Returning to the Alphabet Variations Challenge:
For this letter, I decided to explore my new found appreciation for Sarina Bowen’s work by reading Brooklynaire, published in 2018.
This book is part of Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series about a professional hockey team based in … Brooklyn. However, even though it wasn’t the first book written for the series, you could certainly start with it without missing much. This story involves the billionaire tech genius Nathan “Nate” Kattenberger, who owns the team, and Rebecca “Becca” Rowley, his once faithful assistant who was transferred out of his corporate office in Manhattan to manage the office of his hockey team in Brooklyn. While Rebecca is puzzled and somewhat hurt by the transfer, she lives in Brooklyn, loves the hockey team, and enjoys her new responsibilities. What Becca doesn’t know is that part of the reason Nate has traded down-to-earth Becca to Brooklyn for Lauren, who is a sleek, polished blonde who had been working in the hockey offices, is that 1) Lauren had a relationship with the Bruisers’ goalie that went sour and 2) Nate has had a thing for Becca for many years and isn’t sure about her feelings, but is definitely sure she would be disinclined to date her boss. For the first quarter or so of the book, Nate and Becca dance around their feelings not admitting them to each other. But, after an accident on the ice that leaves Becca with a concussion and an ill-advised tipsy evening some time later, Nate and Becca have a night together that changes everything. Can Nate finally get Becca to date him, and can Becca put her insecurities about her education, looks, and lack of cash aside to accept the attentions of a handsome billionaire with a big brain.
This story is told in alternate chapters from Nate and Becca’s points of view. It also moves back in time to give us a little history on the couple’s early work relationship, during Nate’s company’s rise, as well as on their individual lives that made them who they are. For that reason, this book has a bit more depth than I expected. It also has a wonderful sense of humor. The characters are written as funny, smart, ambitious people with understandable hang-ups as well as concerns. I did not find either of their reasons for not being together, initially, to be farfetched. I also appreciated all the supporting characters – some of whom have their own books or soon will. I especially enjoyed Heidi Jo, Becca’s bubbly intern, and the almost human Bingley, the computer generated guardian of Nate’s home. What pushed this book from a solid “A” to an “A-“ were some overly dramatic developments towards the end of the story that ultimately came to nothing and were unnecessary. Everything but the kitchen sink seemed to be thrown at the couple, I guess to prove their commitment. I also thought that Nate’s solution to Becca’s concerns about working for her significant other was farfetched too, but this is something of a fairytale romance, so I went with it. Still, this is definitely a good read and I look forward to reading others from the series.
The Alphabet Variation Challenge – 12 down, 7 to go (A, B, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, S …)
The Phonics Challenge – 3 down, 16 to go