Sunday, March 20, 2022

Shenanigans (Brooklyn Bruisers #9) [Neil & Charli] by Sarina Bowen

While I waited impatiently for this book to come when I finally got it I was drowning in a sea of commitment I couldn't shake. So the minute I felt I could do this I delved in. Maybe it's the fact I hadn't read (or even listened) to a book for a whole month, but the start of this one was a bit slow for me. Took me time to understand and connect with the characters and I still feel a bit unsure about my feelings towards Charli (though I understand her motives). Neil on the other hand I all heartedly ADORED and it has nothing to do with him being a billionaire and everything to do with how thoughtful and caring he is (also fun!)

This book contains two tropes I'm usually not a fan of - billionaires and accidental (Vegas) wedding. Since this is Sarina I really wasn't worried. I think it suited the story and them perfectly. It also highlighted not only the difference between their backgrounds but their current situation as professional athletes and the outrageous difference in salary (and status) between men and women in sports. 

Charlotte "Charli" Fern Higgins is more than surprised to wake up half naked with her friend Neil barely remembering the night before. But when she does she realizes they have made several HUGE mistakes - making out for sure, but getting married?!?! How could they do it? How could SHE? (who barely even date and if she does it's women). 

Cornelius Harmon Drake III - or in short, Neil - is also shocked he has done such a huge mistake. He was always attracted to Charli but he just broke with his girlfriend Iris and though he didn't love her it doesn't mean he wanted to be hitched to someone else, just thinking about the family drama is enough for him, and they are also LATE for the plane home to where both need to be ASAP for their respective hockey practice. 

As Neil's family owns their own jet company it's easy to get a ride home but what's much more complicated? Getting divorced and before that? dealing with the press, their friends and Neil's evil uncle. 

Neil was really a great guy. He did his best to take care of the situations they found themselves in as well as Charli herself. He did everything he could to make her comfortable even if he did ask her for a few "favors" while they are still figuring out how to get divorced. I think he was more than "decent" with her.  It's obvious he cares for her and he tries to make the situation as best as he can. He also realizes Charli has her reasons to stay at an arms length and even though it's hard for him, even if he jokes about certain stuff, he gives her the space she needs and gives her a helping hand whenever he can or he believes she'll accept. Falling for a guy like him is the easiest thing possible even without the unthinkable amount of money he own. 

Charli does have good reasons to be "prickly" on the outside. It's hard for her to trust anyone and Neil is no different. Maybe it's even worse because everything about him drives her insane and she is worried that giving in would bring her end once they finally get their divorce. While I was very sympathetic towards her, as well as appreciative of everything she has achieved on her own and the strong woman she is, I was a bit annoyed with her at how she treated Neil. He did so much for her, and every time she needed to do something for him she was doing it resigned and not freely (like he did for her). It was all difficult or a chore. It felt a bit unbalanced. 

Playing the game of being married "for real" puts them close together and so they have the time to explore each other without the commitment. It makes certain things easier but mostly it's hard for both to settle for "just now" when it's obvious they want more from each other. I liked Neil's life attitude. He was all about the fun but he knew how to be serious. Dealing with Type 1 Diabetes is a constant reminder to the wonder life and health is and how much life should be cherished and enjoyed. 

Naturally we get a lot of hockey in this one through both the men of the Brooklyn Bruisers as well as the women from the Bombshells. So as the name suggests there are a lot of shenanigans to be had! Once this story got moving for me it was highly engaging, funny yet intense with a rather tender warming up from both sides when they allowed themselves. 

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

This book will be is already OUT! - Grab it through the links below.

Read on:
15-19 March 2022

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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