KA doesn’t “do repeats”.
She writes about something, she finishes it, she turns the page and she goes on with something different. I didn’t want to read this because it was about sports. I wanted to try this one because it was done by her. She has already won my vote of confidence with the prospect of reading something by her. She only has to convince me, and that’s the challenge.
This story is about two men but there are many arcs, it was so complex in the end.
1. Love story (with an age gap): Nico – Jake.
2. Unrequited love and lost friendship: Jake – Brandon.
3. Guilt road: Nico – mother’s death.
4. Shame road: Nico – father’s homophobic attitude.
5. Health road: Nico – meltdowns before games.
6. Pear pressure road: Nico – expectations to be the best and how to deal with it all.
7. BDSM theme (a light one): Nico – Jake.
8. Rookie – veteran theme: Nico – Jake.
9. Retirement theme: Jake.
10. Obviously, the LBGT theme in a sports environment.
It doesn’t feel that way but in truth this book is not as simple as it seems at first. I don’t consider it a book about ‘sports’, although, ironically, the baseball topic was explained in a damn detailed way.
And it’s funny because the novel is built in such a way that is not even the usual romance. It reads easy, so easy you don’t notice how short the love story really is. Despite this, the love story is balanced and, surprisingly, unhurried. Nico has had a crush on Jake since he can remember, and Jake cannot at first get the idea of a much younger man than him to be his other half… but he does. It's amazing how straight-forward it is, how non-dramatic and non-stupid. How honest and true. No bullshit in the middle.
There are fun moments, too.
And there are heart-melting moments. The scenes with Nico's family were very emotive. I love how the characters have a background. They are not simply this guy who happen to play baseball. They have a past, they are the result of their experiences and their histories. They have depth.
The author could have made it more convoluted, with more drama-queenish moments and beating around the bush for the sake of it. But she didn’t.
I know nothing about baseball. Sometimes I felt I was watching a tennis match. I felt I was stupidly turning my head left and right, left and right, sometimes not even seeing the ball at all.
I’m not even mad. I can work with lapses.
The pitcher and catcher jokes are a plus, but in truth I loved Jake’s reasons for his love of this sport. He shapes the game, he ‘controls’ it, but he also likes taking care of his players, of his team. I could see the parallelism here, and I thought that was beautiful.
All in all, I really enjoyed this one.
***ARC received from author via Indigo Marketing And Design in exchange for an honest review.