Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenPipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published by Berkley on May 2, 2017
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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three-stars      four-flames

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.

Lauren for her part has stayed away from hockey and made a new world in her job for Nate in the tech part of his company. About to graduate, she has made some pretty deep life decisions and they don't include a man by her side. Guarding her heart and hating the man she still really loves is all she has to do for a few weeks, but he gets under her skin.

The story felt completely off from beginning to end. I didn't like the "affair" between the two. I didn't like how Mike just made the decisions and acted on them, never really considering what he did to Lauren. I hated how Mike could just worm his way back into Lauren's life. Was he a total bad guy? No. What he did was honorable, but it was all the way he did it that left me feeling cold.

To top it off, I never really bonded with Lauren. I just didn't like her. She came off as a snob and too good for the other ladies of the story until she wanted friends. I applaud her decision for moving on with her life, I just didn't like how it all played out.

So with great regret, I have to say I didn't like this story. I wanted to very badly, but it just didn't do anything for me. In general I really love the series. Hockey isn't my sport of choice, but it's a game I can respect. There are sports sections to the story where they are on the ice, but most of the terminology is Greek to me. The sheet time is also off the hook sexy, it's just the romance that left me feeling as cold as a hockey rink.

The Delight

A love so strong it weathers a lot of storms is hard to find, but this one fell a little flat of me a it dealt with some taboo subjects and never resolved them in fashion I would find acceptable. The hero was a dick faced with bad situations. The heroine doesn’t seem to be logical when faced with lust. It just had me scratching my head and hoping the next book wouldn’t disappoint me.

Review

Pipe Dreams is a story I have been waiting for some time. What would make a guy leave the woman he is love with, without giving her an explanation? And a heroine who has moved on, but capitulates as soon as the hero comes back into her life. Let’s explore this a little more.

Mike seems to have it all: a wife, daughter and a dream job, but when he comes home early one day and finds his wife cheating, divorce is the only way out. While he was married, he never cheated even if he found himself drawn to the woman in the office who takes care of the hockey team, Lauren.

Lauren grew up with hockey. Her parents wouldn’t pay for college, so getting a job running the office for the team is logical, especially since her father is the manager. She works during the day and goes to school by night.

Mike and Lauren have a friendship and they keep it there even though they both are attracted to each other. When Mike decides to divorce his wife, he even tries to stay away from Lauren, but soon cannot. Thus a relationship begins before the divorce is finalized.

Circumstances cause Mike to pull away from Lauren and go back to his wife and daughter. This is where I was a little upset that these two couldn’t wait for the divorce to finalize before they started their new relationship, thus also making it harder when Mike goes back to his wife. All of this without Mike telling Lauren why he was leaving her.

“Why are you still here?” she asked. “Because you’re standing on a dark sidewalk at midnight?
Seriously? This from a man so obviously unconcerned with her well-being.

So I was totally pissed off at Mike. Yes, he had a bad situation, but he didn’t sit down and talk to Lauren about it. He just up and leaves. Also, why couldn’t he wait for the divorce to finalize before getting it on with her? And her for getting it on with a technically married man. Yep, this hit off so many of my no-no buttons.

Moving past that, it’s two years later and Lauren has to fill in at the hockey office, which she left right after Mike left her. Mike’s still the goalie, but he is now a widower with a teenage daughter. He doesn’t go directly after Lauren, but through little meetings he ends up deciding he wants her back. Fully admitting he is a douchebag, he still wants Lauren to forgive him and take him back.

And it was sudden sensory overload. Soft, lilac-scented hair brushed his face. Long, tanned arms wrapped around his back. She was saying something more – telling him she was sorry, or not to worry. He couldn’t make sense of the words because his pulse kicked up four notches. Unbidden, his arms clamped around her back. He stuck his nose in her hair and took deep, forbidden breath. That’s when everything got quiet.

Lauren for her part has stayed away from hockey and made a new world in her job for Nate in the tech part of his company. About to graduate, she has made some pretty deep life decisions and they don’t include a man by her side. Guarding her heart and hating the man she still really loves is all she has to do for a few weeks, but he gets under her skin.

The story felt completely off from beginning to end. I didn’t like the “affair” between the two. I didn’t like how Mike just made the decisions and acted on them, never really considering what he did to Lauren. I hated how Mike could just worm his way back into Lauren’s life. Was he a total bad guy? No. What he did was honorable, but it was all the way he did it that left me feeling cold.

To top it off, I never really bonded with Lauren. I just didn’t like her. She came off as a snob and too good for the other ladies of the story until she wanted friends. I applaud her decision for moving on with her life, I just didn’t like how it all played out.

So with great regret, I have to say I didn’t like this story. I wanted to very badly, but it just didn’t do anything for me. In general I really love the series. Hockey isn’t my sport of choice, but it’s a game I can respect. There are sports sections to the story where they are on the ice, but most of the terminology is Greek to me. The sheet time is also off the hook sexy, it’s just the romance that left me feeling as cold as a hockey rink.

Challenges

I found a razor in some of Lauren’s thoughts for Literary Pickers.

Need a song to go with the book? Might I suggest….No Sleep Till Brooklyn by Beastie Boys

Other books by Sarina Bowen in the Brooklyn Bruisers series that you may want to check out!

 

Preview

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • I am reading this one right now, and I’m struggling with it, too. I liked it a lot at the beginning – before they’d hooked up again. I like them much better apart than I do together, and that never bodes well for a romance book.

    Great review, Sophia. I found myself nodding my head the whole way through!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Thanks Angie. I struggled. Sorry, Sophia didn’t review this one, I did, lol.

      Shari

      • Oh my word. I am so sorry. I didn’t even look at the author of the post. I have fixed my blunder!

        • Shari Delighted Read

          lol, that’s ok. Sophia reads and writes way faster than I do so she usually has the reviews under her name. Funny I wrote this review about 2 months ago.

  • I have been hearing so many good things about this one, but I didn’t realize that he was technically married during their first relationship. I also find it icky they he had feelings for her when he was still married.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I was fine with him having feelings because in no way did he react to them until he found his wife cheating and they had seoerated. I don’t like he didn’t wait until they were fully divorced, but he goes back to his wife without ever explaining why to Lauren. She expected his divorce and for them to move on together. So he betrayed her by not talking to her, the woman he supposedly loves. He’s not a horrible guy, but he doesn’t make good choices.

  • I don’t read many sports romances, sorry to hear you didn’t like it as much as you hope you might.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I love sports romances. This just didn’t do it for me.

  • Bummer it didn’t work for you. I could tell by how things were in book two between them and I read the preview chapters for this one that it was going to be a toughie. I’ll get to it at some point b/c I want to continue with the series. Time!!! LOL

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I am going to continue the series and just write this on off as something I couldn’t get behind. There was one huge issue for me that I didn’t want to spoil for others. Wish I could say why, but I don’t want to spoil it.

  • I was thinking that I wanted to read this series. Now I learn the the Hero leaves his wife starts a new relationship then goes back to his wife and after the wife dies, he starts it back up. This may be a bit much for me. Great review!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I would still recommend the series. The first two books were outstanding. This one just didn’t get to me the right way.