Jonas Sutton is living his dream as a major league ball player, but he’s been in a slump lately and hasn’t lived up to his potential. He loves the game, but he’s struggling with a secret that he feels he can never reveal in order to keep his career.
Daisy Flowers has had baseball in her blood her entire life, but transphobia and misogyny in the sport she loves have kept her in the minor leagues, training other players to live her dream. Daisy has always been a wild child and after years of getting passed over, she is distrustful and ready to throw down in every heat of the moment. When she finally gets the call to the majors, Daisy is all in, but she’s not exactly a team player.
Daisy’s arrival throws the team and the world of baseball into the spotlight. Her attitude and then her icy reception from most of the team puts Daisy at odds with everyone in her path. Jonas is attracted to Daisy from the start, but he knows that getting close to Daisy could explode his own career. If Daisy and Jonas can trust each other, everything else in their lives may just fall into place as well.
Under the Rainbow Week for our Reading Challenge Month provides a great opportunity to read pairings that I don’t read as often. While I do read across all pairings, I have not previously encountered a book in this genre that featured two transgender characters as the leads.
The book opens with Jonas, but overall, I did feel like it was more Daisy’s story. We know right away what the secret is that Jonas is keeping. He’s terrified that someone will find out and he feels guilty for not being more of an advocate and his game is suffering. Jonas knows of Daisy; it seems like everyone in the baseball world knows of Daisy, and Jonas followed Daisy’s college baseball career and always had a bit of a crush on her. Jonas was not expecting the whirlwind that Daisy is to blow into his life and shake every thing up.
The author does a good job of showcasing what Daisy has gone through in her life and all of the many obstacles that were thrown in her way. Because of all this, Daisy has no idea how to be a team player and while she can come off as abrasive, it is easy to feel the years of discrimination and frustration rolling off her, and there is a lifetime of hurt hiding not too far below the surface. Daisy and Jonas are at odds immediately because Jonas feels that if he gets too close to Daisy, everyone will see what he has been hiding for so many years.
I liked the story here, but I found the style of writing rigid. Daisy and Jonas both have POVs and their voices sounded too similar to me. The story also wandered on its path some as there are secondary characters that are given storylines and they didn’t all flow into the main narrative for me either. The romance between Daisy and Jonas is secondary and, while we know they are attracted to each other, there is a lot for them to go through individually before being together and we didn’t get to spend too much time with them as a couple. Then there were time jumps at the end of the story that didn’t help to ground their HEA.
I enjoyed that this book is available for the story it does tell, and I would take a look at this author’s work in the future for books with a range of diverse characters finding their dreams.
This review is part of our 2021 Reading Challenge Month for Under the Rainbow Week! Leave a relevant comment below and you will be entered to win a fabulous paperback book bundle from Carina Press (you can see the details on the bundle in our Prize Preview post)! Commenters will also be entered to win our amazing Grand Prize sponsored by NineStar Press: a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with 50 NineStar Press books! And don’t forget if you read along with your own challenge book this week, you can earn ten contest entries for writing a mini-review on our wrap up post on Friday! You can get more information on our Challenge Month here (including all the contest rules) and more details on Under the Rainbow Week here.