cliffhanger : None Hero : Tony Heroine : Hayden Pace of the story : Moderate Angst Rating : 4/10 Heat Rating : 4/10 Triggers Involved : None Plot Summary : Tony is just trying to get through his freshman year. Recently having had a breakup, he doesn't have any interest in new relationships. He never saw an example of a good relationship so his faith in love is a bit dwindled. That is until he mee ALL MY REVIEWS CAN BE FOUND ON MY BLOG: ABSTRACT BOOKS Star Rating : 4/5 Stars POV : Dual Cliffhanger : None Hero : Tony Heroine : Hayden Pace of the story : Moderate Angst Rating : 4/10 Heat Rating : 4/10 Triggers Involved : None Plot Summary : Tony is just trying to get through his freshman year. Recently having had a breakup, he doesn't have any interest in new relationships. He never saw an example of a good relationship so his faith in love is a bit dwindled. That is until he meets his perfect match. Hayden is everything he wants and everything he should stay away from. She is the one thing he can have as a best friend because she is that perfect. If only his body heard the same. He wants her so much but if he gives in then that might just be the end of their easy going relationship. Hayden didn't expect the cocky freshman to make her feel things. He is perfect for her but he scares her as much. No one has ever made her feel so much and Tony might just be the one thing which ends up breaking her in the end. Overall Opinion : I love Monica's quirky romances. I remember Tony from her other series. He was that shy guy but damn he did show some cockiness in this book. I loved his easy going character. This book was a fun loving contemporary read for me with a sweet storyline . Tony and Hayden had an amazing tale that made me laugh and swoon at the same time. They were just so perfect for each other but were resistant to give in. The book became even more interesting once they did give in. I would definitely recommend this book to all the college contemporary romance lovers out there! Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Bookbub | My Blog

  7. 4 out of 5

    Flor ❁

    jsjss i'm so excited about this serie and I didn't even finish The Callahans, please don't disappoint me 🤞🏽 jsjss i'm so excited about this serie and I didn't even finish The Callahans, please don't disappoint me 🤞🏽

  8. 4 out of 5

    sunny

    "This was always beyond friendship for me." The Freshman is the first installment in the College Years series. It follows eighteen-year-old Tony who's adjusting to college life. After a devastating break up he's not interested in any relationships but when he meets Hayden, he can't stay away. It doesn't help when their fathers, who are business rivals, forbid them from seeing each other. But they have chemistry and can't help being drawn to each other. They would rather stay friends than risk the "This was always beyond friendship for me." The Freshman is the first installment in the College Years series. It follows eighteen-year-old Tony who's adjusting to college life. After a devastating break up he's not interested in any relationships but when he meets Hayden, he can't stay away. It doesn't help when their fathers, who are business rivals, forbid them from seeing each other. But they have chemistry and can't help being drawn to each other. They would rather stay friends than risk their relationship but never say never right? Hayden Channing is opinionated and sexy. She's unlike any girl Tony has met. Tony Sorrento is our quiet rich boy, who stays in the shadows, never quite the life of the party. Hayden befriends him and draws him out of his shell. Their relationship was really sweet and their scenes were pretty spicy in comparison to the Callahan series. The highlight of this book for me would be seeing the whole gang again. I'm an avid Monica Murphy reader and I love the Callahan universe she's created. Her characters are so unique and I get so engaged in the storylines, so attached to these characters. I'm looking forward to this series and getting to experience this gang of friends venture onto college and life beyond. P.S. I need to secure my best girl, Baylee for Caleb. Their endgame is necessary in The Junior... so if you want to join the resistance, hit me up. Caleb is the man I'm looking the most forward to in this series, I'd die for him. (He's mine, ladies!!) *ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Tony & Hayden will steal your heart in this swoony and easy-to-read NA romance. I have fallen head over heels for this family of characters stemming from The Callahans' series, and these boys and their girls are just way too much fun to put down. M Murphy writes the college scene, characters who are perfectly flawed, and a bit of drama so well that you can't help but fall in love with each character and story. Not only did I love Tony & Hayden in this book, but I fell just as hard for their side Tony & Hayden will steal your heart in this swoony and easy-to-read NA romance. I have fallen head over heels for this family of characters stemming from The Callahans' series, and these boys and their girls are just way too much fun to put down. M Murphy writes the college scene, characters who are perfectly flawed, and a bit of drama so well that you can't help but fall in love with each character and story. Not only did I love Tony & Hayden in this book, but I fell just as hard for their sidekicks, and this author will leave you wanting more of each of their stories. I can't wait for what's to come in the College Years next! Well done once again M Murphy!

  10. 5 out of 5

    The Romantic Rush Blog

    When Monica announced this series I was SO excited-but not for the reasons you’d think. I was so in love with the Callahan kids, I was desperate to get even more of them- even if they were just glimmers in these stories. And while I liked all the characters featured in the college years series, to me they felt just like what they were in the Callahan series- secondary. Interesting side characters with their own stories who shine brightly enough for me to care about them but not quite enough to d When Monica announced this series I was SO excited-but not for the reasons you’d think. I was so in love with the Callahan kids, I was desperate to get even more of them- even if they were just glimmers in these stories. And while I liked all the characters featured in the college years series, to me they felt just like what they were in the Callahan series- secondary. Interesting side characters with their own stories who shine brightly enough for me to care about them but not quite enough to detract from the stories’ center. But if what Monica did with Tony is indication about what is to come in this series, I may end up loving the college years even more than the Callahans- GASP. I know. But Monica somehow took a somewhat interesting supportive side character and transformed him into her swooniest leading man yet- and dare I say, he might yet be my favorite! Even more so, she gives some of our other secondary characters central billing here- elevating them all from fun periphery characters to deeply intriguing and lovable leading men. And now I’m ravenous for all their books! TONY IS A DREAMBOAT. I loved getting to know more about him in this story- finally understand the layers and nuances of a character I hadn’t thought as intensely about. And he is so fantastically created- AND SWOONY AF. But what charmed me the most about him is how different he is from the other heroes Monica has given us in this series- he’s profoundly mature, laid back, rationale and self-aware. Monica brilliantly juxtaposes him with his friends- especially Caleb and Eli- for us to see this unexpectedly level-headed and grounded man. He’s got integrity, he’s sensitive and kind, honest and open. I instantly fell for him- and I relished the endearing ways he both works through his own feelings and is supportive and affectionate to Hayden. Hayden is a total pistol- and again, felt radically different than some of the other Monica heroines- she’s brash, confident, sexually confident and ballsy. Because she’s a less openly vulnerable character, it took a minute for me to warm up to her, but when we get more of her heart and see her perfect chemistry with Tony, I just adored her. And I loved these two together! They have a fiery and sweet chemistry- the perfect mix of tender passion. The story also didn’t unfold quite how I expected, which made it be even more emotionally interesting. Our narrative set-up gives me all sorts of angsty Romeo and Juliet vibes. And while that dynamic does play into the climactic conflict (which did have some odd notes), this story was actually blissfully lower angst and more even keeled, and the conflict centered less on their familial vendetta and more on the anti-relationship baggage they both carry from the radically unhealthy, toxic examples of “love” they’ve seen in their parents’ failed relationships. That to me made the story far more interesting for character developed-as what could easily be a story about externalized drama instead becomes a story about these two stumbling into a very healthy and sweet romance and finding the courage to take a risk on it when love is nothing but destructive all around them. Way more friends to lovers than enemies to lovers- which means way more sweet swoons and giddy butterflies. The BROMANCES though- oh my goodness. This may be the TRUE star of this story. Watching these teens start to become adults, formulate a supportive, fun, and vivid family unit, and help each other work though the angst of maturing into real adults is going to make for such a beautiful overarching theme for this series. I’m in love with ALL of these characters, and I’m so transfixed by their special dynamics. I have a feeling we have a new favorite Monica Murphy series in the works!

  11. 5 out of 5

    HMS

    Loved Tony but the plot was a little flimsy, I still loved it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nikki (Deeply Bookish)

    ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. What a perfect start to a new series and I’m just so excited where else Monica takes us because I can tell it will be a hit just like The Callahans Series. Tony was a perfect hero and I loved everything about him - and I mean EVERYTHING. I was excited about his book especially since Diego’s story and he didn’t disappoint. His character was affected by his break-up with Sophie and his parent’s divorce, but then he meets Hayden and his th ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. What a perfect start to a new series and I’m just so excited where else Monica takes us because I can tell it will be a hit just like The Callahans Series. Tony was a perfect hero and I loved everything about him - and I mean EVERYTHING. I was excited about his book especially since Diego’s story and he didn’t disappoint. His character was affected by his break-up with Sophie and his parent’s divorce, but then he meets Hayden and his thoughts on love are quickly changed. I loved how he couldn’t stop thinking about her from the very first moment, he was so into it and it was adorable. Whilst it was easy for me to fall in love with Tony, mainly because I really liked him in the previous books, it was very hard for me to get to Hayden. Something about her seemed off, but that was probably because of how she made a huge deal of Tony’s age at the start. Still, I did like her towards the end and also found her very bold - I mean who teases a guy she only met twice like she did at that one time?? That was legendary! Their relationship was very well written because Monica perfectly pointed out the growing passion and connection. I loved how they always put labels on their relationship and never stuck to it. It was also very fun to read, I laughed especially when other guys appeared in the story - and I can’t wait to get to know their stories. We once again got a new (with some familiar faces) friends group I will yet again be obsessing over. *** Follow me on Instagram for book edits.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gsmitty

    The Freshman by Monica Murphy was EVERYTHING I needed it to be and more! I've been so eager for Tony's story, and this absolutely delivered! Tony is the observer, wanting what's best for his friends, wise beyond his years, and has a lot of baggage, though he bears it all with dignity. He's calm, collected, poised, and yet beneath the surface there's molten lava heating up for the person that's perfect for him. And Hayden? Such a breath of fresh air! Confident, loving, protective of those she care The Freshman by Monica Murphy was EVERYTHING I needed it to be and more! I've been so eager for Tony's story, and this absolutely delivered! Tony is the observer, wanting what's best for his friends, wise beyond his years, and has a lot of baggage, though he bears it all with dignity. He's calm, collected, poised, and yet beneath the surface there's molten lava heating up for the person that's perfect for him. And Hayden? Such a breath of fresh air! Confident, loving, protective of those she cares about, sweet, beautiful inside and out. Has her own fair share of baggage and is trying to live her life for herself, her way. The will they won't they, the friends to lovers, the family history, all of it is so earthy and tangible and palpable and drew me in from start to finish, thoroughly invested in their relationship in whatever sense it was on the page in that moment, from their very first meet cute to the next to the next, throughout the entire book! And just a moment to wax prosaically about how much I love the way friends are chosen family. So beautifully written, definitely hit me in the FEELS with each and every instance of it! I adored this story, and the low key angst and drama. The focus on communication and honesty. The realness, the grittiness, the CHEMISTRY. You need to get on this, pronto! P. S. Loved seeing some friendly and familiar faces! Diego, Caleb, Eli, Jackson, always putting a smile on my face! P. P. S. Loved Jocelyn, laying down some hard truths. Such a wonderful and amazing person, and I loved getting to see more of her! P. P. P. S. Bring on Jackson Rivers!!! His story is going to put me through the wringer, I can tell already!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Krystel

    I was given an advance readers copy of this book and have decided to write a voluntary honest review. I wasn't expecting to like Tony so much, but I really did. At first I was like he should be soph etc. Now I don't feel that way anymore. Hayden is his perfect challenge, I actually love her. I'm excited to see what at going to happen with this series. I am getting some weird vibes with Eli and Ava and I don't like it. Caleb needs to make a decision. And Jackson needs to stop stringing Ellie alon I was given an advance readers copy of this book and have decided to write a voluntary honest review. I wasn't expecting to like Tony so much, but I really did. At first I was like he should be soph etc. Now I don't feel that way anymore. Hayden is his perfect challenge, I actually love her. I'm excited to see what at going to happen with this series. I am getting some weird vibes with Eli and Ava and I don't like it. Caleb needs to make a decision. And Jackson needs to stop stringing Ellie along like usual. Let's see how this turns al out.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Court

    I absolutely loved The Freshman. I devoured this book! Monica Murphy just has a way of creating these worlds with characters you fall in love with and then you get a breakout of that world with more characters and they are all connected, loving it even more! I can't get enough of these characters and I loved Tony in the Callahan Series. Tony is mature for his age with everything he has had to deal with, quiet, but will tell you how it is. Then we have Hayden, full of life, also not afraid to lay I absolutely loved The Freshman. I devoured this book! Monica Murphy just has a way of creating these worlds with characters you fall in love with and then you get a breakout of that world with more characters and they are all connected, loving it even more! I can't get enough of these characters and I loved Tony in the Callahan Series. Tony is mature for his age with everything he has had to deal with, quiet, but will tell you how it is. Then we have Hayden, full of life, also not afraid to lay the truth out, and loves to flirt. Tony and Hayden meet, a connection is formed and it hard to ignore the push and pull between these two. Tony and Hayden have a lot going against them, but they can't seem to ignore one another. Tony and Hayden take us on a wild, fun, flirty, mixed with that emotional drama that will pull you in and have you on the edge of your seat until you finish. Plus, don't forget all the other characters from their crew and some new faces, I cannot wait for the next book! Read this book now!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brittany from Can’t Quit Books

    I knew from the very first meeting that these two were going to give each other a run for their money. The banter and chemistry is off the charts. I couldn’t get enough of their scenes together. Tony is sad and dreading his future. It isn’t what he would pick for himself, but he feels stuck. Hayden is in a similar boat, but she’s free for now and taking full advantage. I loved these two together. They understood the pressure each other had and knew the lifestyle expectations. This gave them comm I knew from the very first meeting that these two were going to give each other a run for their money. The banter and chemistry is off the charts. I couldn’t get enough of their scenes together. Tony is sad and dreading his future. It isn’t what he would pick for himself, but he feels stuck. Hayden is in a similar boat, but she’s free for now and taking full advantage. I loved these two together. They understood the pressure each other had and knew the lifestyle expectations. This gave them common ground to grow, develop, and decide what they wanted in life. I also loved getting all the scenes with the past characters. Seeing them a little more grown was such a fun treat. More secrets are dropped, more storylines were formed, and now I’m counting down the days until I can get the next book in my hands.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dali

    Monica Murphy launches her College Years series with a sweet and sexy about swoony freshman Tony Sorrento and the girl that gives him hope that love does exist. Someday, I just know I’m going to blurt out, “I love you,” to Tony. And I’m okay with it. Perfectly okay. Tony has had nothing but bad relationship examples starting with his own parents and experiencing heartache of his own. He’s done with love and just wants to get through his freshman year playing football and hang out with his f Monica Murphy launches her College Years series with a sweet and sexy about swoony freshman Tony Sorrento and the girl that gives him hope that love does exist. Someday, I just know I’m going to blurt out, “I love you,” to Tony. And I’m okay with it. Perfectly okay. Tony has had nothing but bad relationship examples starting with his own parents and experiencing heartache of his own. He’s done with love and just wants to get through his freshman year playing football and hang out with his friends. While visiting her father and taking care of some car problems, Hayden Channing meets the drop dead gorgeous Tony, who she later finds out is the son of her father’s business nemesis. They’re both ordered by their father’s to stay away from each other, which is easier said than done since the both attend Fresno state college, keep bumping into each other, and they’re both wildly attracted to one another despite their dismissal view on romantic relationships. Can they stick to their friends only rule? The Freshman is book #1 of the College Years series by Monica Murphy. It is a standalone college romance told from both points of view with a happy ending. Genres: NA romance. Tropes: forbidden romance | friends to lovers Amazon -> https://amzn.to/3x8wDQR ★ I was given an ARC of this book courtesy of the author via Valentine PR. The excerpts are from that copy. I am voluntarily reviewing this title. ★ Quick review by the numbers. Full review pending. Plot: 📙📙📙📙 World building: 🌎🌏🌍 Character development: 😳😳😳😳 Romance: 💜💜💜💜 Sexiness: 🔥🔥🔥 See all my book edits on Instagram ★ FaceBook ★

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carly Wilson

    The Freshman is the first book in the College Years series by the amazing Monica Murphy. If you are a new reader, or an avid fan of Murphy’s romances, then this one will completely and utterly floor you. I first started reading Murphy’s books back in 2019 and I’ve been obsessed ever since. She writes high school romances as if I’m living them, and I cannot but help but be in love with her smouldering book boyfriends. In the Freshman you learn of Tony, an eighteen year old who is trying hard to f The Freshman is the first book in the College Years series by the amazing Monica Murphy. If you are a new reader, or an avid fan of Murphy’s romances, then this one will completely and utterly floor you. I first started reading Murphy’s books back in 2019 and I’ve been obsessed ever since. She writes high school romances as if I’m living them, and I cannot but help but be in love with her smouldering book boyfriends. In the Freshman you learn of Tony, an eighteen year old who is trying hard to form a relationship with his estranged father and his stepmother. But if Tony thought it would be plain sailing, he was wrong. For Antonio Sr is a ruthless businessman, and has one goal of accruing deals and continuing to be fabulously wealthy. So when Tony is visiting a car dealership and he sparks up a conversation with the incredibly beautiful Hayden Channing, he figures it’s the best thing to come out of his trip. Unfortunately, Hayden is the daughter of his father’s biggest rival and nemesis, and is very much forbidden. Hayden is stunningly beautiful, she is an angel with clipped wings and she is desperate to be free and take flight. When she is forced into spending time with her father and his girlfriend she feels suffocated, like she can’t breathe, and she hates all the manipulative conversations and idea of herself being used as a bargaining chip. So when she meets an incredible ‘pretty’ boy called Tony, she cannot help but be instantly attracted to him. But unbeknown to Hayden, Tony is off limits, her father forbids it and will do anything to get his own way. Will it be a happy ever after? Or a happily never after? This book was full of plenty of drama, action and non-stop romance. I completely understood Hayden’s fascination for Tony as he has an air of mystery about him, a hint of bad boy, yet deep down he is loyal to his core. He is dying to feel connected to someone, but as he’s not known true love, he doesn’t fully believe in the possibility of falling for a beautiful woman. But Hayden is stunningly beautiful, and a true angel in his eyes and he cannot help but be addicted to her cat and mouse game. Hayden is methodical at times, she doesn’t want to believe in relationships but has this constant trust in Tony, which was very captivating. I loved the drama around her friend Gracie and Caleb, and I absolutely cannot wait to know more about Jackson Rivers and Ellie. If you’ve read Murphy’s previous books, you will recognise some of the characters, however, if you are a new reader, this book can be read as a stand-alone as all history is recapped and explained. I adored this book and it had me page turning for a full day. It’s ideal for those who love forbidden high school romances, and those who love off the chart romance and smoking hot chemistry.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lauren - SERIESous Books

    I'm a little torn on how to rate this. I struggled a bit with the pacing on this. The synopsis made me think we were going to get a passionate forbidden romance. Instead we get a slow burn relationship that is friendly flirting for a long time. Which I appreciated because it grounded the relationship. I think we explored a lot of common real life scenarios here: like a girl dating a "younger" guy; romantic relationships after high school; pressures from family. And while there was some inkling of m I'm a little torn on how to rate this. I struggled a bit with the pacing on this. The synopsis made me think we were going to get a passionate forbidden romance. Instead we get a slow burn relationship that is friendly flirting for a long time. Which I appreciated because it grounded the relationship. I think we explored a lot of common real life scenarios here: like a girl dating a "younger" guy; romantic relationships after high school; pressures from family. And while there was some inkling of melodrama, we never really got some big climax of everything. I think that's why I'm struggling writing this review. The Callahan Series near the end had a lot of drama but as this group graduates on to college, the maturity shows. So I think if I knew that going in and hadn't been anticipating some soap opera drama, I would have appreciated the more subtle and mature approach. Full review to come *copy provided*

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shelby Grenz Winckler

    O. My. Gosh. I didn’t think it could get much better then the Callahan kids series, but TONY!! O my goodness, I love Tony. He was always such a quiet character in the Callahan kids books, and now we learn why. Hayden is a super strong female character, and I love that she knows what she wants, and even when what she wants changes, she doesn’t back down, she goes for it. A lot of the drama happens in the beginning of the story, where we meet the parents and discover that they don’t want Tony and H O. My. Gosh. I didn’t think it could get much better then the Callahan kids series, but TONY!! O my goodness, I love Tony. He was always such a quiet character in the Callahan kids books, and now we learn why. Hayden is a super strong female character, and I love that she knows what she wants, and even when what she wants changes, she doesn’t back down, she goes for it. A lot of the drama happens in the beginning of the story, where we meet the parents and discover that they don’t want Tony and Hayden associating with each other. Side note, Tony’s stepmom is super creepy. End note. Tony and Hayden decide to be friends, going against their dads’ wishes, and that friendship blooms into more. During the ups and downs of starting a new relationship, both Tony and Hayden mature and realize what they’ve done wrong in the past, especially Tony. He learns to fight for what is right in front of him, instead of shutting down. Hayden changes her point of view on relationships, because she begins to realize that with Tony, she wants to try something more. I love how Monica was setting up the future books, especially for Jackson (the Sophomore). I personally am so excited for Caleb’s book, especially after the different side we saw to him in Tony’s story. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for this group of friends, and I’m really excited to see little tidbits of the Tony and Hayden, and our other Callahans. Loved the sneak peak at the end into my personal favorite, Autumn and Ash, but also Jake and Hannah. It doesn’t feel like they just disappeared. PS, Monica, that sneak peak into the Sophomore was pure torture! Highly recommend this book, 10 stars!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kat's Books & Brews

    I was so sad when the Callahan series was coming to an end. I loved the high school drama. But I should have know Monica wouldn’t let us down! The College Years- reminds me of Saved By the Bell. I didn’t want to let go of Zack Morris either ;) All in all, this book was like an introduction. We get to see what this series will hold for us. We are joined by the gang at Fresno State. Playing football, partying, and trying to navigate life. Where we left off in the Callahan series Tony was a friend, I was so sad when the Callahan series was coming to an end. I loved the high school drama. But I should have know Monica wouldn’t let us down! The College Years- reminds me of Saved By the Bell. I didn’t want to let go of Zack Morris either ;) All in all, this book was like an introduction. We get to see what this series will hold for us. We are joined by the gang at Fresno State. Playing football, partying, and trying to navigate life. Where we left off in the Callahan series Tony was a friend, a guy who was just around. We didn’t know much, but here we definitely get the full picture. Enter Hayden. Blonde and hot- definitely captures Tony‘s attention. And from there it begins. What starts out as “no relationship”, “no strings”, and “no love” definitely progresses to more! Especially makes it that much better when daddy tells you a specific boy is a no-no! So do yourself a favor and pick up The Freshmen! Can’t wait to see what else Monica has up her sleeve.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dayang

    5⭐️ I've been waiting for this book ever since it was announced. Reading Diego's book reinforced my admiration for Tony because he was not your average shallow high school jock. Most boys would advice for the easy way out but not Tony. And it showed how responsible and mature he is in this book. He was patient, understanding and has a good head on his shoulders despite growing up in a broken home. I didn't really like Hayden. I'm sorry. It took a couple of chapters in for me before I warmed up to 5⭐️ I've been waiting for this book ever since it was announced. Reading Diego's book reinforced my admiration for Tony because he was not your average shallow high school jock. Most boys would advice for the easy way out but not Tony. And it showed how responsible and mature he is in this book. He was patient, understanding and has a good head on his shoulders despite growing up in a broken home. I didn't really like Hayden. I'm sorry. It took a couple of chapters in for me before I warmed up to her. Or maybe at the back of my mind, I wanted Tony and Sophie to get back together... The Romeo and Juliet touch was exciting though. I was devoured this book overnight. *Sigh* I can't wait for Jackson's book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dimaris rossy

    It felt so weird at the start to root for someone other than Sophie. But Hayden is really a great match for Tony. They have a lot in common and in what they don't, she brings out the best of him. I loved getting more insight into the cool, collected, loyal and a bit mysterious Tony. I also loved that he had his friends to rely on and an opportunity to grow and let his guard down. These 2 are honest to a fault with no filter and outgoing, specially Hayden. And that attitude made the story telling It felt so weird at the start to root for someone other than Sophie. But Hayden is really a great match for Tony. They have a lot in common and in what they don't, she brings out the best of him. I loved getting more insight into the cool, collected, loyal and a bit mysterious Tony. I also loved that he had his friends to rely on and an opportunity to grow and let his guard down. These 2 are honest to a fault with no filter and outgoing, specially Hayden. And that attitude made the story telling sexy and provocative. It was easy and enjoyable to read this book with so much chemistry between them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Robinson

    This was a fun kick off to a new series. Tony and Hayden start as a meet cute at a Range Rover dealership in San Francisco. They have a fun, flirty conversation and then part ways. Later that same evening, they happen to run into each other at their parent's country club. This is where the plot thickens and we begin to see where the roadblocks to a relationship for them come from and will continue to pop up. Their fathers are business enemies. Very Romeo and Juliette like. In this case Hayden is This was a fun kick off to a new series. Tony and Hayden start as a meet cute at a Range Rover dealership in San Francisco. They have a fun, flirty conversation and then part ways. Later that same evening, they happen to run into each other at their parent's country club. This is where the plot thickens and we begin to see where the roadblocks to a relationship for them come from and will continue to pop up. Their fathers are business enemies. Very Romeo and Juliette like. In this case Hayden is the elder in the relationship, 20 years old to Tony's 18 years. Not to mention the two years of college separating them. Their step mothers also fall into the categorical "evil step mother" molds with Tony's step mom meeting him and pursuing him as a lust interest. I'm on Tony's side with this one. I don't mind reading a bit of a dark or forbidden romance, however his step mother is rotten to her gold digging core. Hayden's future step mother is not any better. Playing the part of the simpering involved loving fiancée to Hayden's father while more than likely conducting an affair with a son of a family friend. Lauri is, unsurprisingly, good friends with Tony's step mother. Like finds like and all of that. The mean spirited step moms club is strong in these gold digging waters. These two women act as a foil to help the reader understand pieces of Tony and Hayden's views on life and love. Neither of the MCs believes in lasting romantic love, trusts at a very shallow level, and both are always looking ahead to see who is going to bail first. I enjoyed this plot and the different references it drew in from both literature and fairytales. It is written at a younger level than some of the books I've been reading, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment. For all that Tony feels abandoned and unlovable, he has created a strong circle of friends who have his back, support him, respect him and look out for him. Hayden has her younger sister as well as her roommate Gracie keeping her grounded and talking her off the ledge of quick decisions. It took me a bit longer to warm up to Hayden's character. She spouted a good game about wanting to be free from her father, his money and his control, yet the things she valued in her life were all the things that his money made accessible to her. All in all the characters had a great growth plot arc. Both were forced to confront their unhealthy coping mechanisms, look deeply at their relationship, and were forced to admit what they wanted out of the relationship as well as the feelings they had for each other. The group of friends that Tony pulls Hayden and Gracie into is a tight family like group who appear to be making up the future books in this series. After completing Tony and Hayden's story I'm really looking forward to Jackson and Ellie's story. Ms. Murphy writes a vey good average high schooler leaving their world for the college years and new adulthood. I'm hooked and will be adding The Sophomore to my TBR list.

  25. 5 out of 5

    MJ

    I was always very curious about the 'quiet' Tony Sorrento. The guy in the background who had blow-out parties and absent parents. His role in the Callahan series was to give everyone an outlet after long weeks in high school, no holds barred. Well, now it's his time to shine and shine he does. At first, I didn't know what to make of this broody freshman. But his loyalty to his friends and his devil may care attitude towards his well-to-do parents and the extravagant lifestyle they lead is what at I was always very curious about the 'quiet' Tony Sorrento. The guy in the background who had blow-out parties and absent parents. His role in the Callahan series was to give everyone an outlet after long weeks in high school, no holds barred. Well, now it's his time to shine and shine he does. At first, I didn't know what to make of this broody freshman. But his loyalty to his friends and his devil may care attitude towards his well-to-do parents and the extravagant lifestyle they lead is what attracted the equally wealthy Hayden Channing and thus starts their romance. Although both deny that they want anything to do with love, the chemistry between them is undeniable and I was surprisingly taken with this couple and the way they handled it. Hayden is quite feisty and opinionated and I wasn't sure at first if she was right for Tony. But with time, I appreciated that despite her just being 20, that she knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to go for it. And that includes her gorgeous new friend and the pact to simply be friends with benefits and nothing more. I also was impressed that Hayden, in particular, was quite brazen with her sexual prowess and it was kind of refreshing that she was the more experienced of the two. Her hesitation that Tony was only 18 was quickly thwarted by her crazy friend Gracie, making her realize that it didn't matter that he was a bit younger and new to college. He was truly perfect for her as they both had difficult families and could unburden themselves to each other, in and out of the bedroom. Both sweet and sexy, these scenes were written really well. Tony's housemates play a huge part in helping him find his way, whether it's in keeping Hayden or continuing to thrive at football. They truly are his real family and I loved their good-natured ribbing and silly antics. Caleb and Jackson still remain a bit of a mystery and only time will tell whether their actions thus far will guide them to their own kind of happy. Overall, this is a great coming-of-age story wherein Tony finds his life only getting better, finally coming to terms with his toxic parents and the choices they have made and not letting them dictate his future any longer. My heart was full as later scenes showed real growth from Tony and his parents and newer decisions to let go of the past. With the determined and fiery Hayden by his side, I'm convinced he'll have the success he deserves both on and off the field. Monica Murphy treats these characters like her own and always gives them the chance to spread their wings no matter how painful that may be. The Freshman is the start of yet another engaging kind of storyline and I look forward to more as high school friends venture onto college and the challenges they face in all things love. 4 solid stars!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Shann McPherson

    *ARC received from Valentine PR in exchange for my honest review* If you've read the Callahan series, you might remember Tony. If you don't, don't worry, because I too went into The Freshman with low expectations. To me, Tony was a background character, and a boring one at that. A relative nobody. He made no impact on me, whatsoever. So, when Monica Murphy announced she was going to write a new series about the other guys from the Callahan series, and that the first book was Tony's book, I must a *ARC received from Valentine PR in exchange for my honest review* If you've read the Callahan series, you might remember Tony. If you don't, don't worry, because I too went into The Freshman with low expectations. To me, Tony was a background character, and a boring one at that. A relative nobody. He made no impact on me, whatsoever. So, when Monica Murphy announced she was going to write a new series about the other guys from the Callahan series, and that the first book was Tony's book, I must admit I was kind of like, meh. But, I also love everything Miss Murphy writes, so knew I needed to give it a go. And, let me tell you, while Tony may have been a nobody to me in the past, he's now up there with my other book boyfriends, Eli and Tuttle. I feel guilty I never gave poor old Tony more of a chance, but... I'm here now. The Freshman sees Tony, a freshman at college, deal with his controlling father and his father's insolent wife, who is a total C*** by the way. Then we meet Hayden. And what a breath of fresh air she is. I love a woman who refuses to conform to the norm, whilst still battling internally over what she want, versus what she knows is right and wrong. These two are a kicker of a non-couple. And I say non-couple because as Hayden would declare, 'LOVE IS FOR PUSSIES!' I don't like to include spoilers in my reviews, so all I will say is these two are made for each other, however their wealthy, business tycoon fathers are sworn enemies. Very Romeo and Juliet, minus the sword fighting and completely illegal underage sex. Hayden and Tony find themselves in a secret, non-relationship where neither wants to admit their true feelings to one other, because, again, 'love is for pussies.' Will true love prevail? You need to read to find out. The Freshman also gives us a glimpse into some of our other favourite characters lives. We check in with Eli and Ava, Jake and Hannah, and, of course Jackson and Ellie, who are coming up next in book two - The Sophomore. I just love this group of characters Monica Murphy has created, and I love being invited into their world. I can't wait for the Jackson's story. I have a feeling that boy might finally get his arse handed to him. And then Caleb's story afterwards - The Junior (I'm assuming); that boy does my head in, so I know that will be a wild ride. The Freshman gets 3.75 stars, rounded up to 4 because I do have one critique; I felt like the conflict between the two fathers, and in turn, the relationship between Hayden and her father, and Tony and his father, was rushed and not entirely resolved. I assumed after reading the blurb that the father's would have played more of a pivotal role in the story, but that wasn't the case. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and look forward to the next.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sandy S

    4.25 stars--THE FRESHMAN is the first instalment in Monica Murphy’s contemporary, new adult THE COLLEGE YEARS romance series-a spin off from the author’s THE CALLAHANS. This is eighteen year old, college freshman Tony Sorrento, and twenty year old junior Hayden Channing’s story line. You do not have to have read The Callahans but I recommend reading the series for back story and cohesion as The College Years focuses on the secondary characters from the previous series. Told from dual first person 4.25 stars--THE FRESHMAN is the first instalment in Monica Murphy’s contemporary, new adult THE COLLEGE YEARS romance series-a spin off from the author’s THE CALLAHANS. This is eighteen year old, college freshman Tony Sorrento, and twenty year old junior Hayden Channing’s story line. You do not have to have read The Callahans but I recommend reading the series for back story and cohesion as The College Years focuses on the secondary characters from the previous series. Told from dual first person perspectives (Tony and Hayden) THE FRESHMAN follows the forbidden relationship between eighteen year old college freshman Tony Sorrento, and twenty year old college junior Hayden Channing. Hayden and Tony had never met before the day they found themselves at the local car dealership but unbeknownst to our couple, Tony and Hayden’s father were business rivals, and as such were forbidden from seeing one another. Upon their return to college, Tony would run into Hayden, on the first of many meetings that would eventually lead to a romantic affair but as Tony’s love for Hayden grew, threats of another nature would force Tony to chose sides between the woman with whom he was falling in love, and the family he hadn’t been close to in a very long time. What ensues is the building romance and relationship between Tony and Hayden, and the potential fall-out as keeping their relationship a secret is about to be exposed. Hayden Channing struggles with the age difference between herself and Tony but more so the possibility that her relationship with Tony is about to affect her father’s business. Tony knows that once their relationship is exposed, there may be no going back but the Sorrento family dynamics is slowly deteriorating from within. The relationship between Hayden and Tony is one of immediate attraction but their father’s rivalry is threatening any possibility of a happily ever after. Hayden continues to struggle with Tony’s age, and Tony struggles with what is happening back home. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate, without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text. There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including most if not all of the The Callahan leading couples. We are reintroduced to the original supporting characters, all of whom will have their own story to tell: Jackson and Caleb. THE FRESHMAN is a fast paced, wonderful and exciting story line of forbidden romance; a slight age-gap love affair that is reinforced by Hayden’s continuous need to reflect on their differences. The premise is entertaining and captivating; the romance is tender and seductive; the characters are energetic and familiar but I struggled with the immature nature and attitude of the parents, often times reminiscent of what you would find in a young adult story line. www.thereadingcafe.com

  28. 4 out of 5

    ReadingTilTheBreakOfDawn

    The Freshman is an ALL NEW New Adult series from Monica Murphy. Although it is a spinoff of a previous series, we are getting our characters in the college years. For the readers that have read The Callahans, you are going to love the change of scenery, but like that your favorite characters still show up. And for readers just jumping in, enjoy The College Years with some men that are growing up and the women that will push them! I called Tony from the beginning because of his quiet demeanor and The Freshman is an ALL NEW New Adult series from Monica Murphy. Although it is a spinoff of a previous series, we are getting our characters in the college years. For the readers that have read The Callahans, you are going to love the change of scenery, but like that your favorite characters still show up. And for readers just jumping in, enjoy The College Years with some men that are growing up and the women that will push them! I called Tony from the beginning because of his quiet demeanor and the way he was this background character in the previous series. He seemed mysterious to me. I just knew there was something about him. Sure enough, he was everything I wanted in a character. He's quiet. He's a listener. He's a good friend. He's (usually) dedicated. How would all that translate to him in college? The Freshman starts out with our main characters meeting at a dealership getting work done on their cars in the city. Not somewhere they usually are. They had that spark right from the get go. Two well-to-do young adults that come from wealthy families. Their outlook on life and love seemed to line up and they found out they both attended the same college. This was meant to be. But when they find out their parents are enemies, they are told to stay away from one another. But don't you parents know? You tell your kids they CAN'T do something and then they WILL?? Tony and Hayden end up meeting on campus after their night out with their families. They have chemistry, but they can only be friends. They've been left. They've been burned and they haven't seen the best examples of love. But everything they do and say is way more than friends. Their chemistry and banters is just sexy and fun. I liked their playfulness and the way Hayden pushed Tony. Their friendship and the way they could be honest with one another played out perfectly throughout the story. Tony can't trust easily because he is continuously being left behind, but in Hayden he has found someone that is so trustworthy and honest. And Hayden has met this good looking guy that is always there for those around him. He may be younger than Hayden, but he is way more mature than most of the men she's been with, even with his lack of experience. Tony and Hayden's friendship flows seamlessly to a relationship. They just worked from day one! I really enjoyed these two and how their flaws were balanced by one another. I liked that Hayden was the more experienced one and not ashamed of it. I liked that Tony was just so honest and open with her. And their build up? HAWT!! Plus their friends and the friendships that they had? LOVED IT!! Good friends make good stories and that is exactly what Monica did. The only thing I really wanted more of was some tension or more of the parents meddling. It could've added some drama to the story. But sometimes you just don't need that. Sometimes a nice story, building up the base of a series with great characters and a feel good story is all you need. That's what you get with The Freshman. A dual POV with two great characters that have obvious chemistry and have some great friends that helped balanced the story. Minimal drama and friendships that push the story forward. A fun start to a new series. I can't wait for more!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Luisa Rivas

    No one can do YA like Monica Murphy! She dominates that subtle balance between a young adult who feels he/she is a man/woman and therefore independent, with the random reminders that they are still college students and therefore, dependent on their parents for their tuition and board. This series involves rich kids, who don’t lack from material riches, but most do lack from paternal love and attention. Such is the case of Tony, whom we’ve seen in previous books. He practically lives alone in the No one can do YA like Monica Murphy! She dominates that subtle balance between a young adult who feels he/she is a man/woman and therefore independent, with the random reminders that they are still college students and therefore, dependent on their parents for their tuition and board. This series involves rich kids, who don’t lack from material riches, but most do lack from paternal love and attention. Such is the case of Tony, whom we’ve seen in previous books. He practically lives alone in the mansion, hasn’t seen his father in six years and his mother is constantly traveling, pursuing a happiness that evades her constantly. Tony suffers from abandonment issues and not surprisingly, he seems remote. He’s very close to Jake, Caleb and Diego, but he’s quieter, silent, reserved. When he feels someone is about to leave, he retires and abandons first to prevent another hurt. I marveled that in spite of having such a deprived childhood, he’s still generous and a good friend to his crew. Hayden is sassy, flirty, sexy, self-assured. For her, same as for Tony, love is not true, marriage is hell, and has no desire or goal to fall in love, marry, nor have children. Not surprising, since all she sees are husbands changing their wives, trading in for younger trophy wives, who in turn cheat because they miss young lovers and their attributes. There’s such a decadent and sleazy environment in the rich and entitled world that Tony and Hayden inhabit that it grossed me out. With such an introduction, it’s crazy that Tony and Hayden will form such a connection. But they can’t help the attraction and in spite of trying to keep it casual, they’re just too well matched. I loved their struggles, their reluctance to get into a relation because they’re afraid it will fail, and yet, at time goes on, their feelings stay strong. Around them, all their friends are having their couples thing, close friends Gracie and Caleb are doing their own sing and dance about not wanting to fall in love. I was hugely entertained by this couple and their friends. I hurt for Tony and his wish for some love and attention from his parents. I loved visiting with old friends Eli and Ava, Diego and Jocelyn, and new friends Caleb and Jackson. I loved the descriptions of their daily life and the slow development of their feelings. I find their parent’s lifestyle gross, so undesirable. In contrast, Jake Callahan’s parents are much more wealthy and much more worthy. I love how the author makes the distinction between being rich in family and friends and being rich in money, poor in personality and scruples. I detested the trophy wives (Lauri and Helena) and their values. I hope we get a story about Parker and I can’t wait for Jackson’s story!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amy Dickinson

    Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ I have been along for the ride with Monica Murphy’s The Callahans series. I’ll be honest; I’ve struggled with some of the books, but there has always been something redemptive with each of her characters even after acting like some of the worst people imaginable. All along this journey, there are two characters who have stood out to me: Tony Sorrento and Jackson Rivers. With Murphy’s newest series, The College Years, you earn access to their stories, beginning with Tony Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ I have been along for the ride with Monica Murphy’s The Callahans series. I’ll be honest; I’ve struggled with some of the books, but there has always been something redemptive with each of her characters even after acting like some of the worst people imaginable. All along this journey, there are two characters who have stood out to me: Tony Sorrento and Jackson Rivers. With Murphy’s newest series, The College Years, you earn access to their stories, beginning with Tony’s in Murphy’s latest book, The Freshman. Unlike the stories of The Callahans, Tony, as I suspected, seems less obnoxious. In this story, we find Tony, a freshman in college, struggling to find his place. Without a distinct position on the football team, with his animosity toward a dad who hasn’t been a part of his life, with a step-mom who “comes onto him” at every corner, and with a future that feels ambiguous and tenuous, Tony doesn’t know where he begins and ends. One day, while having his new Range Rover serviced, Tony meets Hayden, who is also having her Range Rover serviced. These two have insta-chemistry and a clear attraction to each other. They realize quickly over the course of the beginning of Murphy’s story that their families “run” in the same circles except their dads are business enemies. Additionally, Hayden and Tony both attend Fresno State, even though they have never seen each other. One of those reasons is Hayden is two years older than Tony. Even more, Hayden and Tony’s thoughts about relationships are the same: neither of them is interested in relationships given their families’ issues with dating and marriage. In a nutshell, it’s clear that Tony and Hayden will feel drawn to each other, but they will fight it every step of the way. And that is exactly the case….until they don’t. For me, this is my favorite of this crew’s stories. Like I mentioned above, Tony is one of the best characters, and I’m thankful that Murphy crafted a story that shines a light on his depth of character. Also, I liked Hayden as a heroine for Tony. We find out more about his break-up with his high school sweetheart, ex-girlfriend, Sophie in this story, and Murphy created the perfect match for Tony. Once again, though, there are parts of Hayden and Tony’s story that feel drawn out and repetitive, which, for this reader, tends to be the case with this series of books and causes the story to drag a bit. I’d like to think that Jackson’s story might be different, but I’m reticent to believe it will be different. If you’re a fan of YA/new adult romance, then you should check out Monica Murphy’s The Freshman. It has her crew from The Callahans stories, along with all the qualities that new adult readers love about that sub-genre.

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