you should be so lucky coverRating: 4.75 stars
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Length: Novel


It is 1960 and Eddie O’Leary has recently been drafted to the new Major League Baseball expansion team, the New York Robins. Unfortunately, Eddie’s knee-jerk negative reaction to finding out he was being traded to the Robins was caught on camera and now he is the villain of the team. None of his teammates will even talk to him, the fans hate him, and to make things even worse, Eddie is in the worst batting slump of his life. On his old team, Eddie was a star player, had friends, was close enough to home to visit, and had enough privacy to occasionally seek some companionship with another man. Now, Eddie is both one of the most recognizable faces in the city, while also being unbearably lonely and wondering if what looked like a stellar career in the major leagues is going to be over in his second season.

Mark Bailey lost his partner, William, about a year ago and he is still mired in grief. One of the hardest parts about losing William is that to the rest of the world they were simply friends and roommates. Mourning the man he thought he’d spend his life with while not revealing their love to anyone else is incredibly difficult and Mark has basically spent the last year in stasis. Technically, Mark is still a reporter for the Chronicle, but in practice, he is barely writing anything anymore. However, Mark agrees to write a series of stories about Eddie, which the team hopes will help with a little PR.

Mark assumes Eddie is an obnoxious jerk who doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut in front of the cameras. Instead, he realizes that the shock at his trade made Eddie react with emotion instead of media savvy. In fact, Eddie rarely seems to know what is good for him, leading with his heart and an openness that the more sharp and grumpy Mark finds almost shocking, while at the same time surprising himself by how much he wants to protect Eddie. The two men become unlikely friends and the attraction between them grows. But while Mark lived in the closet with William, he hasn’t been as discreet lately, which means that any interaction with Eddie will face scrutiny that a professional athlete can’t afford. However, Eddie knows that he wants happiness and he wants to be with Mark, and he is willing to take the chance to make that happen. Mark and Eddie are an unlikely pair, but two lonely men might just find a way to happiness together.

Oh, I just loved this book so much. It is all the grumpy/sunshine, slow burn deliciousness that just made me so happy. I adored Mark and Eddie together and I just sank into this rich and beautiful character-driven story. These men seem so different on the surface, with Mark a sharp and sometimes grumpy man who is still mourning the loss of his partner and figuring out how to go forward. And Eddie is this sweetheart who has such an open heart and doesn’t always know how to protect himself. But underneath the surface, they are two very lonely men who are facing lives in upheaval. Mark has lost the man he thought he’d be with for the rest of his days and trying to understand the new shape his life will now take. And Eddie’s reaction to coming to the Robins has left him the object of the fans’ ire, while his teammates literally ignore him. The pain that he feels as day after day no one will even speak to him is so palpable, my heart broke for Eddie. And on top of that, he is dealing with this batting slump that makes him question if everything he thought his life would be is suddenly over.

As these men meet and grow their friendship, they end up easing one another’s loneliness and finding this lovely connection. Mark can’t help but be wary that any connection to him will put Eddie at risk, and he tries to keep his distance. But while Eddie might be naive about some things, he knows what he wants and what he is willing to risk. There is just such a sweet tenderness that grows between them and the romance is just lovely. This is a slow burn and a quiet story that is really a chance to watch these men blossom, both in their individual journeys and with one another. I think there may be some readers who find it too quiet, as there is not a lot of external plot, but I really adored every moment of this story and just felt like I could sink right into it.

Cat Sebastian is so good with historicals and really enriching them with a great sense of time and place. This story takes place in 1960 New York City and Sebastian brings it all to life. There are such great details about life in the city in general, as well as for gay men in particular. We also get to see baseball of that era and I enjoyed how it is integrated with the larger story. This isn’t a “sports book” in the traditional sense, as we don’t really see Eddie playing or watch games or practices. The fact that Eddie is a professional athlete facing this slump is more to develop his character than to focus on baseball itself. But it works so well as a backdrop to the larger character growth, along with really rounding out some of the larger story themes. I liked how many of the side characters are a lot more than meets the eye at first, particularly the team manager.

This story is part of the same world as Sebastian’s We Could Be So Good. Mark works at Andy’s paper, and Andy and Nick make appearances here. However, it doesn’t appear to be officially a series and this book will stand alone totally fine if you haven’t read the other. However, these books are just so good, I encourage you to try both. I absolutely loved this book and I found myself touched and moved by the story and the characters. I definitely recommend it, particularly for fans of slow burns and grumpy/sunshine stories.

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