You'd think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You'd be wrong.
For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don't know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.
When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It's what friends do. But what friends don't do is rip off each others' clothes for a single, wild night together.
Now she's avoiding me. She says we're too different, and it can never happen again. So why can't we keep our hands off each other?
This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
We finally have Nate and Rebecca's book, y'all! To everyone who has read at least one of the Brooklyn Bruisers novels, you know there's something going on between the tech billionaire owner of the hockey team and his right-hand woman. Brooklynaire was three books in the making, but it was worth the wait. It was just as sweet and satisfying as I imagined it to be.
"My life is constant noise... When you kiss me, everything goes quiet. That's the only time I can forget everyone else."
To first-time Brooklyn Bruisers readers, you're in for a treat! This sweet and steamy friends-to-lovers romance, with hints of angst and forbidden feelings in the workplace, is filled with all the pent-up tension two people who have been harboring feelings for each other for years can possibly have.
Tech genius and Brooklyn Bruisers owner Nate Kattenberger and his office manager Rebbeca Rowley have been working together for seven years, but for at least half those years, the two have been feeling more and more for each other. The only reason they have never once acted on it is because of their great friendship and work relationship.
When Rebecca gets injured, forcing her to take a few weeks off work, Nate does everything he can to help her feel better. And now that they've got the chance to spend time together outside of work, it's even harder to ignore the attraction and connection that's basically screaming at them.
But as mentioned above, there's a reason Nate and Becca have never acted on their feelings for so long. It might ruin their long-standing friendship and complicate their work relationship, too. And it's even harder for Rebbeca since she's working for Nate. She can't risk losing her job, especially not now that she's supporting her sister, husband and baby.
In Brooklynaire, we get to see a little more of the history between Nate and Becca, when she joined the team, and when the non-platonic feelings for each other started coming in. I loved reading about their relationship! The progression was so gradual, sweet AND sizzling with all the sexual tension.
And I just have to say this, but when heroes think their heroines are "f*ing adorable", it does crazy things to my heart. Nate is attracted to Becca, and he also thinks she's sexy, but I love it so much that he thinks she and everything she does is adorable. It's obvious how much he adores her, how he thinks the world of her, and just, ahhh. The feels!
I loved the Jane Austen references, Bingley, THE PALINDROMES!!!, the banter between them, and pretty much everything related to this couple. Nate and Becca were both lovable characters, so it was even easier to root for them. Thanks to the seven years of working together, they have formed a great bond and rapport. It was heartwarming to see how much one understood the other, they have each other's back, and that they would do whatever they can for one another. It's not an "I can't live without you", but an "I can live without you, but I'd rather not". An "I'm great on my own, but we can also be great together."
If you've read the previous Brooklyn Bruisers novels, you'll see a lot of familiar faces here. And this is set at the same time as Pipe Dreams, so yes. I guess you'll see it on the other side now haha!
Brooklynaire is a standalone, so it's not necessary to read the previous books. You don't have to worry about feeling lost any step of the way. But still, I highly recommend reading the first three books!
Tropes: Boss-Employee, Friends to Lovers, Office Romance, Sports—Hockey
POV: Present: First Person, Dual POV;
Past: Third Person
I grab a towel off a waiting stack of them and toss it onto the edge. “You can sit and put your feet in.”
She’s wearing a short little knit dress that’s been making me crazy all evening, so it would be easy enough for her to strip off those stockings, sit on the towel, and drop both feet in.
And that’s what she does. She eases one stocking down over a smooth knee and tugs it off.
I don’t want to stand there staring like a middle-school boy. Okay, I do want to. But I don’t want to make her uncomfortable. So I go over to the sound system instead, and I set my phone on the speaker and cue up a really old playlist. One she’ll recognize.
When I turn around again, she’s seated on the towel, both legs hanging down into the churning water. “Ah. Wow.” She looks up at me, her eyes sparkling. “Nice place you got here.”
“Isn’t it?” I toe off my shoes and kick them to the side.
The first song comes on, and it’s a Macklemore tune that we used to play far too often in our first office. Rebecca laughs immediately. “You didn’t! I haven’t heard this playlist in forever. But I’ll bet I still know every transition. Lady Gaga is next.”
“She sure is.”
Rebecca kicks her feet, making a splash. “I have a little confession to make.”
“What’s that?” I loosen my tie and slide the knot out.
“Well…” She grins up at me. “I used to have a crush on you. Back in the early days.”
My hands freeze on the tie silk. “Get out of town. You did not.”
“No, I really did.” Her cheeks are pink. “That first year especially. But you were taken, and you were my boss. Those two things made it pretty easy to tamp down, when you’re a practical girl like me.”
I walk over and drop down beside her, my back to the water, though, because I’m still wearing trousers and socks. “So how does that work, exactly?”
“What?” She gives me a sidelong glance, but then looks away again and won’t meet my eyes.
“How do you stop wanting someone? I’m a practical person, but I don’t see how that makes it any easier. Nothing seems to mute the raging attraction I have for you.”
Her chin turns quickly toward me, and I seize the opportunity to kiss her. And it only takes one kiss—one slide of my lips over hers, and I’m on fire again.
We’re facing opposite directions, so it’s awkward as hell. But I don’t even care. I take greedy sip after greedy sip of her mouth, until she pulls back to stare at me. Her color is high and her eyes are bright and happy. “This is like Twister.”
“It’s better,” I correct. Lady Gaga comes on, just as Becca said she would. “Are we getting into this pool or what?”
Becca kicks a foot in the water. “I’m tempted. But I don’t have a bathing suit.”
She smiles and shakes her head. “Are you really getting in?”
“We don’t have to.” I’m never going to pressure her.
Her fingers trail across the surface of the bubbling water. “But this is an adventure, right?”
“Right.” I stand up and remove my socks. She’s watching me. And I can’t read her expression. “What?”
“Just wondering what else you’re going to take off.” She smiles.
“Come here.” The order rolls off my tongue.
But Rebecca doesn’t blink. She gets up and turns toward me, curiosity in her eyes.
“You tell me. What am I taking off?”
She puts two hands tentatively on my chest, and I make myself be patient. Everything I ever wanted is on the other side of this moment. I just need us to break through this awkwardness—the “will we or won’t we” tension.
Her fingers find the top button of my shirt. “I’m not getting in the water unless you are.”
That’s a compromise I can live with. I find my lower shirt buttons and work upwards, until we meet in the middle. She pushes the two halves of my shirt apart and runs a hand down my bare chest.
My inner caveman stands up and cheers.