Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Genres: Sports Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Hard Hitter
Also by this author: Us, Bittersweet, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter
A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…
Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.
Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.
One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.
Pipe Dreams is the story of the prickly, snooty administrative assistant to Nate, Lauren. She is NOT well liked and I wasn’t sure her story would be welcome. But, I should have trusted Sarina Bowen. My heart BROKE for Lauren.
Lauren and Mike (the goalie for the Bruisers) were in love. He had just gotten divorced from his wife though and Lauren was concerned people would talk. That didn’t stop them though because they really were in love. And for a year or so, things were amazing. Then Mike bails on her, goes back to his wife, and everyone whispers that ‘the husband stealing hussy got what was coming to her’. Lauren is heartbroken and develops a wall around herself that pushes everyone away.
Pipe Dreams is a mix of flashbacks to the time when Lauren and Mike were in love and present time, where Lauren has done everything in her power to have NOTHING to do with the Bruisers, even though her boss owns the team. I loved getting to see a different side of Lauren. I loved seeing her open up to Georgia and Ari and Becca because she realizes how snooty she has been and that these ladies, new to the organization, have no idea why she hates the team. And, of course, Georgia, Ari, and Becca welcome her, listen, and support her. Developing female friendships in books is so important because so often women are portrayed as catty, vindictive, and conniving. I love when a group of women come together and don’t play into the cat and mouse games.
Mike’s story is heartbreaking. First, he knocks up his girlfriend at 19, they get married and he is off playing hockey all the time, his wife leaves him, then she gets sick and he has to step up for the sake of their daughter forgoing his own happiness for the sake of his family. He has a great deal of guilt over his ex-wife, Shelly. He feels he ruined her life by getting her pregnant at 19. She had to abandon her plans of college and become a stay at home mom and a hockey wife. Mike was gone all the time so she was lonely as well. As a reader, you can see the impossibility of his situation and can understand why he made the choice he did. However, I was still irritated at the WAY he did it and how much it crushed Lauren. He looks like Saint Mike and she looks like a wife stealing whore. Its certainly what Mike’s teenage daughter thinks too!
Lauren is forced by her boss to take a more active role with the Bruisers and this forces her to have to see Mike all the time. It rips her heart apart daily. The only way she survived all this was to shut Mike totally out of her life and focus on everything else. I expected to not love Lauren based on the previous books, but I adore her! I struggled a bit more with Mike. I, like Lauren, just wasn’t sure. I don’t know that I could ever trust him again. I’m not sure I could forget that kind of pain. Because I loved Lauren so much, I wanted to protect her from everything. I wanted to be there to step between her and Mike and act as a buffer for her so she didn’t get hurt any more. Do you see how much I loved her?!?!? I went all mama bear whenever Mike came around. But, Mike is excellent at redemption. I mean, the man has MOVES.
Pipe dreams is a second chance romance that is filled with pain, regret, and sorrow. It shredded my heart and I loved every minute of it!
Note: If Becca and Nate’s book isn’t next, I might go crazy!! I need it!
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: second chance
- Triggers: no
- Series/Standalone: stand alone within an interconnected series
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes « Hide Spoiler