Sure Shot by Sarina Bowen
Coming May 12
I tried to hold off a bit, reading Sure Shot. Because I know that once I start one of Bowen’s books, I usually can’t put it down until I’ve finished it. And yes, that’s pretty much what happened. So, as per usual, I started out carefully trying to savor every word, but soon I was racing through to the end feeling a whole lot of feels and nursing a book hangover.
Sure Shot is the latest installment in the Brooklyn Bruisers series. That’s hockey-themed romance of the very best kind. This series takes place in the kind of book universe where there are the same recurring characters throughout several books. Getting to know them from so many perspectives is just awesome. So, simply put, the story can absolutely be read as a stand-alone but I still recommend reading the entire series. In the correct order.
So, to the blurb. Sure Shot is about Mark Tankiewicz, who naturally is a drool-worthy hunk of man meat who also happens to be a hockey player (?) and Bess Beringer who’s working as a sports-agent with only one rule: She doesn’t date athletes. But Tank and Bess have chemistry with a big C and also some scorching history. They can still have some fun, right? Even if Tank doesn’t fit into Bess’ five year plan. And even though Tank’s marriage just ended and he’s not looking to settle down and he’s adamant he won’t ever marry again. They can fool around some without anyone getting hurt, right? But feelings are a bitch. They just won’t be controlled. And when Bess falls hard, she discovers that Tank can’t give her what she wants.
I loved Sure Shot. I still haven’t met a Bowen-book I didn’t like, so it’s no surprise this one was no different. Tank has the ultimate grumpy guy exterior but is the sweetest underneath. And Bess is so strong and independent but vulnerable with lots of unhealed scars. I loved them so much. And I loved them together.
Then the story took a very emotional turn. I don’t know why that always surprises me, it shouldn’t. Even though this series is romance and all the feel-goods, there is still always more depth to them than the genre might imply. And Sure Shot covers a very sensitive and, for those personally affected, painful subject. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but I got plenty emotional and probably got some onion in my eye or something.
I’m so very impressed about the way Bowen portrayed this oh so difficult issue. Even if I think that almost all women can relate to this kind of grief, it could so easily have been depicted in a clichéd romance-y way, or even worse, in an overly tear-jerking way. But instead, it was such a perfect balance between gravity and strength, acceptance and hope. It was beautifully done. And I was so, so, so bloody happy that they stuck to their plan in the end, despite things…. happening. Wow. Avoiding spoilers is hard.
Anyway. This is a lovely read. A lovely romance with great characters. And also with nooky. Hot nooky. Read it!