Series: Brooklyn Bruisers

Joint Review: Overnight Sensation by Sarina Bowen

Posted March 13, 2019 by Rowena in Reviews | 3 Comments

Joint Review: Overnight Sensation by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly & Rowena
Overnight Sensation by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #5
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter , Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Bountiful, Rookie Move
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: January 22, 2019
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 341
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Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge, Rowena's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it's so good to be bad.


There's this girl...

Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don't do girlfriends, and I certainly can't get involved with the league commissioner's daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo. Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido. 


There's this guy...

Jason wants me, but he won't admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice--and I love it. But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can't even avoid him--as the team intern, I'm in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile. I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

Jason Castro is known as a playboy off the ice, and he’s content with that. He isn’t interested in getting heavy with someone. He and Heidi, the new intern, have been circling each other for months. He knows she wants him, but he’s held back until now. He finally decides to go for it and she ends up too drunk for anything to happen. Then he finds out she’s the commissioner’s daughter, and that makes her 100% off limits. If only she’d get the memo.

Heidi is tired of living under her father’s thumb. She wants to experience life. When she says she’s not going back to Bryn Mawr to finish her degree, her father declares she has to spend 10 weeks doing every job in the organization – from cleaning toilets and selling hotdogs, to cleaning the ice and working security. In the meantime, she knows she can’t live at home and see his smug face every day, so she rents an apartment in Brooklyn. When that falls through, she ends up staying with Castro and his roommate.

Holly: I have to be honest, I spent the first few chapters of this book super pissed at Heidi’s dad. So much that I almost stopped reading it. I liked her enough that I continued, though, and I’m glad I did. I ended up really loving her and I enjoyed the romance.

Rowena: Yeah, I was pissed at Heidi’s Dad and his high handedness. He was super annoying and I was a bit disappointed in Becca for not clapping back even though I know that she had her hands tied. I just wanted her to not care about any of that and do it anyway.

Holly: I didn’t understand her dad at all. I mean, I guess I understood him, but I didn’t like the way he acted or the way their issues were resolved (or not resolved, as the case may be). I agree about Becca. I expected something totally different from her in that situation, or maybe from Nate. It was weird.

Rowena: Heidi was the bomb. She was my absolute favorite part of this book. She just kept right on rolling with the punches her father delivered and she was better for all of it. It would have been completely understandable if she snapped but she was strong and she was solid and she had such a great attitude through it all. I loved seeing her grow into the person she was in the end and I really loved seeing how she wore Jason down. Gah, I can’t say enough good things about her.

Holly: Heidi was so wonderful. I loved how she kept her head up and tackled everything life threw at her. She was great.

Rowena: Jason was another great hero from this series and I really enjoyed getting to know him, seeing him fall in love with Heidi and work through the issues that were holding him back from really living his life with Heidi. I thought all of that was handled well. Sarina Bowen really rocked my socks with this one.

Holly: I liked Jason, too. I liked learning about him and his issues and seeing him work through things so he could be with Heidi.

I’m still disappointed with the way things ended with her family, though.

Rowena: Same. That was the only downer in the entire book. Well, that and the stuff with Lissa’s Mom and Jason. So, was it just determined that he would continue to send her money every time she called him in tears, was he ever going to talk to her and get her to understand that he wasn’t her personal bank? Or was it just determined that because he did that stuff for Lissa, that’s just how it was going to end? As far as Heidi’s father was concerned, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the resolution to all of that madness. Sure, I loved that Heidi was the better person in it all but I would have been so much happier if she got to really serve her Dad with the set down that he deserved and I wanted to see him more remorseful for all that he put Heidi through.

Holly: That’s the thing, it was never discussed. How will he handle that? Is he going to just keep on with that forever? It made no sense that it was brought up at all if there wasn’t going to be a resolution.

I definitely wanted to see Heidi give him a set down, or at least have him acknowledge her accomplishments.

Rowena: So I read that Silas’ book is next…do you think his heroine is going to be the singer? And do you think we’ll get a book for Bayer? I low key want to read his story, too.

Holly: I do think it’ll be with the singer. I can’t wait to see what happens with that. I want a book for Bayer, too. My heart hurt for him.

Although I was frustrated with Heidi’s family and Lissa’s mom, overall I really enjoyed the story. Heidi was wonderful, and I really liked their romance. I’m giving this 4 out of 5.

Rowena: Yeah, those two things were the only things that I struggled with but I really enjoyed everything else. I loved the romance between Jason and Heidi. I loved both Jason and Heidi on their own and I loved them together. I loved seeing all of the Brooklyn Bruisers again and the friendship between Silas and Jason. I also really loved what Heidi planned for Silas’ birthday and how everyone on the team was in, even though it was the very last thing that they all wanted to do. There was much that I loved about this book but I couldn’t get over Heidi’s daddy being a jerk and Lissa’s Mom being a mooch so this one wasn’t getting a 5 from me, close though. Sarina Bowen did her thing with this one.

I give this one a 4.5 out of 5.

Final Grades

Holly: 4 out of 5
Rowena: 4.5 out of 5

Brooklyn Bruisers

four-stars


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Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Posted December 5, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Rookie Move by Sarina BowenReviewer: Casee
Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
Narrator: Nicol Zanzarella, Rock Engle
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter , Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Bountiful, Overnight Sensation
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 303
Length: 9 hours 53 minutes
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two-stars
Series Rating: 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....

This book was unbearable from start to finish. From the narrators to the story itself to the heroine, I disliked it immensely. The only saving grace to this book was Leo, the hero.

Let us start with the narrators. There were two, a male and a female. The male voice was just…off. Nothing like I would have imagined Leo’s voice to sound like. I always laugh a little when the men read dialogue from the heroine during a sex scene, but this narrator was roll-your-eyes-out-of-your-head eye rolling. Oh and when he voiced Leo’s mom? Are you fucking kidding me? That’s what my kids used to sound like when they tried to imitate me when they were six. It really pulled me out of the book. The female narrator was pretty bad too. Her voice was so breathy, it just didn’t work. Plus as the voice of Georgia, I was more imagining nails-on-a-chalkboard. She sounded like a porn star during the sex scenes.

My dislike of this book began and ended with the heroine. Georgia Worthington was awful. I mean truly, truly awful. The only reason I didn’t DNF this book is because I plan on continuing this series and I’m anal about leaving a book unfinished. It was a close thing though. I wanted to “toss” it at least three separate times. Georgia and Leo’s age was somewhat murky. I couldn’t tell if they were twenty four or twenty six. Maybe twenty five? I have no idea. What I do know for certain is that I wanted to brain Georgia with one of those stilettos that she hates so much.

Georgia and Leo have history. It’s all about to come to a head when Leo is traded to the Brooklyn Bruisers. The Bruisers is a professional hockey team of which Georgia is the interim lead publicist for. As an aside I would say that the publicist profession is my second least favorite profession when reading. I simply don’t like them. When you had in the fact that the heroine was insufferable, a disaster is brewing. Anyway, Georgia and Leo haven’t seen each other for anywhere from four to six years. They were high school sweethearts. Then there was a horrible night that Georgia was raped at a party. After that, nothing was ever the same. But should/would it be? Regardless of that, Georgia dumps Leo because he doesn’t look at her with desire anymore. Holy shit. Seriously.

Now, in the present, Georgia can only think back to how great it was in the past with Leo. Before the rape. When they were teenagers. TEENAGERS. Grow the fuck up. Are you an adult? I know things were great, but you’ve evolved. Leo has evolved. Stop holding on to your TEENAGE past. Georgia just had the most shortsighted, brainless reasons for saying no to a relationship with Leo. He might be traded. He’ll never look at her the way he used to. They can never had what they had in the past. She can’t have a relationship with a player. On and on it goes. It got really old.

Leo was delightful. I really loved him. He was funny. I loved his sense of humor. As much as he loved hockey and has wanted to play it his entire life, he is willing to give it all up for Georgia. I have no idea WTF he was thinking there. I wouldn’t give her a glass of water if she was on fire. This right here is the epitome of who Leo is.

“Fuck that,” he said. “You and I don’t have one-night stands. We have forevernight stands.”

How can you not fall in love with Leo?

Even with how much I loved Leo, I detested Georgia even more. Did I already tell you she was insufferable? I know I did. It bears repeating. Georgia was insufferable. Not one likable thing about the woman.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Brooklyn Bruisers

two-stars


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Review: Bountiful by Sarina Bowen

Posted November 16, 2018 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bountiful by Sarina BowenReviewer: Casee
Bountiful by Sarina Bowen
Narrator: Seraphine Valentine, Teddy Hamilton
Series: True North #4, Brooklyn Bruisers #4.5
Also in this series: Bittersweet, Steadfast, Steadfast, Bittersweet, Keepsake, Bountiful, Speakeasy, Bittersweet, Steadfast, Fireworks, Keepsake, Fireworks, Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter , Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Rookie Move, Overnight Sensation
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 315
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three-stars

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on.

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life.

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

I was really looking forward to this book. I’m a fan of reunion stories. I even like secret baby books. This wasn’t exactly a secret baby, but it was as close as you could get without being one. I can’t quite put my finger on what didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t that I hated this book. I didn’t. I didn’t particularly like it. I just sort of feel blah about it.

I listened to this book on audio. The narrators were pretty darn good. Sometimes Dave sounded like kind of a dunce, but I got used to it. He just seemed sort of slow, but I got over that and just let myself enjoy it.

Zara runs her uncle’s bar in a small town in Vermont. She’s kind of bitter after her ex finds someone else so quickly (see Griff Shipley from Bittersweet). She’s basically ripe for a one night stand. Except her one night stand with Dave No-Last-Name ends up being a summer fling. One they agree will end when his time in Vermont ends. Dave is a hockey player for the Brooklyn Bruisers and has no intention of settling down. Zara is a bitter shrew and neither does she have any intention of settling down. That’s before Dave leaves her a bun in the oven. He once mentioned his last name in passing. Even her twin brother, Benito’s law enforcement contacts are unable to find Dave. So she has her baby on her own and keeps the father’s name a secret.

Two years later she is happy. Her baby girl is thriving and she has a new business with (who would have guessed it) Audrey Shipley, her ex’s new wife. Then her her world is thrown into chaos when Dave walks into her new coffee shop. Dave couldn’t be more excited to see her. Zara doesn’t exactly feel the same way. She never planned nor particularly wanted to see Dave again. She doesn’t want to share her daughter, Nicole. She doesn’t know Dave. She doesn’t want to explain Dave to her family. Unfortunately her past has come calling.

Dave hasn’t forgotten Zara in the two years that have passed. He’s blown away when he learns that he has a two year old daughter. It’s abundantly clear when he looks at her that Nicole is his daughter. Before long he’s doing daddy-like things and he couldn’t be happier. The problem is that Zara still doesn’t want more from him than sex. He’s determined to convince her that he is worth taking a chance on.

Zara was a bitter, bitter woman. It was hard to stomach at times. I just didn’t understand her hangups. It was just weird. I couldn’t get past what her issue was. And it was an issue. As much as she overcame her problem with Griff, became best friends with Audrey, and was a wonderful mother to Nicole, I just couldn’t understand why she was so bitter. It was weird. Plus she used Nicole as an excuse more than was acceptable to me.

The ending was real shit. It showed that a couple doesn’t just ride into the sunset. They both had lives outside of each other. She was a business owner. He played professional hockey. They couldn’t just stop their lives. I thought Sarina Bowen did write the ending rather well. Still, this was not my favorite book of the series.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

True North

three-stars


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Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

Posted February 19, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina BowenReviewer: Rowena
Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #4
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter , Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Bountiful, Rookie Move, Overnight Sensation
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: February 12th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

You'd think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You'd be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don't know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It's what friends do. But what friends don't do is rip off each others' clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she's avoiding me. She says we're too different, and it can never happen again. So why can't we keep our hands off each other?

I couldn’t request this book for review fast enough. To say that I’ve been anxious for Becca and Nate’s story is putting it mildly because I did a happy dance the minute that I got the email that it was sent to my kindle and I stopped reading a book that I wasn’t all that interested in anyway to jump into this one. So, there was a lot of hype going in. A lot, a lot of hype. Sure it was all in my head but I needed this book to be perfect, especially since I had just DNF’d my very first book by this amazing author and…Sarina Bowen delivered, yet again.

Nathan Kattenberger is in love with Becca Rowley and has been for years. It doesn’t matter that he’s her boss. He flat out loves her and has been loving her from afar for so long. It’s getting harder and harder to keep his feelings for her at bay because when she gets hurt, Nate steps in to lend a helping hand because even though Becca works for him, she’s also one of his closest friends and has been with him since the beginning. She knew him before he became the billionaire that he is now, so he knows that she cares for him and not his money.

Becca is still smarting from Nathan transferring her to Brooklyn to manage his hockey team instead of keeping her in Manhattan, working for the company that she started off with. When he hired Lauren, a more sophisticated admin to run his software company, she was hurt because she loved her job in Manhattan but she went to Brooklyn because Nate wanted someone he trusted to run the office for the hockey team that he bought, the Brooklyn Bruisers. That was two years ago and even though Becca loves her job now, it still burns a bit. If Becca knew the real reason Nate transferred her, she’d be blown away because she has no clue that Nate has been carrying a torch for her, all these years. When she gets hurt and Nate starts taking care of her, things start to change and well, heat up.

In the last three books of this series, Becca and Nate have been on the outside of the story being told and they captured and held my interest in every single book. I wanted to know more about Nate’s feelings for Becca and I could not wait until Becca found out how Nate felt about her. I wanted them to be front and center for what feels like forever so getting this book was such a treat for me.

Nate was a fantastic hero. I loved how fierce his love for Becca was and how he tried to do right by her at every turn. He wasn’t the most perfect of heroes since he did get things wrong a lot of times but he proved to be a good listener and he respected Becca and learned from his mistakes. It was nice to see a different take on the boss and employee storyline and I thought Sarina Bowen did a fabulous telling Nate’s story. I really enjoyed seeing his friendship with Stew from beginning to end though I wish that we could have seen more of Stew in the book.

Becca was pretty great herself. She was capable and strong and she reacted to finding out about Nate and his feelings for her the same way that I imagine, I’d react. Completely blown away and then really uncomfortable with all of that money. I connected with Becca’s character and really loved getting to know her.

The romance between Nate and Becca was fantastic. It was sweet and it was steamy and it was everything that I hoped it would be. Sarina Bowen keeps winning me over with these stories and this series and I just never want it to end. I’m curious to see if we’ll be getting a story for Alex cause I’d love to see how her story turns out.

Yeah, I loved this one. So good!

Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 21, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter , Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Brooklynaire, Bountiful, Rookie Move, Overnight Sensation
Publisher: Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
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four-stars
Series Rating: 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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