Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

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...

Add to Goodreads

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is turning into another fantastic series by Sarina Bowen. In book two, Patrick completely stole my heart. The team captain of the Brooklyn Bruisers, an enforcer whose body can’t take much more of being a goon, Patrick is the survivor of an awful childhood that has left him with emotional scars that make relationships almost impossible for him.

Ari, the team’s therapist, is still running from an abusive relationship and an ex-boyfriend who won’t let her go. Ari needs to be able to touch Patrick if she is going to be able to help him heal, but Patrick’s past has made it difficult for him to trust her touch.

This is a darker book than the first with two slightly older leads. By the end, this becomes romantic suspense as Ari’s past catches up with both her and Patrick. The result is a more exciting story with slightly less hockey than the first one.

I really love the world the author has created for this series. Only in Brooklyn would an NHL franchise be owned by a young, eccentric tech billionaire who provides his team with matching smartphones and mandatory yoga sessions. In addition to some brilliant moments between teammates, we see more of the women involved with the team. I love Becca, Nate’s slightly eccentric PA, and I was glad to see more of Georgia from the first book.

This is a fantastic book, but while it might work as a standalone, I would definitely start with the first book in the series and read the books in order.

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I just love a good hockey romance and this one does not fail to deliver.

Patrick O'Doul is the team captain of the Brooklyn Bruisers. His role as the team leader and enforcer means that his responsibility to the team doesn't begin and end on the ice, and it’s a role that he doesn't take lightly. Playing through injuries is just part of the job, after all it is hockey.

Ariana Bettini is a massage therapist and yoga instructor for the Bruisers and it’s her job to help keep the players healthy. She has a good working relationship with most of the players, except O'Doul. So far, he's avoided her table and she's beginning to believe that it’s the therapist, not the therapy he's avoiding. Until the coach forces him to her table.

Ari is feeling the pressure at work, but she just broke up with her boyfriend of eight years for not only being a douche, but also for causing her to break her ankle. She's not ready for another relationship, which is why she only wants to be friends with Patrick, even though the sparks between them burn hot.

Patrick is uncertain of what he feels for Ari, but he can't get seem to forget about her. Her courage and determination are two of the many things he appreciates about her and he can't seem to stop thinking about her, which is weird because he doesn't do relationships.

Ari is determined to keep her fling with Patrick on the down low, not wanting to cause an uproar at work or to jeopardize her job. O'Doul is one of the star players, his position in the organization is solid, unlike hers.

When trouble appears at her door, it brings fallout to the entire team, Patrick included. Ari is scared and troubled, but Patrick doesn't seem to mind. He finds himself wanting to protect Ari, even to his own detriment.

This book has it all, hockey, intrigue, and romance. I love the Bruisers and can't wait to see who's next to fall.

I really loved this sweet sports romance!

Patrick O’Doul is the enforcer for the Brooklyn Bruisers. He learned to fight when he was a kid in a group home and needed to defend himself; now he’s made it his quite successful career. Patrick doesn’t handle people in his personal space well, no one is ever allowed to enter his apartment and he doesn’t like to be touched. Having been the enforcer for his team for many years. it’s starting to take its toll on his body. and the team decides he needs to have regular massage appointments with the team’s massage therapist/yoga instructor, Ari. Ariana Bettini just broke up with her long-time boyfriend Vince, who was becoming more unhinged as the days go on. When Patrick begins to show up regularly to his appointments with Ari, the attraction is immediate and Patrick quickly learns to enjoy her touch. Ari isn’t looking for a relationship, and even though the two wind up in bed together, she still pushes for it not to continue happening. Patrick is determined to win her over, and with the help of his teammates, sets out to “woo her.”

I love all the supporting characters in this book, I seriously can’t wait for the next installment, I so hope it’s Becca and Nate! This is a fast-pace romance that will have you on the edge of your seat – I love all the mystery added in. It’s one I didn’t want to end, I can’t wait to read more from this series!

4.5* for Doulie determination!

This is the second book in the series – and whilst it is not essential to have read Rookie Move first, I would recommend it, as it is a great story. It also gets the reader up to speed about the team, players, and staff.

Ari is the hockey team's massage therapist, and runs the yoga classes. She loves her new job, her new friends, and the short commute from home... until home becomes unsafe due to a stalker ex. Things get ugly fast, but Patrick O'Doul is in the right place at the right time. He has an injury which needs her treatment. Before they know it, there is something between them.

I've read a lot of sports romances, which have given me lots of insights into team behaviours – but with this one, we get a fascinating view of the role of the fighter, and what it takes to fulfil that role on a week in, week out basis. It would be easy to assume the fighter is hot tempered, but this will make you think again.

The developing relationship and the problems with Ari's ex lead to some unexpected twists and turns, which make for a fast moving story. The friendship groups ensure that we get to see how both react to the events and give us some wonderful humour too. There is a good amount of progress in other 'friendships' which will hopefully lead to more stories soon – we get a taster of the next book at the end.

Very enjoyable read, with some new twists to keep the reader guessing.

Also Available in the Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Rookie Move post.

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the Brooklyn Bruisers series, the Ivy Years series, and the Gravity series. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Connect with Sarina

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen to read and review.

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