Being the only woman working for a professional baseball team isn't easy. As the San Diego Shock's newest athletic trainer, Allie knows all about long hours, endless travel, and warding off players' advances. Given she's already the subject of a handful of rumors about how "lucky" she was to have earned such a coveted position, she can't so much as flutter an eyelash a player's way if she wants to be taken seriously. But number 11 is doing more than fluttering eyelashes Allie's way. Far more.
Luke Archer is at the top of his game and doesn't let the fear of striking out keep him from swinging. This is a motto he applies both on and off the field, but Allie appears immune, seeming to view Luke as nothing more than caution tape on legs. He's a player, and in Allie's experience, they're all the same. She won't risk her job or her heart to another one, no matter how different this one claims to be. But as Allie gets to know him, she discovers the number 11 the public thinks they know is very different from the real Luke Archer. He seems too good to be true. And maybe he is. Allie will have to confront the stories attached to a player of Luke Archer's stature and decide who she'll put her faith in - the man she's falling for? Or the rumors?
©2016 Nicole Williams (P)2016 Nicole Williams
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"Boring baseball romance"
I've been on a bit of a kick lately listening to sports-themed romance books. Until this book, I'd never read any of Nicole Williams' work. Unfortunately, this story fell flat for me so I won't be seeking out other books by this author.
I liked the premise of this book - an athletic trainer who starts a romance with the team's star athlete. There was chemistry and so the romance part of this story worked. What didn't work was the story itself. The characters were just so flat. The author shares very little in the way of the heroine's life and even less of the hero's - though, this book is written from the POV of the heroine only.
The book revolves around the two main characters...mostly their hotel rooms and very little actual baseball or things outside of their respective jobs. Honestly, I just didn't care about the characters all that much. I didn't know enough about them to be invested in their relationship.
There were some attempts to drive the story - like the necessity of secrecy about the relationship (fraternization policy, and disrespect of the female trainer, etc.). There was also a couple secrets in Luke's past which of course ended up being misconstrued and caused the stereotypical separation towards the end of the book. None of these things were compelling enough to elevate the story to anything above a "paint by numbers" romance book.
As for the narration, Lauren Sweet was this audiobook's saving grace. Her native speaking voice takes some getting used to - it comes off a bit nasal-y and you'll find her voices for Luke's teenage sisters pretty annoying. However, Lauren's male voices are AWESOME.
If you are looking for a great baseball romance, I'd recommend Moonshot (by Alessandra Torre). If you are just in the mood for sports and romance, then my personal favourites are Kulti (by Mariana Zapata), and Verite (by Rachel Blaufeld). All three are far better choices than Stealing Home...trust me.
Worth a credit? Nope. I don't think I'd buy this one even if it was on sale.
"4.5 Thoroughly Enjoyable Stars"
Thoroughly enjoyed this baseball romance. I know nothing about baseball and until reading this book had no interest in it. But, holy heck Luke Archer changed all that. I've been googling the hell out of baseball. It's my new favourite sport. Luke Archer may also be my new book boyfriend. He's pretty perfect, in every sense of the word, thoughtful, considerate, hot, loves his family, committed, did I say hot? Allie is tough, independent, career driven, loving and vulnerable in the best way. Can they risk losing everything for a friends with benefits relationship? Could this be more? I thoroughly enjoyed this dual POV sports romance that has Baseball legend Luke Archer pitching against his athletic trainer in this beautifully written, highly entertaining sports romance.
"Intense sports romance"
I've just re-read/listened to this via audio. The narrator is new to me but I was impressed by her voices for male characters. The dialogue never took me away from the story and I enjoyed her tone throughout.
This book made an immediate boom into my life, stuck it's hooks into my brain and didn't let go until I finished 24 hours later, despite some work in the middle. I am a sucker for sports romance, when done well it's one of my favourite genres and I'm not picky about the sport. That said, I've not read many about baseball, indeed I know nothing about baseball but I really enjoyed it.
I am an avid reader of Nicole William's books and this is hands down the hottest book she's written. The description of Luke initially had me fanning my face. The chemistry and steam was spot on, I loved the connections and how this played out. The pace was fast from the start and relished how it journeyed ahead.
"I'm good with my hands, know what to do with a big stick, and I'm used to getting dirty."
Now for the characters, Luke Archer, star player takes some puzzling out. He's lusted after by thousands of women and his attention to Allie 'Doc' seems born out of convenience. Allie as an athletic trainer is there, travelling with the team, able to warm Luke's bed? Luke is a caveman-extraordinaire and if you like an alpha type, he's your man. I do enjoy an alpha but I appreciated his self awareness and character development. I liked Allie, but she had her moments of flakiness and I couldn't always grasp her mindset when things weren't peachy.
"Wow, okay, so I retract my former accusation in favor of labelling you some barbarian-Neanderthal-caveman hybrid."
A great sports romance, fulfilling, hot and I would love to see more of this genre from Nicole Williams.
Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
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