Brooklynaire by Sarina Bowen | Review + Excerpt

Publisher: self-pubbed
Release Date: February 12, 2018 (out now!)
Source of my copy: author
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #4
My Rating:

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

Nate and Rebecca are one of the most adorable couples ever! I love them to bits and I can't wait to dive into the rest of the Brooklyn Bruisers series and get their full arc in the series. Brooklynaire is a must-read for fans of the series. But, if you're like me and mostly haven't picked up the series (I've only read book 1 so far), Brooklynaire can totally standalone so don't let the fact that you're a Brooklyn Bruisers newbie deter you from reading this book because it's an excellent contemporary romance.

If you're not familiar with Nate and Becca, Nate is Becca's boss and Becca is his assistant. Becca came to work for Nate seven years prior, when his company consisted of 12 nerds crammed into a small office. Two thousand employees, a historical mansion, owning his own hockey team, and billions of dollars later, Nate is now the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Becca still works for Nate, but he has since moved Becca to his Brooklyn office where she works with his professional hockey team. She loves her position, but she's always been bothered and somewhat hurt about the job transfer since she's always been a loyal and attentive assistant to Nate.

Unbeknownst to Becca, the reason Nate transferred her was so he can distance himself and his non-professional feelings for her. But, while on a work trip together, things between Nate and Becca quickly heated up. The next morning, both Becca and Nate got a reality check about the seemingly impossible and awkward boss-employee situation they are now in. But, feelings they have kept in check and hardly allowed themselves to think about can no longer be denied... can these two find their happily ever after?

I love Nate and Becca so much and I know I'm going to love them more once I finish reading the earlier books in the series. Nate is a billionaire, but he's also a nerd and slightly socially awkward. He gets lost in his thoughts and is more comfortable in jeans and a hoodie than in a suit. He hires the best people and he lets them do their thing without lording over them. All of this makes him very endearing. Becca is a sweetheart. She dropped out of school after her father unexpectedly dies, and becomes her family's rock. She enjoys her work and is very dedicated to it so her situation with Nate is very complicated for her and she doesn't want to jeopardize anything starting something with him. I love the great friendship these two have, and how she was at Nate's side as his company grew. And, of course, there's this understated chemistry between them that blew up the night they finally got together. Reading about these two was a joy.

I also love meeting the secondary characters. I'm familiar with Georgia and Trevi, but I can't wait to read about the others, especially Lauren who was quite a prominent side character. She's prickly and at first I wasn't sure if I was supposed to like her or not, and then I realized she has her own book. The timeline for Brooklynaire also coincides with Lauren's book Pipe Dreams and I can't wait to read it so I can get the full picture.

The writing is excellent, as always. I mean, it's Sarina Bowen so you know you're in for a treat. I really, really enjoyed Brooklynaire A LOT. And I think I'm going to love it even more once I read the other books in the series because then I can fully appreciate the development of Nate and Becca's story.

Brooklynaire is a essential reading for Sarina Bowen fans who has followed Nate and Becca from Rookie Move all the way to Pipe Dreams. But, if you're a Brooklyn Bruisers noob, Rookie Move is really the best place to start. When you meet Nate and Becca, you can rest easy that they have their own book that you'll eventually get to (because, apparently, Brooklynaire wasn't something Sarina was planning to write initially so we're very lucky that it exists now!). But, really, anything by Sarina is a winner. I haven't read a book by her that I didn't enjoy to the fullest. Pick up her books--I promise you won't be disappointed!

I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”

She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.

And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.

I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.

When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”

“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.

The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”

“She sure is.”

Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”

“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.

“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”

My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”

“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”

I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”

“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.

“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”

Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.

We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”

“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”

Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”

“Oh, snap.”

She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”

“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.

Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”

“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”

“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.

“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.

But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.

“You tell me. What am I taking off?”

She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.

Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”

That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.

My inner caveman stands up and cheers.
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