Author: Katie Rose
Series: The Boys of Summer (Book 2)
Publication: Loveswept (January 27, 2015)
Description: Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.
Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.
Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.
My Thoughts: The New Jersey Sonics have a bad reputation as a baseball team. They are known as hotheads and brawlers. So management hires a new gun - Nikki Case - to do PR and clean up their image. Nikki is building her career in PR after divorcing her gambling husband and finally cleaning up his debts. She doesn't know or care much about baseball but she likes the challenge.
Jake Baldwin is the team leader and star shortstop on the team. He is also a serial dater and avoids any hint of commitment. After Nikki makes some changes that really irritate the team, they make a bet that Jake can't get Nikki to fall in love with him. The stakes are a jersey number and a bigger locker. Jake lets his ego take over when he takes the bet. He certainly isn't expecting to be the one to fall for Nikki.
But Jake and Nikki are attracted to each other despite knowing that it isn't a good idea. Nikki's sister advises a no-strings affair and cautions Nikki to protect her heart. Nikki has every intention of doing so until she see that real Jake underneath the playboy exterior and can't resist him. Jake, in turn, is fascinated with the smart, funny, competent and confident woman that Nikki is. He finally comes to understand why he has been so reluctant to commit to any woman.
Of course, no romance can run smoothly. Besides the practical jokes the team plays on Nikki, any smart reader will know that the bet is going to sneak up and bite them. The writing was great and both main characters were interesting and well-rounded people. The sex scenes were spicy.
Fans of sports romance won't want to miss the Boys of Summer series.
His eyes searched hers and saw they had softened. "You need to understand something. What happened tonight doesn't mean they don't like you. Men see the world differently than women. to you this was hurtful; to them it was just part of the game. In some ways, it's almost a compliment. They see you as an adversary, but an equal. Little by little you're wearing down their defenses." He helped himself to a bite of the pizza. "This is incredible."Nikki nodded and for the first time really grinned. "Let's order another one."
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.