Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen | Brooklyn Bruisers #4
Publication Date | February 12th, 2018
ARC from the author
| Book Review |
If you’ve been reading the Brooklyn Bruisers series all along, then chances are, you have been rabidly awaiting Becca and Nate’s story. As have I, my reader friends. As have I. You guys, I am here to tell you, Brooklynaire was worth the wait. (Not that it was even that long.) From the very beginning (I’m talking title and hubba hubba cover,) this book was a winner. Nate and Becca have had me intrigued from the very beginning. Though they weren’t together in most of their scenes in previous books, their chemistry was already off the charts. And so obvious to everyone but them. This was such a fun, light-hearted twist on my least favorite trope of all time – the dreaded billionaire. Nate could be uptight (about Becca for sure,) but there were parts of him that were so happy go lucky in a way that felt like he’d been able to shield himself from the cynicism wealth often results in. It was one of my favorite things about him. The idea of this man, so successful and with the weight of the world on his shoulders and just rising to the occasion, was so incredibly sexy. I also love that for three books, we are finally getting Nate’s point of view. We never officially got Becca’s in the previous books, but the girl talk scenes were enough to clue us in on what she was thinking. Speaking of Becca, I don’t remember her back story being so tragic. It broke my heart, and like Nate, she is just someone who rises to the occasion and gets things done, and I loved that about her. She was such a rock for everyone around her; I just wish that she realized there were more people around her who wanted to be there for her.
I thought the pacing of this book was perfect – nothing here felt rushed or forced. There was a constant push and pull between Becca and Nate, and I thought Becca’s fears for not wanting to jump into a relationship with Nate were credible. I loved the way this story flipped back and forth between past and present. It lent such a nostalgic feel to the story, and I’m going to be honest, by the end, I couldn’t tell if it Nate and Becca, or if it was me, that was longing for the simpler days for them. And the heat! Oh, the heat. This book was so damn sexy. Their teasing back and forth about the fantasies they had about each other? It was as sweet and adorable as it was hot, and I enjoyed every minute of it!
As this series does revolve around the hockey season, you know the secondary characters if you’ve read previous books. They all show up here, but none overshadow Nate and Becca’s story. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Bingley. He was such a fun addition to the story; I loved him and his ill-timed ‘appearances.’ We also meet Becca’s sister, her sister’s husband, and their son, and while I wanted to be mad at them just a bit for being such a burden on Becca, they were just so likable and adorable.
I will say that one thing I missed in this book was Nate’s bellowing for Becca. It seemed Nate’s trademark in previous books was bellowing for her, and the timing was always perfect, because she always seemed to be talking about him with the girls. There was a plot twist at the end that I wasn’t crazy about and that didn’t feel essential to the story. BUT, I still rated it five stars, so take that complaint with a grain of salt. This is not something wrong with the story, just something I would have loved to be included – (highlight for not really a spoiler, but maybe?) a glimpse of Nate holding his child and the thoughts going through his head. There was a scene in the book where Nate was looking longingly at Becca’s nephew and thoughts of him and Becca having a baby popped into his head, and I just thought it was so sweet and would make everything come full circle. Again, not essential to the story, but I would have loved it! And, you know, author shorts for previous character seem to be a trend these days, so fingers forever crossed!
This book is marketed as a stand alone, and while it certainly can stand on its own, what made me so excited for Nate and Becca’s story was their chemistry in every single book leading up to this one. That they were oblivious to it and that we were seeing it through others eyes made it that much more fun. This was easily my favorite book of the series, and it just hit me right in the heart. If you’ve been reading the Brooklyn Bruisers all along, you do not want to miss Brooklynaire. And if you’re new to the series, you could definitely start here. But clear your calendar – you’re going to want to go back and read the rest.
| Rating |
Series | Brooklyn Bruisers
| excerpt |
I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”
She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.
And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.
I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.
When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”
“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.
The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”
“She sure is.”
Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”
“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.
“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”
My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”
“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”
I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”
“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.
“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”
Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.
We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”
“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”
Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”
She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”
“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.
Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”
“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”
“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.
“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.
But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.
“You tell me. What am I taking off?”
She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.
Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”
That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.