Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) [Patrick & Ari] by Sarina Bowen

WOW. It's been a while since I sat for that many hours without moving and read a WHOLE book (especially considering it was a workday). I was just hooked from the first page and didn't want to let it go. Patrick and Ari, alone or together were a JOY to read. I loved them both SO MUCH. I really connected with both of them, each for a different reason. They felt so HUMAN, they had their problems, their flaws that made them who they are. 

Patrick O'Doul is the Brooklyn Bruisers' captain. He is a quiet fair guy. He doesn't really mingle with the guys or at least he does the minimum he can. he never invites people into his house, he doesn't like to be touched AT ALL, not even a casual touch on the shoulder. But he is well appreciated even if not understood by the rest of the team. Recently he's been having problems with his hip and so a massage is in order and it's NOT something Patrick is happy about.. a whole hour of a stranger (well, not a REAL stranger) touching him, especially in his vulnerable spots? NOPE! But since his performance on the ice is lacking and he is out of options to how to deal with it himself he agrees to go into Ari's care. 

Ariana Bettini is the team's yoga teacher and therapist, she loves her job and all the guys love her, even though some might not be that into yoga ;) Up until recently she was in a relationship that probably should have ended a lot sooner, so now she has the time to also get together with the girls - Georgia and Becca. Life is as it should be.. or rather, it would be perfect if her ex would come and collect his stuff from her garage.. Something doesn't add up about it.. why does it take him so long to take his things? 

The connection between Patrick and Ari was beautiful. Ari could see how difficult it was for Patrick to relax to her touch. She learned a lot about him through their meetings and through her words and touch he is finally able to relax. Ari talks about a connection forming when two people touch each other, a body and soul kind of connection, and with their meetings it's obvious how Patrick learns to trust Ari not only in the way she touches him, but the way he sees her and reacts to her. 

Things change when he accidentally stumbles into a frightening situation for Ari and after he stands up to her, he actually takes care of her. With each moment they spend together, their attraction to each other burns, so yeah, be ready for HOT sex, but also there is always something under the surface of how they make each other feel, so differently then they are used to. For Patrick it sure is his only experience with a woman he cares for, and for Ari it's different considering her only real relationship was with her ex.

Patrick wants to pursue his interest in Ari, but she is reluctant. She just got out of a terrible relationship she wants to be alone for a while but Patrick isn't willing to let her go, he tries his best to lure her to him. I LOVED seeing how much effort he put into chasing her, but always doing it in a respectful way. He certainly has his code of honor so I guess nothing else could be expected from him. The ideas the guys come up with to help him out were hilarious! But also sweet and even not that bad! Well, some actually worked..  

The big mess in the story continues with Ari's ex making it hard on her, but also Patrick specifically and even the whole team when he is trying make her do his bidding so he could escape the guys who are after him (as well as the police). It puts everybody in a horrible position and almost crushes everything for basically everyone (but mostly for Patrick). 

I loved the way the things were resolved. I loved seeing the change Ari brought into Patrick's life, the way she opened him up to the people he considered his family but didn't really act as if they were actually his (I'm talking about the team). But he wasn't the only one who changed. For Ari it was just a bit different, she needed her mother's input near the end so she could give herself more credit. I think it's a lesson we all need to learn - Be kind to ourselves. 

Ari, Georgia and Becca were so much fan together! It was great getting not only the guys in the team but a different sort of vibe when Ari is with her girly friends, even Patrick was charmed at a certain point :)

We had nice guest stars in this book - Adam Hartley with the smallest glimpse of Corey Callahan (his girlfriend from the 1st installment of The Ivy Years), near the end we meet them again also with John Rikker and Michael Graham (the couple from the 3rd installment of The Ivy Years). I LOVED meeting them, wondered why T.J. was missing but I'm not really complaining. Really there is NOTHING to complain about this book (just a notable lack of sleep... ;) )

This book was PERFECTION. I loved everything about it! Loved the MCs, loved the way they connected and the whole process of it, and how it made both characters grow. - Yeah, I keep saying LOVE LOVE LOVE and it's for a good reason! The plot was always engaging. I actually learnt everything I know about hockey from this series (I'm including The Ivy Years) hehe. It was actually interesting, or rather I didn't feel overwhelmed and lost in it. These books makes me want to watch a game once but I think without ANY commentary I wouldn't understand anything :D 

So yeah, this book is a MUST READ. You should start with the first one, though I think it could definitely be enjoyed on it's own. I LOVED the previous New Adult series - The Ivy Years, each one of those were precious but this one somehow touched me differently. Not sure what it was but I really feel I understood and connected with both characters. I FELT them, I GOT them. 

While organizing final details on the Series Page I realized we already KNOW who the next book is going to be about! Lauren and Beacon - YIKES. Really really excited, though I gotta say, I would have loved getting another couple.. one that was hinted about in the first installment as well.. I don't want to say anything because there's a new development I enjoyed reading (so why spoiler?). I gotta say, any book in the series would be welcomed with open arms and a battery charged kindle :)

I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. 

This book is out TODAY 3 January 2017 - Grab it now through the links below.

Read on:

Once upon a time Sarina Bowen built one hell of an imaginary College, it has been a true pleasure graduating with wonderful new couples in the Ivy Years, but the guys (and gals) have graduated though they never stopped playing their favorite sports - Hockey. So when we met the all grown up Trevi he is now a new player in the "Brooklyn Bruisers" NHL team. The series continues to follow the other members of the team (old and new) and it's an absolute SUPERB, fun, sexy and engaging series.


1. Rookie Move [Leonardo "Leo" Trevi & Georgia Worthington(Published 6 September 2016) ★★★★★
2. Hard Hitter [Patrick O'Doul & Ariana "Ari" Bettini] (Published 3 January 2017) ★★★★★
3. Pipe Dreams [Mike Beacon & Lauren Williams] (Published 2 May 2017) ★★★★★
4. Brooklynaire [Nate Kattenberger & Rebecca Rowley] (Published 12 February 2018) ★★★★★ 
5. Overnight Sensation [Jason Castro & Heidi Pepper] (Published 22 January 2019) ★★★★½
6. Superfan [Silas Kelly & Delilah Spark] (Published 25 June 2019) ★★★★★   
7. Sure Shot [Bess Beringer & Mark “Tank” Tankiewicz] (Published 12 May 2020) ★★★
8. Bombshells [Anton Bayer & Sylvie Hansen] (Published 13 April 2021) ★★★★★ 
9. Shenanigans [Cornelius Harmon "Neil" Drake III &  Charlotte "Charli" Fern Higgins] (Published 15 March 2022) ★★★★
10. Love Lessons [Ian Crickey & Vera Vestini] (Published 12 July 2022) ★★★½

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