Author: Alison Packard
Page Count: 241
Published: Carina Press, 2013
How different this book turned out to be than what I expected, not that it was anything bad, but what I did expect, was a light romance with a little bit of sports for seasoning. What I got, however, was a lovely romance that involved characters who had to deal with their personal demons, characters I was able to connect with.
Kelly Maxwell is the publicist for the San Francisco Blaze baseball team, and it is her job to arrange and deal with everything media related for the team. She loves her job, she handles things pretty good, but all that happy soon meets the wall that is Matt Scanlon. Matt is the new catcher, transferred to the Blaze after a year he spent in ruining his reputation, he now wants nothing but playing his game, especially no more media relations, and it’s up to Kelly to get him to open up.
All the elements for a nice romance are there. A screwed up hero, a strong heroine that gives him a hard time, and men playing sports, hitting the showers after every game. Okay, maybe that last part was just for me. But there’s gotta be a plot, and the sports aspect of the book helped that a lot. Even though I’m not familiar with baseball, a fact that I plan to compensate for in the near future, I was still able to read through the games without being completely lost. I think when done good enough not to make the clueless reader alienated, a romance with a backdrop of any sport is a wonderful idea.
The characters are what make the story though, and I loved the ones in here. Kelly Maxwell was the kind of heroine I’d like to read in books. She was smart, talented, she knew how to hold her own around too much testosterone, and I especially loved how strong she was when it came to dealing with her own problems. She was a reminder that not all bad things come to an abrupt end in time, but some things you have to constantly struggle with along the way.
Matt Scanlon was also my kind of hero. We met him right after his screw up, so he was already on his way to redemption and that’s always a turn on. He was a much more decent guy than you’d expect from a man in his situation though. Even though he had the life of the party before he came to the Blaze, all alcohol and one night stands, once he decided to clean up his act, he truly meant it. You don’t see that a lot with a hero who wants to hide and forget a certain past, they tend to snap and bite at every turn until they find their love, but it seemed with Matt, the only time he attacked was when people came too close to hitting home in regard to his painful memories. In all other times, he was a gentleman.
I liked how the romance took off from clear animosity, to a certain degree of friendship, to lust, and to finally end up at love. The pace was the right one for me, it wasn’t too rushed and it didn’t stretch out to eternity. We were able to see the exact moments when they both realized their true feelings for each other and I liked those scenes. Their romance was a sweet one.
I did think, however, that towards the end, for the sake of tying all loose ends and to make things final, it felt a bit rushed. Everything unraveled evenly up until that point when suddenly, things were wrapped up and the book ended. There were a couple of side characters who I felt like had more to say, and there was a certain little twist that I wished we could’ve done without.
A sweet romance with a side dish of baseball and a few sprinkles of the emotional that I’d recommend and know will make my hodgepodge more delicious, I’m adding four spoonfuls.
Books by Alison Packard:
- Love In The Afternoon
- The Winning Season