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…
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
This was a solid followup book in this series!! I’m still anxious to find out what’s going on with Nate and Becca, but I actually really loved Ari and Patrick’s love story. I probably would have enjoyed it even more if I had more dedicated time to read it, and wasn’t constantly interrupted…a bookworm’s nightmare, am I right?
I think I’d read a teaser for this one at the end of the first book, and for some reason I thought there would be something more specifically devastating in O’Doul’s past, particularly with his dislike of being touched. So often that screams of abuse that’s more than just physical. So I kind of kept waiting for that to be revealed at the beginning, but then I figured out it wasn’t quite that. But in the end his dislike of being touched wasn’t really explored in any great detail, and while I was a bit disappointed to not delve into his past, it was kind of interesting that it wasn’t given specifics, b/c sometimes people can’t explain why they feel like that, just that that’s the way life has shaped them, you know? It’s not always sexual abuse or something like that. And sometimes sexual abuse trumps the horrors of just plain physical abuse. Not sure if I’m making sense. Basically I was conflicted about the amount of background we got on Patrick. I’m a background kind of girl, so I can always dive in for more. 🙂
I really enjoyed the depth we did get on how Patrick felt being the enforcer. I’m not sure if Ms. Bowen interviewed some enforcers to get their thoughts on their role, but I was fascinated to see the dread he felt, but also how he felt it was so important to his career. I’m not big into the hockey fights myself, and must say I agree with Nate: I sincerely hope they are going out of style. There’s just too much danger in them for the benefits we get out of them.
Ari was an intriguing heroine for me. I loved how she was a bit of a contradiction with her yogi lifestyle, but her inability to give herself a break for some of the mistakes she made in the past. But I thought she grew over the course of the book, and it was believable for me. I loved seeing her friendships develop with Becca and Georgia as well.
For those who are a fan of the Ivy Years series, there were some awesome glimpses of past characters in this one…some just tiny, but it was nice all the same.
Patrick and Ari had some great chemistry as well, I was definitely enjoying both the steamy moments, and Patrick’s sweet attempts to woo her. That moment when he enlists the help of his fellow players had me just laughing. Loved it.
My one complaint would be with how what could have been a major obstacle in their relationship was sort of left to the epilogue and then just resolved super quickly. It was almost like the author forgot about it, and had to do something with it at the end. Not super impressed with that. Also, what happened in the playoffs?? You can’t just have a count down for the chapter headers for the whole book and then bam, 3 months later…bit cheesed.
All in all really enjoying this series, and the romance in this one was top notch. And I totally called Beacon having the next book! But his heroine surprised me, even though it shouldn’t! Can’t wait for more in this series.