Hard Hitter

Hard Hitter

by Sarina Bowen

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From the USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move comes the second novel in the series that’s hot enough to melt the ice.
He’s a fighter in the rink, but he’s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...
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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399583452
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 341,591
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the Brooklyn Bruisers series, the Ivy Years series, and the Gravity series.

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Copyright © 2017 Sarina Bowen.
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Hard Hitter 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend!
bookbruin More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of sports romances (especially hockey) and Hard Hitter did not disappoint. I loved getting to know the standoffish and rough around the edges enforcer, Patrick O'Doul, as well as the gentler and supportive team massage therapist/yoga instructor, Ariana Bettini. Hard Hitter is the second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series of interconnected standalones. It's not necessary to read the previous book Rookie Move (though I highly recommend it!) to enjoy this book. I loved all the layers of O'Doul's character. He's had a traumatic past and although he wears scars from the fighting he does in the rink, he also has deeper ones that he doesn't show to anyone else. He's so beautifully broken and closed off, that you can't help but cheer as Ari takes those walls down brick by brick. Being inside his head was amazing. The trepidation, fear, and excitement were palpable as he laid his heart on the line to woo Ari. I especially loved the scene where he asked his teammates for romantic ideas. It was silly and sweet all at the same time. The O'Doul on the ice is such a contrast to the O'Doul at home and I loved seeing that gentler and thoughtful side come out. After reading Rookie Move I thought the sweet and loyal Leo would be my favorite Brooklyn Bruiser, but teddy bear at heart alpha O'Doul definitely wins. Ari was just as amazing and complicated as O'Doul. Yes, she's made some poor decisions in the past, but at her core, she is a strong woman who is trying to protect her heart and the job she loves so much. Her relationship with Becca and Georgia is definitely squad goals, but it's Ari and O'Doul's amazing chemistry that really shine in this story. All his hard edges fit perfectly with her softer curves and although it was hard to watch them struggle at times, it made the reward so much sweeter. The storyline with Ari's ex, Vince, was fairly predictable, but still had me nervous and anxious until the end. I loved that Ari stood up for herself and didn't let Vince rule her life, but I also liked that she knew when to rely on O'Doul, her friends, and the team as well. I think both hero and heroine learned through the course of the story that asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but rather one of trust. I'm excited for the next installment in the series and am hoping that we will eventually see a book about Becca and Nate too!
Nicola_1202 More than 1 year ago
4 "We practically burned down your bed together." Stars Sarina Bowen is an author I discovered for the first time in 2016 and I'm so glad I did as she has brought some memorable reads with wonderful characters: Hard Hitter is another to add to that list. “We have a bit of chemistry. And hockey has a bit of violence. We practically burned down your bed together.” This time around we're properly introduced to the Brooklyn Bruisers captain, Patrick O'Doul and the teams massage therapist/yoga instructor, Ariana Bettini. Following the first book, I was expecting Patrick to be a bit of a grump--not a problem as I do love me a grumpy man--but he was actually more on the vulnerable end of the scale: a loner off the ice, he's a little guarded and keeps himself to himself, and that worked hugely for me because I loved him. "...when you walk into this room, you don’t just bring your muscles and your bones. You bring your whole history as a human being. You bring your soul. And when someone touches you, they’re touching all of that, too." With his years on the ice taking their toll on him physically, it's down to Ari to help and it soon becomes clear that Patrick isn't only one who needs some healing. Because Ari comes with a fair amount of baggage of her own thanks to a bad break-up. Patrick however is nothing but persistent and in the most endearing way. “I don’t know what I have to do to win you over. But I’m gonna keep trying. You hear me?” Together Ari and Patrick were perfect for one another; sweet is balanced with incredibly sexy, and whilst the story holds some angst and drama, it fits the story well with humour injected when it's needed and plenty of banter courtesy of the team and staff. This series is shaping up to be entertaining, engaging and I'm looking forward to seeing how Beacon and Lauren's story plays out when Pipe Dreams releases in May.
Anonymous 10 months ago
This book touched my heart and made me smile.
voraciousreaderKB More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series and it is another charming hockey story by Sarina Bowen. My attention was immediately captured as I read this sweet story. It has suspense, an interesting storyline, engaging characters with lots of chemistry between them. Patrick O’Dual is the captain of the Brooklyn Bruisers hockey team and also the team's enforcer, but at thirty-one, he is starting to wonder how much longer his body can take the abuse. Hockey is all Patrick has; it has been his whole life. Patrick is stoic, doesn't like to be touched, sticks to himself and is uncomfortable getting too close to people. Ariana also works for the Brooklyn Bruisers and she is the complete opposite of Patrick. She is the team's yoga Instructor and massage therapist and touch is an important part of her job. She is a sweet and genuine person but unfortunately, she is having problems with her former boyfriend. Patrick tries to keep her safe from her ex and as he gets to know her, he starts to fall in love. Ariana was in a bad relationship and she is nervous about jumping into a relationship with Patrick and she also worries that if she is involved with Patrick, it might jeopardize her job. Patrick has never been in a relationship and it is sweet the way he tries to figure out how to win Ariana. She makes him feel things he has never felt before. He keeps trying to convince Ariana that she should date him but she only wants to go to bed with him. Patrick if protective of Anaina and he wants to help her in any way he can and and keep her safe. My heart went out to Patrick, he is tough yet also has a sweet side that Ariana brings out in him. I liked both Patrick and Ariana, although I wish Ariana hadn't continually tried to push Patrick away. I love the way Ariana’s influence on Patrick slowly changes him over the course of the story as he learns to open up. This story also had a some entertaining secondary characters. I enjoyed the camaraderie between the players and how everyone in the Brooklyn Bruisers organization cares about each other. They all have their own stories and I can't wait to read about them in future books. I was given an advanced copy of this book to write an honest review for Netgalley and Cocktails and Books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Normally I wouldn’t DNF after putting this much time into a book but I was soooo bored!! I loved the previous book in the series but this one was super mellow and nothing was happening. Also not crazy about O’Doul’s occasional pill popping.
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
Loved this story of the kid from the wrong side of the tracks who makes it to the big time and eventually finds his perfect mate... Patrick is the enforcer on the hockey team and with all of his baggage he is still a good guy... Finally learns that massage can heal more than his hurting body... Enjoyed his trip to the HEA... Read this one and really enjoy the trip...
LilyElementBookReviews More than 1 year ago
Hard Hitter is book two in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. I grabbed this audiobook from the library because the love interest is a guy that doesn't like being touched yet the leading lady is a massage therapist. I was right in thinking it would be an interesting match, but Ari, the leading lady won my heart as well as Patrick's quickly. Ari Bettini works as a massage therapist and teaches yoga to the Brooklyn Bruisers hockey team. Ari helps plays that have injuries or even the ones that need a good massage. Patrick O'Doul, the team captain, and enforcer (the guy that fights the opposing teams) has a hip injury but keeps trying to power through it. His coach finally forces him to see Ari, but during their first session, it becomes evident that he hates people touching him. Ari figures out a way to get him to loosen up and we see with each session he's becoming more comfortable with her touch. When Ari gets into a dangerous situation with her ex, Patrick is there to protect and help her. Their bond grows as they start to rely on one another and while they did try to hide their kind of relationship I found it really enjoyable to read. Hard Hitter is a yummy Contemporary Romance full of hunky hockey players. I need to grab book one in this series since I started with this one, but I'm sure I'll be buying the entire series shortly. I really enjoyed SBowen's writing style, the characters were strong and engaging and the plot kept me on my toes. If you're a fan of sporty type Contemporary Romances you'll love this book!
ehaney578 More than 1 year ago
This review was written by Marie for a guest review post on Ever After Book Reviews blog: 5 Stars Wow! I love, love, love, love, love this book! It’s a perfectly written romance that has all of the elements necessary for a feel-good love story. A rough around the edges but gooey in the middle hot guy… check. A beautiful and vulnerable woman with a bit of a spitfire personality… check. A great theme… check. An intimate situation that sends their bodies in to a confused frenzy… check! Ramped up sexual tension… double check!! Throw it all together, and in the end, it’s perfection. The story of Patrick and Ari is wonderful. It’s exciting, sweet, and the two of them have tremendous chemistry. I can always count on Sarina Bowen to concoct yet another wonderful romance that’s impossible to put down! ***I read and reviewed a paperback copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own***
SJCReviews More than 1 year ago
Let me begin by saying that I loved this book. I have been in a sports romance rut lately and found myself just checking books off a list without feeling attached to them. And this book broke that rut. It had strong characterization, memorable characters and an ongoing storyline that left me genuinely interested in what is coming next. Sarina Bowen is now on my auto-buy list. Patrick O'Doul is the team captain, sniper and enforcer for the Brooklyn Bruisers. As a veteran, O'Doul is feeling the physical and emotional pressures to keep up for his team but mentally, he is exhausted. The team manager has insisted that he start massage therapy to loosen this muscles and improve his mental health but Patrick is reluctant to open himself up to massage. Ari Bettini is focused and justifiably proud of her work with the Bruisers as a yoga instructor and massage therapist. She respects the players and knows Patrick needs help relaxing both his body and mind. More than anything, both of these characters are sweet and understandable. Patrick is seemingly a rough guy but as the book goes on, you see how his childhood has made him skittish, not rough and his role as enforcer has left anxiety and exhaustion in his psyche. But he allows himself to fall for Ari and his confusion and obvious eagerness to make her happy is a sight to behold. Ari is understandably wary of being involved with Patrick. Her professional standing is important to her and she just got out of an abusive relationship and wants to stand on her own two feet for a while. These characters have grown up conversations with each other, where they express their problems and try to work through their issues without some Big Misunderstanding. The happy ending is hard fought and deserved. Hard Hitter was a lovely, surprising read and I will absolutely be on the look out for other Sarina Bowen books. Grade A- Reviewer received copy of book on Netgalley.
Book_Sniffers_Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I will admit that I have not read the first book in the series. I saw it everywhere but never had a chance to get a copy. So, when Hard Hitter was available for review, I snagged a copy. I’m glad I did because this was a really enjoyable read. One of the only sports I actually get excited about watching is hockey. All the other sports I will put up with, except golf and football… sorry but they are just so slow and boring. So, with that being said, I really liked that when the POV shifted to Patrick we got a lot of time with him on the ice. On the flip side, we also got some time with Ari as she instructed the team’s yoga classes. It was really entertaining seeing through her eyes as she instructed a bunch of men through various yoga poses. While I didn’t read the first book, I never felt like I was missing something. Everyone is well fleshed out and the story really just focuses on Ari and Patrick. I feel like given the fact that Patrick is a loner and doesn’t tend to party with the guys or invite them over to his place that he didn’t get much air time in the previous book. With that being said, I loved his character! Here’s a guy who’s job it is to hand out beatings to opposing team members when the moment arises. He’s also the team captain. So, you would expect him to be the biggest male-ego of the bunch, but he’s not. I loved that he wasn’t a womanizer. Heck, he’s not even scarred because he’d just come out of a bad relationship (unlike Ari). There’s a scene in the book that I loved where he asks the guys for advice on how to woo a woman because he’s absolutely clueless. I just found his character to be very endearing. Ari, well let’s just say Ari just got out of a bad relationship. Her ex apparently got into some bad stuff, started verbally and physically abusing her, and clearly pissed off the wrong people. After she kicks him out he starts harassing her and causing all sorts of trouble. The cops are involved, Patrick is involved, and even the team’s owner gets involved. It’s this big suspenseful moment that lingers over everyone’s head until it finally explodes into a really crazy climatic part in the story. So yeah, while I liked Ari’s character and her job, she had a lot of drama going on. Hard Hitter is a great story for anyone who loves hockey and romance. Between the suspense of Ari’s personal life, some drama with Patrick’s hockey career, the romance, and the action on the ice, Hard Hitter was definitely an entertaining read. I will be keeping an eye out for the next book in the series.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is the 2nd book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. This can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading the series in order. Patrick has been hot for Ariana AKA Ari for a while. Every time she is near, he feels the heat turn up to scalding. The problem is she has not seemed to notice him in return. Ari loves her job, and does not want to have to choose Patrick over the terrific position she has now. She is worried her boss would not approve of the employees connection. With all that she is still facing from past problems, she is afraid to try again. This series is full of hot men! I found myself laughing and crying right along with the characters. I love how hockey can be hot and fun at the same time.
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
There’s really something magical about Sarina’s books, it always happens to me, I get lost in her stories and in her well developed characters and every single time im torn between the main characters and in the others as well, always wondering who’s next and if the one couple that I think would be great is getting their own book. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s talk about this one first. Hard Hitter is the love story between Ari and Patrick, they are both so different, Ari likes to touch it’s actually part of her job within the Brooklyn Bruisers, and Patrick doesn’t like to be touched at all, but when he is forced to get massages from Ari he starts to relax and enjoy, with his guards down he starts to develop strong feeling for Ari, only Ari’s life is kind of a mess at the moment. I like the fact that Patrick was always into the relationship, he wants to be with her and is willing to wait for her, and I also really liked that Ari is a strong female characters, she doesn’t play the damsel in distress, she is strong and know when to ask for help and when not to. Their relationship progressed beautifully and Sarina gives us some really hot scenes involving a massage table that will prevent you from ever looking at it without blushing (at least that’ll be true for me).
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
Sarina Bowen Hard Hitter is a smash. Team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul, does not like to be touched. After suffering a hip injury, he has no choice but to seek help from the team’s massage therapist, Ariana (Ari) Bettini. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult and adult audiences. When we were introduced to Patrick O'Doul in book one, Rookie Move, I was not a fan of his. However, the more I got to know him; I really began to like him. He had a trying childhood, being raised in a group home in Minnesota. It explains a lot about his personality. Ari is the perfect person to be assigned as Patrick’s message therapist. With Ari’s help, he grows a lot throughout this story. He is a good guy who owns up to his mistakes. I like that he begins to open-up to his team mates because of his relationship with Ari. I really like Ari. She had a difficult breakup with her boyfriend of eight years, Vince. He got himself into some trouble, which unfortunately spills over into her life. Patrick finds himself trying to protect Ari from her Ex, whom he happens to know. It causes some fascinating controversy in the story. I really enjoyed the plot. There were a lot of interesting details and twists. HARD HITTER is fast paced a and kept me focused from start to finish. I like how the chapters stared with the team’s standings. I also like that “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys is the Bruisers’ theme song. Sarina Bowen does an amazing job with her second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. I cannot wait to read Mike Beacon’s and Lauren Williams’ story next in book three, PIPE DREAMS. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
Hard Hitter is the second story in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series and is a sexy and entertaining hockey romance. Patrick is the captain of the Bruisers, an NHL enforcer but weary of his fighting role on the ice. In the hands of his massage therapist Ari, he finds healing and a worthy partner. Ari is coming off a long term relationship that turned abusive and Patrick gladly takes on the role of protector as they navigate their friendship and newfound feelings for each other. It’s a workplace romance, dealing with the reality of a relationship between hockey player and support staff and all that entails, with the added tension of complications with Ari's ex. I love the hockey scenes, the action on and off the ice and the romance is well played. Definitely worth a reread!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
Stellar. Simply stellar. Right from the beginning everything clicked for me and I was all in. I'm am completely in love with this story and these characters. Loved all the details and the build. Seriously entertaining and sexy read! There was such a great start and by 20% I was completely in love with Patrick O'Doul. I loved Ariana, don't get me wrong, she was such a strong woman and I loved her personality and openness but Patrick, oh my! He had such a sweetness and vulnerability to him that made me melt! Who knew he was such a romantic?! They were both great and I adored their connection. There was a fantastic build to Patrick and Ari’s chemistry and I loved watching it grow. There were so many playful moments and it made me smile. They were so sweet and hot all rolled into one. I loved the openness and trust that was happening. I thought there was really great character development as we learn about their past and the timing in which it was presented. In the midst of the entertaining and sexy, there was a really good amount emotion too. I also really liked the conflict that was happening for both of the main characters and how that played into their growing relationship. Patrick and Ariana were just awesome characters that I felt were really rich, dealing with complicated situations and coming together. It all had a really perfect balance. The friendships that are involved were just so freaking entertaining, Ari with the girls and O'Doul with guys from the team. There were some really fun interactions and they were highly entertaining. I also ate up all the Nate and Rebecca foreshadowing, I’m so excited to find out what happens with them. Fantastic story and writing. Loved all the details, friendships, drama, entertaining moments, and heat. So incredibly entertaining! If you’re in the mood for something romantic, swoony, with a nice bit of hotness, this is it! Complimentary copy received for honest review.
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
HARD HITTER is the second installment in Sarina Bowen’s contemporary, adult BROOKLYN BRUISERS erotic, hockey romance series focusing on the men and women of the Brooklyn Bruisers professional hockey team. This is team captain and enforcer Patrick O’Doul, and Bruisers’s massage therapist and yoga instructor Ariana (Ari) Bettini’s story line. HARD HITTER can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Told from dual third person perspectives (Patrick and Ari) HARD HITTER follows the building relationship between the Brooklyn Bruisers’s hard-hitting captain Patrick O’Doul, and the team’s massage therapist Ari Bettini. Years of hard hits including his earlier life in the foster care system have caught up with Patrick O’Doul. Fight after fight our hero struggles with the pain and the emotional drain of the never-ending one on one of professional hockey. No longer able to hide the injuries and recurring hip injury Patrick is ordered to the team’s massage therapist Ari Bettini wherein our hero will fall in love with a woman who is unable to promise much more than the present. What ensues is the push and pull of attraction between Ari and Patrick, and the revelation of a secreted past that will catch up with our story line couple. Patrick O’Doul is a fighter who struggles with the guilt and on-going grind of the team’s leading enforcer. Falling in love with Ariana Bettini was never in the cards. Patrick has always been a loaner whose recent battle with his demons has finally caught up and threatens his career and the team’s reputation. Ari Bettini’s long term relationship with her last boyfriend has ended and our heroine is in need of some time alone without worrying about a man in her life. But a threat from her past finds Patrick her guardian and protector, and the man with whom she will fall in love. The $ex scenes are intimate and steamy; provocative and seductive. We are re-introduced to a number of the Brooklyn Bruisers’s players, as well as Georgia Worthington and Leo Trevi (Rookie Move #1), and team owner Nate Kattenberger who may or may not have a thing for Georgia’s best friend Rebecca. Nate’s Manhattan assistant Lauren Williams and goalie Mike Beacon’s story will be told next in Pipe Dreams. The world building continues to look at the game of hockey: on the ice and behind the scenes, and the battle for playoff positions. Patrick’s years as an enforcer have finally caught up as he struggles with the pain and guilt; and Ari’s past finds our heroine face to face with a dangerous outcome. Trust is an issue for our leading couple and Patrick’s secret will place a wedge between himself and the woman he loves. HARD HITTER is an emotional storyline; a tale about romance and love; the struggles to stay on top; and leaving behind a past that shaped a future. The premise is moving; the characters are dynamic and colorful; the romance is dramatic, fun and sensual. HARD HITTER is a passionate look at hockey, romance and falling in love.
KrissysBookNook More than 1 year ago
Hard Hitter delivers a perfect pair with O’Doul and Ari. I’ve come to expect the unexpected when it comes to author Sarina Bowen and this second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series is no exception. The story line is much deeper than your average steamy romance, though there’s plenty of that too. I’m loving these Brooklyn Bruisers and the ladies that surround them. I can’t wait to see what comes next in this series! I give Hard Hitter 5 out of 5 Krissy’s Stars! Xo-K *I was generously given an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
tradermare More than 1 year ago
In this second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series from Sarina Bowen, team captain Patrick O'Doul has the usual aches and pains of a pro athlete. He's the team enforcer -- which means he's usually involved in any on-ice brawling. It's all taking its toll on him and when the team doctor lines him up for a massage, he's not exactly eager to spend time with the team's yoga instructor and massage therapist. Ari has worked hard at her job with the Bruisers, and she's got a lot of patience with Patrick, which he really needs. As Patrick spends more time with Ari, he starts falling for her. She likes him too, but she's worried about keeping her job. I really liked Patrick and the way he was sensitive to Ari's needs. He wasn't pushy but there's only so much sexiness a girl can resist, and it isn't long before Ari and Patrick are trying to make it work under the radar. But when an ex starts giving them both trouble, there's no way to keep their relationship a secret anymore. Other secrets are spilled that could not only damage Ari and Patrick's budding relationship, but could have an impact on the entire team. There's plenty of good "team" scenes in Hard Hitter that I loved and also appearances from Georgia and Leo from the first book in the series. I'm also eager to see whether the owner will get his own happily-ever-after! I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to finish Hard Hitter. It's got a great romance, a suspenseful plot that kept me turning the pages, and realistic hockey (and yoga!) details that I've come to expect from Sarina Bowen. Hard Hitter is another winner in this series and I can't wait for Pipe Dreams!
AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
Hard Hitter is the second book in an exciting new series by Sarina Bowen. Even though this is the second book in the series, it can totally be read as a stand-alone novel. Hard Hitter is one of those books that I think is going to be hit for some and miss for others. For me, I thought it was an overall ok read. I thought the story was well written and the characters were entertaining. I liked the slow build of the relationship between Ari and Patrick. I enjoyed watching the two of them get to know one another and navigate their way through their new relationship. Ari and Patrick’s story was not without drama. Ari’s ex-boyfriend stirred up a lot of trouble for Ari and certainly tried to make everyones life miserable. And Patrick had some personal drama of his own that helped stir things up and keep the story-line interesting. Overall, I think Hard Hitter was an ok read and that this series has a ton of potential. I look forward to checking out more from this series in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
H h u h n y nn h nn u hu un n