Pitcher Dylan Dennings has his future all mapped out: make the minors straight out of high school, work his way up the farm system, and get called up to the majors by the time he’s twenty-three. The Plan has been his sole focus for years, and if making his dreams come true means instituting a strict ” no girls” policy, so be it.
Lucy Foster, needlepoint ninja, big sister to an aspiring pitcher, and chicken advocate, likes a little mayhem. So what if she gets lost taking her brother to baseball camp…at her own high school? The pitching coach, some hotshot high school player, obviously thinks she’s a hot mess. Too bad he’s cute, because he’s so not her type.
Problem is, they keep running into each other, and every interaction sparks hotter than the last. But with Dylan’s future on the line, he has to decide whether some rules are made to be broken…
Disclaimer: This book contains a crazy night of moonlit skinny-dipping, a combustible crush, and kisses swoony enough to unwind even the most Type A athlete.
4 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
Before I get into the meat, as an aside: Covers don’t make or break a book for me, but can I just say that this cover is absolutely perfect for this book? I love it when a scene from the book is represented, it always makes me auto-smile and squeal when I get to it!!
Ahem. Anyways. I am falling in love with Ms. Highley. She writes just my kind of cute YA books. I’ve said it in previous reviews of the other books in this series, I’m NOT a baseball fan. But Ms. Highley makes me want to be a baseball fan (until I watch it on TV and remember that I don’t have the attention span). And she did it again in this book. It’s not that there’s an overwhelming amount of baseball in the book, but it’s prominent enough that it makes me feel like I understand the passion Dylan has. I actually prefer when my sports romance books ACTUALLY have some of the sport in it (and not just have it be a small aspect of the character).
Dylan was such an intriguing hero!! I can’t help but wonder how he came to be so rigid and structured and goal-focused. But while sometimes a lack of “past incident explanation” can kill a book for me, the way it was done in this book I really felt like I could see how someone could just have that be an aspect of their personality. Like being shy, or extroverted, or a daydreamer…sometimes you’re just born a certain way. And I kind of loved how he’d allowed this one aspect of his personality to take over his WHOLE LIFE, and that was the cause of his stress. It was so gratifying to see Lucy open him up, make him relax, show him there’s more to life. I also loved the conflict with his parents. Again, Ms. Highley writes great families too — not evil ones, or uninvolved, but ones that have their own set of problems even though you can feel the love. I loved how that all resolved too, how blinded Dylan had become in his focus.
And he was SO CUTE!! I love the heroes in these books. They have a healthy set of hormones, but none of them are dogs (though far from perfect either). They are all very 3 dimensional, and I love how shy and awkward Dylan could be in relationships! SWOON!! (a unicorn just got his wings!)
And I LOVED how different Lucy was from the other heroines in this series! She was kind of a rebel rouser, and just marched to the beat of her own drum, but with lots of confidence. I loved how seriously she followed her passion, and how some might see her as flighty, but if you paid attention she was really focused as well. She just knew better how to have some fun. And I loved her family dynamics as well, and how the pressures of stepping up and being responsible in her family were really wearing on her. Her relationship with both her Mom and her brother felt very real, full of love but also struggles. And I loved the military Dad aspect as well. How it didn’t overtake the story, but was an underlying heartache.
And these two together were YA gold. So many tummy butterflies, they really had great chemistry. And I really could see how they sort of brought the best of each other.
So yeah, another YA success!! And a PERFECT read for the summer, I just got all those summertime vibes!!