Happy to share the Brooklynaire excerpt and my review with you guys! If you love a good and sweet sports romance with a boss/employee and friends to lovers trope give this a chance
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.”
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.
I can’t go wrong with a Sarina Bowen book. I just love this woman’s stories so much. And can we take a second to appreciate this FINE cover?
In Brooklynaire Sarina Bowen gives us wonderfully endearing main characters and a set of fabulous supporting cast. Rebecca’s concussion, which she sustained from her brilliant idea to step on the ice of the Brooklyn Bruisers practice rink takes longer to heal than anyone anticipated. Good thing that team owner and bossman Nate Kattenberger secretly carries a torch for Becca and makes her stay with him in his high end house and arranges for an an appointment with a specialist.
There is an easy, lovely friendship between these two. It’s the relaxed companionship between two people who have known one another for a long time. In their case it’s been seven years, when Nate was a genius, albeit hot computer nerd starting up his company and engaged to an unfaithful tramp. Now a successful tycoon he hasn’t changed. He’s still hot, still a nerd and everyone knows how much I love them (especially if they look like the guy on the cover. Dayum, I mean seriously).
The women in my life exist to put me in my place. It’s a goddamn fact.
Nate is just amazing and almost too good to be true. He is SUCH a good guy, a great boss to everyone and especially to Rebecca. He pays attention and is observant and aware of the things going on around him. Mostly. I thought it was hilarious that everybody in his orbit knew how in love he was with Rebecca when he thought he was being sneaky. Being oblivious is something he has in common with Rebecca because she was probably the only one who didn’t know about it either. It’s a small miracle that they actually found together
Nate wants everybody to feel comfortable. He never pushes the woman he cares so much about, worries about her and respects her wishes…at least as long as she voices them. He is fiercely protective of Rebecca and that was totally adorable. He is generous, magnetic, tender with his woman and good-natured, and who knew that nerdiness could be so sexy? He gave me the swoons the way he was pining for Rebecca. If you could wish for the perfect specimen of the male population I would take Nate.
“Down, boy,” I order.
Nate sticks out his tongue and pants like a puppy. “I’m two seconds away from humping your leg. It’s been three days since I saw you last, Miss Rowley.”
He is described as a little bit socially awkward. I didn’t see it, not really. Yes, he had a tendency to zone out in a conversation but in social situations he was very aware of what is polite and what isn’t, and how to behave. I thought he was more goofy than quirky.
Rebecca is independent, strong with a generous dose of sass. She doesn’t allow herself to crush on bossman again. She’s been there, done that and bought the coffee mug. She’s a college drop-out, which happened out of necessity when her father passed away, a fact that has always been a thorn in her side. Of course it’s one of the reasons she can’t imagine that a charismatic, hot guy like Nate would be interested in her. Rebecca is loyal, fierce in her convictions but a little bit of a chicken. It takes her a while to get used to the budding feelings between Nate and her. Avoidance is one of he strategies she uses when she can’t make sense of things.
While I didn’t always agree with the way Rebecca handled things I understood where she was coming from – and that’s the beauty of it when an author gets it right. Even if the heroine handles things completely differently than I would, explain it to me, get me on board. It’s what Ms Bowen always gets right for me. Rebecca’s reluctance of anything else other than friendship with Nate made complete sense. Was it frustrating? Yes! But it never got to a point where I wanted to throw my Kindle.
Their love for palindromes provided a lot of entertainment and Nate’s AI assistant Bingley was wonderful – although he wasn’t human he had his own personality. Props for that, because I’m sure it wasn’t easy to find the right balance without it sounding too Sci-Fi.
Becca: NAOMI, DID I MOAN?
Nate: Don’t ever change. Love your dirty mind.
Becca: Also questionable: SIT ON A POTATO PEN, OTIS.
Nate: Poor Otis. How about, EGAD, NO BONDAGE?
Becca: Too prudish. I prefer: NO, TIE IT ON.
I spotted a couple of characters I’d like to know more about. Alex and Stew are both Nate’s friends and I can imagine that we might get stories with them. Of course now I also have to go back and read the other books in this series because, damn, I need to know what happened with Lauren.
Brooklynaire’s plot isn’t unusual or innovative. However, It’s a solid, delightful and sexy sports romance with all the things I love best about them. It has one of the sweetest male characters and a fierce, sassy heroine packed in a boss/employee and friends-to-lovers trope. If that works for you, you can’t go wrong when you pick this up!
“My life is constant noise. Meetings and obligations and two thousand employees. It’s great, but it’s loud. When you kiss me, everything goes quiet. That’s the only time I can forget everyone else.” I roll to the side and put my lips right beside her ear. “And when I’m inside you, we’re all that matters. I crave it so much.”