Early Review: Pitch Perfect by Sierra Dean (Boys of Summer #1)
August 6 2013
Received from author
Yummy Man – Tucker Lloyd
Kick Ass Chick – Emmy Kasper
From Goodreads –
Emmy Kasper knows exactly how lucky she is. In a sport with few opportunities for women at the pro level, she’s just landed her dream job as head athletic trainer for the San Francisco Felons baseball team. Screwing up is not an option.
She’s lost in thought as she pedals to the spring training facility, her mind abuzz with excitement as she rounds a corner-and plows head-on into two runners. The end of her career dances before her eyes when she realizes she’s almost run over the star pitcher.
As Tucker Lloyd watches the flustered Emmy escape with his bandana tied around her skinned knee, the view is a pleasant change from worrying about his flagging fastball. At thirty-six, the tail end of his career is glimmering on the horizon. If he can’t pull something extraordinary out of his ball cap, the new crop of rookies could make this season his last.
The last thing either of them needs is a distraction.
The last thing either of them expects is love.
I am going to come right out and say that I am not a fan of baseball. I find it slow and a little dull. I am a huge fan of Sierra’s writing and I know that she is a huge baseball fan. So when I found out she was writing a contemporary romance series about members of a baseball team I was not surprised. What did surprise me was how much I enjoyed the baseball aspects of this book even not being a fan! Sierra does an absolutely amazing job sucking you into the games and you can’t help but cheer for the team while completely understanding what is going on. And not once is it dull.
But I am getting ahead of myself – as often happens when I talk about a book by this author. Let’s go back to the beginning, shall we?
Pitch Perfect is the first book in Sierra Dean’s new Boys of Summer series. In this installment, we meet key members of the Falons (Sierra’s made up major league ball team) and we witness the team’s dynamic, which is very good. Tucker is the main hero this time around. He’s a pitcher on the team and just getting back from a year off after having surgery. He’s determined to make it back on top but has a vulnerability to him when he’s feeling his confidence waver. He is such a well written hero. In a sea of crazy-almost-too-over-the-top alpha romance heroes, Tucker is a wonderful breath of fresh air. He is strong but not a jerk. Even as famous and as wealthy as he is, he has not let it get to his head. He treats his teammates with respect. For me, that was very important. I didn’t want to read a whole book about a sports diva – that would have gotten on my nerves. He’s a very well balance hero, one who is extremely sexy and swoon worthy, intelligent and kind. In my opinion, he is the best sort of contemporary romance hero.
He is also very good to and for Emmy.
Emmy I liked. She’s the head athletic trainer for the Felons and therefore is a chick in a man’s world. I loved how Sierra described Emmy while she worked. You really got a feel for what she was doing and you really felt she knew what she was doing. You also felt her passion for her work. She is good at what she does and she knows it. She has a boyfriend at the beginning of the book and I even liked how she handled that situation. She is drawn to Tucker but is respectful of her relationship with Simon. I liked how she handled every situation thrown at her. She was smart about things yet still normal. You know, human. And I love her with Tucker.
There are quite a few notable scenes in this book. Emmy and Tucker’s meet-cute is adorable. And there is a break-up scene that is not like any I have read before. I laughed so much during that scene because Sierra writes so visually that I totally pictured what was going on and how the people involved were reacting. I also absolutely adored the game near the end of the book. This is one game that spans a few chapters and let me tell you my heart was in my throat the entire time. And remember – I don’t even like baseball! Tucker is on his way to pitching a perfect game. OMG Will he do it? Or will Sierra be as mean to him as she is to Secret and crew in her UF series and have him bomb it at the very last minute? I really wanted Tucker to do well and I really wanted the team to win. Sierra really did a brilliant job writing that game.
One of the reasons Sierra did so well with this book is not just because she is a baseball fan but she did a lot of research while writing it. She even interviewed the head athletic trainer for the LA Dodgers! And you can really tell. But you don’t feel like she’s writing while thinking “look at all the stuff I know about baseball and therefore I am made of awesome”. She is sharing her love of the sport while setting up her scenes and her characters. It’s all very well blended and very well done.
As I mentioned we meet other team mates and other members or the athletic department in this book. Alex is the catcher and Tucker’s best friend. His is the next book and I know I am going to enjoy knowing more about him. He comes across as a bit harsh at times but you also catch glimpses of a keen intelligence there. We also meet his HEA Alice and that should be an interesting match-up. We also meet Miles and Jasper, the other heroes for this series. Neither are jerks or pompous idiots and I can’t wait to read each one of their tales.
As you can tell, this book got me all excited because I feel I found a contemporary romance series with the potential to jump onto my favorite list. My credentials for contemporary romances to end up on my list is tougher than other genres. I read contemps to unwind after reading a bunch of heavier UF books. I need to be able to pick it up and read it then want to re-read it right away. And I need to feel I can re-read it many times over the next few years. I like the way this series is set up and the characters are some I know I will want to visit again and again.
Pitch Perfect is a truly excellent read. I would recommend this to any fan of the genre.
Giggle worthy quote –
“For a split second his gaze locked on hers, and her heart hammered.
‘You’ve got this,’ she said out loud.
He winked at her.
She stumbled. Her damn foot slipped off the riser, and she fell from the fence back into the dugout. The only thing protecting her dignity was Jasper standing behind her, who kept her upright.
The crowd roared wildly, and without looking she knew he’d gotten the strikeout.
‘You need to watch out for those invisible slippery spots. They’re a real killer,’ Jasper said, setting her back on her feet.
‘While not walking?’
‘That takes skill.’