Shenanigans; Brooklyn Bruisers #11
(A standalone within a series)
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Genre/Tropes: Sports/Fake Marriage/Roommate/Billionaire Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Review Rating: 4.5 Gold Stars
Waking up married in Vegas was just the catalyst to all the shenanigans that began Neil and Charlie’s (Cornelius and Charlotte) love story.
Lord do I love Cornelius as a name! LOL
What begins as a “what did I do last night” kind of story, turns into a fake marriage, friends to lovers, and so much more, sports romance. Neil and Charlie are friends and hockey mates. While Neil plays for the Bruisers, Charlie plays for the female equivalent team, Bombshells, for the same organization. When they were in Vegas for an all star event, one thing led to another and well….the rest is drunk married history.
Sarina Bowen writes romance and comedy that blend perfectly together with all the humility and steam that a romance titled Shenanigans needs and typically I LOVE Bowen’s books, but this one took a bit to grow on me. The chemistry between Neil and Charlie was just off. Neil wanted her desperately, but he was a gentleman through and through and while Charlie found Neil attractive, she was so hung up in her pride and bitterness that she couldn’t see through to the man who was in love with her right in front of her face.
I will start by saying that I completely understand where Charlie was coming from. Her feelings were totally justified, but…she literally slept with her bitter pride instead of snuggling up to the hot man next to her. Charlie respected that he stayed on his side of the bed and didn’t touch her. Ok not all romantic books need smexy times, but it also didn’t help raise the chemistry meter at all, but let’s move on. Charlie also wasn’t happy for her teammates, who actually were happy, that there was a packed stadium to watch them play after the news of her marriage came out. Sort of a me vs. team caring moment and that also made me like her just a tad less. What I’m getting at is basically, she never enjoyed the small moments and that honestly began to take away the enjoyment for me. It’s one thing when a character is grumpy and grouchy, but I like to see the armor crack in small doses. I enjoy seeing the sunny character break through and get under the grumpy characters skin. Neil did his best and Charlie is prideful to a fault, I wasn’t sure what he saw in her except a way to irritate his uncle, but perhaps I’m being too hard.
It’s truly not the plot that bothers me. When I’m reading I want to escape. I understand that Charlie is playing in a man’s world and feels weighed down by all of the inequity of what that brings. She’s bitter about being told to appreciate her opportunities and her lot in life. I get it, I truly do. However, her bitterness takes away from the chemistry that should be building between Neil and herself. She never allows it because it’s this huge weight between them. The inequality is always there and she wears it like a huge bolder. While I understand what happens in the real world, I see and live it everyday, however, I read to escape this horrible reality. Having Charlie point it out every other page was just not enjoyable and honestly I liked Neil’s POV a million times better.
Sooooo,this was a shenanigan good time, mostly. A 4.5 read overall.
What I meant to do in Vegas: Let my hair down for once and celebrate winning a medal at my first women’s hockey all-stars competition.
What I actually did: Got senior prom drunk and woke up married to Brooklyn’s star winger, the great Neil Drake.
He’s the heir to a billion dollars, and I barely survived my childhood. Our friendship is based strictly only on hockey, takeout food and smack talk.
And now holy matrimony. Although we both know it can’t last, especially once his evil family gets wind of our Vegas shenanigans…
Contains: Meddling teammates, meddling parents, ugly jewelry and a pretend-kiss that nearly sets the world on fire.
Releasing March 2022! Reserve your copy today!
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Audio: COMING SOON!