(Brooklyn Bruisers #2)
by Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: Jan. 3, 2017
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…
Ari is the Brooklyn Bruisers’ yoga instructor and massage therapist. When Patrick, the captain and enforcer of the Brooklyn Bruisers, starts having hip problems, he’s sent to Ari to help work out the kinks and ease the soreness in his hips. However, Patrick hates being touched. He seriously flinches away any time someone touches him. So, Ari has her work cut out for her. Hard Hitter follows Ari and Patrick as they slowly start to build a friendship and ultimately a relationship while they navigate their own demons and past.
I will admit that I have not read the first book in the series. I saw it everywhere but never had a chance to get a copy. So, when Hard Hitter was available for review, I snagged a copy. I’m glad I did because this was a really enjoyable read. One of the only sports I actually get excited about watching is hockey. All the other sports I will put up with, except golf and football… sorry but they are just so slow and boring. So, with that being said, I really liked that when the POV shifted to Patrick we got a lot of time with him on the ice. On the flip side, we also got some time with Ari as she instructed the team’s yoga classes. It was really entertaining seeing through her eyes as she instructed a bunch of men through various yoga poses.
While I didn’t read the first book, I never felt like I was missing something. Everyone is well fleshed out and the story really just focuses on Ari and Patrick. I feel like given the fact that Patrick is a loner and doesn’t tend to party with the guys or invite them over to his place that he didn’t get much air time in the previous book. With that being said, I loved his character! Here’s a guy who’s job it is to hand out beatings to opposing team members when the moment arises. He’s also the team captain. So, you would expect him to be the biggest male-ego of the bunch, but he’s not. I loved that he wasn’t a womanizer. Heck, he’s not even scarred because he’d just come out of a bad relationship (unlike Ari). There’s a scene in the book that I loved where he asks the guys for advice on how to woo a woman because he’s absolutely clueless. I just found his character to be very endearing.
Ari, well let’s just say Ari just got out of a bad relationship. Her ex apparently got into some bad stuff, started verbally and physically abusing her, and clearly pissed off the wrong people. After she kicks him out he starts harassing her and causing all sorts of trouble. The cops are involved, Patrick is involved, and even the team’s owner gets involved. It’s this big suspenseful moment that lingers over everyone’s head until it finally explodes into a really crazy climatic part in the story. So yeah, while I liked Ari’s character and her job, she had a lot of drama going on.
Hard Hitter is a great story for anyone who loves hockey and romance. Between the suspense of Ari’s personal life, some drama with Patrick’s hockey career, the romance, and the action on the ice, Hard Hitter was definitely an entertaining read. I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in the series.
“Everything above his waist began to relax, while everything below his waist began to firm up. He’d invented a new relaxation technique-Horny Meditation.”