Category Archives: Sarina Bowen

BOUNTIFUL (True North #4) by SARINA BOWEN

Second chance small town romance – can be read as a standalone

SYNOPSIS

No last names. No life stories. Those were the rules.

Once upon a time a cocky, copper-haired tourist sauntered into Zara’s bar. And even though she knew better, Zara indulged in a cure for the small-town blues. It was supposed to be an uncomplicated fling—a few sizzling weeks before he went back to his life, and she moved on. 

Until an accidental pregnancy changed her life. 

Two years later, she’s made peace with the notion that Dave No-Last-Name will never be found. Until one summer day when he walks into her coffee shop, leveling her with the same hot smile that always renders her defenseless.

Dave Beringer has never forgotten the intense month he spent with prickly Zara. Their nights together were the first true intimacy he’d ever experienced. But the discovery of his child is the shock of a lifetime, and his ugly past puts relationships and family out of reach.

Or does it? Vermont’s countryside has a way of nurturing even tortured souls. The fields and the orchards—and hard won love—are Bountiful.

BOUNTIFUL is available to purchase below

          


Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

 

‘It was wild and ugly and beautifully and exactly what I needed. We consumed each other, and I forgot to be afraid.’

We adore small town romances as much as we do second chance romances….add a hockey player, a gorgeous little baby, a series we’ve loved from the very first book, add in the captivating words of Sarina Bowen, we expected Bountiful would be a winner…and it was!

‘One summer night I’d lain beneath him just like this, while we made a baby. My foolish, romantic heart liked the sound of that.’

We’ve read all the True North books and have fallen in love with every one! Each journey has been different and each has delivered the beautiful sweeping Vermont landscape, the heart-warming characters, the family unit and Sarina Bowen’s words which has been lush and inviting throughout.

Zara, the prickly bartender has been there from day one. Zara was the spurned friends with benefits partner of Griffin Shipley, and had always came across as a gregarious girl who had her barriers firmly in place, who teetered around on high heels tending bar whilst pregnant and never letting slip who the father of her baby was. She always felt so defensive in previous books. So it was welcoming to hear Zara’s side of the story which softened her immensely from the girl we had come to know.

‘He kissed my forehead so tenderly I wanted to die. Because moment like this didn’t last.’

Just who was the father of Zara’s baby, Nicole? It had been the topic of much town gossip, most pointing the finger at Griff Shipley who was now more than happy with the love of his life and now Zara’s bff, Audrey.  Nope, it turns out Nicole’s dad was the result of a short and lusty few weeks Zara spent with a man named Dave who was on vacation in Vermont. Their tryst was a strictly ‘no names, no personal information’ affair and Dave returned to his part of the world unknowingly leaving something behind….a pregnant Zara. Despite her best efforts, Zara couldn’t find Dave to share her news.

‘Watching her was like rediscovering espresso after a month of weak airplane coffee.’

Two years later, David Beringer, a professional hockey player, still retains memories of his time with the fierce, sexy woman he met previously, and heads back to Vermont seeking her out, hoping to pick up where they left off. Instead he’s met with quite the surprise when he finds out he’s a father. And…there’s no mistaking Nicole is his, thanks to the shock of matching copper hair!

‘I’d gone and one exactly what I shouldn’t have done – I’d gotten hung up on Dave, the ginger hottie.’

We adored this book. Seeing Dave move from a ‘strictly no relationships’, single guy with only Hockey on his mind, to a caring and loving Dad was a sight to behold. We could picture this big burly man so lovingly holding his cherished daughter in his capable hands.

The relationship between Dave and Zara moved at a realistic steady pace, as we would expect with the obstacles they needed to overcome. Trust, lifestyle and distance were all issues for Zara and Dave to work through and it’s not easy, with Sarina Bowen telling their story engagingly and heart-warmingly with dashes of heat, humour and a good helping of swoon!

‘I was starting to realize that getting older was just a lengthy exercise in getting schooled on all the ways you weren’t in charge of your own destiny.’

We so looking forward to our next trip back to the rich Vermont landscape to catch up with some old friends when Sarina Bowen pens the next book and we’re crossing everything that it’s Bess and Ben!


THE TRUE NORTH SERIES

Bittersweet Book One

Keepsake Book Two 

Steadfast Book Three

 

 

 

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STAY (WAG’s #2) by SARINA BOWEN & ELLE KENNEDY :: REVIEW

Standalone in series – hockey themed single Dad romance
‘A swoony single Dad vs his skittish PA. Fire up the kiss cam, hockey fans! You don’t want to miss this!’

SYNOPSIS

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

STAY is available to purchase below

                      


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

‘I warmed up to you the day we met. I melted for you the second you kissed me.’

Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy really do write the most fabulous hockey romances. We’ve read and loved them all, and once more we inhaled another book but this super talented writing duo. Whilst the WAG series can be read as standalones; the characters started off in the Him/Us series and we recommend reading them all!!! We feel like we know all the characters as we’ve been with them for a while and they cross over in both series’.

“No, baby. I can’t do this again. Don’t want to be that guy who makes promises he can’t keep. I’ve been that guy. There’s not enough of me to go around. And you’ll only end up hating me.”

We loved how Stay was written; the mood and vulnerability with such a mature and unique feel to it. Whilst still sexy and funny, it had something extra that really did make us fall in love with this story.

‘Matt takes me so far out of my comfort zone that our first date caused me a week of shallow breathing and a loss of focus. I have never been so shaken by anyone.’

Matt Eriksson -be still our swoony melty hearts- is the epitome of gorgeous hockey hero with an absolute pure heart of gold. He’s funny, sexy, sweet, romantic, possessive and dominant as well as a force on skates. Being a single dad of twin girls with a bitch of an ex-wife isn’t easy for our hockey star, however, Matt never loses sight of what’s important and lives for his hockey dream and his girls. Sometimes we all need help though and Matt gets that from a fabulous round the clock service provider; Fetch, owned by Hailey Emery. Whatever you need from waffle mix to dog walking; Fetch has got your back.

‘All I know is that I love every second I spend with Matt. He’s so…real. Warm and gorgeous and funny and how the hell did I ever get so lucky.’

Hailey is such a fabulous heroine, she had an innocence about her with a resilient strength. A great sense of humour with moments of intimidated shyness. Whilst successful and confident in business she had a demure inhibited streak. Sometimes we need the right person to bring our qualities to the surface and reinforce our confidence, and that’s what happened for both Matt and Hailey. Such a wonderful hockey romance!

‘The best things in life are the ones you don’t expect.’

4 stars!


GOOD BOY – WAG’S BOOK ONE

‘I want someone to look at me like they just won the lottery. And I want to feel sure that I have to, too- that I can say “forever” and know I’m making the absolute right decision. I’ve been in love before. A little. But never like that.’

SYNOPSIS
Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.
Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.
But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?
Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear
GOOD BOY is available to purchase below

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GOODBYE PARADISE (Hello Goodbye #1) by SARINA BOWEN :: REVIEW

Sweet MM Romance

SYNOPSIS
Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

GOODBYE PARADISE is available to purchase below

         


Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4 sweet as sugar stars

‘My whole life I’d wanted this impossible thing. And I didn’t know why it was happening now. But it was everything I’d ever wanted.’

What a gorgeous, sweet and lovely story! Whilst it begins with an air of melancholy and emotional upheaval it soon becomes a story of two lads finding themselves and their place in the world after leaving the cult they grew up in. There were moments of sadness as well as joy throughout and when we closed the book after the last page our hearts felt full and we had a smile on our faces.

“A real man does what needs doing. He takes care of the people he loves. You know this instinctively, even though every man in your own life treated you like shit.”

Josh and Caleb are two very different personalities and their place in the cult hierarchy, poles apart hence the treatment they received. Each yearning to escape their own hell in a sanctimonious farce of living. The day comes when this becomes a reality for Josh, as he’s unceremoniously dumped on the side of a road, expelled from a cult where men are aplenty but women are not. Josh has such vulnerability and is certain of only one thing –that- being his overwhelming yet hidden love for Caleb, his friend. A love which in the cult’s eyes is the highest of sins and its members indoctrinated in such manner.

“But it was you who said we were a sin.”

Caleb’s intention to escape the clutches of the cult is fast forwarded when the man who means everything to him is exiled from the compound. The journey of life truly begins when Caleb and Josh find their way ‘home’ to a safe house miles away, where open arms are waiting in the form of another ex-cult member, Maggie.

“When I get to touch you, every awful day we’ve survived seems worth it.”

Josh and Caleb’s story is low angst, adorable and at times so emotional it made us feel all teary but warm and fuzzy inside, melting our hearts, despite the obstacles and tribulations which came their way. We loved every minute of it and have taken these lads to our heart. This is a story of hope and inspiration, love and friendship as well as being and becoming who you truly are.

“You amaze me, that’s all.”

 

 

 


TBB Recommendation

There is a bit of a tie in to this series regarding the cult if you want to check out more, we recommend this series.
Set in Vermont, True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged). This is an MF Series (not MM)

THE TRUE NORTH SERIES by SARINA BOWEN

True North Series (1)

Bittersweet Book One :

                    

Steadfast Book Two

                   

Keepsake Book Three

                    


TBB Recommendation
MM Hockey themed romance

THE HIM SERIES by SARINA BOWEN and ELLE KENNEDY

HIM US

Purchase HIM and US below
Him Book One ::our review |amazon us | amazon uk
US Book Two:: our review |amazon us | amazon uk

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GOOD BOY (WAGs, #1) by SARINA BOWEN & ELLE KENNEDY :: REVIEW

Standalone hockey themed friends to lovers sports romance

31st

SYNOPSIS

Hosting her brother’s wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning’s life. Already the family screw-up, she can’t afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate’s gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he’s the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he’s facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he’s really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you’ve got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear

GOOD BOY is available to purchase below

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Good Boy (1)

Reviewed by Gitte & Jenny

4.5 Cheezus Stars

‘I want someone to look at me like they just won the lottery. And I want to feel sure that I have to, too- that I can say “forever” and know I’m making the absolute right decision. I’ve been in love before. A little. But never like that.’

CHEEZUS…we loved this book! You know those stories that have you laughing out loud whilst swooning and loving that typical frustration you feel when you want to knock a few heads together. Well, Good Boy is that book. Not only do we get to properly know the loud and brash Blake from Him & Us, we also get a fabulous catch up with the gorgeous Jamie and Wes curtesy of Jessica, Jamie’s sister.

“That’s Blakey’s best trait, you know. His need to protect. To make everyone happy…”

Let’s start with Blake shall we! This guy had us in stitches with laughter, he’s like a bull in a teashop. Huge hockey dude with an endearing immaturity and juvenile humour which came across as loveable and hilarious rather than crude and annoying. We fell in utter love with this guy, and we have to admit our soft spot for him has gained him entry to an all-time favourite book boyfriend list. Why? Because this man has a heart so big and soft under all that hard and imposing exterior.  He’s so bloody tenacious and a cheeky bugger who just stole our hearts.

‘Blake was onto me, though. And that dude is like a big, drooly dog. Doesn’t matter if he just met you, he wants to lick your face and hump your leg.’

Blake is a blunt flirt who’s set his sights on Jess. It all began with a massage chair one night, a night neither he nor Jess can forget. Frenemies to lovers is a theme we love and it was so well written by these Authors ensuring we inhaled every word watching this push pull romance blossom. It was such a brilliantly funny ride and we loved every minute of it.

“Never meant to do this tonight.” – Jess
“Don’t overthink it.” I tear the packet and roll the rubber onto my aching dick. “You just need a little recharge on my docking station.” – Blake

Where Blake is confident and comfortable in life Jess is the exact opposite. She’s got this heavy weight on her shoulders of not having found her place and trying to live up to this misplaced insecurity that she’s the black sheep in a rather large family of siblings. She feels like a user rather than a contributor. But when she shines, she lights up the world when a nudge in the right direction bolsters a natural ability, showing her understanding and compassion. If only things with a certain hockey rascal was as easy to see as the wood for the trees.

‘I miss you, he writes.’

‘I miss you, too, I admit. But that doesn’t mean we’re dating.’

‘We are though.’

‘Goodnight, Blake.’

‘Good night, girlfriend.’

We loved these characters; their real life struggles and perceived inferiorities. Their story was warm and fuzzy; sweet and sexy; funny and emotional. It was a fabulous romantic comedy that gave us such enjoyment as we read and fell in love.

  “You know,” he continues, “when all the babes would throw themselves at me nilly-willy.”
“Willy-nilly,” I correct.
“Huh?”
“It’s willy-nilly. The willy comes first.”
He winks at me. “I’ll let you have this one, but only because you’re right – the willy always does come first.”

Good Boy Quote


TBB also recommends this MM Series by Sarina & Elle
THE HIM SERIES by SARINA BOWEN and ELLE KENNEDY

HIM US

Purchase HIM and US below
Him Book One ::our review |amazon us | amazon uk
US Book Two:: our review |amazon us | amazon uk

love is friendship us


For more TBB Recommended reads by Elle Kennedy, click below

purchase

For more TBB Recommended reads by Sarina Bowen, click below

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STAY – WAGs #2 now available

stay 20th June

STAY book two is available below

         

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, Elle Kennedy, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen

ROOKIE MOVE (The Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by SARINA BOWEN :: REVIEW

Standalone in a series – Hockey romance, second chance love.

6th

SYNOPSIS

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Available to purchase below:

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rookie-move

Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte

‘Breaking up with him was something I did because I had to. Not because I didn’t love him.’

After falling in love with Sarina Bowen’s previous work and being big fans of sports romances and second chance romances, it was a no brainer we were going to pounce on the first book in her Brooklyn Bruiser series. Hot hockey players and the women who win their hearts….hmmmm you had us at hello!

Leo Trevi and Georgia Worthington were high school sweethearts but theirs was no puppy love, rather it was the once in a lifetime soul mates love, they were one another’s first everything. First date, first kiss, first love, first heartbreak.

“We don’t have one night stands, Georgia. We have forever night stands.”

Six years ago after a traumatic experience Georgia asks Leo to let her go and considering what she went through, Leo didn’t want to make life more difficult for her and so he granted her wish much to his utter loss and heartbreak. Leo was 19 when they broke up, the pain of losing Georgia, devastated him. He’s never forgotten the love of his life and six years later, seeing her again only recaptures those feelings.

‘Letting Georgia go was the hardest thing he’d ever had to do. And he’d only been able to manage it because he was sure it would help her be happy again.

Rookie Move was a sweet and sexy first book in this Hockey romance series with some deeply heartfelt moments and difficult subject matter which was handled sensitively and with love via Sarina Bowens words with Leo especially stealing our hearts. Boy did we experience his confusion, his hurt and the pure soul deep love he felt for Georgia. He is quite a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve.

‘Georgia was his Kryptonite. Nobody else made him feel so alive. He never wanted it to end.’

As the story progresses we are privy to the events that led to Georgia making the most difficult decision of her life in letting Leo go and how those actions affected not only her and Leo, but those around them.

“We used to be equals. But now I’m always going to be the one who’s worried. It’s still the same problem. I used to be fearless ….’

Whilst we did enjoy this first first book in the series, we didn’t experience the wow factor that makes us fall in book love. For us personally, we felt as though we were being told the story rather than being participants, looking from the outside in and for that reason we didn’t feel as emotionally invested in the characters as we had hoped. At the end of the day though, this was a sweet romantic escape with the team brotherhood and camaraderie we love in our sports themed romances! However…..you can bet we’re looking forward to more of this series, and we’re especially keen to hear a lot more about the young billionaire owner of the Brooklyn Bruisers..…now that will be a story to tell!

3.5 Stars

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3rd

HARD HITTER BOOK TWO
Pre order now for 3rd January release

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, Our Reviewers, Pick an Author, Reviews by Gitte, Reviews by Jenny, Sarina Bowen