Tag Archives: Sports

Illegal Contact (The Barons # 1)

By Santino Hassell

Synopsis

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love. 

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

Review

I’ve not read a book from Santino Hassell before, but you can bet your ass I’m going to be reading more from him in the future, because ILLEGAL CONTACT was amazing.  It has everything you want in a romance: a great story, likable main and secondary characters, amazing chemistry, hot sex, a believable conflict and a sweet resolution.  I have to say that while I enjoyed the whole story, I really loved the final chapter.

I loved Gavin and Noah as a couple because they just fit.  Noah is sweet, loyal and kind—but assertive when he needs to be—while Gavin is an asshole, so they balance each other out nicely.  I say Gavin’s an asshole, but once you get to know him, he’s really not so bad, and Noah does a great job in smoothing out his rough edges.  He’s definitely standoffish and he doesn’t have a filter, but if he considers a person to be family, he’ll protect them fiercely.

ILLEGAL CONTACT is told in dual POVs and comes with a beautiful ending for Gavin and Noah.  The second book in the series, DOWN BY CONTACT, comes out in January 2018 and will be about Gavin’s teammate and friend, Simeon, and I cannot wait to read it.

Illegal Contact (The Barons # 1)

My Rating:  

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The Barons Series

Irresistible You (Chicago Rebels # 1)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

Harper Chase has just become the most powerful woman in the NHL after the death of her father Clifford Chase, maverick owner of the Chicago Rebels. But the team is a hot mess—underfunded, overweight, and close to tapping out of the league. Hell-bent on turning the luckless franchise around, Harper won’t let anything stand in her way. Not her gender, not her sisters, and especially not a veteran player with an attitude problem and a smoldering gaze designed to melt her ice-compacted defenses.

Veteran center Remy “Jinx” DuPre is on the downside of a career that’s seen him win big sponsorships, fans’ hearts, and more than a few notches on his stick. Only one goal has eluded him: the Stanley Cup. Sure, he’s been labeled as the unluckiest guy in the league, but with his recent streak of good play, he knows this is his year. So why the hell is he being shunted off to a failing hockey franchise run by a ball-buster in heels? And is she seriously expecting him to lead her band of misfit losers to a coveted spot in the playoffs?

He’d have a better chance of leading Harper on a merry skate to his bed…

Review

Wow!  IRRESISTIBLE YOU was so good that when I should have been reading my notes and getting my review done, I instead spent a couple of hours skimming through the story again.

“I speak and you think of sex?”
“You exist and I think of sex.”

I love reading a story that centers around a strong, kick-ass woman with a soft side, and Harper fits that description to a T.  After her father’s death, she thought she’d be the sole owner of the failing Chicago Rebels NHL team, a role she’s been working towards her whole life.  But thanks to him being intent on screwing her over from his reserved seat in hell, she’s forced to run the team with two women she barely knows; her half-sisters Isobel and Violet.  Getting to know and bond with them is just one of the many hurdles she has to overcome throughout this story.  The pressure of creating a successful NHL team is higher than normal, because everyone watching is expecting her to fail simply because she’s a woman, and I loved it when people realized they’d underestimated her.

Remy may have started out disrespectful and blackmailed Harper into making a deal she didn’t want to, but he’s actually a very nice guy.  He’s also sweet, smart, chivalrous, charming, has a wicked sense of humor and is definitely a keeper.  He was so good for Harper, and not just as a lover and a friend, but because of his desire to see her succeed when everyone else was waiting for—and wanting—her to fail.  I really got the sense that together, they make a great team.

IRRESISTIBLE YOU is told in dual POVs and comes with a nice HEA for Remy and Harper.  I assume that this series will, at the very least, follow each of the three sisters as they find their special someones.  Will the series continue on after all three women have found their forever happiness?  I hope so, because so far, I’m really enjoying this series.

Irresistible You (Chicago Rebels # 1)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Delivery Girl (Minnesota Ice # 1)

By Lily Kate

Synopsis

Good things come in extra-large, smoking hot packages.

Things like pizza.

The very pizzas that I deliver for my dad’s restaurant, Peretti’s Pizza. It’s a temporary job, something to pay the bills until I graduate from school, but it does the trick. In fact, it’s working quite well until Ryan Pierce of the Minnesota Stars decides to order a pizza from me, and life as I know it turns upside down.

You see, Ryan Pierce doesn’t just open his front door. He opens it buck naked. And suddenly, I’m not the one boasting the biggest, hottest package in the room. However, it’s what happens next that gives me butterflies whenever my phone beeps. Ryan starts to call, and then text, and then fifteen pizza deliveries and one fantastic night later, we’re friends with benefits.

So when he asks me to be his fake girlfriend at his brother’s wedding, I’m happy to help. But the longer we pretend, the more I worry that this is one package I might not be able to handle.

Review

I had DELIVERY GIRL on my TBR list for six months before I finally got around to reading it.  With all the positive reviews, along with the great sounding synopsis and it being about a hockey player, I thought it was a shoe-in for being a great read.  Unfortunately, I really struggled with this book.  It took me three days to read it and several times I considered not finishing it, but ultimately I kept going in the hopes it would get better.  For me, it did not.

Firstly, I can’t remember anything personal about Ryan and Andi, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between them.  What I do remember is that they spent almost the entire story trying to figure out their relationship.  Is it just friendship?  Is it friendship with benefits?  Is it a relationship?  If so, can it work?  Is it real?  Is it fake?  The status of their relationship was brought up by both parties in almost every chapter, and that kind of repetitive thinking quickly became irritating.

Secondly, I thought it was odd that Andi knew who Ryan was before she met him, knew that he was a famous hockey player who is predicted to become very big in the NHL, yet she knew nothing about the game, going so far as to call the puck a “little black thingy”.  If the man stars in your fantasies, you’d be watching his games just to see more of him and would therefore quickly learn a lot about the game.

Thirdly, why would an up-and-coming player, one without a history of bad behavior, have to beg for a new agent and a new team?  If he’s really that good and has great potential, agents and teams would be knocking down his door to get him.

Finally, the agent’s behavior bothered me greatly.  What kind of agent prefers their clients to be manwhores over being in committed relationships?  What kind of agent threatens a potential (yes, potential) client with ruination if he doesn’t break up with his girlfriend before signing with them?  The agent gets the next book in the series, but I disliked her so much that even if I loved this book, I’d have no desire to read her story.

DELIVERY GIRL is told in dual POVs and comes with a nice HEA for Ryan and Andi.  The story takes place during the off season, so if you’re after some hockey action, you won’t find it here.  I know my complaints may seem minor, petty and too technical to some people, but when they affect my overall enjoyment of the story, I can’t help but fixate on them.  It pains me to give a bad review, especially to a debut author, but going by all the positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I’m clearly in the minority with my opinions.

Delivery Girl (Minnesota Ice # 1)

My Rating:  

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Minnesota Ice Series

Sexy Bad Daddy (Sexy Bad # 2)

By Misti Murphy & Tami Lund

Synopsis

Once upon a time Garrett Frost, bad boy of professional golf, found out he had a two year old daughter.

Okay, okay, it wasn’t that long ago. His escapades are still in the media, and his sponsors are all in a tail spin, but his daughter sure is cute.

That’s where I come in. I’m his nanny. The kid’s nanny. Of course, I’m not his. He’s older, my employer, totally off limits. And I can’t forget that, even if he makes me want to fall for him with every lingering gaze, each secret touch.

He’s trying so hard to reform his professional image and be the father his daughter deserves. If anyone knew he was screwing his nanny it’d be all over the media, ruining his sponsorships, and affecting his relationship with his daughter. Or worse, convincing everyone we could be a family.

But Garrett Frost’s family is the game and his daughter. There’s no room for me. So why does it feel like I’ve finally found my forever?

Review

SEXY BAD DADDY is the second book in the Sexy Bad series and after reading the first book, I was very eager to read this one.  Sadly, I didn’t find it as enjoyable as the previous book.  I didn’t feel any chemistry between Garrett and Erin at all and it just didn’t hold my attention as easily as SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR did.

I liked Erin, who takes her nanny job very seriously and falls in love with every child she looks after.  She made a bad decision when she was 18, and it has followed her around for every job she’s had since.  There’s a big age difference between Erin and Garrett (she’s 26, he’s 37), but in regards to their maturity levels, there was no difference at all because until recently, Garrett hadn’t needed to grow up.  I don’t really have a lot to say about Garrett, other than he has a gorgeous daughter that he didn’t know about until six months ago, and yet she immediately became his entire world…next to golf of course.

What I found interesting is that it wasn’t the two main characters who stood out in this story, but instead it was Erin’s best friend, Danny, who did.  He wasn’t in the story very much, but when he was, he brought the laughs with him.  His weird obsession with stealing Garrett’s belongings (because he’s a huge fan) and being a thorn in Garrett’s side provided most of the entertainment in this story.

While SEXY BAD DADDY is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  It is told in dual POVs and comes with a nice HEA for Garrett and Erin.

Sexy Bad Daddy (Sexy Bad # 2)

My Rating:  

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Sexy Bad Series

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye # 2)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A basketball game changed both their lives.

When they were only teenagers, Axel and Caxton were caught making out in the woods at church camp. And afterward, Cax had disappeared from all the youth group activities.

Six years later, Axel is astonished to spot his first love’s face in the crowd of a college basketball game he’s watching on TV—at a school which has just offered him a job. It’s a thousand miles away, in a tiny rural town. But suddenly, he can’t wait to get there.

Cax can’t believe his eyes when Axel appears in the same Massachusetts town where he now lives. And he’s still just as drawn to Axel as ever. But he can’t let himself go there again, because loving Axel will mean giving up everything else he holds dear.

Both men have so much to lose. But as far as their love is concerned, it’s Hello Forever.



Review

My review for HELLO FOREVER is going to be short and sweet, because I’m in the middle of moving and I just don’t have the time to write my usual lengthy review.

I loved this story and I loved it’s two main characters, Cax and Axel.  They are both so kind and sweet, and they really were perfect for each other.  I also loved Axel’s co-worker, Boz, who was hilarious.  He wasn’t really in the story much, but when he was, he was definitely memorable.

One thing I thought was interesting is that, from memory, there are only two female characters in this story: Axel’s mother; and Cax’s best friend, Amy.  Every other character was male.  I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it was certainly something that really stood out to me.

HELLO FOREVER is told in dual POVs and, while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The previous couple, Josh and Caleb, make an appearance, and it was good to see them again.  Will there be more books in this series?  I’m not sure, but I really hope so.

Hello Forever (Hello Goodbye # 2)

My Rating:  

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Hello Goodbye Series

Phantom (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 5)

By Michelle Irwin

Synopsis

When she came home she had nothing left, but now she wants it all.

After fighting her way back from tragedy, Phoebe Reede is ready to claim the life she deserves. With Beau at her side, she thinks it might be possible. Only, the things she wants are out of her reach. 

Can Phoebe find joy in what she has, or will she destroy her own happiness chasing a phantom?

Review

Phoebe and Beau’s story is one that has captivated me since the very first page; it’s been a real page turner and has kept me on the edge of my seat.  While I give PHANTOM 5❤️, I have to say that this was my least favourite book in the series.  Phoebe had to fight several more battles, and I think I’ve just gotten to the point where I’m like, “She’s been through enough already.  Leave her alone and let her have some happiness.”  Because if anyone deserves peace and joy in her life, it’s Phoebe.

Phoebe has come a long way, but she still has a ways to go.  A dream that once meant everything to her now means nothing, and without it, she’s not sure what to do with her life anymore.  Because of that, I felt she made some huge life-changing decisions for the wrong reasons.  These decisions were giant red flags for me; flags that Beau and her parents couldn’t⎯or didn’t want to⎯see.

Beau is still an absolute sweetheart, but in regards to one situation, maybe he was too much of a sweetheart.  His willingness to sacrifice his happiness for Phoebe is admirable, but also a little dangerous.  While I respect he wants to make her happy, he has to think about his own happiness⎯and sanity⎯as well.  Honestly, I think both Phoebe and Beau would benefit greatly from going back into therapy.

In regards to other characters, I wasn’t a fan of the whole Angel situation, and that’s all I’ll say about that.  Veronica was an interesting addition to the story, but sadly one that was not explored enough.  Will we get more of her in the next story?  Only time will tell.  Finally, Declan.  Well Declan is still awesome.

“What happened to my protective Daddy who was certain no one would ever be good enough for his little girl?”
“He met a guy that proved him wrong time and time again.”

PHANTOM is told only in Phoebe’s POV and, as with the previous story, it doesn’t end in a cliffhanger.  In fact, it actually comes with a nice HFN ending.  That being said, this is not the end for Phoebe and Beau, whose story will conclude in BEACON, which comes out in August.

Phantom (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 5)

My Rating:  

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Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story Series

Stay (WAGs # 2)

By Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Synopsis

Can you fall for someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch–an anonymous virtual assistant service–is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson. 

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting…until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth–that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Review

STAY is book 2 in the WAGs series and once again, Sarina and Elle did not disappoint.  The story.  The main characters.  The secondary characters.  I loved it all.

“I was thinking about what you said yesterday at the store.  About how you’ve never really dated?”
“Oh. That.”
“I don’t know, it seems kind of unfair that you’ve never been on a real date.  I thought I’d change that.”

I don’t know how they manage to do it, but Sarina and Elle have an amazing way of writing male leads that are so easy to love, and Matt is no exception.  He’s funny, sweet and a great father to his two daughters.  He’s also good husband material, despite his ex-wife’s claims and the emotional abuse she dumped on him throughout⎯and after⎯their marriage.  Hailey, having recently gone through a divorce herself, was a great match for Matt.  They both lost confidence in themselves when their spouses left, so I felt they were on equal footing when it came to their relationship, and both knew they had to tread lightly.  I loved their online flirting in the beginning, but my favourite scene was when Matt texted Hailey during their dinner date because she was so nervous.  It was the perfect blend of sweet, endearing and hot.

We got a couple of scenes with the hockey WAGs, who are loyal and supportive, and just a great group of women all around.  A special shout out has to go to Hailey’s best friend, Jenny, as well as Mr Dick.  In fact, if Sarina and Elle are reading this review, I’d like to put in a request for Jenny and Mr Dick to get their own story.

STAY is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I get the feeling that Matt’s teammate, O’Connor, will get the next book and, judging by his reaction to a certain woman in this story, it should be interesting.  I’m looking forward to it and it can’t come soon enough.

Stay (WAGs # 2)

My Rating:  

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WAGs Series

Him Duet (Connected Series)

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels # 0.5)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

He’ll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn’t looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she’s due a little fun. She just hadn’t reckoned on the “fun” escalating so quickly to “out of control.” One minute she’s flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford “Killer” Callaghan can’t believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He’ll track her down because once could never be enough–even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, this sexy prequel to the Chicago Rebels hockey series features an older, curvy woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you’ll swoon over. Bonus: Includes the first chapter of Irresistible You, the first full-length book in the Chicago Rebels series.

Review

IN SKATES TROUBLE is the prequel novella of the Chicago Rebels series.  Here we are introduced to Ford and Addy, whose first sexual encounter was definitely…unique.  I loved the fact that they never had sex in a bed.  Not.  Once.

I liked Addy, but she’s still trying to come to terms with the fact that she “allowed” her ex-husband to control her every move while they were married.  Because of this, she got upset (overly, in my opinion) when Ford tried to pave the way for them to be together, out in the open.  I loved Ford.  He’s six years younger than Addy, but he knew he wanted to know her before he’d even laid eyes on her.  Her voice and boldness made him want her.  There’s something to be said about a man who is not afraid of his feelings for a woman; one who is willing to jeopardise everything to be with her.

“You like him. I could tell at the dinner table before you sullied my first-floor guest bathroom with your hot ‘n’ heavy fuckfest.”

IN SKATES TROUBLE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Ford and Addy.  The other “main” character we were introduced to was Harper, the daughter of the Chicago Rebels owner, and she’ll get the next book.  This story isn’t all sunshine and roses, but for the most part I found it to be a light and enjoyable read.

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels # 0.5)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Wasted Words

By Staci Hart

Synopsis

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

Review

WASTED WORDS is the first book I’ve read from Staci Hart, and I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it like I hoped I would.  Which is a shame, because the blurb sounded like something I’d really be into: Hot Jock (Tyler) falls in love with Geeky Girl (Cam) who doesn’t know how beautiful she really is.

While I liked Tyler a lot, I found Cam completely unlikeable and it was her behaviour that proved too much to overcome.  She was supposed to be smart and funny, but I found her to be childish, too insecure and downright bitchy when something didn’t go her way.  She thought she knew what was best for everyone, so when they threw a wrench in her plans, she threw a tantrum.  Literally.

Unfortunately, my issues with WASTED WORDS didn’t end with Cam.  It was a slow moving book that became a struggle for me to finish, so much so that I ended up skipping sections without feeling like I missed anything important.  I noticed some thoughts and comments were repeated, as well as several spelling mistakes and missing words throughout.

WASTED WORDS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HFN ending for Tyler and Cam.  It does appear to be a stand-alone, but I know at least one other couple have had a book written about them.

Wasted Words

My Rating:  

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Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Review

PIPE DREAMS is a second-chance romance between Lauren and Mike, who broke up two years before due to a personal issue Mike had to deal with.  I won’t lie, how Mike ended their relationship years ago was all kinds of wrong, but then I guess there wouldn’t be a story if he had ended things the right way.

“Who’s the only one who really harmed me?”
“I am.”
“Good guess! And two years later I’m still waiting for the only apology that ever mattered.”

Due to Lauren’s cold and unfriendly demeanor in the previous two books, I was worried I wouldn’t like her in her own story.  But after being in her head for a few pages, I wasn’t worried anymore.  We find out why she acts the way she does—and I could certainly understand it—but in this book her demeanor does a complete 180, which is normally great, but I felt it changed too quickly and easily.  I liked Mike; he’s a nice guy and a good dad, but he didn’t make me swoon.  I admired the reason behind his breakup with Lauren, but again, he could have handled it so much better.

Even two years later, one glance at him made her remember how quickly her love had been thrown away.  Like yesterday’s trash.

Just like the change in Lauren’s behaviour, I felt their relationship was rekindled too easily.  Yes, Lauren tells Mike exactly how badly he hurt her, and they don’t come together until the second half of the book (from memory), but they fall into bed and then fall back into a relationship without any real discussion, while making a huge life changing decision.

PIPE DREAMS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The story includes flashbacks to when they first dated, and I don’t know why but I had a hard time following the switch between the past and present.  I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy PIPE DREAMS, but I really did.  It held my attention and Lauren and Mike are both likeable characters.  It’s just that after several days between reading it and reviewing it, these are the points that stand out the most.  We get a lovely HEA for Lauren and Mike, and it looks like we’ve seen some progress in the potential relationship between Nate and Becca.  Nate seems like such a geeky sweetheart and I know I’m not the only one who’d love to see their story.

Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

My Rating:  

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Brooklyn Bruisers Series