This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Sports Romance
Published by Audible Studios
Released on November 20, 2014
Length: 10 hours 9 minutes
I picked this one up because I love baseball and I was curious about a romance that took place against the backdrop of behind the scenes of a baseball team organization. I’ve never read the author and it was the start of a new series so that had appeal too. Listening to the story was enjoyable though not entirely.
The story opens on quite the bang with Maggie Jameson discovering that instead of coming home from school to become the right-hand gal to her dad, the owner of the Saints baseball team, her dad has sold the team to an ownership group which she discovers along with everyone else at the meeting with the new owners. It shocks and wounds her that her dad never said a word and just let her carry on assuming about the future. Maggie struggles with her mixed feelings toward her dad. As to the new owner, no mixed feelings there. She hates Alex and compares him to the Devil of her own personal hell. He may be the hottest thing in pants and offers some enticing things, but she can never let him drawn her in.
Alex knows that for him and his partners to succeed in the transition of taking over the Saints and turning things around for them that he needs Maggie on his side and repping the team as well as repping him and the others to the team. He can’t believe that her dad let her find out the way he did which makes Alex’s task all the harder not to mention that Maggie herself is a huge distraction. He is determined to keep his head in the game even while exploring things with the angry, reluctant, but equally attracted Maggie. Sharks circle looking to make sure this new ownership fails and both Alex and Maggie have to figure out what they really want and work together if things are all going to work out.
Alright, like I said, this was enjoyable for many things. I liked the peek behind the scenes of the baseball world and liked learning about all that. I enjoy the introduction of Alex and his two friends and the camaraderie they have. The pacing dragged through all of the first half and I just wanted the story to get on with it. Due to the foreshadowing, I had a pretty good idea of where things were going, but it took a while to get going.
As to the characters, Alex was a great hero and probably my favorite part of the story. He struggled and had his flaws, but he was likeable and he grew. Maggie calls him arrogant, but I never really saw him as more than a guy trying to portray confidence. He also doesn’t toot his own horn about his background with baseball that along with his business experience makes him more than the best person to do what he’s doing. He doesn’t shove it in Maggie’s face and there were several times that I wished he would have so she would get off that high horse about him. This leads to Maggie who was my biggest issue with the book.
Maggie was a push for me. For most of the book, she drove me nuts. In the beginning her emotional reaction to stuff made sense. Her dad really did a number there just dropping a bomb on her and it was totally understandable that it sent her reeling. His method sucked, but he was right as was Alex about Maggie’s ability and experience- or should I say lack thereof- when it came to the company. Sure, she went to school for business admin and grew up watching daddy do business, but her expectation that she would single-handedly with no experience at running any business let alone this one be allowed to take over operations and turn around a multi-million dollar business was naive at best. Her continued anger at Alex just because he bought the business was petulant and childish. Now, yes, I got it that after a while it was really suppressed sexual tension with her and an excuse to keep Alex at arm’s length, but she just kept at it with the blame and the anger and mistrust. She had loads of evidence before her eyes that she refused to accept and she went at things emotionally which a good business person can’t afford to do yet she never saw this in herself. I’ve heard it described as being self-important, but not self-aware and this was Maggie in a nutshell.
The relationship was a push for me too because of Maggie. I just kept picturing this spoilt and thwarted child stomping her foot or this naive young miss freaking because a mature guy was showing interest. It was hard to see her as a woman worthy of a guy like Alex so the romance was hard to get into. Alex had so much patience with her mostly because he was attracted. He was honest and communicated what he wanted. He waited for her and didn’t get put off by her brattiness and indecisiveness.
As to the audio experience itself, the reader did a good job of making each voice distinguishable. I was distracted by her attempts at the male voice sounding a bit pondersome and froggy and I found the vocalization for Maggie made her sound whiny and petulant a lot of times- though to be fair, I’m pretty sure she was exactly that. The pacing dragged some too, but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that the reader was just following the pacing the book laid out.
So, in the end, I found the story okay with some aspects stronger than others. I’m interested in pursuing the next book in the series to see if a new heroine will make for a much more enjoyable read. Those sports romance lovers who like all the details of the behind the scenes stuff with a passionate enemies to lovers-style romance might want to take a peek.
My thanks to Audible.com for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.