Sunday, 8 January 2017

Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen

US Cover

UK/AU Cover


He's a scrapper in the rink, but he's about to learn that playing nice can help you score...

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O’Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of fighting, O’Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He hides his pain from the coaching staff, but when his chronic muscle strain becomes too obvious to ignore, he’s sent for treatment with the team’s massage therapist.

After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini needs a timeout from men. She’s focusing only on work: rehabilitating the Bruisers’ MVP. O’Doul is easy on the eyes but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O’Doul heal, but as the tension between them starts to simmer, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good…

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Kristine's Review:
Reviewed: January 2017.

Patrick O'Doul is both the Brooklyn Bruisers' Captain and Enforcer, considering the bulk of my ice hockey knowledge comes from Ms Bowen's previous books and The Mighty Ducks that was a position I was already somewhat familiar with. Reserved and quiet is not often the adjectives you would expect to hear in relation to a tough as nails enforcer, and yet even the men who play on his team know little about him.

Ari Bettini is not at all what I expected, intuitive and warm the Bruisers masseuse and yoga instructor has her work cut out for her with the team Captain. He's quiet and intense nature leaves most underwhelmed by working with him. When persistent pain and injury lands Patrick on Ari's table, she'll have to work harder than ever before to earn his trust and the ability to touch him freely in order to help him heal. When Ari's ex won't leave her alone Patrick will need to prove to her that not all men are the same.

“It might take me years to convince you I'm a good guy, but I'll never stop trying.”

Bowen has long been capturing my attention with her writing style, whip smart funny, scintillatingly sexy and with the perfect blend of swoon worthy romance her Ivy Years and True North series were both winners for me. Her staging is always delightful, allowing me to lose myself in her words, imagining the sights and sounds of each scene from hockey rink to massage room to Brooklyn street. With a taste of suspense infiltrating her story, I was both swept away by these two people falling for one another and on edge waiting for something to happen to jeopardise everything. Patrick with his gruff moments that were supposed to keep him isolated and protect him, I only found myself loving him more, the glimpses into his past early on tugged at my heartstrings sufficiently to have me seated firmly in the O'Doul cheers quad, but what really and truly sealed my fate was the banter between he and Ari. With her recent past, one could excuse Ari for being down, but her strength and determination, layered exquisitely with vulnerability hiding just below the surface made her real and relatable in a way I need in my heroines.
For me, I find myself drawn to particular writers for certain tropes or genres, when it comes to sports romance, Sarina Bowen is an automatic one click, but more than that, when I want something effortlessly beautiful, something both sassy and sweet, something that just feels good to read, Ms Bowen checks every box, always leaving a smile on my face and wanting more.

About Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of New England.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of the RITA award winning HIM, and its sequel, US.

Sarina enjoys skiing, espresso drinks and the occasional margarita. She lives with her family, eight chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.

Connect with Sarina on Facebook

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