Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

28869598Hard Hitter
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers, #2
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


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…

Every time I hear Sarina Bowen is going to release another hockey romance I get so excited. I love the interconnecting series and players she has created. When I finished reading Rookie Move and read the preview for Hard Hitter, I knew it was going to be an exciting story.

Hard Hitter reintroduces the reader to two characters met in Rookie Move, but it can be read as a standalone novel. Ari is the Brooklyn Bruisers’ team masseuse who is enjoying being single after leaving a turbulent relationship. Patrick is the hockey team’s grumpy captain. When Patrick is forced to visit Ari for help with an injury, they begin to develop an attraction to each other. Soon their massage sessions are moving beyond the Bruisers’ massage room and into the bedroom.

As soon as I start a book by Sarina Bowen, I’m immediately drawn in by her writing. It’s fantastic. She has a way of making me instantly connect with her characters. I fall in love with them and can’t get enough of them. I felt that instant connection with Patrick and Ari. Ari was a breath of fresh air. Her positive attitude and upbeat personality brought a lightness to the story. She had her moments of negativity, but there was always hope underneath. Patrick was a different story. He was standoffish and reluctant to let anyone in. His history and what it brought to the story intrigued me. I wanted to know more about him.

Ari and Patrick’s relationship wasn’t a smooth one. The drama from both of their lives invaded their thoughts and prevented each other from truly letting the other in. I liked that the drama made their love story interesting and exciting, but it also made their connection feel weaker at times. I could understand why Patrick was quickly falling for Ari. She seemed to make most of his problems magically disappear. I didn’t always get what Ari saw in Patrick beyond their sexual attraction. It took him a long time to give her all of him.

Those little relationship things aside, I really enjoyed reading Hard Hitter. It was filled with action, lots of romantic moments and tons of sexy hockey players. Every moment is entertaining and I was left excited for what is next to come in the series. I can’t wait for Pipe Dreams and Lauren’s story. I’m really, really hoping Bowen continues this series for many books to come.

11 thoughts on “Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen”

  1. So glad you liked this one! The while interconnecting players idea sounds like it makes the books even better. It’s such a neat idea to keep readers intrigued!

    1. It’s especially fun since some of them come from a previous series, too. So much yummy hockey player goodness! 😉

  2. So I didn’t look super closely at the cover, but at first glance I thought this was a book about cowboys. Maybe because of the background color? I had to do a doubletake to see that he was holding skates haha. I see so many people love this author, but I’m not sure she’d be for me. I’m glad you enjoyed this one, though!

    1. Haha! I love it! You might like it. It’s not quite as angsty as her NA stuff. I bet you could get Rookie Move from the library since it’s been out for a while.

  3. I had to wait until after I wrote my review to read this — I didn’t want to influence my opinion!! I’m excited for Lauren and Beacon’s story too. But I really really hope she writes Nate and Becca eventually…

    1. She has to! Her readers would revolt if she didn’t. They always save the best for last, though…

    1. LOL. I know how much you love them…So, yeah, don’t read this book. It’s not very often I say that about a book I like.

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