Friday, September 2, 2016

Playing Fast by Melanie Scott

Title: Playing Fast
Author: Melanie Scott
My Rating: B+

Genre: Sports Romance 
Series: New York Saints #5
Main Characters: Finn and Eva
Release Date: September 2016
Publisher: St. Martins
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
THREE STRIKES AND HE’S OUT…

When baseball bad-boy Finn Castro raises one eyebrow too many, the Saints send him down to the minors. He’ll have to earn back his major-league dreams with the Sarasota Springs Preachers. Finn’s certainly never claimed to be a man of the cloth, and cleaning up his act isn’t going to be easy with stunning Eva Harlowe at the heart of the team’s administration…

UNTIL SHE THROWS A CURVEBALL
Eva knows having a crush on Finn Castro is about as sensible as wishing for an eighth day of the week, but seeing the gorgeously muscled player in person melts her resolve. If she’s planning to leave baseball at the end of the season, a hot fling could be a fantasy home run. But when no-strings sex begins to feel like a perfect partnership, will Finn and Eva choose the love of the game or real life together?

My Review:
Flat out, this is just a series that I enjoy reading. This installment was a little different though in that it took the series away from the major league Saints and down to their Triple-A team, the Preachers, where Finn has been exiled to for a year to get his head on straight. This is his final chance to straighten out and he doesn't want to do anything to screw it up.

So the book is set within a completely new set of characters, although we met Finn in the last book. The Preachers front office is run by Eva. She has a long history with the team...although I have to admit to some curiosity. Her story is that her parents died suddenly when she was 18, leaving her and her three sisters orphaned. Eva stepped up to care for her sisters and gave up her life to act as her guardian. I loved that aspect of the story, but there was so much about the parent's story line that was left unanswered. Her father was tied to the Preachers, but it was never revealed how/why that was. At the beginning of the book that seemed like something that would be a shock for Finn, but then that story line just dissipated. In fact, it felt like there were several threads left loose related to that whole time in Eva's life.

I'll be honest...I read the last book in the series (I've read them all), but I really can't remember the details of how Finn screwed up. That was a bit frustrating in this book because it's never fully laid out how things played out to earn him getting demoted. If I remember right, he screwed up, but it was never as bad as it was made out to be in this book. He was simply upset and made some bad decisions...but maybe I'm remembering that wrong. Because if that's the case, then the fact he's really not that bad of a guy should have been made clear to Eva at some point in time.

But those were the things that didn't quite work for me. What did work for me was the romance and the chemistry between these two. I loved them together and how from the very beginning, Finn is fully aware that he is going to want more than Eva wants to give him. I love it when the hero is more into the relationship than the heroine. That makes them so swoon-worthy. 

I liked the elements of baseball and the team mentality that came through the story. Since both Eva and Finn work for the Preachers, the baseball played heavily into this story. I also loved the glimpses we got of the Saints and all the characters we've fallen in love with from the other stories. It was a highly entertaining book and remains one of my favorite sports series. Now I'm dying to know who comes next in the series. I really want Connor to get a book, but will the author stay with the Triple-A team? I have a feeling the answer is no... But we'll see. Whoever it's about, I'll definitely be reading it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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