Friday, March 18, 2022

Shenanigans by Sarina Bowen - ARC Review & Release Blitz

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.

I have been on pins and needles waiting for this book-and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint! I was hooked right from the start of this book and loved every moment of this sweet, sassy, utterly amazing journey. I laughed, I cried, I swooned and ended with a huge grin on my face.

Charli is one tough cookie. She has a heck of a story-one I didn't fully anticipate-that definitely moved me. I was in her corner throughout the entire book. She is sassy, witty and so guarded with her friends. I connected to that vulnerable side and just wanted to hug her. Charli is a fabulous book friend and I'm glad I got to know her here.

Neil. Oh, Neil. Talk about unexpected! This man swept me off my feet for sure. Shoutout to the author as well for writing so knowledgeably about his medical condition. As someone who grew up with a sibling who is diabetic it was nice to see some things not glossed over. I appreciated Neil's attempt to care for everyone in his life. He's smart, strong and sexy. Can't go wrong with that combo.

These two had such a unique story to tell. And I bought it. I believed everything about them and i truly loved finding out more about them. Their sexy times? Scorchingly hot. But the time they took to learn about one another was so sweet and realistic.

Now, I'm a fan of this author and there are some characters who have appeared in her other books that are also in this book. You CAN read this as a standalone but I guarantee you'll go back and read the others. These supporting characters enhance the story for Charli and Neil -nosy teammates are always fun IMO. I guarantee you're going to fall in love with them all. The writing just flowed and I really felt like I was part of this world.

Jason Clarke and Vanessa Edwin were superb at bringing these characters to life. I could listen to them all day. In fact, I may have already re-listened to this book because I enjoyed the performances that much.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. I would give it more than five stars if I could. Trust me, go grab your copy today!!! You won't regret it.

This is the 2nd "Oops I got married in Vegas" book I have read in the last month. I know what you are thinking, that we have ALL read about 500 of these titles and that they are all the same. That's where you are wrong, while this one starts out as a marriage in Vegas, it quickly becomes so much more.

This title deals with chronic illness and life as someone with one, it touches on women in professional sports, the pay disparity, difficult family dynamics, and childhood abuse.

See? Told you there was a lot more going on than just an accidental Vegas wedding. And, while there are some seriously heavy topics going through this one, it never loses it's ability to work well and it never loses it's focus on the romance between Charli and Neil.

This, I think, is what sets Sarina Bowen apart from other authors. She manages to tell a story about real people, with the real struggles people have in their lives, without making the characters seem fake (or like you are being preached at to pay women more in sports (we should) or to treat people with chronic illnesses as productive members of society (we have some work on this front too) without making the reader feel like the author is making a point about anything other than the idea that people are all different and come into any given situation with a perspective driven by the life they have led up until the point in their story that we meet them in a novel. Not only were the characters relatable, I genuinely liked both Charli and Neil and found them to be people that you like and that you want to see happy, which is essential for a romance to really work, and this one did.

While this is part of a couple of different Brooklyn series titles, it can be read as a standalone. There are characters from previous books who appear, but it's not distracting if you don't know who they are, and if you do it's fun to see them again.

I enjoyed and recommend this title.


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