Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen – Jenn’s Review

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It’s Sarina Bowen… no explanation needed.


5 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…

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To say I have been anticipating this book is a gigantic understatement. It’s no secret that Bowen is one of my favorite authors and I will read any and every book she writes. Right before I start a new book from Bowen, butterflies perform a hostage takeover of my stomach. The excitement is overwhelming, and the payoff is always worth it.

Rookie Move is a spin-off of Bowen’s Ivy Years series. It can be read as a standalone, especially since it is the first book in the new Brooklyn Bruisers series, but that being said, I am a girl who believes in having all the information up front. Both Leo and Georgia make appearances in the Ivy Years series, and I like to be armed with all the information I can get.

Leo Trevi was a solid six on the Rikker Scale, (shameless reference to my favorite Bowen book, The Understatement of the Year), and would work his way up for good reason. He is the consummate man. He was a standout guy in college, and now, two years out and finally getting his shot in the NHL, he is the same man. And when he finds out his high school sweetheart, who broke his heart on graduation night six years ago is the head of PR on his new team, he becomes a man on a mission.

“He and Georgia were going to get back together and stay that way. Maybe she didn’t quite realize it yet, but it was clear as ice to him. Their spark was still there, and stronger than ever.”

Georgia Worthington suffered the worst kind of pain, but she has spent six years getting her personal and professional life in order. She presents a strong, confident, kick-a** Georgia to the world, but behind closed doors, she’s a different girl. She longs to be the girl that Leo loved all those years ago, but even Georgia doesn’t know if that girl still exists.

“Wanting him was both amazing and painful. She wanted this for him so badly it hurt…The trouble, though, was that wanting was contagious. Wanting him to succeed felt a lot like wanting him. And that wasn’t on the table.”

There are countless obstacles in the way of Georgia and Leo’s happily ever after; crazy ex-girlfriends, fathers-turned-coaches, job security, and mounting insecurities. Leo is willing to work through it all, but is Georgia? As always, Bowen’s writing is exceptional. It is some of the best in the business. You’ll find it impossible not to fall in love with her characters, thanks to the way she thoroughly develops them. Within just a few pages, these characters will become your best friends. Their emotions become yours, and you can’t help but root for them…all of them. The secondary characters are just as important as the primary ones. Everyone is well-developed and well-rounded. I loved the dynamic between Becca and Georgia, and Leo and Silas. I even loved O’Doul. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but wish for stories for Silas, O’Doul, Becca, and Nate. Is it too soon to wish for Becca and Nate to be together? Please?

Another outstanding facet of Bowen’s writing is her complete understanding of hockey. It saddens me how often I will read a sports romance, only to find the author has zero familiarity of the sport they are writing about. Bowen oozes hockey knowledge. It brings an authenticity to her novels that you just can’t find everywhere. Hockey may take a backseat to Leo and Georgia, but it’s what help drives the story.

Rookie Move is Bowen’s twelfth published novel, with 3 more to come this year alone. Having read all of them, multiple times, I can tell you with complete confidence that Bowen is one of the best authors in the romance genre, and with each novel, she keeps getting better.

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