Published by Berkley Books
Published: January 3rd 2017
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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...
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t in love with the first book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series, Rookie Move. It was just alright to me. I wasn’t wowed or sucked in. So I will admit I was a little nervous to read the second book, Hard Hitter. But since I was almost burned not reading a second book in a series (that I loved) because I didn’t fall insanely in love with book one, I decided to read it. I’m so happy I did. Hard Hitter was so so good. Probably my favorite Sarina Bowen (excluding her co-authored book Him) to date. It had everything I wanted in a romance and left me just feeling happy and wanting more.
What I loved about Hard Hitter was the natural chemistry between Ariana Bettini and Patrick O’Doul. Sometimes in a romance book the relationship can feel a little forced. There just isn’t always that spark. But the spark between Ari and O’Doul was amazing. There was this natural build-up between them that made their story sexy and fun. They both had walls up, but they didn’t force those walls down or completely hide from what was happening between the two of them. Even the always present, random break-up, wasn’t that much of a struggle.
The other thing I liked was the growth of Patrick O’Doul. In Rookie Move he wasn’t very likable. There was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way. But in Hard Hitter you got to really learn what he was like and what made him tick and why he was the way he was. Ari also brought out another side of him, a sweet, compassionate side and I loved seeing that. Watching him slowly come out of his self-imposed isolation was a great addition to this book.
Where there things I wish weren’t in Hard Hitter? Definitely. If I could have removed some of the side story stuff I would have and it would have been a 5 star read for me. But even when that I found myself wanting to devour this book and I think you will too. Patrick and Ari…two thumbs up from me.