Hard HitterSeries: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
by Sarina Bowen
Published by Penguin, Berkley on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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...
Who knew I would fall for the jerk from book one of the Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series? Seriously, I thought Patrick O’Doul (known to his friends as “O’Doul”) was a big, grouchy, veteran hockey player on his way out the door. I wasn’t a fan of how he treated Leo (from book one) so to say I was surprised his story was next is an understatement.
I’m a girl, I was born changing my mind!!
Turns out O’Doul has a reason for being so cranky and it has a lot to do with being the team’s enforcer. For those who don’t know much about the game of hockey, there’s usually one or two players on a team who are the brutes of the team, the guys who will fight the fights during a hockey game. Someone on your team takes a dirty hit from the other team? The enforcer goes out on the ice looking for revenge, and a fight, with the other team’s enforcer or the guy who made the hit, who ever is closest usually. The enforcer is usually the team’s captain but not always. But he’s a leader, a guy who looks out for his team mates.
The pressure of being an enforcer and staying healthy for the game has put a lot of stress on O’Doul and his body. It’s time for him to make some changes to his usual recovery routine. For someone not used to being touched, getting therapy massages for his injuries is going to be tough.
Ari Bettini has worked hard to get where she is and she loves her job. So she takes it somewhat personally if a client doesn’t show up for his sessions. She feels like it will reflect badly on her to the bosses up in the Brooklyn Bruisers’ offices. On top of that stress, she has a troublesome ex-boyfriend making trouble for her at home.
Despite all this mess, these two are actually perfect each other. Their romance winds and weaves itself around both O’Doul and Ari so they both get the help they need… from each other! I think I adored O’Doul more and more as the story went along. He absolutely treasured Ari by the end. And he needed her with what he had to deal with… silly boy making dumb mistakes 😉
If you like your romance with strong emotions, a solid and exciting storyline, and good, smart characters, this series and this book are for you! Ms. Brown’s books (at least all the ones I’ve read) are all well written and all of them have had great stories. And crazily enough, I keep learning more and more from her books. In fact, I knew about enforcers in hockey before reading this story because I watch quite a bit of hockey. But Ms. Brown went beyond what I see on TV and showed the reader a very unique angle to being the guy who has fight every game night.
I guess you could say that by the time the book ended, O’Doul was a lover AND a fighter… ∗cue lame music∗