Title: Home Run
Cooper Bailey finally has a shot at being a major league ballplayer, but it will take all his focus and energy during spring training to make it happen. Complicating things is his instantaneous connection with Ainsley Burke. He can't get enough of her, and before he knows it, they're spending every night together. But as happy as he is off the field, his focus on it is suffering, and he isn't willing to risk his lifelong dream over a girl.
But without Ainsley, Cooper's miserable, and his game is still off. No matter what he tries, he can't get her out of his head, and he's starting to realize that maybe he doesn't want to. Baseball is just a game, but Ainsley might be the real thing. Now he just has to convince her of that.
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Blow, Third Base
Series: Boys of Summer
Published by Forever Source: Publisher
Published: January 17th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Theme
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page
This is WAAAAAAAAY too cute for words. After reading the first in this series, I was a little worried about continuing it. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the first one, but I found it predictable which didn’t pull me in as much as I hoped for. But this one? It was just right. Was there still some predictability in it? Of course, but it wasn’t blatant like the first and I found myself fully engulfed in this one. I mean, I finished it in a day!
Cooper is the new rookie for the Renegades. But he’s not the youngest player, nor is he the least experienced. In fact, he finds himself having to fight for a position he thought he already had but finds out that the player he’s supposed to replace ISN’T retiring after all. Cooper can’t seem to get his head fully in to the game because he’s got other things on his mind. Between being completely enamored with the girl from the local zoo, trying to find a “place” on the team and his father all over his performance (or lack thereof), Cooper just can’t get his career under control.
Ainsley is a zookeeper. Well, she was until her mom became very sick with cancer. Now she runs the front office and is in charge of the media and field trip day involving the Renegades. Dating athletes isn’t anything new to the local girls in town, but Ainsley has sworn off any athlete after a disastrous relationship turned sour. So when Cooper shows up, courts her properly and gets under her armor, the temptation is just too much. But of course that’s not the end of the story. Ainsley’s mom has always stirred her away from athletes. Why? Good question. It’s a major theme in this story and one that adds to the shocking conclusion.
Like I stated before. I was pleasantly surprised by this second book of the series. I felt more engaged with the characters (both main and secondary). I enjoyed the Blog more this time around (probably because it didn’t involve a main character). But more importantly, the ending was such a beautiful HEA that it left me feeling good. And I’m actually wondering who’s next. Although I’m crossing my fingers for one loud mouth toddler (hint hint).
Is this a stand alone? I would say that you could absolutely skip the first one and read this without missing anything. But in all honesty, you shouldn’t. I think you’d actually follow along better if you did read it.
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THIRD BASE, #1
HOME RUN, #2
GRAND SLAM, #3
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup, and a Highland West/mini schnauzer, Jill.
When she isn’t writing stories, you’ll find her sitting court-side during either daughter’s basketball games.
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“Can I call you, sometime?”
Ainsley looks down at the ground and crosses her arms over her chest. “Listen, I’m sure you’re a nice guy and all, but I don’t date baseball players. You guys all come in here, acting sweet and caring about the kids, but will be gone in two months. We’re forgotten all about until next spring training.”
From her spiel, I can tell someone has hurt her in the past, but I’m not willing to give up. There’s no way I can now. “Whoa, why the one-eighty?”
“I mean, a second ago I sort of thought… never mind.” I shake my head and start to walk away, only to turn back. “I don’t know about the other guys. I only know me, and I’m not like that. I’d like to prove myself. Just one date to show you that I’m genuine?”
She shakes her head no again, but there’s a glint in her eye that tells me she’s thinking about it. “I’m sorry I can’t.”
Ainsley is walking away before I can even think to form a rebuttal. Our left fielder is there to pick up the pieces and remind me that I just had the first strike out of my major league career. Wonderful.
I drag my sorry ass out toward the waiting bus with my head hanging in shame. I thought for sure I’d at least get her number and be able to convince her that I’m not an epic douche like some of the other guys.
Just as my foot touches the bottom step, my name is called from behind. In a heart-stopping moment, I think it’s Ainsley, only to find another female worker running toward me. I step away and wait for her to get to me.
“Here,” she says, slipping a piece of paper into my hand. When I look at what’s written on it, I’m surprised to see Ainsley’s name and what I’m assuming is her number. “She’ll kill me if she knew I did this, but it’s her cell. Sweep her off her feet. She deserves it.” The woman winks before running back toward the zoo.
Our catcher slaps me on my shoulder. “Well, you lucky dog.”