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Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
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Hard Hitter

by Sarina Bowen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Brooklyn Bruisers (2)

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556343,449 (4.06)2
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.… (more)

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» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
I really like these Bowen hockey books. They feel really contemporary and really Brooklyn to me (the latter of which I love). Yeah, the athletes are a little unrealistic to me -- I think these hockey players sound a bit above what actual hockey players are like. But never having met a real hockey player I may be relying on stereotypes. The plots, dialog and characters in these book bring the stories alive so I can rise above my doubts about the authenticity of the hockey athletes' true persona (e.g., would they really be accepting of a hockey player being gay?), ( )
  phyllis2779 | May 25, 2019 |
Hard Hitter is the second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series by Sarina Bowen and after having a blast with book one “Rookie Move” I just knew that I had to have book two in my life. I just couldn’t resist. And as a plus this series can be found in the Audible Romance Package, so if you are a subscriber I can’t recommend these books enough for you. They are superb and the second book succeeded my expectations. I wasn’t sure how this author could make anything better than book one but she did it….somehow much to my great delight

In Hard Hitter, we are introduced to Patrick O’Doul and Ari Bettini. Now Patrick O’Doul is the team captain of the Brooklyn Bruisers and one of the more experienced players. He is also the one in charge of fighting in the rink. But Patrick is getting older, and is starting to feel his injuries more and his energy levels are going down and he can’t afford that. So when a friend hands him some drugs to help him he makes some mistakes but then he realizes he can’t afford to be doing drugs no matter how much they seem to help. When his coach orders him to see Ari, the team’s massage therapist, he is resistant. He can’t stand the touch of others and he is dreading going to see Ari even if he is attracted to her.

Ari has recently gotten out of a long term relationship where her ex became abusive and unhinged and is still causing her problems. But Ari is a glass half full type of personality and hardly anything gets her down. She is a message therapist and yoga instructor. She loves her job with the Brooklyn Bruisers and being able to help the players with their bodies. She is determined to help Patrick, even if he seems to abhor human touch. She knows it is something involved in his past, but she wants to help him and while she assists him in his therapy sessions and aids in his injuries, a relationship begins to slowly form between them especially when he is there for in when she is in danger. But will their careers come between the relationship and will they find the balance that they need?

I simple had a blast with Hard Hitter and its O’Doul’s book. Now in the first book, we are introduced to the team captain and yeah he can put the reader off to be honest. He is a bit too cocky but he has this confidence that is addictive and a bit endearing. Now in the beginning when we see him start on the drugs, I was really nervous because I wasn’t sure how Sarina Bowen would handle this situation. But it isn’t as bad as it sounds, because Patrick doesn’t get addicted to drugs but we do see him have a moment of weakness and lack of judgement but not everyone can be perfect right? I liked that he has some weak spots and vulnerabilities and makes some mistakes and this one will bite him in the booty eventually. Even though Patrick does have a dark past, the book doesn’t focus on that. He isn’t a brooding type of character that is typical of this which I really enjoyed. Patrick has overcome his past for the most part and moved on and become someone that others look up to and admire and respect. I loved seeing more in his character and seeing all that he has overcome.

“Fuck no. You’re the only one who gets to touch me.” “Okay,” she said, pressing on his shoulder, asking him to lie flat again. “It was only a suggestion. I was trying to make you more comfortable.” “Not possible,” he muttered. “I only want you, Ari. For this and all things.”

Now on Ari’s side of things we do see the strength that she has. I loved her determination to forge a fresh start for herself away from her ex although he is becoming a nuisance. We see how even though she has a career she craves a family….a husband and children. She wants to have someone to come home to. I really connected with her character because she knows what she wants and isn’t ashamed of it. She is older though in her thirties, so she has learned through trial and error what is worth searching and fighting for. But she makes her own mistakes and even though she could be a bit judgmental at times, she learns and becomes a better person in this book which I really enjoyed seeing.

You are priceless…I hope you know that.

The romance that develops between these two is so heartfelt. I really liked the whole message therapist and player set up because it brings forth a level of trust and intimacy from the very beginning, before things get hot and heavy between them which I really admired from Sarina Bowen. But there is also the level of dependence they have on each other….in a healthy way though. Patrick struggles with touch and he has to trust in Ari to help him overcome his fears. Ari has her ex acting crazy and violent at times, and Patrick is there when she needs help. I wouldn’t call this a damsel in distress scenario to be honest. Because she is a fighter, and isn’t afraid of doing what is necessary. But he helps her when she needs it and I liked that she didn’t spurn his help. I know in some books the woman has to do everything and be the strongest and fight her own battles which is all well and good but in this book it shows that we all need help sometime and its not a bad thing to accept it when its the right time and place and situation for it.

I found Hard Hitter to be a phenomenal story that swept me up in this story and I just never wanted it to end! A fabulous addition to a great series that is guaranteed to capture the heart of the reader and is a true jewel to enchant ( )
  addictofromance | Mar 22, 2019 |
I love this series so much! ( )
  thebookdisciple | Oct 9, 2018 |
Another great book for Sarina Bowen. I really enjoy reading her books. The characters and dialogue are so well written and the story line sucks you in and leaves you wanting more when you are done.
Can't ask for a better combination. This series has been fun to read, I'm glad to see there is at least one more planned. In the meantime, I'm jumping over to you the last series of hers that I've yet to read. Pick up this author, you won't be disappointed.
Happy Reading...enjoy! ( )
  AmyJ71 | Jun 20, 2017 |
Sarina Bowen Hard Hitter is a smash. Team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul, does not like to be touched. After suffering a hip injury, he has no choice but to seek help from the team’s massage therapist, Ariana (Ari) Bettini. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences.

When we were introduced to Patrick O'Doul in book one, Rookie Move, I was not a fan of his. However, the more I got to know him; I really began to like him. He had a trying childhood, being raised in a group home in Minnesota. It explains a lot about his personality. Ari is the perfect person to be assigned as Patrick’s message therapist. With Ari’s help, he grows a lot throughout this story. He is a good guy who owns up to his mistakes. I like that he begins to open-up to his team mates because of his relationship with Ari.

I really like Ari. She had a difficult breakup with her boyfriend of eight years, Vince. He got himself into some trouble, which unfortunately spills over into her life. Patrick finds himself trying to protect Ari from her Ex, whom he happens to know. It causes some fascinating controversy in the story.

I really enjoyed the plot. There were a lot of interesting details and twists. HARD HITTER is fast paced a and kept me focused from start to finish. I like how the chapters stared with the team’s standings. I also like that “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys is the Bruisers’ theme song. Sarina Bowen does an amazing job with her second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. I cannot wait to read Mike Beacon’s and Lauren Williams’ story next in book three, PIPE DREAMS. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book. ( )
  dlynch | Jan 11, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarina Bowenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blackstone Audio, Inc.Publishersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Engle, RockNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zanzarella, NicolNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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