Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Release Day Blitz with Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Title: Rookie Move
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release date: September 6, 2016
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 4 stars


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....


     “Come right this way,” Georgia heard her coworker and roommate Becca say, the clomp of her Dr. Martens echoing through the grand old passageway. “Nate is excited to meet you.” Becca was the owner’s assistant, and Georgia lingered half a second to wave her down and offer her a donut, too.
     But Becca didn’t happen to look in Georgia’s direction as she led a tall man down the corridor. Something about his gait snagged Georgia’s subconscious. So she took a second look.
     And that’s when her heart took off like a manic bunny rabbit. Because she knew that man. She knew the chiseled shape of his masculine jaw, and the length of his coal-black eyelashes.
     Oh my God.
     Omigod, omigod, omigod.
     “How was your flight?” Becca asked him, oblivious to the fact that Georgia was spying.
     “Not too bad. I got in late last night.”
     The sound of his voice fluttered right inside Georgia’s chest. It was the same smoky sweet timbre that used to whisper into her ear while they made love. She hadn’t let herself remember that sound in a long time.
     Now it was giving her goosebumps. The good kind.
     “Welcome to Brooklyn,” Becca said while Georgia trembled. “Are you familiar with the area?”
     “Grew up about thirty miles from here,” he answered while chills broke out across her back.
Holding her breath, Georgia eased her office door further closed, until only a couple of inches remained. She could not be caught like this—freaked-out and speechless, hiding behind a door.
     The movement caught Becca’s eye, though. Georgia saw her turn her head in her direction and then pick her out in the crack where the door was still open. Becca raised one eyebrow—the one with the barbell piercing in it.
     All Georgia could do was close her eyes and pray that Becca wouldn’t call out a greeting.
     There was a pause before Georgia heard Becca say, “Right this way, please.”
     Quietly, Georgia stepped into her office and shut the door. After flipping on the light, she let her briefcase and pocketbook slide right to the floor. Only the folder that Nate had given her was still in her shaking hands. She flipped it open, her eyes searching for the new player’s name on the page.
     But she didn’t even need the paperwork to confirm what her racing heart had already figured out. The newest player for the Brooklyn Bruisers was none other than Leonardo “Leo” Trevi, a six-foot-two, left-handed forward. Also known as her high school boyfriend, the boy she’d loved with all her heart until the day that she’d dumped him. And now he was here?
     “Thanks, universe,” she whispered into the stillness of her office.

I think I could write this entire review just simply listing all of the reasons why I loved Leo. He was one of those characters that endeared himself to me so perfectly. I found it very hard to find fault with him at all throughout the story. By the end of the book, I was thinking back to all of my favorite moments and realizing that "hero worship" is a real thing. And I probably have it. Okay, more than probably. I like an alpha hero just as much as the next girl, but there's something about those beta heroes that make my heart flutter. They know how to cherish their women, and he was no exception.

I'm fairly new to Sarina Bowen's books, having only read Bittersweet and Steadfast previously. So let's just say I was extremely surprised to discover that this particular book was written in 3rd person POV. I know this is a non-issue for most people, but I tend to avoid anything but first person, either single or dual. I have a hard time sinking into the story otherwise and there was an adjustment period here for me. Once I got past that initial bump, things went very smoothly.

Georgia is a publicist working for the Brooklyn Bruisers. Her budding career there is everything she dreamed of, if she disregards the fact that she'll now be working with her father. He just joined the team as the head coach and she's a little apprehensive going into work on his first day over how it will affect her job. Little does she know that he is the least of her worries. Her first love, her first everything is about to arrive, shake things up, and make her finally face their tough history together.

Leo Trevi was the source of all her stress at the moment. How odd that he could also be a source of comfort too.

As teenagers, they were the annoyingly perfect couple who seemed to have everything figured out. But one tragic event altered their lives in ways they never dreamed possible. Georgia cut him free and spent the last five years comparing everyone else to him and realizing that they were doomed to fall short.

Leo is just as shocked to be face to face with (in his words) the love of his life. Though things ended on a bad note, he doesn't hold any bitterness or anger towards her. From their very first interaction you really see how his attraction and old feelings haven't faded one bit.

Georgia had always been able to reduce him to a throbbing heap of need with a single hot glance. That obviously hadn't changed.

I felt their craving for each other right from the start. I knew all of their bottled up emotions couldn't be contained for very long, especially since he was determined to clear the air between them and force her to communicate about where they went wrong. That's one of the things I really appreciated about him. He was a hero who wanted to communicate to solve their problems! Not keep silent and create more. Lord, was that refreshing!

On top of their history together that they had to sort out, they had the added difficulty of her father's intense dislike for Leo. Not only would he disapprove of them getting back together, but his feelings also cause them to worry about him unfairly being traded off of the team without a proper chance to prove himself. With all of the uncertainty of how a relationship would affect their jobs, they must decide if the rewards are worth the risks.

Georgia made a bit of a frustrating decision towards the end. I understand why she would do what she did, after years of trying to come to terms with the horrible event in her past and not fully succeeding. And I think the way Leo handled the turn of events was just perfection. He had me swooning all over the place over his sensitivity to what she needed. I can easily say he's one of my favorite heroes I've read all year.

Overall, I was really happy with Rookie Move. It's great for readers who are fans of second chance romance, and sweet and sexy heroes that don't take no for an answer. There was just the right amount of angst and steam to keep you turning the pages, balanced with some really enjoyable humor. I'm really looking forward to reading O'Doul's book in January. Sarina has created secondary characters that are bursting with potential to shine in their own books. I have no doubt that they won't fail to impress after this introduction to the series.


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