Title: Third Base
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Series: The Boys of Summer #1
Release Date: 6/7/2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Page Count: 316
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
EVERY GAME HAS RULES. HE’S ABOUT TO BREAK THEM . . .
Since becoming a major league baseball player, I’ve learned a few hard lessons. Like never give out your home address on social media (sorry, Mom). Never shoot your mouth off without thinking . . . and never, ever let your personal life interfere with your game. But then I saw her – sitting alone behind the enemy dugout, watching me – and I just had to meet this girl.
Now I know that Daisy Robinson has her secrets, but there’s something about her that drives me crazy. Maybe it’s her innocence, her absolutely amazing knowledge of baseball, or just the fact that she is so unbelievably beautiful. I have to take it slow. Prove to her that the rumors about me are just that – rumors.
Daisy might be my ultimate lifetime win. . . if I don’t get hit by the curveball that’s coming my way.
2.5 stars- Underwhelmed
Third Base was an okay read that never fully captured my attention. The writing was solid, but I felt distanced from the characters, romance, and story. There was a lot of telling and not enough showing throughout the book. When combined with flat characters, I was left underwhelmed.
Ethan and Daisy are both young and act accordingly with some immature choices and reactions. They made an okay hero and heroine and fit well as a couple, but lacked depth or character development, so I had nothing more than a superficial connection. The story is told entirely from the Ethan’s perspective. While this made for a more unique narration, the hero’s voice didn’t always feel consistent. Sometimes Ethan came across as the standard professional sports star playboy, fueled primarily by lust and physical attraction, and other times he was emotional and looking for a long-term relationship. There wasn’t a transition in these emotions and it left me a little confused as to his personality. Furthermore, the relationship moved from a slower burn to serious very quickly. Though this may have only given me minor pause, because the emotions and chemistry were underdeveloped, I didn’t find the shift believable. Quite simply, I never connected to either main character or their romance.
The conflicts themselves offered interesting possibilities. I did guess Daisy’s secret early on, but hoped the reveal and resolution would be memorable. Unfortunately, it was a little blasé. I expected the reveal to trigger growth in both characters but it never came to fruition. Both accepted some culpability, and then moved forward without really discussing the implications or underlying issues. Once again, I was left with a superficial connection. Third Base does contain a good amount of baseball details. Fans of the game will certainly appreciate that aspect. Sadly, those inclusions didn’t add enough to increase the book’s appeal and I won’t continue this series.