Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “We don’t have one-night stands, Georgia. We have forever-night stands.”
Leonardo “Leo” Trevi’s dream of being drafted into the major leagues has finally come true when he is picked up by a professional hockey team-the Brooklyn Bruisers. This talented player is shocked to find his new home comes with some old baggage- namely a certain Ms. Georgia Worthington. The woman he lost but never stopped loving. Leo has never been able to discover why she broke up with him the day of their high school graduation but he is determined to find out one way or another.
Georgia “Gigi” Worthington has spent the last six years putting her personal and professional life in order after surviving a sexual assault. The main handler of the Brooklyn Bruisers public relations, seeing Leo again brings back all the highs and lows of their shared past, but she is determined to keep their relationship purely professional. Leo knows he and Georgia are destined to be together but as Georgia struggles to define her feelings for Leo, there are also ex-girlfriends, nosy teammates, and a head coach who has a grudge against Leo to deal with. When an open microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for Georgia to the whole listening area, Georgia will have to decide if this rookie move will be the game changer they need to win the game of love.
Rookie Moves is a sweetly navigated second chance romance that overflows with humor, heartbreak, and delicious sexual tension as first love struggles to reconnect after a traumatic experience tore it apart. The smoldering chemistry, engaging narrative, and a cast of delightfully rambunctious characters keeps readers firmly engaged as Bowen slowly peels back the layers of this emotionally fueled romance while expertly balancing it with a fast paced multi-plotted storyline. Sports fans will particularly enjoy the attention to detail Bowen pays to the giving readers an in-depth look at the players and the people that run the show behind the scenes.
Second chance love is a favorite trope of mine. I love seeing two people who left each other’s lives for various reasons find that buried connection that still exists and work towards reconciliation. Even though it’s been six years, Leo and Georgia never stopped loving one another. The storyline here has some serious undertones and Bowen does a fantastic job of facilitating Leo and Georgia’s romance against the issues at hand. Bowen handles this storyline with sensitivity and respect. The emotional range is heart wrenching as we learn exactly why Georgia broke up with Leo and the extremes she went to try and not only repair herself but accept and move beyond what happened to her. She persevered…but at a price.
Breaking up with him was something I did because I had to. Not because I didn’t love him.
I liked Leo and grew to like Georgia for Leo. They are perfect together, each bringing out the best in the other. Georgia’s snarky wit, strong sense of self, and indomitable will to survive shows in her wonderful relationships with those around her. I loved her scenes with her roommate, Becca, and I can’t wait for her story. Could her HEA involve a young and elusive team owner? I certainly hope so!
When Bowen created her cast of beta heroes, she broke the mold with Leo Trevi. Sexy, sweet, compassionate, intelligent, talented, and a true romantic, Leo (or as I like to call him, Leo McDreamy Von Swoonypants) comprises all the characteristics I love in a hero. Fans will remember that Leo’s brother DJ was the hero of book five, The Fifteenth Minute. It’s there we learn of Leo’s broken heart and the girl who broke it. Leo delights with his bold sexuality, honest intentions, and infectious charm. He’s a force to be reckoned with on and off the ice. It’s nice to see a strong male lead who don’t carry a full load of dark emotional samsonite or fight their feelings to the bitter end. Leo and Georgia’s chemistry ignites throughout the story, made stronger by the love that already exists. I did have some issues with Georgia when it came to her feelings for Leo.
Leo delights with his bold sexuality, honest intentions, and infectious charm. He’s a force to be reckoned with on and off the ice. It’s nice to see a strong male lead who don’t carry a full load of dark emotional samsonite or fight their feelings to the bitter end. Leo and Georgia’s chemistry ignites throughout the story, made stronger by the love that already exists. I did have some issues with Georgia when it came to her feelings for Leo. Her stubbornness in giving their relationship another chance grew irksome at times. She chooses to hide herself and her feelings; not trusting Leo enough to be honest with him though he has proved more than once he is trustworthy. Yet, there was a part of me that could sympathize with her actions. Leo is exceptional in his patience. He knows what he lost by letting her go without a fight last time and refuses to allow that to happen again without using everything he has in his arsenal.
You can run, but you can’t hide… It’s on.
The main conflict blends well with the various subplots. Using a dual POV ensures that readers get both sides of the story, leaving no questions as to their feelings. Bowen injects her trademark humor to help offset the seriousness of the subject matter while opening the door to future storylines and possible couples. A dynamic cast of secondary characters adds to the realism and humor of the story. Miscommunication and assumptions are cleared up as Georgia accepts she cannot control the future nor allow it to control her while Leo finally acknowledges his own fear and guilt over the past.
Sarina Bowen shoots and scores with the first installment in her sport based professional hockey league series that spins off her popular bestselling NA The Ivy Years series. I am looking forward to the next in the series-Hard Hitter-set to release January 3, 2017. This is Patrick O’Doul’s story and I’m very interested in his back story.