Author: Sarina Bowen

Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted July 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle KennedyReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Stay by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Series: WAGS #2
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20th, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 295
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Can you fall in love with someone you've never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch--an anonymous virtual assistant service--is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it's against the rules for her to check his file, she's 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting...until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He's still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth--that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won't show her pretty face.

But it's nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can't fix. Hailey can't resist the offer. Matt can't resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn't have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Rowena: This month, Holly and I are reviewing Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy. Stay is the second book in their WAGS series and it features Matty Cakes Eriksson and Hailey Taylor Emery.

Hailey is a total hockey fan. She’s loyal to her team and has the biggest crush on Matt Eriksson. She also runs a virtual assistant business and one of her biggest clients is Matt Eriksson. At least she thinks he is. She doesn’t know for sure because he marked the privacy box on his initial form but she’s pretty sure Sniper87 is Matthew Eriksson, the star of all of her fantasies.

Matt is divorced and with the help of his virtual assistant, he’s building a home that his kids will feel comfortable in when they come to stay with him. He couldn’t do half of what he’s doing without his virtual assistant, HTE and he’s developed his own crush on her. He finds himself flirting with her and wanting to meet her. Whether it’s a good idea or not is the question…

What did you think of the book, Holly?

Holly: I really liked it. Somehow I skipped the first book in the series, so this is my first taste of the WAGs. I really liked how well-blanaced the story was. Sometimes we were dealing with Hailey’s baggage, sometimes Matt’s. Sometimes it was the trials and tribulations of Hailey running her own company, sometimes Matt’s hockey schedule.

I thought it was cute how they both sort of anonymously developed crushes on each other.

Rowena: I read the first book and think you should go back and read it. It was just a great as this book. It’s Blake and Jess’ book so seriously, go back and read it. 🙂

I agree with you on how well balanced this book was. I appreciated the hell out of that because I wasn’t left wanting more from either of the main characters so that was good. I really enjoyed getting to know both Matt and Hailey and thought they were too cute together.

What did you think about Matt’s ex-wife?

Holly: Honestly I don’t know what I think about her. On the one hand she was terrible to Matt, but on the other hand she apologized in the end and seemed to come around. I don’t know if I fully buy into how easy it was, though. One confrontation and all is well?

I thought Hailey’s relationship with her ex was more complicated and more ..real? I liked that it wasn’t easy for her to run the company with her ex, but they both worked hard to come to a good place together both personally and professionally, if that makes sense?

Rowena: I liked that Matt finally told her where to put her stupid judgments of the way that he fathers their girls but like you, I didn’t completely buy it. I think on Matt’s part, he said what he had to say and while he didn’t completely forgive her, he was done with her and her new boo. He had Hailey and the girls and that was enough for him.

Yeah, I liked reading about Hailey’s complicated life working with her ex-husband and when she opened his sex box, I laughed out loud. Because…damn.

Okay, am I the only person that thought Hailey’s pervy client was O’Connor? LOL.

Holly: OMG! I thought that too!! I just knew when they finally met him in person or was going to be O’Connor. I’m kind of disappointed it wasn’t. Haha

I think you’re right about the way Matt felt, I guess I’m more surprised that she was so quick to apologize after. Based on the way she acted throughout I fully expected her to continue to be a bitch.

I laughed out loud several times. The incident with her ex’s sex toys had me rolling.

I really loved Jenny and the friendship between her and Hailey. I’d love to see her get a book. Do you think O’Connor and the figure skater will be next?

Rowena: Haha, I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one. I mean, I get that O’Connor needs to be redeemed because I knew that he was going to get his own book, but it still would have been funny if that pervy client was him. I do think that the next book is going to be him and the figure skater.

Who else do you think is going to get a book? I can’t tell.

I really like Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy writing together. I hope they continue writing all of the books because I loved all of the books that I’ve read by them so far.

I liked Jenny too but who would she get with? Lemming? Was that his name? I forgot already. LOL.

Holly: I’m not sure who else will get book either. Definitely O’Connor and the figure skater. And I hope Jenny. Aside from that i have no clue.

You mean Lemur? Haha. That would be hilarious. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the friendships between the women (Jenny and Hailey, plus the WAGs) and the men (Matt with his teammates) and the romance. I liked how well balanced it was. I did think the situation with his ex-wife was resolved a little too easily, but that was a minor complaint.

I’m giving thus a 4 out of 5. You?

Do you think Jackson and Melinda will get a book?

Rowena: It’s got to be someone on the team because the series is called WAGS so whoever gets a book has to be a WAG, right? That’s why I don’t think Jackson and Melinda will get a book. Jackson isn’t a hockey player so he can’t make Melinda a WAG.

Yeah, Lemur or the guy that they call Lemur cause I know that’s not his name either.

Same. I think that Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy need to write books together forever. I enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more. I was talking with Nath the other day and she mentioned how similar this book was to Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen and I agree that the stories are pretty similar but it didn’t bother me. I enjoyed both books and thought that there were enough differences for both books to stand out for me.

For me, this book was a 4.25 out of 5 read. Good stuff!

Holly’s Grade: 4 out of 5
Rowena’s Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 24, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Tracy
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Lauren Williams works for a multi-million dollar technology company and loves it.  Her boss also owns the Brooklyn Bruisers, an NHL hockey team.  Lauren grew up with hockey and used to love it.  She loved it up until the Bruiser that she was planning on marrying suddenly up and left her for his ex-wife with very little explanation.  Lauren’s not willing to put herself out there again when Mike Beacon, the man who broke her heart, starts to show signs that he’s interested in her once again.  She’s moving ahead with her life and her plans for single motherhood and Mike has no place in her plans. Unfortunately for Lauren’s plans, Mike is determined to get back the woman he never stopped loving no matter what he has to do.

I have to tell you that when I read about why Lauren and Mike broke up in the first place I didn’t want to have Lauren and Mike get back together.  Seriously, I was that mad at him for being an insensitive ass.  True, his motivations were honorable but the way he handled it was horrible and I wasn’t sure I could forgive him.

By the middle of the book I still wasn’t sure how he was going to win Lauren back but by that point I was on his side.  He was a good guy who had made a gigantic mistake.  I couldn’t condone how he handled things with his ex-wife, and of course there were plenty of ways he could have helped his ex and stayed with Lauren (but then we wouldn’t have a book, would we?) but that’s not what happened.  Now that time has passed since his ex-wife died he knew that he couldn’t live any longer without Lauren by his side but he not only had Lauren to contend with but also his extremely sassy 13-year-old daughter, Elsa.

Elsa was a piece of work and I truly wanted to climb into the book and give her a good talking to but I could understand why her emotions were all over the place. Her mother had died, her dad is gone a lot because of his hockey schedule, she had to move away from her friends and now he’s gonna date a woman that everyone tells her stole her father away from her mother?  Yeah, I’d be an emotional wreck too.  Despite her sassiness, however, I liked the kid.  She had her moments of goodness and I thought she was a good addition to the story.

The romance in this book was extremely emotional but oh, so good.  Lauren and Mike were so good together but it was definitely hard for me to see how they’d work things out and let the hurt of the past go.  I was happy that they were able to move on and that Lauren was able to trust Mike again.  The story was fabulous and of course I loved the hockey talk as well.  😊

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 2, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams
Published by Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Pipe Dreams is the third book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series and it follows Mike Beacon as he tries to win Lauren Williams over again. It’s a second chance romance that I was pleasantly surprised by. I wasn’t a real big fan of Lauren in the previous books but I really enjoyed getting to know her in this book. I knew that her story was a complicated one and I was right. Old feelings, new feelings, she was hit with all of these, all of the time and I admired the hell out of the way that she handled everything. From fighting her attraction to the man that broke his heart to handling the treatment she got from that same man’s teenaged daughter, Lauren was a straight up champ!

I think this is my favorite book in the series so far. I really enjoyed seeing the past relationship and the present relationship between Mike and Lauren. It wasn’t an easy romance to get through and Mike handled things so badly but I thought he more than made up for his past transgressions. I really enjoyed the family that he made for himself and I loved how he brought Lauren into the fold. This was such a heartwarming romance that I damn near swooned multiple times while reading it.

Lauren, holy cow was she great. I enjoyed getting to know her and I really enjoyed watching her finally let people close to her again. She was completely broken hearted but she grew into her own skin and learned how to live by herself and become a formidable woman. I loved seeing her friendships with the other girls grow and grow and grow and I loved that Mike wanted her to have friends and to have everything she deserved to have…even love, with him.

Mike juggled lots of hats in this book, from father to player to lover and friend and I thought he wore each hat well. He had an abundance of love to give and he was never shy about spreading his love around. I loved the relationship he had with his daughter, with his daughter’s manny and the love he had for his friends and teammates. He was patient and kind and an all around hot, sexy piece of goodness. His love for Lauren completely melted me and I loved that Lauren was able to give him the love he craved. They were so good together and I loved seeing them grow to love and trust each other again. I love that Mike didn’t let her reservations deter him from fixing things between them and loving her so fully and completely. I just adored these two.

This was a great addition to the Brooklyn Bruisers series and it’s got me salivating for more. I cannot wait for Nate and Becca’s story though I’m also low key wanting stories for Silas and a couple of other guys on the team. I’ve got my fingers crossed. Definitely recommend. Go forth and read this book, it’s great!

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 31, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

From the USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move comes the second novel in the series that s hot enough to melt the ice.
He s a fighter 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 hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team s massage therapist. After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she s decided to focus on her 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 turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good..."

Rowena: Hard Hitter is the second book in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series and it features Captain Patrick O’Doul. We first met Patrick O’Doul in Rookie Move. He was one of Leo’s new teammates and he hit on Georgia, Leo’s girl. I don’t remember much else about Patrick, aside from he helped make Leo feel more comfortable transitioning to a new team.

Patrick is the team enforcer and over the years, his body has taken some beatings. He’s coming off a wrist injury and his hip is acting up but every night, he goes out on that rink and he fights whoever needs fighting.

I’ll admit that when I first heard that Patrick was getting his story told next, I wasn’t all that excited. I’m not sure why that was since I didn’t hate Patrick, I just didn’t really think much about him.

Well…I love him now. Ha!

What about you? What did you think of Patrick and the rest of his book?

Holly: I really liked Patrick. He was quiet and intense and private. I kind of expected some deep dark secret or tortured past after the way he acted about being touched.

Rowena: Something more than the deep, dark secret about his parents? I liked the way that Bowen handled Patrick’s issues in this book. He’s had a pretty rough childhood and he had some hangups about them but he wasn’t saddled with those issues. He was an adult. He wasn’t this angsty hot head who lashed out at every turn or anything like that. He ignored them for as long as he can and then he fixed them. I dug it.

Holly: No, I just meant that I expected there to be something, and I was right. I dug the way his issues were handled, too. I thought there might be more angst over it, but he just handled his business.

I’m kind of on the fence about the heroine.I didn’t dislike her, but she isn’t my favorite Bowen heroine.

Rowena: Ari isn’t my favorite heroine either and she got on my nerves throughout the book but not nearly as much as Georgia did in Rookie Move. My thing with Ari was that she taught all not judging and how to listen with your heart in her yoga classes but holy cow did she turn into the biggest judger of all judges when Patrick lands himself in trouble. That annoyed the snot out of me…even if she did buy him a coffee maker.

Holly: I didn’t like how she turned her back on him either. I get being angry, but her reaction was over the top.

Rowena: What did you think about all of the crap that Ari went through with her ex-boyfriend?

Holly: I don’t know how I felt about Ari’s boyfriend troubles. It didn’t seem like she made very good choices when it came to him. Not calling the cops on him, agreeing to meet him alone, etc. I wasn’t impressed.

Rowena: I think that was part of my gripe with Ari. How dumb she was where Vince was. Why did she wait so long to tell the Security guys at the Bruisers about everything that was going on? For someone so smart, she sure was dumb a lot.

View Spoiler »

Rowena: I’m not all that into yoga so I didn’t think that I would care much about Ari and what she did for a living but damn…can you imagine working as a masseuse to all of those hot guys? Getting paid to rub down all of those yummy hockey players every day? I’m low key jealous. Ha!

Holly: Omg, girl. I need some of that in my life.

Rowena: I would have married all of them if they asked me…and I would start every appointment with a foot rub so those marriage proposals would keep rolling in.

Are you looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story?

Holly: I am looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story. I like this world and I’m definitely glad we’ll see more.

Rowena: Overall, I enjoyed the story and the romance between Patrick and Ari. At least, when Ari wasn’t being a dumbass and I really liked Patrick. He was a complete dreamboat.

My grade for this one is 4 out of 5.

Holly: I liked the romance, too, as well as the additional time with the team. I didn’t love Ari on her own, but I did like her with Patrick.

I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Holly: 4/5
Rowena: 4/5

four-stars


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Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 5, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.   In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...   Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.   Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast....

Rookie Move is a spin-off of Bowen’s wildly popular Ivy Years series. It features Leo Trevi, older brother to the hero, DJ, of The Fifteenth Minute. We learned about Leo and his broken heart in DJ’s book. I was anxious to get the dirty details of his breakup with his high school sweetheart, and to see how things were progressing with him in the NHL.

Leo finally got called up from the minors to play in the NHL with the Brooklyn Bruisers. He’s excited to take his shot and prove himself, until he realizes the new coach is none other than his ex-girlfriend’s father, who hates him and wants Leo gone from the team, like yesterday. The owner of the team won’t let the coach fire him, but Leo knows he can be sent back to the minors at any time, so he has to keep his head down and his goals in line. There’s just one problem with that..the team’s acting senior publicist is none other than said ex-girlfriend. Georgia broke up with him in high school and broke his heart. Yet even so, he knows he isn’t over her, and he’d love the chance to win her back.

The last thing Georgia needs is to be reunited with her ex while she’s trying to prove herself to the team as the head publicist. Especially since her father is set against him and she’s on thin ice in her position as is. If only he weren’t so much sexier than she remembered..and so determined to get her back. But for all her warm feelings toward him, she hasn’t forgotten that Leo lost interest in her once. Her heart couldn’t take it if it happened again.

I absolutely adored Leo. He was strong, loyal and loving to the point of being adorable. I wanted to put him in my pocket and carry him around. His absolute devotion to Georgia made me melt. I loved his drive and determination when it came to hockey, too. Georgia was great for Leo. I fully bought their romance, both in the past and in the present. These two were simply meant to be together.

I did not like her as a publicist. She fell down on the job on more than one occasion. Her actions were immature and, quite frankly, she didn’t deserve the position she was clamoring for. I spent a good portion of the book thoroughly pissed off at her for her dumb actions at work. I loved her with Leo and outside of work, but I definitely had problem with her as a professional.

Georgia’s actions at work detracted from my overall enjoyment, but Leo and the romance more than made up for it. Sweet, sexy and fast-paced, Rookie Move had me from page one.

3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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