Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Hard Hitter
(Brooklyn Bruisers #2)
by Sarina Bowen
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Genre: Sport Romance

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...

Whenever I pick up a Sarina Bowen's book, I knew I'm in for a good time. This one fit right in with her usual charming characters, lovely romance and a solid set of supporting characters that I'm dying to read about. 

Patrick O'Doul is the prickly and anti-social captain of the Bruiser. I usually dig this kind of hero and looking forward to know all about him. I find it refreshing that he didn't actually have a big skeleton in his closet. As the enforcer for the team, he needs to step up all the time to take the heat. Nursing his chronic pain, Patrick prefer to keep to himself and never show his weakness. No matter how many sport romance I read, I'm still a hockey noob. I find it surprising that the player can legally bash each other without penalty unlike in English football whereby the whistle is blow every other minute, which annoys me to no end.

Ari is the team masseur and I usually cringe when I hear this profession when it comes to sport romance. Is just so cliché and I dread to read that she have to suffer through touching all the naked men. So I really appreciate the way Sarina wrote Ari's character that show her professionalism. She is very professional at her work and never use the time to ogle the men or turn it into anything sexual. 

Patrick and Ari didn't have much interest in each other until the team management insist that Patrick get more rehabilitation work done with Ari to help with his condition. They slowly develop a mutual interest and appreciation for each other. One thing that I find lacking is the sexual chemistry. I feel that their relationship lack the magical spark and Sarina is downplaying the sexual tension as well. 

Meanwhile, Ari is also dealing with a crazy and problematic ex-boyfriend who seems to ruin her life and Patrick being the white knight that he is, determine to protect Ari at all cost. Despite me not whole heartedly loving the romance development, I can't deny that Patrick is simply lovable. Is such rare occurrence for me to read about a hero who actually wanted to woo his girl. He deserve all the brownie points here.