The Boys of Summer, #2
On Sale: January 17, 2017
eBook: $4.99 USD
LOVE ISN’T A GAME . . .
I’ve given up everything for the chance to play major league baseball. Everything. Now I’m so close I can practically hear the crowd chanting my name. There’s nothing that could take my dream away from me . . .
Unless I lose focus. And Ainsley Burke is the most beautiful, distracting woman I’ve ever met. When I’m with her, I can’t think of anything else.
But no matter how much I want Ainsley, there’s no room for love in my game plan. I can give her a quick tour of the bases, but that’s it. Then I have to let her go. If she wants to think I’m a love ’em and leave ’em player, fine.
All dreams require sacrifice. I just wish this one didn’t mean tearing out my own heart.
*ARC provided by Publisher*
The second book in author Heidi McLaughlin’s The Boys of Summer series, Home Run is the story of Boston Renegade’s rookie, Cooper Bailey, and animal lover and zoo office manager, Ainsley Burke. Cooper first meets Ainsley when the Renegades show up at the zoo to spend the day with a group of inner city school kids. Though they both feel a connection, Ainsley isn’t interested in dating another athlete, much to Cooper’s distress. Of course, he does his best to prove he isn’t like the other athletes she’s known, and it’s pretty clear early on that his words aren’t a line he tells her to score a date.
Great pacing, interesting and intriguing characters, and a fun, well-developed storyline made McLaughlin’s Home Run a delightful and easy read that kept me up late into the night to finish it. Both Cooper and Ainsley were characters with lots of depth and lots of heart, going through vastly different struggles that made turning to each other both a problem and a salivation. They’re both good people in a bad position and doing their best to get through it despite the conflict that surrounds them, and their individual struggles and real-to-life experiences is what makes them so fascinating to read about because they do face real world problems in this book. Problems that can’t be waved away with a magic wand and a feel-good smile.
I loved that we got to see both characters at their job, doing what they love, showing their pride in their individual skills and chosen career fields while also showing the pitfalls and stress that come with each. Not to mention their life spent outside of work. All of these glimpses added another layer of depth to each character and showed exactly who they are and what is it stake for each of them. Which made the romance building between them both complicated and sweeter, too.
If you’re looking for a fantastic contemporary sports romance, pick up a copy of Home Run by Heidi McLaughlin. It’s fun as well as emotional and a quick, entertaining read to boot. Highly recommend reading this one!
Top 5 Qualities of a Dynamite Sports Hero
by Heidi McLaughlin
- Amazing father
- Supportive husband / partner
- Active community member
- He’s gotta be tall
- Killer smile
Excerpt from HOME RUN
“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.”
THE BOYS OF SUMMER SERIES
THIRD BASE, #1
HOME RUN, #2
GRAND SLAM, #3
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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.