Minor league umpire Alice Darling loves everything about baseball. That means hunky ball players are strictly off limits—dating one would be professional suicide. With a young daughter and a brother to care for, she can’t afford to slip up.
Truth is, as a young, stupid, nineteen-year-old townie, she did once date a player. That’s how she wound up with her precious, nine-year-old daughter…and a determination to never make that mistake again. Alex Ross’s arrival in Florida for spring training, though, shakes her resolve in a big way.
Alex, a catcher for the Major League’s San Francisco Felons, has never let much get in the way of his game. One look at Alice changes everything, and he finds himself pursuing her with a single-minded purpose that plays hell with his concentration.
Booted back to the minors, he returns to Florida with his tail between his legs to work on his swing…and heat things up with Alice. But when rumors of their affair hit the sports blogosphere, Alice’s career is put in jeopardy, and their love starts to look more like a strikeout than a home run.
When I learned the title of the second book in the Boys of Summer series was Perfect Catch, I knew it had to be about Alex. What I was wondering was how we were going to find Alex. In Perfect Pitch Alex was described as being round in the middle and not in the best of shape. That isn’t the typical romance hero we read about so I was intrigued. It turned out that Alex shaped up during the off-season and came back to spring training lighter than he had previously been. So that question was answered pretty quickly.
I also knew from Perfect Pitch that Alex was going to be one of the good guys. He was Tucker’s best friend and someone I thought was genuine and likable. I was happy to find the same still held true. Alex was so sweet to Alice. He seemed to fall for her at almost their first meeting. She got so deep in his head that he was even having a hard time concentrating on baseball and that had never happened to him before. There were several times during the book where I felt Alice didn’t deserve this puppy dog, huggable love of a man. Don’t get me wrong, there is one comment he makes that fired my blood and I saw the arsehole come out but overall Alex is the perfect beta personality and a total keeper.
Now let’s talk about Alice….she had issues and ones that made her sort of unlikable. Maybe unlikable is too strong but because she was once burned by a baseball player she is very prickly when it comes to all baseball players.
And leave it to you to blame everything on Matt, her brain scolded. She hated being right about that too. She was using Matt as an excuse to push all her problems onto someone else. If not Matt, then Alex, but her problems were never Alice problems.
She was all about trying a relationship with Alex until it got a little difficult and then she was blaming everything on him. I found their relationship to be very frustrating and fragile. They was a distinct lack of trust, especially on Alice’s side, that made me wonder if them being a couple was a good idea. An intervention from Alex’s sisters set the stage for the couple to eventually be happy but by then so much had gone on that I wasn’t sure I wanted Alice with Alex.
One thing I really like about this series, so far, is how Ms. Dean gives the heroine a job in baseball that is typically something a man would do. First book featured a female athletic trainer and this one is a female umpire. I appreciate the struggle each woman experiences in the setting and the way we are able to watch the succeed or fail.
With the exception of questioning parts of romance, I enjoyed Perfect Catch. Ms. Dean is a fellow baseball fan and I adore the baseball tidbits she inserts into her books. Like Alice’s ex having the name Matt Hernandez, being a total putz, and an MVP player for the Mets….Keith Hernandez anyone? The book also has some great snark and moments where I would laugh out loud, trademark parts of Ms. Dean’s writing. There aren’t many baseball romance books out there and can’t wait for the next one in this series. Final grade- B-
“Half the water in your body has been replaced with alcohol, Ross. You’d breathe beer if you could.”
“Give me some credit here, please. Whiskey. I’d breathe whiskey if I could.”