Rookie Move is the third book of Ms. Bowen’s that I’ve read in 2016 and, not surprisingly, I’m singing its praises. A spin-off of the highly praised, bestselling Ivy Years series, this new release focuses on Leo Trevi and the woman he loved and lost long ago, but never got over, Georgia Worthington. As I’m sure everyone is aware by now, second chance romances are my catnip, add in this author’s brilliant storytelling and I’m all in.
Once upon a time he’d loved her. And when he’d stopped, it wasn’t really his fault.
Leo and Georgia dated in high school and were everything to each other. Then a traumatic experience in their senior year tore them apart. Leo went on to Harkness College where he worked to improve his hockey game with the hopes of someday ending up in the NHL. Trying to leave her nightmares behind, Georgia goes off to college, earns her degree and then works hard to secure her spot as the head publicist to the newest franchise in the NHL, the Brooklyn Bruisers. But six years isn’t long enough to forget what they once were to each other when Leo ends up as the newest rookie player on the Bruisers. Each are stunned to see the other, and to make matters worse Leo’s true feelings are revealed on an open microphone at his first press conference. From that moment on their romantic history becomes something the media wants to know more about and something they will have to fight or accept to be able to work together.
I think the thing I love the most about Sarina Bowen’s writing is that her characters and their situations are just so real. I understand them, I connect with them, I get why they think and act the way they do. The conflict between Leo and Georgia stems from something that happened to Georgia during her senior year in high school. I won’t say exactly what that is here for those readers not already familiar with this author’s Ivy Years series, but if you’ve read The Fifteenth Minute then you know exactly what that traumatic event is. What you don’t understand quite yet is why Georgia made the decision she did and how Leo has dealt with it in the years they were apart.
After Leo and Georgia are literally thrown together in impossible circumstances, it quickly becomes clear that their chemistry is still off the charts and their feelings for each other haven’t dimmed in the slightest. Let me just say this before I get into all the sweetness and mushiness of Leo and Georgia finding their way to each other again… I’m not sure how anyone will be able to resist falling in love with Leo Trevi. He’s just so swoon worthy and dreamy. I mean for real, how do you not love a hero who stands up for the woman he loves even though he hasn’t seen her in six long years? HOW? I kept looking for something that would be even remotely unappealing about him and never, not once could I come up with anything. His love for Georgia shines through from the first page, his understanding of her and his willingness to give her whatever she needed when ever she needed it had me falling fast and hard for him. He’s all the best parts of an alpha male and a beta male rolled up into one sexy, loving, honorable man.
Then there is Georgia. An amazingly resilient woman who has been through hell and come through the other side stronger than ever. Her reasons for breaking it off with Leo made perfect sense to me. I understood her heartache and frustrations. I was able to see why she needed to break away from something she thought was lost to her. I got it. I respected her for it. I also knew that her hesitancy about getting back into a relationship with Leo was all about fear over losing something she so desperately loved for a second time. Georgia is a heroine you can firmly stand behind and root for. Georgia is a heroine who readers will love.
Which leads me to Georgia and Leo together. There is laughter and tears, heartwarming flashback scenes of them falling in love for the first time, and heartbreaking scenes of them reuniting again. They are sexy. They are lovely and romantic. They are everything I could have asked for in a second chance romance. Everything.
Rookie Move is another win for Sarina Bowen. I loved this introduction to the Brooklyn Bruisers and have already put the second book in the series, Hard Hitter, due out in January, on my TBR list. Final Grade- B+
He grabbed her in a hug and buried his nose in her hair. “It’s exactly this easy. You and me, alone together. There’s not one thing about it that’s complicated. You’re mine, Georgia Worthington. I don’t care what your fucking dad thinks. I spent six years trying to get over you, and it didn’t take. Our time is now.”