WHY I READ IT
I never pass up a chance to dive into a Sarina Bowen book.
WHAT I RATED IT
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
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.
“Why are you still here?” she asked.
“Because you’re standing on a dark sidewalk at midnight?”
And so begins the re-acquaintance of Mike Beacon and Lauren Williams. I just love a well done second chance love story, and this is one of the best. Throw in some of my favorite hockey players, an ice queen, and a little extra behind the scenes romance (that I desperately need more of), and you have got yourself one heck of a story.
We get to see a small glimpse of Lauren in the first two books in Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, and I really thought it was going to take a tremendous amount of work for Lauren to get in my good graces. I was so very wrong. All it took was for me to see just how affected she was by Mike’s sudden break up. Lauren wasn’t a bitch, she was broken. She could only hide behind her fancy clothes, her important job and her witty comebacks for so long. Mike Beacon may not have a perfect save percentage, but this is one shot he is going to take, even if Lauren never sees it coming.
I loved Mike from the start. He never had to win me over with his swooniness (and there is a LOT to swoon over), or endear himself to me with how devoted of a father and teammate he was. He had me from hello, literally. He might have played the martyr, but he had a damned good reason. I understand why he felt it was his only option and we can debate for days whether he was right or wrong, but regardless of what it was, in the end, it was what he needed to do.
Mike and Laurens story moves quickly, and I really enjoyed the pace of this one. Their relationship had already been established. They just needed a little prodding from a certain owner, and for Lauren to drop her shield and see what Mikes true intentions were. There was little to no drama in this story, but that’s part of what I liked most about it. It was a beautiful story about two people finding their way back to each other in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs. These were two people clearly in love with one another. All consuming, ‘till death do us part kind of love. Life may have intervened for a few years, but once reunited, they were not to be stopped. Being it’s a Sarina Bowen book, you know all the technical parts are going to be flawless, but what I loved most was the ease of the story. I was lost in the words from the first until the last. Mike and Lauren will forever be a favorite of mine.