REVIEW: Reading the Signs by Keira Andrews

32184585[1]Release Date: Sept 21, 2016

Length: Novel (293 pages)

Genre: Contemporary M/M romance

Cover Art: Dar Albert

Links: Amazon  Goodreads

Blurb: This hot-headed rookie needs discipline—on and off the field.

Pitcher Nico Agresta is desperate to live up to his family’s baseball legacy. Since he was a teenager crushing on his big brother’s teammate, he’s known he can’t act on his desires. His father made it clear there should be no queers on the field, but if Nico can win Rookie of the Year like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he’s worthy after all. 

At 34, veteran catcher Jake Fitzgerald just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn’t have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress? Jake lost his passion for the game—and life—after driving away the man he loved, and he swore he’d never risk his heart again. 

Then he’s traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. But tightly wound Nico is having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection, and Jake needs to teach him patience and restraint on the mound. 

When their push and pull explodes into the bedroom, Nico and Jake will both learn how much they’ll risk for love. 

This gay sports romance features men who have been repressing their feelings far too long, light BDSM, an age difference, sweaty locker rooms, and a happy ending.

Review:4-Hearts

I’m going to say up front that this book has a lot of similarities to Kate McMurray’s Out in the Field which came out four years before Reading the Signs. But having re-read/read the two so close together this week it was impossible for me not to compare the two books. I know it’s probably not fair, but books don’t exist in a vacuum, nor to reviewers.

This is a typical baseball romance between a hot-head rookie pitcher and a cynical veteran catcher nearing the end of his career. The writing was excellent, as it always is from Keira Andrews, and I liked Nico and Jake a lot. I wish I got to see more interaction between them after they get together especially outside of the bedroom. It would have shown the relationship rather than just them going at it like rabbits whenever they were alone. Speaking of the sex, it was well done all around and the BDSM really is very mild. I probably would have been more interested if it had gone further into the kink both inside and outside the clubhouse.

My biggest complaint was how quickly and easily all the problems resolved, not to mention, there are, in fact, too many problems that need solving in the first place. I generally like Keira Andrews books, but she often has too many subplots taking the focus off the romance itself. In this case, I think there were five subplots that were all resolved neatly with one conversation each. Eliminating one or two of the extraneous subplots would have left more room for the heroes to show their relationship outside the clubhouse/bedroom.

The in-game details of playing baseball were well done, not a single quibble there. I did have an issue on the “Life in MLB” side. No player in the entire book even mentions having an agent or lawyer. Big league players are multi-million dollar industries unto themselves with agents, lawyers, etc. to take most of the business part of the game off their plates including managing all the details surrounding trades, injuries, and/or retirement. It was just odd that this element was missing completely.

Reading the Signs is a really good book and if Out in the Field wasn’t one of my all-time favorite M/M romances, I probably would have liked it even more.

The cover isn’t a favorite. It’s okay for a generic baseball cover, a little dark maybe. The background is what makes it weird for me. It looks kinda like the baseball diamond in heaven rather than anything here on earth. I didn’t get it.

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