He started out a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a God yet partied like a Devil.
I tried to stay away. I couldn’t…
Wow, what an awesome book!!! A heart-poundingly intense sports romance filled with forbidden love, second chance romance, and even a murder mystery! There were twists and turns I never saw coming and the final reveal took me completely by surprise! But at its heart is a gorgeous, swoony, unstoppable love story that concludes in a beautiful epilogue! This author is such a talented storyteller. Her writing is utterly addictive and especially in the final third of the book, I could not put it down!! A sexy, exciting, and thrilling read! Highly recommended!
I want to include the official blurb because it’s just so good before I start my review…
Baseball shouldn’t be a game of life and death…
The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase…he started out a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a God yet partied like a Devil.
I tried to stay away. I couldn’t.
Then, the team started losing.
Women started dying.
And everything in my perfect world broke apart.
As mentioned, the heroine, Ty, was seventeen at the beginning of the book. She’d grown up alongside her dad who was the famous closer for the Yankees and she lived and breathed baseball. The sport was a part of her. And that was where Chase Stern came in. As one of the hottest, most talented, and famous players out there, he had a reckless bad boy streak but nobody cared all that much because he was just that good. From afar, she worshipped him as a player and a celebrity, but she never imagined would become an actual part of her life. But when he was traded to the Yankees, everything changed. Suddenly he became a very permanent fixture in her life. Front and center.
Even though she hero worshipped him, she wasn’t actually looking for his affection. Given his publicly manwhoring past, the fact that her father specifically forbade her to get close to him, the certainty that any scandal would be bad for the team, that he was a few years older than her, and a myriad other reasons, she tried to stay away.
“I didn’t want to be pretty to Chase Stern. I wanted to be invisible. He was God’s gift to our team, not to me.”
But staying under his radar became infinitely harder after she accidentally walked in on his gloriously naked body in the locker room. And for him, the girl who’d previously been invisible was now branded on his mind.
“Grand slams aren’t typically called for, in this situation.”
“What situation is that?”
“You want me to go down to the marina with you?”
“Jesus, Ty. To talk. To get to know each other. It’s not an orgy invitation.”
“I’m not supposed to talk to you.”
Despite his colorful past though, he seemed to be a different person around her and opened up in ways that showed her a whole new side to this man who until now, she’d really only seen through news articles. She was wary though…
“You think you’re the first asshole I’ve met?” I shook my head. “I’ve lived in a man’s world for a long time, Chase. And I’ve watched men like you make mistakes like that over and over again.”
But the more they got to know each other, she began to see a very different picture of the man the tabloids painted so recklessly. He was a god on the field, a devil to the world, but when he met her… everything changed.
“Our kiss had energy, it was a battle — one fought with gentle teases, exploratory touches, and passion — need pulling me forward even as I tried my best to push him away…”
He couldn’t. Never again not with anyone else. Nothing would ever, after that moment, compare. Not with her cry, not with her reaction, not with her kiss. A woman shouldn’t be created in such heartbreakingly beautiful combinations. A woman shouldn’t, in fifteen minutes, have the ability to ruin him for life.
They tried to stay away from each other, but even if their growing feelings for each other had to be kept secret, there was no denying that they were slowly falling in love…
“Listen to me very carefully,” He turned from the view and stepped inside… “You can try to paint this however you want — the press can paint this however they want — but there is nothing wrong with our relationship. It’s the purest thing in my life. She is saving me. And I don’t expect you [to] understand that. But… I need this to work. I need her in my life.”
From the blurb though, we know that this is more than just a forbidden love story. We know there is a murder mystery too. Someone was killing women connected to the team. But who were they? Who were the women? Who was the murderer? Who else was in danger?
The author did such a great job of contrasting the main chapters of the story where they fell in love, slowly getting comfortable around each other, admitting their feelings, opening up, meeting in secret… with the short news article quotes that hinted at the danger surrounding them.
And then came a twist that I actually did expect… followed by two more that I absolutely DID NOT see coming…
And then she really…?
And then they…?
So she seriously…?
Then he didn’t…?
And now it’s 4 years later??? *gasp*
Gah!!! I love second chance love stories so even though everything had broken apart devastatingly, it made me that much more eager to read on and see what happened next! I can’t resist stories about reunited lovers and the specific twist about their situation took the story in a completely different direction than I was expecting and I LOVED that! It’s a wonderful feeling when a book can take you by surprise and lead you down a path you didn’t anticipate.
The second half of the book brought all the angst. If you thought the first half was forbidden, it had nothing on the second half. The rules had changed, everything about their situation intensified, became more dangerous, and that much more tempting. The pull towards each other was now too strong to ignore — and was worth the risk…
He didn’t know what he did in life to deserve the punishment of sitting next to this woman. To hear the soft huff of her breath and not kiss it away. Smell the scent of her skin and not bury his face in her hair. Watch the hem of her skirt, its rise up her thighs, and not run his hand up her skin.
…”I’m not sure how much you remember from before.”
“Everything,” he answered… “I remember everything.”
Now the stakes were raised, their love was even more forbidden than ever, but their connection and chemistry had only grown with their separation, and girls were mysteriously dying… somehow things needed to come to a head.
“What do you want from me?”
His eyes softened, his mouth, when it pressed to me, gentle and soft, a plea of lips against a weak soul. “Everything. I want a life with you. I want to be the father of your children. I want every second we missed and a million more. And I’ll give away the world to get it.”
But things of course aren’t that easy… and I honestly could not flip the last 150 pages fast enough!!
You’ll see when you read it… It’s intense!! And so addictively, passionately GOOD!
*** I just want to address one thing that I think a few readers might have questions about regarding a potential of a triangle/cheating and I want to reassure you that I was 100% okay with everything that happened in this book. The author created and handled the situation that the hero and heroine were in in the perfect way. I’ve included a spoiler link here ONLY if you desperately need it. It is my strong opinion that you should not read the spoiler and just trust me that I was okay with everything that happened. But at the same time, I know for a certain fact that some of you will be messaging me with questions asking for a detailed explanation so, for you guys, I’ve included this:
Alessandra Torre is an incredibly skilled storyteller. There are so many components that make up a great read — strong writing, compelling storyline, just the ‘right’ timing, characters you care about, and that touch of originality that makes that particular book special — and her books have all these elements in spades. Her stories are rich, vivid, and come to life as you read. She’s a go-to author for me and I’m always excited when she releases a new book!
This is a complete standalone novel. The chapters are split between her POV (first person) and his POV (third person) and everything is resolved by the end in a beautiful epilogue.
If you’re looking for a sexy, smart, well-written sports romance with twists, turns, intense angst, and a heart-stopping love story, then this is the book for you! It’s a favorite of 2016 for me and a top recommendation!
Rating: 4.5 STARS!! Standalone NA romance/romantic suspense.