Tag: Sports Romance (page 1 of 2)

BOOK REVIEW: Kulti by Mariana Zapata

BOOK REVIEW: Kulti by Mariana ZapataKulti by Mariana Zapata
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

“Trust me, I’ve wanted to punch you in the face a time or five.”

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn't take a week for 27-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she'd seen in the international soccer icon - why she'd ever had his posters on her wall or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man who hadn't known she'd existed. So she isn't prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team's season: a quiet, reclusive shadow of the explosive, passionate man he'd once been.

 

Review

‘I can and I will,’ had been the motto I held closest to my heart at all times. I didn’t like people telling me I couldn’t do something, even if I didn’t want to do it.

This is one of those books that I am slapping myself for waiting so long to read. I read ONE not-so-great review a while back and it stopped me from picking this up until now. That’s complete and utter bullshit. I love the fact that we all can speak our minds about the books we love and hate but I don’t love how other’s words can impact us so deeply, before we even get a chance to try things out ourselves. I need to get better with taking people’s reviews with a grain of salt, I really do. LUCKILY, Chelsea started sending me quotes and I just felt it in my bones that this was the book I needed to be reading, right now.

I could have been more and I could have been less, but I was just me. At some point, you just have to decide to be the best version of yourself, the one you can live with and look at in the mirror day after day.

For those of you who have followed my reviews for any amount of time, or have gotten to know me at all over the years I’ve spent on here, its common knowledge that I LOVE sports romances. I played a few sports in high school and while I was never great at any of them, I LOVED the competitiveness of it. The excitement of a Friday night football game in the fall. The sweat and blood and tears that people pour into their sport because it’s their dream to be the best. I eat. That. Shit. Up. It’s kind of hilarious too, that the sports books that I end up loving the most, are ones that feature sports that I know nothing about. I die for Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen’s hockey books even though I’ve only ever watched ONE college club game and with this one, I know literally NOTHING about soccer. My school was too small to have a team so I never played it myself. While I always end up hopping on the bandwagon when the Women’s World Cup rolls around (especially if the US is doing its thing) that’s the extent of my soccer feels. Sure enough, just like with the hockey books, I absolutely loved getting to know the sport in the book through Sal’s eyes.

Before I even had time to think about what he’d done, my oversized bratwurst took a step forward and he did it. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders, bringing me in so close my nose was pressed against the cartilage right between his pectorals. He was hugging me.

This is the second book that I’ve read by Zapata and it won’t be the last. Even though I crave more smut (lol I will not apologize for it) her brand of slow burn is so fucking delicious. I love how she builds her relationships up in such a realistic way. I love her broody men and her badass women. I can’t decide if I like this better than Lukov because while the books are similar is certain ways, the characters are different in other ways. While I loved that Jasmine never gave up in Lukov, sometimes it was hard to connect to how harsh she was. Sal on the other hand was so easy to love. I would love to have her as a best friend because she’s the type of person who would never steer a person wrong. She would always have you back no matter what. Just like she had Kulti’s back. He was a grumpy old bratwurst, prick to her so many times and she let him back in again and again. I’m not advocating for keeping a friend/ significant other around who is constantly treating you like dirt obviously, but Kulti wasn’t like that. He obviously was such a genuine person…but also with a Germany sized chip on his shoulder.

“My schnecke. My little snail, do you know that’s what it means? It’s a term of affection in my country. My love. My snail. I don’t want to waste more time. I have nothing to hide and neither do you.” 

I think what I love the most about Zapata’s writing is the dialogue. I fucking died over and over again with Sal’s nicknames for Kulti bhahaha. Omg. And then when he joined in on it. AND I MEAN SCHNECKE?! COME ON. How cute is that?! I die for pet names in other languages. Even the swearing…I mean I’ve got a potty mouth myself so I just think it adds an extra bit of realism and oomph when authors throw it in there. Shrug

I seriously cried happy tears over that epilogue, too. Just knowing he stuck by her side and that she got to play at the level she did…. It was perfect.

“You could never disappointment me.” Did his voice sound strange or was I imagining it? “Not in this life, Sal.”

BOOK REVIEW: Superfan (Brooklyn #3) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Superfan (Brooklyn #3) by Sarina BowenSuperfan (Brooklyn #3)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

More information at SarinaBowen.com

Review:

Now, right off the bat I want everyone to know that I expected this book to be great. Every previous look at Silas that we’ve ever gotten in the earlier books painted him to be a complete cinnamon roll. He had a seemingly cute obsession with Delilah Sparks and he always seemed to be an all-around nice guy (like always looking out for Heidi, letting her stay with them, etc.). I’m here to tell you that he not only lived up to, but EXCEEDED every expectation I had of him. Sighhhh

Seriously though, this book is for sure my favorite of the series. They just keep on getting better and better. I loved the way that Delilah and Silas met and how their relationship formed. It was one of those things where they obviously had an instant connection but I kind of liked that they never *quite* got to that next level during any of the chapters that were set in the past. Also, just knowing they hadn’t exchanged numbers and that she didn’t know his real name made the anticipation of them meeting again SO REAL.

Like that ~scene~ with the dare and the jersey and YES I’M BEING VAGUE BC I DON’T WANT TO GIVE ANY MORSELS AWAY. I LOVED that. Ugh and them meeting again for the first time. Like you guys I was just flailing away at this entire book. I loved their relationship so much. Delilah struggles with a lot of insecurity for a number of different reasons but Silas is only ever supportive and wonderful to her. He’s always there for her and never goes off the grid and is the rock that any person might want to be in a relationship with.

Then there is the wedding scene. I loved that we got the chance to see all of our favorite characters from previous books and watching Delilah as an “outsider” interact with them all. UM ALSO, THE SCENE WITH BERINGER AND HIS DAUGHTER. I died. Literally died. I love all of these idiots so much and is it sad that I already want to re-read so I don’t have to leave any of their presences?

This book also features another one of those crazy plot lines and scenes that…given how famous Delilah is, is actually pretty believable (though still crazy). But you know what? It wasn’t *too crazy*. It added just enough of an edge to the story to ensure that I will never forget it. Seriously, I CANNOT wait for this book to be out in the world and for all of you to be able to read it. All the stars to Bowen, and this series, and Silas.

Side note: It should be mentioned that every book in the Brooklyn Bruisers and Brooklyn series can be read as standalones.  In my own personal opinion though, once you read one, you won’t stop until you read the rest.

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY: Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6) by Sarina Bowen

I am SO excited to present the cover of Superfan, the latest book in Sarina Bowen's Brooklyn Bruisers series. I was so glad when Silas started to play a bigger part in the later books and I am dying to find out what his story is about!

COVER REVEAL + GIVEAWAY: Superfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6) by Sarina BowenSuperfan (Brooklyn Bruisers #6)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis:

Sometimes lady luck shakes your hand, and sometimes she smacks your face. Sometimes she does both on the same day.

Three years ago I met the most amazing girl in the world. We were both down on our luck. Then I got that call—the one that tells you to get your buns on a plane to go meet your destiny.

But the girl was left behind. I didn’t have her phone number, and she didn’t know my real name.

While I became a professional hockey player, she became a superstar, with platinum records and legions of fans. And a slick, music producer boyfriend who treated her badly.

But fate wasn’t done with us yet. When Delilah turns up at a hockey game, I can’t resist making contact. The internet swoons when I ask her out on a date.

She might not remember me. But her jerkface ex does. He’ll do anything to keep us apart.

Good thing athletes never give up. This time I’m playing for keeps.

Excerpt:

“Would you like a beer?” the cute bartender asks me.

I glance at the pile of mint leaves on his cutting board and hesitate. “Sure,” I say. But the mint looks so fresh and pretty.

“I could make you something different.”

“Beer is great. A cold…”

“—lager,” he finishes. “No glass, no opener.”

When I look up to flash him a smile, my heart does a little somersault. Those kind eyes are smiling at me, too. “Thank you,” I whisper.

“It’s really no problem.” He turns toward the beer cooler. “You’re an easy customer, trust me.”

But I really meant—thank you for remembering. As he leans down to grab a bottle for me, I find myself admiring the strong muscles in his back. Stop it, I admonish myself. It only gets worse when he turns around and places the bottle in front of me. I’ve never seen hands like his. I didn’t even know wrists could look muscular.

Even so. Ogling him is not why I came here. I pull out my keychain opener and remove the cap from my beer.

He discards it, gives me another pleasant smile and then picks up his paring knife again.

I take a sip, wondering when he’s going to mention my show at the Coconut Club. He was there. I saw him.

He separates some mint leaves from their stems and says nothing.

I last about seventeen seconds. “Well?”

“Well?” He looks up. “Sorry?”

“Jesus lord.” I close my eyes and then open them again. This is not going how I’d hoped it would. “What did you think?

“Of…?” His amazing eyes are studying me.

“Forget I asked.” I take a swig of beer.

“Think about what?” He pushes the cutting board aside, and his smile turns knowing.

“My set at the Coconut Club! I saw you holding up that wall in the back. Don’t lie.”

He tips his head back and lets out a sudden laugh. “I’m so busted. I loved your show, but I didn’t expect you to spot me.”

“You loved it so much you weren’t going to say anything?” The sentence sounds crazy to my own ears. I put down the beer. “You know what? Never mind. I’m just being psycho right now. This town is getting into my head.”

“Listen, girly.” He braces both (muscular!) hands on the bar and looks me right in the eye. “I loved it so much that I don’t even know what to say about it. From that moment at the beginning—when you shut that asshole’s maw? To the part where you made a lady cry.” He shakes his head. “I couldn’t look away. And I never wanted it to end.”

I give him a slow blink, just trying to take that in. It’s so much more than I was even hoping to hear.

“Shit, Delilah. If that set doesn’t win you whatever contract you’re looking for, they don’t even deserve you.”

Something warm and unfamiliar settles into the center of my belly. “That might be the nicest thing anyone ever said to me. Which only means you’re still trying to get my phone number.”

He laughs immediately. “Can’t both things be true? Both my musical assessment and my interest in your evening plans?”

“Because you know so much about music.” I flip my hair and take another sip of beer.

“Look. I don’t know shit about music. But I know plenty about talent.” He leans down on a set of forearms I shouldn’t be noticing. “I know that talent sometimes takes a nap at just the wrong moment, but it never stays asleep for long. I also know that luck matters, too. If they don’t give you what you want, it won’t be your fucking fault.”

“Thank you,” I say quietly.

But he’s not done. “I saw something else valuable the other night. You’re good in the clinch. And that counts for double, I swear to God.”

“The clinch?”

“Yeah. You’re not just good at practice.” He pauses, wrinkling up his interesting nose. “What word would a musician use? Okay—you’re not a rehearsal musician. That stage was like your home. Either that or you fake it really well. That’s going to pay your rent someday, I promise.”

“Wow.” It’s like he looked right into my terrified little soul and found the very thing I needed to hear. Those beautiful eyes of his are practically burning me right now, so I have to look away. “Thank you. Really. I really needed that pep talk.”

I make the mistake of looking up at him again, and, for a split second, I see pure yearning. It’s like our souls vibrate at exactly the same frequency. And I have no idea what to do with that.

 

Giveaway:

Be the first to read! Three winners (US or Canada) will win early signed paperback copies of Superfan! 

Enter here: https://geni.us/SuperfanGiveaway

 

Superfan will be available for purchase on June 25th, 2019!

About Sarina Bowen:

Sarina Bowen Bowen is the USA Today bestselling author of 30 books, including: the True Northseries, co-author of Him/Us and the WAGs series with Elle Kennedy, The Ivy Yearsseries and the Brooklyn BruisersAnd more!
Are you looking for a friends-to-lovers story or maybe even a secret baby book? You can read a list of Sarina’s books broken out by trope and style.
Need to know what’s coming next ? Get all the latest news on Sarina’s website, and sign up for her newsletter so you don’t miss a book or a deal.

BOOK REVIEW: Brooklynaire (Brooklyn #1) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Brooklynaire (Brooklyn #1) by Sarina BowenBrooklynaire (Brooklyn #1)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

A sexy new standalone from USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen.

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?

It is universally acknowledged that I am something of a badass.

So again, like I said in my review for Overnight Sensation I knew part way through this book that I had made a mistake in reading these all out of order. I knew even more so when I went back and read books one through three after this one and saw a bit of a mysterious build up between Rebecca and Nate. Even the progression of getting to know both of these characters. Don’t get me wrong, I still was obsessed with this book but I think the anticipation of seeing these two finally get together could have been even greater if reading them in order.

Now there’s a document my HR department doesn’t want in the world. Dear Diary, it wasn’t until I snuck into Rebecca’s hotel room and screwed her seven ways till Sunday that I realized I was in love with her. Not helpful.

BUT ANYWAY. OMG. On to me blabbing on about how much I love Rebecca and Nate. And who DOESN’T love a good “H taking care of h” storyline. Even though I have an unhealthy obsession for hockey players in romances (like I have never been to a real hockey game, what the fuck, Arielle?!) I also love a good hot nerd. And badass heroine. And friends to lovers, especially when the one friend is clueless about it even though the signs have always been there. Lol I love the shit that Lauren gives Nate about it, too. So again, great book. Great sexy times. Great everything.

“Wait.” I sit up. “Did you bring me empanadas and tequila?” 
“Yeah,”
 she says softly. “It’s nothing, really, but…” 
I interrupt her. “Do you know I love you?”
Her mouth slams shut and her eyes get damp. “No. I didn’t.” 
“It’s true, Bec. I’ve got it bad.”

Side note: It should be mentioned that every book in the Brooklyn Bruisers and Brooklyn series can be read as standalones.  In my own personal opinion though, once you read one, you won’t stop until you read the rest.

BOOK REVIEW: Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn #2) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Overnight Sensation (Brooklyn #2) by Sarina BowenOvernight Sensation (Brooklyn Bruisers #5)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

Everyone knows the girl is off limits. But it's so good to be bad.


There's this girl...
Heidi and I have been trading hungry looks all year, and everything she does makes me smile. But I don't do girlfriends, and I certainly can't get involved with the league commissioner's daughter. I need shots on goal, not a hookup and a widely misunderstood paparazzi photo.
Can I resist her, though? The way she teases me should be a game penalty for interference with my libido. 


There's this guy...
Jason wants me, but he won't admit it. That man looks at me the way a hockey player eyes the lunch buffet after practice--and I love it.
But when victory is finally within my grasp, I blow it and humiliate myself. Even then I can't even avoid him--as the team intern, I'm in constant view of his hard body and cocky smile.
I need another chance. Jason Castro is about to learn the true meaning of an overnight sensation.

*Disclaimer: So I read this entire on vacation but in a super random order.  I wrote the reviews in the order I read them so that’s how I’ll be posting them, too!

Review:

“Here we are!” the driver announces cheerfully.
“My body is ready,” she whispers. I wonder if they teach that at charm school.

Ughhhh guyssss. Time to do some not-so-serious complaining before I actually start my review. Okay, I knew when I started this binge that this was going to be a problem…I read all five of the books in this series when I was on vacation in Florida last week with no computer. I SHOULD have just written a mini review for each on my phone but I didn’t want to waste any reading time because let’s face it….I NEVER am able to read that much anymore. The last time I accomplished it was two years ago when I was a library conference with no baby or husband to interrupt me lol. Anyways, SO HERE I AM, desperately trying to remember all of what I loved about each of these books. Bare with me….

“Hi Pete!” she greets the gray-haired bartender.
“Hello, miss.” He gives her a big smile. 
“I’d like a shot of tequila with a whiskey chaser,” she says. 
Pete rolls his eyes. “You’re underage. We’ve been over this. Besides—nobody orders that. We have to work on your smack talk.” 
“What do I order if I want to make a statement?” she asks, pulling out a barstool and plunking her cute butt onto it. 
“A buttery nipple,” Pete suggests. 
“What if I’m avoiding dairy?” 
The bartender laughs so hard he practically has an aneurism. That’s the thing about Heidi. Once you’ve noticed her, it’s hard to stop noticing her.

First of all, I need to throw it out there that these should be read in order. They don’t *have* to be BUT I did NOT read them in a really ass-backwards way and ended up meeting all these characters that I didn’t know and that didn’t seem as special to me because I hadn’t met them yet. (also as a side note, reading this one first ruined a bit of the anticipation on whether or not they were going to win the series or not during the first few books. In this one we find out right away that they had lost..) My favorite part of a sports series, or even any romance series, is when you get to meet this huge group of friends and they eventually wind up feeling like family. This series is no exception. I love all of these guys so much and am so glad I FINALLY took the time to read them all.

I can’t quite decide if this one was my favorite or if Brooklynaire was….either way they were all incredibly good. I loved the bossy and macho Castro and Heidi was fucking hilarious (and equally bossy). The sexual tension between them was delicious and their banter and the way their relationship began and then progressed was just…ugh perfection.

I also really liked how Heidi just didn’t quite know what to do with her life and didn’t even really figure it out by the end. I think it’s complete and utter bullshit that we as young people are supposed to just all suddenly KNOW what we want to do when we grow up. I mean I LOVE being a librarian but even I wonder sometimes if that’s exactly what I’m meant to be doing (I know I’ve got the surrounded by books daily part right at least lol). Her dad may have been a complete dick to her, and basically prevented her from initially taking that job with Rebecca but it was so satisfying, seeing her do all of the jobs that she was assigned to without any complaints. She is amazing and I love her to bits. 100% will go back for a reread at a later time.

“I love you against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.”

Side note: It should be mentioned that every book in the Brooklyn Bruisers and Brooklyn series can be read as standalones.  In my own personal opinion though, once you read one, you won’t stop until you read the rest.

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