I love Sarina Bowen’s books. It’s true, I really do. Sarina is the kind of writer, at least for me, where I get sucked into the story. I don’t even start a new book from her unless I know that I have time to finish it in one (or maybe two) pass. In retrospect, I can look back at what I’ve read and recognize the themes and tropes, because of course they are there, but as I’m reading all I’m doing is laughing and groaning and wondering how she’s going to get the characters to their HEA.

I grew up Edmonton during the heyday of Gretzy and the Oilers, but I didn’t grow up in a sportsing family, so I wasn’t a hockey aficianado. I really appreciate how much love for the game that Sarina shows in the Brooklyn Bruisers series – I always end up Googling at least one hockey term per book. But it never comes across as preachy or boring, it’s just part of a bunch of people who love what they do.

Bombshells (Brooklyn Bruisers #8) introduces Rebecca’s passion project – the eponymous professional women’s hockey team. The women are working to build a team dynamic and the men are adjusting to sharing their space. Sarina uses the opportunity to highlight some of the insane differences between professional sports for men and women, and anyone who doesn’t feel outraged lives in a headspace that I don’t understand. Anton (Baby Bayer) and Sylvie are both struggling with change and with some aspects of growing up and they do it together. The drama that cements our couple’s relationship is one of those “it could have been terrible” moments, so this book feels a bit less dramatic than some, but the realism is a breath of fresh air.

I’m so happy that this far into her writing career, she continues to offer us well-written stories, full of balanced characters, humour, and love.

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