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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.
ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have to say, I originally wasn’t very happy going into Pipe Dreams despite having loved the Sarina Bowen books that I have read simply because the couple wasn’t who I was expecting it to be. But fret not! Bowen was able to once again win me over with her swoony boys and her even swoonier romances. As always, reading a book by her just brings me pure joy.
Most of the books that I’ve read from Sarina Bowen have been second chance romances, and Pipe Dreams was one of those too. I’m not complaining though because she does the trope justice, and manages to make her stories fresh regardless. Lauren and Mike’s relationship started shortly after he catches his wife cheating on him. Now, some of you may not entirely approve of how their relationship develops : View Spoiler »he isn’t divorced when he gets together with Lauren, but he and his wife had separated « Hide Spoiler, but I was fine with it, because it was done tactfully, in my opinion. I loved the flashback scenes we got to read about these two. There was something sweet and genuine about their relationship, and I absolutely loved the comfort level that they shared as well. Unfortunately, tragic news separate the two of them and leave them both heartbroken. I have to say I was quite frustrated at Mike for how he decided to handle the news, and I was hoping for a lot of groveling. Thankfully, we get that. I really really wanted to be mad at Mike for breaking Lauren’s heart, but he was such a sweetheart, and so ridiculously charming. It was hard not to fall for the guy.
Lauren was a little more guarded, understandably so, and upon their reunion, she was quite cold towards him, but I completely understood where she was coming from. I really did love that she hadn’t let the heartbreak infiltrate every aspect of her life, and that she was quite successful in her career. Honestly, she was badass and I found her to be very admirable. I loved that she didn’t easily give in to Mike’s wooing, but that she made him work for it. And oh my! Mike sure knew how to woo a girl and melt her hurt. The second part of their romance was relatively quiet, slow, but very swoony. They both had to talk out their past, and their emotional connection was undeniable. I love that Sarina Bowen doesn’t have to rely on overly dramatic tropes to make her story flow and shine. There were no stupid misunderstanding between Mike and Lauren the second time around, and I loved that. I was initially a bit worried that Mike’s teenage daughter would cause some trouble, but though she initially wasn’t a fan of Lauren, she wasn’t too much of a detriment to the progression of Mike and Lauren’s relationship.
Pipe Dreams was a great romance, that perfectly balanced out the sweet, the angst and the sexy. The backdrop of hockey and the camaraderie between the teammates only enhanced the story. I’m still very much desperate for Nate and Becca’s book because holy chemistry, and I hope Sarina will write it! In the mean time, I’ll be thinking about how lovely this series has been so far, and exploring more of her backlist.
The Hot Shot (Game On, #4)
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First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…
What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.
I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.
Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.
Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?
I have been loving the Game On series, so when The Hot Shot released, I was very quick to grab myself a copy. All the books in this series have been consistently addicting, but I have to say, The Hot Shot just might be my favorite. I basically sped through this book even though I had a whole bunch of assignments piling up on me, and I don’t have one single regret.
I honestly can’t say I remembered much of Finn from the previous books, mainly because I mix up the characters in all the sports romances I read. I kinda want to hit myself for it though because Finn was so amazing, and the whole time I was reading about him or through his POV, I had hearts in my eyes. He was flirty, arrogant, and a complete sweet-talker, but not in any way that I found frustrating. Instead, I found him to be completely irresistible because despite all the fame, those good looks of his, Finn was a genuinely sweet guy. He also managed to make me laugh multiple times throughout this story, and honestly, I couldn’t get enough of him. He epitomized everything that I look for in a romance hero.
The heroine, Chess, was pretty great herself. In many ways, she was Finn’s opposite, more reserved and very much no-nonsense in attitude. She goes through kind of a hellish phase in The Hot Shot when her home and studio burns down, but I really respected her determination to get back on her feet. I also liked that she wasn’t unwilling to accept help when it’s looking down her face. It constantly annoys me when heroines refuse help from their love interest out of a sense of pride, so it was refreshing to find a heroine who wasn’t ashamed to accept help.
Together Chess and Finn were super swoony. I thought that they balanced each other out very well. Chess was initially immune to all of Finn’s charisma and charms, but she doesn’t last very long and honestly, I don’t blame her one bit. He was persistent, but not in a creepy or obnoxious way, and I loved how he got her to be friends with him first. Their romance was very much of a slow-burn one, and the fiery chemistry between the two was undeniable. And oh the banter! Besides the fun sexy times, they had plenty of quieter moments when they grew a sweet companionship. I swoon thinking of these two. I’ve become so accustomed to expecting a big dramatic breakup/misunderstanding scene in romance novels, and you get that here too, but it wasn’t over the top. All in all, a pretty fantastic romance!
So yes, I loved The Hot Shot, and I adore this series, overall. I highly recommend these books if you enjoy your steamy sports romances!