Title: Pipe Dreams
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Release Date: May 2, 2017
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.
Once again, Sarina Bowen scores with Pipe Dreams! This new addition to the Brooklyn Bruisers series is Mike and Lauren’s story and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. A second-chance romance, Pipe Dreams delivers all the feels as we follow Lauren and Mike through the playoff season where their lives unavoidably and repeatedly intersect. I absolutely adored the chemistry that Sarina Bowen has so expertly cultivated between these two. Their history permeated this story and made sure that each moment Mike and Lauren shared was heady with unspoken feelings and ripe with barely restrained desire. There was an electricity that sizzled just beneath the surface, and it was this constant explosive threat that kept me totally riveted. I enjoyed unraveling Mike and Lauren’s story, exploring their past and questioning their future. Their connection felt deep and genuine making it impossible not to wholly invest myself in this couple’s happily ever after.
“Sometime during these past two years she’d stopped waiting around for her happily-ever-after and started crafting it herself.”
After seeing pieces of Lauren in the previous two novels, I was definitely intrigued. Her outward personality was fierce, unforgiving and no-nonsense, but I suspected that Lauren was so much more than first impressions would suggest. Sarina Bowen blew me away as she thoroughly unmasked this character over the course of the story. I loved seeing Lauren soften, warm and eventually allow her heart to be exposed once again. Her past heartbreak leant itself to some understandable fears and a handful of insecurities that allowed me to relate to Lauren and even connect with her on a completely unexpected level. I loved seeing her come alive as she let go of the hurt and found myself grinning at the relationships she began to form with Georgia, Becca and Nate. Sarina Bowen did a seriously fantastic job growing and evolving Lauren with each passing page. By the time all was said and done, I was surprised by how easily this heroine had worked her way into my heart.
“I love you so hard, it hurts.”
Sarina Bowen has a knack for writing heroes that knock me off my feet and Mike was certainly no exception. From the very beginning, I could feel his regret and longing for Lauren. His emotions came across so steady and sure that I quickly found myself questioning everything I thought I knew about Mike. Needless to say, Sarina Bowen left my heart a tangled mess and I ached for all that this hero had been forced to face. Despite his semi-celebrity status as a professional athlete, Sarina Bowen expertly molded Mike into someone tangible and easy to love through his relationships with Hans and Elsa. I fell in love with each facet of this complicated man and adored how thoroughly Mike cared for and worshiped both his daughter and Lauren. He struggled in a way that was real and beautiful, allowing him to embed himself deep within me and leave me a swooning mess.
“Don’t be nice. Don’t talk to me. Don’t look at me. Just stay between the pipes and guard the damn net. And leave me the hell alone.”
Pipe Dreams wasn’t overly complicated or excessively dramatic. The storyline ebbed and flowed in a way that was sweet and sultry. This delicious pace allowed me the time necessary to really soak in the significance of the smallest moments, letting me reconcile Mike and Lauren’s past with the present and the possibility of a future. I loved the parallel between Mike and Lauren’s personal high-stakes-rekindling with that of the Brooklyn Bruisers’ run in the post-season. I was just as caught up in the team’s play for the cup as I was in the couple’s fight for a second-chance at love. Sarina Bowen effortlessly intertwined the world of the Brooklyn Bruisers with the more intimate concerns of the main couple, easily maintaining the comforting and familiar sense of camaraderie I’ve come to love from this series. Mike and Lauren’s story left me completely content and somehow still desperate for more. Scorching, smart and perfectly sincere Pipe Dreams is another phenomenal read from Sarina Bowen!
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Don’t miss the rest of the series:
Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1)
Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2)