REVIEW: “Brooklynaire” by Sarina Bowen

“Brooklynaire”, the fourth installment in Sarina Bowen‘s Brooklyn Bruisers series, features team owner Nate Kattenberger and long-term employee Rebecca Rowley.  Rebecca started working as Nate’s assistant when KTeck only had 17 employees; now there’re 200.  However for some reason Nate moved Rebecca over to manage the Brooklyn Bruisers office two years ago.  The change felt abrupt to Rebecca and being replace by the gorgeous and put-together Lauren stung.  This has bothered but she never asked Nate why he made the decision he did.  “Brooklynaire” is told in alternating Point-of-View as well as flashbacks to when Nate and Rebecca first met at KTech’s beginnings.  Nate has an extremely intriguing backstory that, after three books in took me by surprise.

The conflict is that even though Nate and Rebecca finally acknowledge their mutual attraction; she’s still his employee.  Even though she’s known him for seven-years people will think of her as the girl who sleeps with her boss.  There will be talk, speculation, and gossip and she doesn’t want to be the punch line of a joke.  Rebecca has been the self-deprecating badass girl in the Brooklyn Bruisers series.  She has an individual quirky style and owns it.  She’s fierce yet vulnerable, she gets things done with efficiency and style.  Rebecca wasn’t able to finish university but she’s intelligent and quick witted.  She’s a master of palindromes.  However she underestimates the attraction she has to men.  Nate Kattenberger in particular.

Nate has been attracted to Rebecca for a long time.  But like her, he thinks she has him firmly in the Friend-Zone.  Rebecca gets a severe head injury after slipping on the ice at the Bruisers’ practice facility.  It’s then that Nate makes it his mission to make sure someone takes care of her for a change.  The tough and independent Rebecca’s thrown when condition persists but her doctors can find nothing wrong in the test results.  Finally one of the team doctors recommends a specialist who identifies the rare problem which requires lots of therapy.  Nate makes Rebecca stay at his mansion while she recuperates.  This is rather necessary since her tiny apartment has been taken-over by her sister, her baby nephew, and the baby-Daddy.

The close quarters bring back lots of memories of the “old days” and the fun they used to have.  It also makes avoiding the feelings of attraction they have for one another much harder.  Nate invites Rebecca to join him as his date for a team event so he can avoid talking business.  However the other business person is also an old friend with rather messy ties to Nate.  She knows the real reason why Nate made Rebecca the Bruisers office manager.  Rebecca is advised to force Nate to confess his reasons.  When Rebecca finally gets the answer it shocks and surprises her and leads to the turning point of their relationship.  However the course of True Love never runs smooth.

Although Rebecca doesn’t regret her romantic interlude with Nate it’s too complicated.  He’s her boss’ boss.  She doesn’t want to be one of those women who gets a reputation for sleeping with her employer.  This is why she doesn’t date the hockey players.  It’s messy, confusing, and can seem tawdry.  On the other hand she’s crushed-on and admired Nate for almost seven years and ignoring these feelings is almost impossible.  For Nate he doesn’t get Rebecca’s hang-up.  But then again he’s having his own blast-from-the-past-news-nightmare and soap-opera-moment-fire-drill going on as the team’s playing for the Stanley Cup.

Sarina Bowen packs in the humor, sweet romance, and sexy times into “Brooklynaire” making it a perfect Hat Trick.  Flashbacks showing the crappy office where a younger Nate and company started out writing code was fun and intriguing.  The dynamic and magic between a young and hungry Rebecca and Super Geeky Nate was there from the start.  Their easy banter and sexual tension is lovely and delicious.  Nate is wonderfully decadent; a Dirty Nerd.  Then there’s Rebecca, the perfect mix of confidence and uncertainty.  Cynic and Romantic.  We get a new character; Rebecca’s intern Heidi Jo Pepper, Bryn Mawr drop-out and NHL league commissioner’s daughter.  She’s a hoot-and-a-half and loves the Bruiser’s eye candy; especially Silas and Castro.  “Brooklynaire” is a fabulous addition to the Brooklyn Bruisers line-up and worth the wait!

I’m giving “Brooklynaire” 5 Lightning Bolts and a Storm Warning.

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This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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