Author: Sarina Bowen

Joint Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah Mayberry

Posted September 28, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Joint Review: Temporary by Sarina Bowen & Sarah MayberryReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Temporary by Sarina Bowen, Sarah Mayberry
Published by Self-Published
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 302
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

The most beautiful man I've ever seen is the one who can ruin everything...

The first time I lay eyes on Callan Walker, I know he’ll be trouble. With his smug grin, hot Aussie accent and thousand dollar shoes, he’s just the kind of rich guy who always gets what he wants.

And he wants two things: a night of sin, and my cooperation as he outmaneuvers his powerful mother to take control of his uncle’s estate.

I can’t afford either one. I’m the only thing standing between my little sister and the foster care system. He may have money and charm on his side, but I have something even more powerful -- pure desperation. This temp job at his mother’s company can become a full time job for me. It has to.

But when Callan’s eyes rake over my body, sometimes I forget my obligations. His piercing gaze finds the fun, optimistic girl I used to be and not the tired person I’ve become.

And it works--if only for a moment. Our night together was a mistake. I can't afford to get sucked into his high-powered family’s treachery. But the closer I get to Callan, the more layers I find beneath those expensive clothes. Though I can’t forget this is temporary. He’s temporary. I have too much to lose.

Too bad my foolish heart didn’t get the memo...

Callan Walker cut ties with his family and walked away from the family business two years ago. Since then the only person he really kept in contact with was his Uncle Jack.When Jack passes away, Callan is shocked when he learns his mother is the sole heir to his estate, since he knows Jack had other intentions. If he can find an updated will, he can stop his mother from auctioning off Jack’s prized art collections. It’s unfortunate that Grace Kerrington iis caught up in his family drama, but oh well….

…except the more he gets to know her the more he wants her around. And if he finds the will, she’ll be out of a job…and out of his life.

Holly: When I found out Sarina Bowen and Sarah Mayberry were teaming up to write a contemporary romance I was ridiculously excited. Both are favorite authors. I liked this, but I didn’t love it as much as I expected to. There were a few loose ends that weren’t tied up, and I think that marred my enjoyment a bit.

What did you think of it?

Rowena: I liked it. I thought it was well done and enjoyed the romance between Callan and Grace. Grace was thrown into the middle of a family feud and I thought she handled herself as well as she could without getting herself in trouble. She did what she felt was the right thing to do and I really liked seeing her and Callan grow closer and closer.

What about you, what did you think?

Holly: I liked the romance. Callan seemed like such an arrogant playboy in the beginning, but he had hidden depths. I liked Grace’s work ethic and how committed she was to her sister. Together I thought they were a good match. They complimented each other well.

Rowena: It took me just a minute to warm up to Callan after that entrance into Grace’s life and work. Once, I got over him being a brat, I really came to love both him and Grace and then loving them together. They made a good team.

Holly: What about Callan’s mother? Did you want to kill her, or what?

Rowena: Sure did. I didn’t understand her whole thing too. Why was she such a shit to Callan and Uncle Jack? I didn’t understand what motivated her, surely business can’t run someone’s life that much? Maybe that’s why I’m not rich. I don’t understand. But I did want to run ass over in my car. What a shit.

Holly: That’s one of the things that marred my enjoyment somewhat. There was no closure for me with how she was. I mean, yes, Callan took a stand and made her back down, but I wish we’d gotten to see more background info. I wonder if the next book will have more, though.

Rowena: Yeah, I wanted more resolution with his mother and I also was a bit disappointed that he gave her what she wanted in the end. (is that a spoiler?) My petty ass wanted him to keep his shares and rule the company over her….but no. He had to be the bigger person. Ugh.

Is there going to be another book? I thought this was a stand alone.

Holly: I wanted him to make her suffer, too. He should have at least pushed for 20% more than he got.

Rowena: Exactly! He freaking gave the farm away to his stank ass Mom. I’m annoyed just thinking of it.

Holly: I’m annoyed over it, too. I wanted him to get a little of his own back.

I don’t know if there’s going to be another book. I kind of assumed so, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part?

Rowena: There might be for Callan’s sister, there was a bit of lead in for another book featuring her. I forgot all about her but Nath reminded me.

Holly: Sorry I didn’t clarify. I was thinking of Callan’s sister when I suggested a second book. I haven’t seen either Bowen or Mayberry mention a second book, but I’m hopeful.

Rowena: Were you able to tell which author wrote which chapter? Was I the only person that caught on to the fact that they were each writing one character? LOL.

Holly: Sarina wrote her and Sarah wrote him, right? That’s what it seemed like to me, anyway. I haven’t looked to see if they said who did what.

Rowena: Yeah, that’s how it seemed to me too. Sarina wrote the American character and Sarah wrote the Australian character. I usually can’t tell which author is writing which parts but Sarina was all over Grace’s character in this one. I wonder if I could tell because I don’t read a lot of Sarah Mayberry?

Anyway, what did you think of the romance between Callan and Grace? Was it believable?

Holly: I liked how they were with each other, but I don’t know that I really believed they could make it go long term. His wealth and her family situation seemed to be standing between them. I’m not sure Grace can get past his wealth. How will that work? She’ll live with him and he’ll support her and her sister forever? He’ll buy her expensive things and she’ll just be okay with that? I wish we’d gotten to see more about that.

As a Happy For Now I bought it. I’m just not sure I buy Happily Ever After.

Rowena: I didn’t see it that way. I could see them working long term because I could see them fighting for it. Their feelings for each other was evident and even though Grace was stubborn and headstrong, she was fair and she loved Callan so I could see them finding common ground and learning to live a life together.

Holly: Maybe I just wanted more from them. It ended too soon for me. I’d have liked to see them living together and working some of those things out.

Rowena: Overall, the romance between Callan and Grace was believable for me and I did enjoy getting to know the both of them. I had some gripes with the way that Callan handled the whole Uncle Jack’s affairs thing but I did like how it all came together for him in the end. There was a lot of fabulous secondary characters and enjoyed them as well. Grace’s sister, even Callan’s sister came around for me and I would have loved to get to know Uncle Jack a bit more.

This was fun and I’d give it a 4 out of 5. You?

Holly: I liked both Callan and Grace. Together they worked well and I believed in their HFN. I would have liked a little more from them in terms of forever, but I can’t deny them getting together made me happy. I also really liked the secondary characters and I’d be happy if these two wrote another book together.

3.75 out of 5 from me.

Final Grades

Holly: 3.75 out of 5
Rowena: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 21, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3) 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, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
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 book two in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, a spinoff of The Ivy Years NA series. I think it’s my favorite of the series to date. Pipe Dreams is a second chance love story that hit all the high notes with me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lauren, since she was pretty uptight in the previous books. I really came to enjoy her. Mike was a solid, stand-up kind of guy. He was easy to like, and to trust. I didn’t love the flashbacks in this story, but that comes down to a personal preference. I’d rather be told the backstory then get it in pieces via flashbacks.

Mike’s team, Lauren’s developing friendship with the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) and her co-workers, all of it really came together and made for a great read.

Bowen continues to hit big with this series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Posted July 6, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 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, Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3)
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, Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3)
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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