Just so’s you know….
This started out as a One-Quote Review, and then four hours later I found myself in the throes of a Full Snark Bitchfest.
You’re damn right I am. Also, if you give me
cake to relax, it better not be made of Ivory Soap.
If you read all the way to the end, you’ll see why.
- Title: Squeeze Play
- Author: Kate Angell
- Series: Richmond Rogues, Book 1
- Genre(s): Contemporary
- Publisher: First published June 2006 by Love Spell; re-released as self-pub ebook December 2011
- Source: Amazon (99¢ ebook)
- Length: 318 pages
- Trope(s): Angsty Athlete, Flaky Heroine, Friends-to-Lovers, Big Misunderstanding(s), Dumped in Public, Rebound, Small Town, Plot Moppets, Weight-Shaming
- Quick blurb: Big-league ballplayers return to hometown for charity bachelor auction.
- Quick review: A lot of eye-rolling and some major ::HEADDESK::ing.
- Grade: D
The first in a steamy new series of romances featuring a hunky baseball team and the sirens who challenge the players in the game of love.
I have two positive things to say about this book:
(1) It was only 99 cents.
(2) It wasn’t Sweet Jesus! Honey Dews! bad.
But it was close.
I know I shouldn’t judge an entire series by the first book, but since it had a multi-arc storyline, I figured one book was more than enough.
You don’t believe me, do you? DO YOU? Well, all I can say is READ THIS:
Him: “Your first blow on my coffee turned me on.”
Her: “My nipples picked you out of the crowd.”
My first idea was to do this as a Rogues vs. McCoys box score, but I’m kind of charted-out for a while. So this is going to be a Heroines vs. Heroes play-by-play with color commentary instead.
- Home: The Small-Town Girls — Jacy the Wacky Coffee Shop Owner, Stevie the Low-Self-Esteem Tomboy, and Natalie the Big City Slut Who Tries to Throw the Game.
- Visitors: The Richmond Rogues — Pro baseball players, in town for a celebrity bachelor auction, known by their on-field nicknames of Risk, Zen/ Einstein, Shutout, Romeo, Chaser and Psycho. Collectively known as “The Bat Pack.” No, really.
The scouting report:
- Small-Town Girls Jacy and Stevie have the home-field advantage, and they know the value of well-timed coffee-inspired innuendo-laden puns.
- Richmond’s local-boys-done-good Risk and Shutout have history with and insider knowledge of their opponents, but mental trips down Memory Lane might weaken their defenses.
- Natalie the Slut, unexpectedly called down from her big-city penthouse, may throw both teams off their game with her wild pitching and penchant for crowd-baiting.
- Irrational jealousy resulting from big misunderstandings will dominate play, but players will also need to be prepared for numerous distractions from both sides of the bench in the form of cleavage- and/or ass-flashing and baseball-metaphor sexual propositions.
The pre-game show (aka the prologue):
Bottom of the ninth in Game Seven of the World Series – Rogues down one against Tampa Bay, two outs with a runner on third.
After whiffing a backdoor slider¹ and a curve, veteran hitter Risk Kincaid proves his nickname by — wait for it — CALLING HIS SHOT (see image at right).
And of course he knocks it out of the park. But it’s not just any ol’ game-winning hit! It’s a homer to the left field bleachers aimed straight at the scantily-dressed and vividly-coiffed female fan who taunted him on the Jumbotron.
While the 80,000² Tampa Bay fans pout, cry and head out to riot in the streets, Risk makes nice with the reporters for his SportsCenter highlight reel:
“What about the girl with the pink hair?” someone asked.
“What about her?” he shot the question back.
“You nearly slammed the ball down her throat³.”
A corner of his mouth turned up slightly. “She needs to learn to duck.”
Classy, huh? But I suppose taking her head off with a line drive homer is better than yelling “TAG” in the middle of a rodeo bar.
¹ Yes, “backdoor slider.” Take a WILD guess where my dirty mind went with that one.
² Yes, EIGHTY THOUSAND fans. Which is very impressive, because the largest pro baseball venue (Dodgers Stadium) has a capacity of only 56,000. I thought maybe the anticipated crowds forced a cross-town move to the Ray-Jay, but that only seats 65,000. So it must have been a cross-country displacement to Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.
³ Intentional or unintentional? You decide.
First inning (chapter one):
Oh, bloody HELL — I’m balking on the first pitch.
This stupid book has 13 chapters, and I don’t have the time or patience for extra innings. I have more angsty athletes to read about, dammit. I also have difficulty maintaining extended metaphors.
We’ll go with some obscure stats and random trivia instead.