ARC Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

1 May 2017

Book Title: Hard Hitter
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2 - Standalone
Release Date: January 3rd, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.


"You're my happy thought, Lo."

The Brooklyn Bruisers series, I swear, just gets better with each and every book. This trend held true with Pipe Dreams. It's funny that the hero of this book, Mike Beacon, the Bruisers goalie, never really piqued my interest in prior books. But, little did I know, his story would be the most emotional and enjoyable of them all. This angst fan was in all her glory here!

Widower and dad, Mike, lives a life of trying to balance pro hockey with fatherhood to a teen daughter. His manny, Han, is his saving grace with his tough schedule. Lauren Williams, the one that got away, is affiliated with the team but works at somewhat of a distance from the team. Only when Lauren gets temporarily re-assigned, assisting the Team Manager Nate, does Lauren come face to face with the guy that broke her heart a few years ago. Granted, his estranged wife had cancer, but he ended things between them with little to no communication. Avoidance of all things Mike has been her mantra...until now, when she can't avoid the team goalie for the Brooklyn Bruisers.

Love, love, loved this second chance romance. Throw in the reality of life with a teen daughter still suffering from the loss of her mother and also being a hormonal mess, Pipe Dreams was one emotional ride!

Mike Beacon might have made some poor moves on the part of Lauren but the man made all the right decisions with such a big heart. I fell wholeheartedly for his character. Balancing his professional career with life caring for his daughter, he never gave up on Lauren. She tries to chill him out but nobody is immune to the man.

Lauren is a classy, professional heroine but I also really give props to her ability to look deep within Mike's psyche and realize what he did might not have been handled the best way but it was done for all the right, selfless reasons. Sarina Bowen could've really strung us along with Lauren's hurt and bitterness but I applaud her character in taking the high road and not holding a long-term grudge...much. She's fiercely independent and motivated, yet admits life with Mike is icing on the cake. But with her career taking her in all kinds of new directions, her wanting to become a mother, and Mike struggling to please his grieving daughter, is it really in the cards for them?

We also got to catch up with past characters in this series, so although this can totally be read as a standalone, I'd recommend reading them order because they seriously get better and better with each episode. Sarina Bowen has it down to a science how to build heroines I love and don't want to strangle. Typically I remember books by the heroes, but in this series the heroines really stand out for me. They're fierce, loyal, and strong.

And what is up with Sarina Bowen's teasing us with Nate and Becca? Give us their book dammit! I feel like their "relationship" is going on without us!

Advanced copy received by author in exchange for my honest review.

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of steamy, angsty Contemporary Romance and New Adult fiction. She lives in the wilds of Vermont.

She is the author of The Ivy Years, an award-winning series set amid the hockey team at an elite Connecticut college. Also, the The Gravity series.

With Elle Kennedy, Sarina is the author of HIM and US.

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