The first book in this series was seriously good, so reading this was a no-brainer for me. It’s light and sexy with a lot less angst than you’d expect from such a heavy storyline – baseball player recently released from prison and taking a good look at his life – with a relationship that feels real. I really enjoyed the first half, as these two opposites get to know each other in a new way. Personally, I felt like the second half was a little lackluster, the chemistry dulling and the amount of separation overtaking the story, but it turned itself around with a solid finish.
The story follows Connor, a pro baseball player whose career is in jeopardy. He’s a great player, but he’s not getting any younger, and after spending the last two years in prison (for a white collar crime he inadvertently committed), he’s got a fight ahead of him if he wants back on the team. Enter Allison, the team’s PR person, a workaholic whose own job is in question following a change in management. Allison’s only hope of saving her job is to rehab Connor’s career, so she’s got to put up with the grumpy, grumbly guy for the foreseeable future. As they two longtime acquaintances spend time together, their relationship changes and they begin to appreciate each other, flaws and all.
Julianna Keyes’ writing is great, with a storyline that’s interesting and characters who have depth. It’s definitely a more understated, serious read, which was a nice change of pace. While I liked these two as individuals, I did have a few problems with the relationship – they rush into the physical side of things, so the emotional build wasn’t as strong as I would’ve liked. There was just something missing there for me; it didn’t feel “romantic,” I guess. That being said, I liked the book the whole way through and never had trouble staying connected. There’s plenty of potential for stories about other players, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next. I received an ARC via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving a review of this sexy sports romance.
Kindle Edition: https://amzn.to/2WQORXo
As Public Relations Manager for the Charleston Thrashers, I’m responsible for protecting the team’s reputation. But after our right fielder gets sent to prison and we lose the World Series, my own reputation takes a huge hit. There’s only one way I can save my job: by revamping Connor Whitman’s tarnished ex-con image. Keeping my eye on the ball isn’t a problem until I discover what’s underneath his unkempt exterior—a man who’s unexpectedly vulnerable and distractingly sexy. Now, my professionalism is sailing far into foul territory.
I’ve served my time, and now I’m determined to reclaim my spot in the Thrashers’ outfield. Unfortunately, the new General Manager doesn’t want an aging ex-con on the roster, so I have no choice but to go along with Allison’s annoying scheme. Her bossiness drives me crazy—but so do her legs and her hair and her all-too-rare smiles. I can’t afford to fall for anyone when my focus needs to be on baseball, but love is a game I’ve never played before, and for the first time ever, I’m out of my league.