Release Date: April 23, 2012 (1st Edition) & May 16, 2016 (2nd Edition)
Length: Novel (216 pages)
Genre: Contemporary M/M romance
Cover Art: Aaron Anderson
Blurb: Matt Blanco is a legend on the Brooklyn Eagles, but time and injuries have taken their toll. With his career nearing its end, he’s almost made it to retirement without anyone learning his biggest secret: he’s gay in a profession not particularly known for its tolerance.
Iggy Rodriquez is the hot new rookie in town, landing a position in the starting lineup of the team of his dreams and playing alongside his idol, Matt Blanco. Iggy doesn’t think it can get any better, until an unexpected encounter in the locker room with Matt proves him wrong.
A relationship—and everything it could reveal—has never been in the cards for Matt, but Iggy has him rethinking his priorities. They fall hard for each other, struggling to make it through trades, endorsement deals, and the threat of retirement. Ultimately they will be faced with a choice: love or baseball?
This is one my favorite M/M romances. I loved it when it first came out and I loved it all over again when the 2nd edition came out. The story is fairly obviously Jeter/ARod fanfic. Ya know—if ARod weren’t an asshole and they didn’t play for the Evil Empire. Okay, I’m a crazed Red Sox fan, so take that for what it’s worth. None of that matters anyway because this is such an amazing book.
Two players on opposite ends of their careers come together and come out in the world of Major League Baseball. Matt and Iggy are both wonderful characters. We get a little more depth on Matt than Iggy but Matt has a bit more life experience and baggage than Iggy so it didn’t bother me.
I love the fact that the story spans four years and we get to see both men evolve and grow together over time. The downside to covering so much time is that there’s stuff in the in-between that I wanted to see, even if I know the author couldn’t possibly give me all the Iggy and Matt I wanted or the book would be 10K pages and I’d still be left wanting more. It’s is hawt when it needs to be and sweet when it needs to be with the right amount of angst and doubts to make it all feel realistic. There are points where the romance takes a backseat to the respective coming out stories and for me at least that made it feel even more authentic. No one’s focus is going to be on their relationship when they’re going through all that in such a public way.
As for the baseball content, some readers are going to think there’s too much and others too little, but, for me, it hit the sweet spot in between. Your mileage may vary as I’m a huge baseball fan. Yes, I have quibbles with some of the details. There are a few baseball mistakes, among others, that nettled me but it was all within the margins of my willing-suspension-of-disbelief. The majority of people aren’t going to notice as this is a romance, not a baseball handbook. The 1st edition needed language-tightening which it got for the 2nd edition and probably could have used some more. As I said, I love this book and have very few criticisms overall.
The 2nd edition cover is really good. The New York skyline needs to be a bit more visible, for it to earn a Cover Love sticker but I have no complaints otherwise. It’s nice to see covers without people on them occasionally. It’s a relief from all the floating torsos.