Title: Hard Hitter
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...
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Published by Berkley Source: Publisher
Published: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Contemporary Romance, Sports Theme
Pages: 331 pages
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Purchase your copy: Amazon
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The Brooklyn Bruisers is a new NHL hockey team and Patrick is the captain. Ari is the team’s massage therapist and yoga instructor. Both of them have issues. Ari has history with an ex, and Patrick has an aversion to being touched.
As team captain and enforcer of the team, he takes his fair share of hits. At 32, he’s considered old by hockey standards, and he is finding he doesn’t quite bounce back like he used to. Now he has anxiety for whenever he’s going to be needing to defend a team mate. He cannot come off as injured and needs to look healthy for the good of the team.
Ari loved being hired as the massage therapist for the Brooklyn Bruisers. She’s happy to make a difference in these players lives and loves the steady paycheck. Her ex assumed she was “performing” a bit on the shady side as some massage parlors are associated. She was right to kick him to the curb because she loves what she does and is on the straight and narrow.
Patrick has been missing the appointments for a massage. After a particularly rough game, the coach gives him an ultimatum. Attend five session in seven days and it’s not up to negotiation. Patrick is stuck. He has to go.
When he shows up to his massage, Ari talks him through it. And although he didn’t like being touched, he liked the way she smelled like lavender and how she found a way to work his hip. He does loosen up a bit.
As Ari works on Patrick, he allows Ari more and more. And not just touching him, she’s touched his mind. He comes from a rather dark background and Ari let’s him know he doesn’t have to let that define him.
Love blossoms where it was unexpected and I loved how it all happened. Patrick is a strong, alpha male and to see him literally melt for Ari is a testament to how she affected him. I like how he was patient with her and not all up in her face. We know he’s not perfect, but he really shined going after Ari.
I really liked the author’s background on massage therapy and yoga. Ari felt real pride for what she was accomplishing with the team. Her mental acuity to apply her yoga teachings to herself was hard to do I’m sure.
I, also like hockey and loved the team interactions behind the scenes if you will. The team is full of candidates for future books! I think you could read Hard Hitter by itself and be happy you read it, but reading the series will give you a well-rounded background of the players!