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...
Patrick was interesting...and in an interesting point in his career. I thought his backstory was interesting, I loved that he wanted Ari enough to ignore that pursuing her could result in some negative publicity for him. I loved his sense of honor, of commitment to his word, and his willingness to be all in with Ari. I loved how much he respected her as well, even when doing so means he has to give up something he wants (trying to avoid spoilers while discussing how much I loved this book) and, I was really glad he got his well-deserved happy ending with Ari.
I also could relate to Ari, and her reasoning for not really wanting to get involved with Patrick. her reluctance made sense, and it was easy to understand why she would hesitate. It was fun watching her resist him and then realize that she was not going to find anyone better, or who would love her more.
The pacing and writing were excellent and the characters were amazing.
I recommend this book.
I love Sarina Bowen and her books, so I was really excited for Hard Hitter. Unfortunately I didn’t love it as much I had hoped I would have. It felt drawn out at times and it took me days to finish when normally I would have finished in a day or two. It didn’t hold my attention I got bored or was so over certain things that I just wanted to move forward.
Ari was a real big issue for me throughout the entire book; I honestly wanted to take a hockey stick to her more than once. She came across to me as annoying and weak and I just couldn’t connect with her or find the ability to do more than just tolerate her throughout the book. I understand why she was hesitant but if I had to read one more time about her causing the team drama or saying they will frown upon a relationship when in reality her friend who is the PR spokesperson is in a relationship with a player. The entire book is like a sound clip when it comes to that and after a while I just wanted her to go away.
Patrick surprised me and it was a very pleasant surprise at that. The more you get to know him; you slowly get to see who he really is as well as why he is so closed off at times. He was tenacious, hardworking and trying to be the best captain for the team even if at times he made mistakes. He tried so hard with Ari and while at times it was like hitting a brick wall he knew she was it for him, now only to convince her of that. He had some issues but even then I respected him and understood his choices, even the bad ones.
While I wasn’t in love with Hard Hitter I plan on continuing on with the series because I have a feeling the next book is going to be filled with drama, angst and of course sexy times. Sarina Bowen is still an author that is a must read, even if every once in a while a book didn’t work for me.