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Hard Hitter

(Brooklyn Bruisers #2)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  8,088 ratings  ·  882 reviews
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
336 pages
Published January 3rd 2017
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Kimberly Yes. Ms. Bowen's books are not traditional POV switches where you go back and forth at formal breaks in the story. Ms. Bowen's can move between them f…moreYes. Ms. Bowen's books are not traditional POV switches where you go back and forth at formal breaks in the story. Ms. Bowen's can move between them fluidly within a scene.(less)

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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  8,088 ratings  ·  882 reviews

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Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarina Bowen Fans, Hockey, Romance
4 Healing Hands Stars
* * * * Spoiler Free
If ever you want to read a book which feels authentic about any subject... Sarina Bowen is your gal. I have been a long-time fan and she has taken me to many a Hockey game in my reading world. She has shown me how the game works, the manipulations of chemistry on the ice, and all of the political moves in the front office. But with this book and character of Patrick O'Doul, she has gone deeper into the psyche of the mental game and hardships of what an

Ari is the Brooklyn Bruisers massage therapist and yoga instructor, which all the players thought was pointless until she got her hands on them. Especially Patrick who ducked as many appointments with the easy-on-the-eyes masseuse. But once he gets on her table he never wants to leave, and he definitely doesn't want her to stop touching him.

I actually wasn't sure how I felt about Patrick O'Doul when we were first introduced to him in Rookie Move but after getting to know him more in his own sto
Stacey is Sassy

So sweet considering it's full of hard hitters and bruisers...

***4.5 stars***

Isn’t it funny that when the gloves are on for a boxer it means the fights on, but when the gloves come off in ice hockey, the fights on? You learn something new every day…

If anyone was to tell me a few years back that I would learn to love sports romance I would have laughed in their faces. I’m loving sports romance, especially ones with ice hockey in them. It could be the buff bodies, charisma and fierce determination
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Can the team's massage therapist and a hockey player who does not like massages, find true love? This is a sports romance so of course the answer is 'yes'. However, this book does have a lot more going for it beyond just the romance/sports aspects though - a tragic past, an abusive ex, and drug abuse.

The only thing that kept me from rating the book higher is how quickly Patrick goes all in for Ari. They hadn't even been on a real date (granted, because she is refusing to date him) and yet he is
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports-romance
Patrick was utterly perfect and delicious!!!

I noticed that for me to really love a book, I need to fall in love with one of the characters. More often than not I really like them, but something is usually missing. I can’t even put my finger on what it is that makes me fall in love. It just happens.

Patrick was one such character. He was incredibly kind, introvert, quiet, but caring. The combination was irresistible to me. I love the less flashy guys. When a guy is quiet but strong in character. F
Geri Reads
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sarina Bowen has been consistently delivering heartfelt romances with really strong characters, and Hard Hitter is another Bowen book that I enjoyed thoroughly.

Patrick O'Doul is one of NHL's top enforcer for years. But now age is catching up to him. I have to say that Patrick is probably Sarina's most self-contained hero. I found it very hard to get a feel for what he's all about. But I love me some grumpy, taciturn heroes so it came as no surprise that I fell hard for his character, especially
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog
4 STARS <3

Another lovely story by Sarina!Hard Hitter follows the story of Patrick, the team captain and Ari.Two characters who have to deal with their past.

I loved Ari,she was an interesting character.Also Patrick was amazing.He was sexy,lovable,protective and sweet.The plot was good and the romance fantastic with steamy moments and a perfect chemistry.

I love this series a lot!I'm looking forward for the next book!!




Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-releases
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
Book Two of the Brooklyn Bruisers series
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

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
Talia (Red Hot Ink)
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review

"Hard Hitter" was my first book by Sarina Bowen (I'm not counting those she wrote with Kennedy).

I knew it would be good, and it was, but there were a few surprises. Some good. Some bad.

Let's start with the good.
1. The inside knowledge. I always love it when a writer goes that extra mile and isn't afraid to give us details about specific subjects. As someone living in a country where hockey is as popular as gladiator games, I know next
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports
3.5 Stars

As the rough-around-the-edges team captain of the Brooklyn Bruisers, I was looking forward to Patrick O’Doul’s story, and I thoroughly fell for the man! Under all that gruffness, Patrick has a soft center! The romance started off strong with Ari and Patrick’s sexual chemistry sizzling and sparking off the page! The massage table scene had me melting and overheated! Along the way, though, I was a little frustrated with Ari pushing Patrick away with the excuse that she was just coming off
“Patrick,” she warned. “I’m not joking. We obviously have a bit of chemistry . . .” She rubbed a bit of oil onto her fingers and then started in on the muscles just above his knee.
He snorted. “We have a bit of chemistry. And hockey has a bit of violence. We practically burned down your bed together.”

I freaking adored Patrick!! I loved that he wasn’t perfect. He isn’t a charmer, but he was so sexy with his gruff and grouchy personality and his big body and heart. He had a terrible ch

Anna *Bran. San. Stan*
3.5 enjoyable but not-all-that-memorable stars: Based on the premise – the H having an aversion to being touched, ending up having to get a massage therapist who turns into his love interest – I couldn’t help but compare this to Pucked Off (book 5 in Helena Hunting’s Pucked series) and from what I can remember, Hard Hitter falls woefully short: Pucked Off is much more memorable and I still have, years later, all the feels for Lance. Case in point: I finished Hard Hitter two days ago and I’ve alr ...more
Another hockey romance--my favorite! I loved the romance storyline in this book. Ari is the Brooklyn Bruisers yoga instructor/massage therapist. She's recently broken up with her longtime boyfriend of 8 years. The relationship had been deteriorating for years and Ari finally had the courage to pull the plug on it. But her ex refused to go away. This would eventually cause trouble for Ari and her job with the Bruisers, and her 'relationship' with the team's captain, Patrick O'Doul.

Patrick is the
3.5 'I liked it but something is stopping me to give it more' stars (maybe will change into more after I read others in the series)

I am really not sure how to rate this one because I loved the characters, especially the hero, also really liked the heroine, but the things I’ve liked the most is probably in the details. I would mention some in review. And I really felt the love between them. I can’t remember when I felt the ‘real’ love not just lust in a book.

The story is about Patrick, who i
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sarina Bowen is another 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.


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 m
Angela (Reading Frenzy Book Blog)
I quite enjoyed this standalone book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series.

Ari is the professional hockey team’s massage therapist/yoga instructor. Patrick O’Doul is the aging (for hockey), brooding, introverted team captain. Both of them have trust issues, so it was interesting seeing how they navigated those barriers brick by brick. I would have liked more exploration of how Patrick’s past influenced his current mentality. I still enjoyed the contrast between their personalities, though, as well as
***3.5 stars***
Hard Hitter was a sweet and sexy romance. I enjoyed it for what it was. Ari and Patrick were terrific together. The simplest massage scenes had so much chemistry and heat. The brooding Patrick was so caring towards Ari when her ex kept interfering with her life. She on the other hand made Patrick want to open himself up more. Especially towards her. Her problems with her ex dragged on for too long but luckily the secondary characters like Leo, Georgia, Becca, Nathan and Beacon mad
Jacob Proffitt
This is second in a series, though you can read it first without harm, I think. Characters from the first appear, but this book doesn't lean on any emotional developments there and I think things are clear-enough if you want to skip. This is by far the better story, so if skipping the first seems useful, I say go for it.

This is so much stronger than the first in this series. The characters' motivations all hold together with an interesting(ish) plot and decent pace. Like the first, my main emoti
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Still pretty enjoyable, though I think something was lost in the translation, so to speak. I like Nicol Zanzarella's voice but she doesn't do a great job differentiating the voices. It didn't help that Rock Engle brought it. He emoted all over the place, differentiated the voices, even brought his "A" game with the accents, so she sort of paled by comparison.

Douly can still get directly into my pocket with his naughty self. What can I say? I like the grumps.

Al George
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 02-library, 02-audio
I will never look at chaturanga the same again


A room full of hockey players doing yoga? Count me in.

Series: Sure nuff

Sexy times: Oh most certainly. Explicit, not explicit, as it were.

Plan on reading more by the author: Another sure nuff

Synopsis: Team captain, Patrick, is not terribly into touching. It totes skeeves him out. Ari, both a massage therapist and yogi, is all about the "ttt touch me I wanna be dirty" business.

susan sarandon rocky horror

He ends up on her table because he's got some serious hip flexor issues a
Sam (AMNReader)
Well, that was quick. 3.5

It was a nice piece of fluffy romance without gobs of angst despite a fairly hefty plot line, a sweet heroine, a sweet and devoted hero. And a Minnesota boy to boot. I'm not completely sure how he went from foster/group home to excellent hockey player but details...(hockey is expensive-many middle-income families choose which kid will play hockey etc etc, just saying)

All likable characters, with a plot line that was enough to add tension but not too much to distract and
Maria Rose
Hockey season is in full swing and while I don’t watch a lot of games, as a Canadian it’s required viewing at least at some point during the year (or at any rate, someone in your family will have a game on TV while you’re sitting and reading on the couch). As sports romances go, ones with hockey themes are definitely very popular, spawning Facebook groups and Goodreads lists dedicated to the genre. My first exposure to Sarina Bowen’s hockey romances was with her Ivy Years new adult series that l ...more
4 Stars

Patrick and Ari were really sweet together. I'm a sucker for the grumpy heroes and Patrick is the sweetest guy once you get past his walls. Ari and Patrick are both going through a lot in this book and trying to figure out what's best for them. I really enjoyed their story, which was the right amount of angsty and sweet, and cannot wait to continue on in the series.

Standalone - Other books within series:
Book 1: Rookie Move → 4 Stars
Book 2: Hard Hitter → 4 Stars
Book 3: Pipe Dreams → 3.
Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review may contain SPOILERS!
After immensely enjoying the first book, I just had to immediately dive into the next one! Patrick O'Doul was such a hard-to-read character in the previous book, so when I started reading this I did not know what to think about him, but the more he opened up to the people around him and we got to understand were he came from, I saw a caring, compassionate and truely loyal person that, to me, is quite lovable. The same goes for Ari! She was so open and trusting fr
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I am pretty much obsessed with every word Sarina Bowen writes and the first book in this series, Rookie Move, was sooooooo good. I was so excited to get back into the world of the Brooklyn Bruisers and watch another girl fall in love with an irresistible hockey player.

Team captain and one of the oldest members on the team, Patrick O'Doul is feeling the beatings his body has taken throughout the years. With a particularly bothersome injury, O'Doul is being pushed to put in more time with the tea
The Romance Book Disciple (Samantha)
I love this series so much!
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
Another SB winner!

I'll tell you before picking this up I was working on about 6 hrs sleep and had run around like a chicken with my head cut off all day, so when I went to bed I thought I *might* get through a chapter before conking out. NOPE! Next thing I knew it was past 2 AM!

That's the mark of a good read, my friends, or at least it is in my book. Plus, this had many things I like best about romance reads.

Swoony romantic gestures!

"I only want you, Ari. For this and all things."

I loved th
Lover of Romance
Hard Hitter is the second book in the Brooklyn Bruisers series by Sarina Bowen and after having a blast with book one “Rookie Move” I just knew that I had to have book two in my life. I just couldn’t resist. And as a plus this series can be found in the Audible Romance Package, so if you are a subscriber I can’t recommend these books enough for you. They are superb and the second book succeeded my expectations. I wasn’t sure how this author could make anything better than book one but she did it ...more
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full review at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

Sportsball romances are usually not my thing because my understanding of professional sportsing is very limited. All I know is that it usually involves a ball of some kind and that it’s acceptable for the dudes to pat each other on the butt. The last sports book I read was League of Denial so that should tell you something right there.

Now, I make an exception when it comes to hockey for two reasons. 1. my husband is a huge Chicago Blackhawks fan and some
Gretchen  (About That Story)
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 ma
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Play Book Tag: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen - 4 stars 1 11 Oct 24, 2018 03:12PM  

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sarina bowen
Sarina Bowen is the sixteen-time USA Today bestselling author of three dozen books, including: the True North series, and the Brooklyn Bruisers. She's the co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy. She's the author of The Ivy Years series, and more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina's books broken out by

Other books in the series

Brooklyn Bruisers (9 books)
  • Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers, #1)
  • Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3)
  • Brooklynaire (Brooklyn, #1)
  • Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn, #2)
  • Superfan (Brooklyn, #3)
  • Sure Shot (Brooklyn #4)
  • Bombshells (Brooklyn Bruisers #8)
  • Shenanigans

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80 likes · 4 comments
“Neither am I,” Ari said. “But that doesn’t mean it isn’t helping. An old Buddhist monk told me once that the mind is like an untrained monkey. If you don’t give it something to do, it will tear your house apart and smear shit on all the walls.” “Really?” On the table in front of her, Patrick’s eight-pack shook with laughter. “I want to meet this monk.” “Really. He said meditation gives your monkey something better to do. Even if you think you’re bad at it, the monkey is still busy.” Patrick” 5 likes
“You’re everything that I want, and everything I need. You already have my heart, and I don’t want it back.” 1 likes
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