Title: Hard Hitter
Author: Sarina Bowen
My Rating: A
Genre: Sports Romance
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Main Characters: Patrick and Ari
Release Date: January 2017
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
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...
There are two things that I really love...hockey and yoga. This book combined those two things in the most delicious way. It just really made me happy.
This is the second book in the Brooklyn Bruiser's series and this one featured, Patrick O'Doul, the team's captain and enforcer. O'Doul has been doing this job for a while...long enough that he's old enough that he dreads the fighting aspect of his job. It hurts his body and his psyche and every game it's getting harder and harder to recover from that. At the beginning of the book, he's in a bad place...especially physically, so the team owner and the coach insist that he spend some real quality time on Ari's massage table.
Ari has been working for the team for a couple of years, and she's used to O'Doul dodging her appointments. It doesn't take much investigative work to realize he hates being touched...that kind of makes it difficult to do her job with him.
I love the way this book and their relationship played out. Patrick is so withdrawn. No one is able to get close to him, but massages are a personal thing...especially for him. He hates people to touch him, but Ari respects that and so he slowly learns to trust him. Their relationship is a slow build and felt so real and genuine because of that.
The other thing that Ari does with the team is team yoga...I loved that aspect of the story. Gah...I'm so jealous of her job especially the scene where she did hot yoga with the team. I was drooling just reading about it. That also made for some really sexy moments between Patrick and Ari. LOVED that.
And then there's the hockey. This author rocks all the hockey details. I felt like I went through the entire season with the Bruisers and was seriously cheering for them...BUT WTF??? Every chapter heading was a breakdown of their standing and how many games until the end of regular season. To just cut off the story without letting us know if they made it to the playoffs or not was seriously uncool. I get that that part of the story will be answered in the next book...but OMG! Don't make it such a big deal in this story if you're just going to leave it dangling out there. I was sure chapters had been cut out of my ebook...but I went and checked the paperback that I'd bought and nope...that's the way it was. UGH!
But other than that little niggle, the book was another fabulous installment to the series. I can't wait for the next book. The preview chapter was incredibly tantalizing. I'm also really, super stoked for Nate and Becca's book that I hope will come as book #4. This is an incredible series. If you like sports or hockey romances, I highly recommend you grab it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.