This review is based on a complimentary book I received from NetGalley. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Also in this series:Pipe Dreams
Also by this author: Pipe Dreams
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Berkley Books
Format: ARC, E-book
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo
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...
What do I adore about this story? That a rugged, hard-edged fella was not an alpha male with caveman issues. Patrick O’Doul had some personal issues stemming from childhood and although they were not dealt with at the start of this story he still was a functioning human being. Yes! More please! It was lovely that it was Ariana Bettini who called the shots and that he was okay with giving her what she needed. Patrick O’Doul’s character is just smashing! I am a sucker for men who are hard reads but are not afraid to put it all on the line when they find something worth fighting for.
The plot really revolves around Ari’s life and her recent break-up with a low-life named Vince. Talk about a nightmare. Things just go from bad to worse as Ari tries to deal with the fallout from the break-up. It makes her doubt herself and her ability to make wise choices. So, when sparks fly between her and Patrick she has a hard time getting her heart and her head on the same track.
The romance between Patrick and Ari was sweet, steamy and filled with many sexy times but the unexpected romance with Patrick also leads to a devastating blackmail attempt that puts everything Patrick has worked for his entire life into jeopardy. I like how the author was able to walk a tight line between the plot and subplots and not lose focus of what the story was primarily about, breaking down longstanding barriers and facing an undeniable attraction that has no rule book.
I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the team and the friendships of the secondary characters. They added much humor, sarcasm, and support to the overall plot. There were several points in reading this story that I laughed out loud and rolled my eyes at the antics of the characters. This was a story that had action, suspense, passion, and good times. A real refreshing romantic read!
*Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group & NetGalley for this eARC of Hard Hitter*