Review: Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen

May Contain Spoilers

I have been reading Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers books from day one, and I have enjoyed each one. I even picked up Bountiful, part of her True North series, because Berringer was the hero. When I saw Brooklynaire pop up at the library, I hopped in the hold line and waited….

And a copy was finally available. At long last we get Nate and Becca’s romance. Becca is recovering from her spill on the ice, and the subsequent concussion, right as the Bruisers head to the playoffs. She’s on medical leave, stuck in her tiny apartment with her sister, her amorous boy toy, and their infant, and she thinks she’s in hell. When Nate arrives to take her away from it all, she resists. She doesn’t want to be the woman who sleeps with her boss, and her attraction to Nate is making it hard for her to behave.

Nate has had a crush on Rebecca for seven years. But because he doesn’t want to be the creeper boss, he sent her to be the Bruisers’ office manager right after he bought the franchise. Still stinging over this sudden change of work location two years later, Becca can’t figure out what she did wrong to make Nate send her away. Now she’s worried about losing her job because she isn’t getting any better, she has bills to pay, and she is just consumed with stress, stress, stress.

Wow, I could feel for Becca. She feels like she has to be the rock for her family. She quit college after her father’s sudden death so she could be with her mother, and now her life doesn’t look anything like she had envisioned it. While she loves her job, she always thought she’s have an office at a successful company, instead of being the office manager. When her flaky sister made a few poor life choices, she offered to let her stay at her apartment. Before she knew it, the boyfriend had moved in too. As her life continues to spiral out of her control, Becca wonders how she’s going to pay her medical bills, keep her job, and keep her sanity as well.

Nate lives in a different world, and instead of thinking that she’s good enough for him, Becca keeps finding excuses why they can’t be together. When Nate, concerned about her health, moves her to his mansion so she can actually get some rest without the chaos in her apartment, Becca doggedly puts up a fight. What will the people at the office say? And that was before they were sleeping together!

Because events in this book overlap the same time period as Pipe Dreams (Lauren and Beacon’s book), sometimes I felt that I read parts of it before. I wish it had taken place in a different time line, instead of parallel to a book I had already read. Even with a different perspective, some scenes didn’t feel as fresh or engaging as they would have otherwise. And that is my biggest nitpick about the book.

Overall, this was a satisfying read. Nate’s reason for buying the team in the first place became a PR nightmare for Georgia, and it was interesting to learn why he bought the hockey team. Tension between Becca and Nate over money was completely believable. Becca has a limited amount of it, and Nate is one of the wealthiest men in the world. That makes for some friction, especially when Nate was making decisions without consulting Becca, who is and always has been an independent woman. She hates relying on others, and Nate, who has known her for years, should have realized he was stepping on toes.

This was a quick read, and since I am nuts about sports romances, it even delivered in the hockey department. I hate books featuring sports heroes / teams that don’t even include the sport!

Grade: 3.5 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.
For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.
When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.
Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?