Cash Mitchell is starting his first game as a MLB pitcher and his nerves have gotten the best of him. He was called up from a farm team and even though he has the skills, there are people who think Cash got preferential treatment since his Uncle Skip is one of the best known baseball scouts. His is also mentored by veteran catcher, Cary Brewer, and that also flares some jealousy with other players, but spending time with Cary may be the highlight of Cash’s day.
Cary will be the first to agree that Cash has talent. However, he can’t let on how attractive he thinks Cash is. Cary isn’t out and he’s older and a mentor to Cary and all of that doesn’t sit well with him. But when a tragedy has Cash leaning more on Cary, the attraction and feelings only intensify, and the men have to figure out how to play baseball and be together at the same time.
I often look at sports romances and a baseball one sounded great, but this story didn’t work for me at all. The book opens with Cash’s nerves out of control right before he’s set to pitch his first major league baseball game. Cary is there to help him out, as he has been since Cash joined the team. Cash is twenty-two and for a good portion of the book we only know that Cary is, as he says, “not twenty-two.” They have always had an attraction, but Cary has been a mentor to Cash and neither of them has even approached the line, let alone crossed it. Cary calls Cash “kid” all of the time—the word is there almost 100 times in the book, and when Cary says he feels like a “creep” being attracted to Cash because he’s Cash’s mentor, I started to understand how he felt that way with the amount of “kid” references. Cash is also shown as young and slightly naïve, and he didn’t seem ready to be a professional baseball pitcher or even ready to be in a serious relationship.
Cash is close to his Uncle Skip and Skip’s partner is a drag queen. When there is a tragedy, Skip’s partner has a lot of page time, and it wasn’t clear how this all fit into Cash and Cary’s story. At the end of the book, it is stated that there is a prequel book for Skip and his partner, so this was also then the continuation of that story.
All of the lead up to Cash and Cary bonding over baseball has already happened off page when the story starts and I never felt that bond and it all seemed like new attraction to me. The style of writing was scattered for me as the story then moves quickly to accelerating the relationship between Cash and Cary and adding in the business of baseball. Some of upper management doesn’t want Cash on the team, but that storyline wasn’t stellar either. It all read as messy to me, jumping from one topic and scene to the next, and the style here wasn’t enjoyable for me.