Review: Shooting for the Stars by Sarina Bowen


This review counts to the TBR Challenge 2015, hosted by Wendy at the Misadvetures of a Super Librarian. This month's topic is contemporary romance and this winter sports romance fits the bill. 

Title: Shooting for the Stars (Gravity #3)
Author: Sarina Bowen
Genre: Contemporary romance, sports
Release Date: 16 March 2015

Author's links:
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My rating: 3.5 Stars
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For one night she had everything.

Pro snowboarder Stella Lazarus has always loved her brother's best friend. But the one time she tried to show him, she was shot down faster than you can say "competitor disqualified."

Until one blissful night in Tahoe, when Stella finally gets her man.

Or does she? In the morning, Stella and Bear wake up to horrible news. The sort that sends them racing back to Vermont, and straight into the arms of guilt and family obligations.

For all of Bryan “Bear” Barry’s life, three natural laws held true: his best friend Hank was destined for greatness, Hank’s sister Stella was off-limits, and Bear would always manage to negotiate the rocky paths that life threw his way. In the space of two days, that’s all shattered. 

Bear can't believe he slipped up so badly with Stella. Even if his best friend wasn’t lying broken in a hospital bed, it would still be unforgivable. Determined to do better, he devotes himself to his friend's recovery, denying himself the very person he loves. And the very thing he needs.


I love Sarina Bowen's NA college/hockey series, The Ivy Years, and I rather enjoyed the previous book in this adult/winter sport series, Falling from the Sky. 

This one worked even better for me. Little sister and big brother's best friend coupled with friends-to-lovers trope is one I generally enjoy and most sports romances are a hit with me. This is nicely done, low on angst, easy flowing and overall all sweet love story. 

Both Bear and Stella were sports people and I really loved this aspect of the story. Their romance happens at a bad time for both of them - Hank's incident chnages both their perspective on life and it brings them closer together as well as tearing them apart. 

Stella was a great heroine and I'm happy that Ms Bowen created a strong-willed woman determined to make it in the sports world. She had so much going against her, (her brother's success and subsequent incident, her own serious illness as a child, the resistance/lack of support from her family), yet she never gave up and worked hard to follow her dream of free ride snowboarding. 

She was just as stubborn in her affection for Bear. He was also an itneresting character. Coming from the wrogn side of the tracks, always in the orbit of the Lazarus' family but never quite one of them. His life was in a complete trumoil, losing his safe ground and wandering where to go next, yet he stood by Hank and his family. His selflessness and loyalty totally won me over. And it was easy to relate to his sense of loss of direction in life, feeling of inferiority, not deserving someone as strong and determined as Stella. 

There was some going back and forth in their romance, some angst but also really intense feelings and sense of characters belonging together. I really liked the way Hank accepted things, no over-the-top drama, just a normal reaction of being happy because Bear and Stella are happy together. 

The ending was a bit too sweet for me, wrapping things nicely for everyone, more of a fantasy and wishful thinking than reality, but romance is meant to leave you happy and hopeful for the characters and this one did just that.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / iBooks

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More of my reviews of Sarina Bowen's books:
Falling from the Sky (Gravity #2) - 3.5 Stars
The Year We Fell Down (Ivy Years #1) - 4.5 stars
The Year We Hid Away ( Ivy Years #2) - 4 stars
The Understatement of the Year (Ivy Years #3) - 4 stars

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