Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen – Jenn’s Review


I love Sarina Bowen. I’ll read anything she writes.



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…


“I only want you, Ari. For this, and all things.”

After reading Rookie Move, if you told me that I would spend 300 + pages swooning over Patrick O’Doul, I would have called you a liar. I often looking forward to secondary characters getting their stories told, but O’Doul was different. He didn’t have a lot of redeeming qualities, and I wasn’t sure I would care all that much about him.

Leave it to Bowen to prove me very wrong.

Opening the book with Patrick’s point of view helped me to get inside his head instantly, and what a complex place that was to be. As captain of the Bruisers, veteran, and enforcer, Patrick was still an enigma to his teammates. Heck, no one had ever been in his apartment. He’s moody and grumpy (my favorite!), and just a big ball of fun. Little did he know the teams masseuse was about to blow a hole in his master plan to spend his life alone.

Ari was my kind of girl, and Patrick’s polar opposite. She’s bouncing ball of happiness and serenity Ari was strong when she needed to be, and willing to ask for help when her situation became extreme. I loved her vulnerable side. Ari had her hands on seriously hot, hockey players every day, but none of them got to her the way Patrick did. She wanted to crack his rough exterior, but hadn’t yet figured out how. You could tell right away she was really into him, but after a disastrous relationship, she felt it necessary to stay single for a bit. You’ll see how well that works out.

Hard Hitter is Bowen’s hottest book to date.

Two words: Massage Table.

Holy heck! I was fanning myself for a week! The chemistry was absolutely electric. Patrick and Ari burned up the pages, and all they had to do was look at each other. It didn’t take Patrick long to realize what he had in Ari, if only he could get her to see it. He was like a dog with a bone. He found his game changer, but he also found a way to be patient. I loved how long it took their relationship to evolve, and the lengths Patrick went to prove how he felt about Ari.

Here is what you need to know about Bowen, if you don’t already. The woman can write the hell out of a book. She manages to mix humor, with scorching sex scenes, a little bit of drama, and a supporting cast you just love and want stories for (Beacon! Beacon! Beacon!). I have not yet found a single flaw in any of her books, and I have read them all, multiple times. There is little better than losing yourself inside one of her books. I am counting down the weeks until I can get lost in her next one.

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