Release Reviews: Pipe Dreams: Sarina Bowen

Pipe Dreams  (Brooklyn Bruisers #3)
Sarina Bowen
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Release Date May 2, 2017

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. 

I was really worried I was not going to like this installment because I have not liked the heroine Lauren in the previous books. But Sarina managed to use flashbacks and Lauren's point of view in her favor and allow me to actually connect with a woman who previously appeared cold and unfeeling. It was easier to see her vulnerability and pain.

Mike Beacon is the goalie for the Brooklyn Bruisers. He and Lauren had an almost two year relationship but then he left her to go back to his almost ex-wife and daughter with little explanation. He had his reasons, but did not fully share them. He assumed she would move on and it would be better for her in the end. He did what he had to do, and has just been holding his life together and dealing with being a parent to a young teen while also living the life of a busy hockey player.

But two years later, Lauren is a closed-off work-a-holic who avoids Brooklyn and the hockey team as much as possible and stays in Manhattan working for the manager's other business. But when the assistant for the hockey team has to take time off work, Lauren has to fill in...and come face to face with the man who left her behind and the team that used to be part of her daily life. And to deal with lingering whispers from critical wives that blamed Lauren for past events.

Mike sees this as a way to maybe mend the pain from the past and have a new beginning. But he has a lot of making up to do. She has hardened her heart, has trust issues, and is still feeling hurt and anger. And she has her own plans for her future that she is ready to embark on.

But Mike is persistent and determined to earn a second chance. And he will do what he has to do to convince her to let him back in her life and her future. But he also has a girl at home that might not be so fond of that plan.

This is a story of obligations, sacrifice, loss, broken hearts, forgiveness, and second chances. Lauren ended up being a smart, funny, independent, caring, and likable heroine. Mike was pulled in various directions, but he was determined, loving, devoted, and charismatic. I really liked their chemistry, connection, and shared history. His daughter was a bit of a teen drama queen, but I loved her Manny ,Hans.

Can Mike be the man everyone needs him to be and make everyone happy? Will Lauren be willing to risk her heart and future plans on another chance with the man-who-got-away?

This one was not really angsty or dramatic. It was a sweet, funny, and at times emotional second chance love story. It was told in present and flashbacks in third person point of view giving us their full story. It focused more on the hockey aspect this time as they were going for the play offs and Stanley Cup, and Lauren was working directly with the team.

It can easily be read as a stand-alone, but I liked getting more with our friends Georgia, Leo, Patrick, Ari, Silas, and especially Becca and Nate. But we still need more Becca and Nate! And Silas is a prime hero candidate too. Hopefully Sarina will add more to this series.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 
Lauren Williams keeps things running smoothly in Nate’s Manhattan offices, but rarely steps foot in the Brooklyn Bruisers portion of his business holdings. When she is around the team, she is coldly efficient, remaining closed off and staying only as long as absolutely necessary. But with Rebecca out with a head injury, she can’t avoid the team or the past she has tried so hard to forget.

A veteran on the team, Mike Beacon leads from between the pipes. But off the ice has been rougher than he planned. Now a widower and single father, he fights to find balance between work and his daughter, and now that Lauren is working with the Bruisers again he can’t forget the year they spent together.

Lauren hates the memories that return when she has to work closer to the team just as much as Mike likes to remember them. But Lauren has decided her plans don’t need to include a man and she will have a child on her own.

I loved learning more about Lauren and her past with the team. I knew it would take a good backstory because she was so hard to like in earlier books in the series, but after learning the hurt she was shielding it all made sense. Mike had some big walls to pull down in order to make her even think about spending time with him again, and rightly so.

Mike had other challenges to work through as well. His daughter has heard things about Lauren that make her take swipes at Lauren despite of and because of the relationship with Mike. This is a girl who has lost just as much as her dad, but doesn’t quite have the full story.

Setting this story in the middle of the Stanley Cup tournament means neither Lauren nor Mike have a lot of extra time to devote to something new and they each have a lot riding on keeping everything drama free. It made the moments they had together all the more meaningful as they had to find time together.

I loved watching previous couples as they moved around Lauren and Mike. Trevi and Georgia, O’Doull and Ari, and all the other teammates have to work together as the team fights through the playoffs. Even more fun than seeing all my favorite established couples was watching Nate and Rebecca continue to circle around each other. Nate is extra protective of her after her head injury, even as she just wants some independence.
This was a fun second chance romance between two co-workers with history. It was a relatively easy read without unnecessary drama. This may be my favorite of the series so far, and I hope there is more to come. I need to know what really happened between Nate and Rebecca during the Stanley Cup series.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Our reviews

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold...

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast...

Hard Hitter  (Brooklyn Bruisers #2)
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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... 
Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and New Adult fiction from the wilds of Vermont.

Her Ivy Years and Brooklyn Bruisers books are hockey romance novels. These two connected series began breaking hearts in 2014 with The Year We Fell Down. See http://www.sarinabowen.com for updates.

HIM and US are the bestselling, hockey LGBT novels co-written with Elle Kennedy. HIM is also a finalist for the Romance Writers of America's RITA® Award.

For lovers of angsty snowboarders, Sarina also writes the Gravity series, featuring snow sports heroes.

Sarina enjoys skiing, coffee products and a nice glass of wine. She lives with her family, six chickens and more ski gear and hockey equipment than seems necessary.


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