Review: Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) by Sarina Bowen

PIPE DREAMS
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
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.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | KOBO

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 You’re my happy thought, Lo.”

 

Lauren Williams may be known for being an ice princess, but she’s also one of Nate’s trusted right-hand man. So when Becca suffered a concussion and has to rest, Lauren had to step in and take over her job (temporarily) as manager of the Brooklyn Bruiser’s front office. The problem is Lauren would rather be anywhere else than in the Bruiser’s office. Readers of this series will remember her aversion to hockey and the team but we never really knew why. We do have an inkling that she and the Bruiser’s goalie had a thing in the past but it was never fully revealed in the other books yet.

In Pipe Dreams, we finally get to know the reason behind Lauren’s aversion to hockey. And yes, it does have to do with her past relationship with Mike Beacon. Mike was the former captain of the Bruisers. We found out that he stepped down as captain after his estranged wife fell ill and he had to devote his extra time with her. What we do not know then was that this event was also linked with the demise of his and Lauren’s relationship.

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I have been intrigued with Lauren since the series began. I thought there was more to that whole ice princess routine than meets the eye. But at first, I thought, “Oh no, she’s going to cause trouble for one of our heroine, isn’t she?” But then Sarina Bowen sort of turned that on its head when she volunteered to babysit for Becca’s neice (sic) in the previous book.

Since then, my opinion on Lauren changed. I wanted to know why she’s the way she is. I loved that she’s capable, accomplished and ambitious. She’s also heartbroken and vulnerable. And boy, her past with Mike was a doozy. It’s tragic and it’s one of those things where you really don’t have any choice in the matter. And that’s what makes Lauren’s heartbreak even more relatable.

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I was prepared to hate Mike for what he did with Lauren. But when I started reading this book, I realized that things are more complicated than that. Mike had to make the best decision he can for his family, and while I feel for Lauren and I wish he didn’t break her heart, I understand where his coming from.

It also really helped that Sarina Bowen didn’t write Mike’s wife as this shrew who had no personality except to be the bad guy in the story. Again, it was more complicated than that. I actually felt sympathy for Mike’s family especially his daughter. Okay, I admit I was a little leery when it seemed like Elsa is going to be the “obstacle” that’s going to keep our main couple apart. But again, Ms. Bowen did her character justice. She’s not just a prop but a real character with a story arc.

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The whole team featured prominently in this book as they chase the Stanley Cup. I enjoyed seeing them in action. My only complaint about this book was  

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Apart that, I liked this one a lot. I’ve always enjoyed Sarina’s writing. Her characters are simply likable and her stories tends to really resonate with me and with a lot of readers. Pipe Dreams is an enjoyable, low-angst, second-chance romance that shouldn’t be missed.

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