Publish Date: March 11th
How we got this book: eARC from publisher
Minor league umpire Alice Darling loves everything about baseball. That means hunky ball players are strictly off limits—dating one would be professional suicide. With a young daughter and a brother to care for, she can’t afford to slip up.
Truth is, as a young, stupid, nineteen-year-old townie, she did once date a player. That’s how she wound up with her precious, nine-year-old daughter…and a determination to never make that mistake again. Alex Ross’s arrival in Florida for spring training, though, shakes her resolve in a big way.
Alex, a catcher for the Major League’s San Francisco Felons, has never let much get in the way of his game. One look at Alice changes everything, and he finds himself pursuing her with a single-minded purpose that plays hell with his concentration.
Booted back to the minors, he returns to Florida with his tail between his legs to work on his swing…and heat things up with Alice. But when rumors of their affair hit the sports blogosphere, Alice’s career is put in jeopardy, and their love starts to look more like a strikeout than a home run.
Warning: When a catcher struggling with his swing meets a stubborn single-mom umpire, his bat won’t be the only thing that heats up. Contains car sex, bed sex, sex sex, and a little angst for good measure.
*Blurb From Goodreads*
MinnChica: I love my sports romance, and although I’m not a huge fan of baseball, I think Dean does an incredible job of pulling the reader into the world of baseball and making you fall in love. I was really excited to read about Alice, because I thought her situation, being an umpire in a male dominated field, was really interesting, and I think Dean did a wonderful job handling the entire situation, as well as the romance.
E: I really enjoyed the first installment in Dean’s Boys of Summer series so I was excited to read about Alice. I found the hints about some of her challenges earlier very intriguing. While I enjoyed a lot of what Dean included in this story, which MinnChica mention above, I found myself slightly disappointed with the resolution of a particular thread. Despite that disappointment I am looking forward to the next installment.
MinnChica: I was also a bit disappointed in this book. While I really loved the romance between Alice and Alex, I thought it was a bit rushed at the end. I thought the build up of their romance was really well done. I liked that they became friends first, that they took their time hitting the sheets because of Alice’s love of being an umpire, and the possibilities of her losing her job if they were caught. However, once they had their big fight and were torn apart, I thought they came back together a bit too easily in the end. I would have liked the romance to be a bit more flushed out.
E: I did love the slow buildup and Alice’s very real fears. I also enjoyed watching how their relationship altered the way they handled their professional lives. It demonstrated how interwoven feelings are with everything else in life. I think my favorite example was when Alex was in the batting cage and the old security guard started giving him tips on his swing. I also agree with MinnChica that the making-up appeared to go a bit quickly given the drastic effects of their relationship. I was more bothered by the appearance that the catalyst of their break-up never suffered any consequences. I felt given the impact there should have been some sort of mention about what Alice and Alex were going to do as a result of their discovery.
MinnChica: I agree completely with E. I felt as if that particular plot point was left dangling, and I wanted some kind of resolution as well. One of the things that I wish Dean would explore a bit more in her books is continuing the story a bit further after the “I love yous.” I feel as if I need just a little bit more to really cement my belief in her characters. I think if there would have been an epilogue, or even another chapter as to where they were going to go next, I would have felt a lot better about the story overall. I can only hope that the next book in the series will take the time to update the reader on Alex and Alice’s romance.
E: YES! I wanted that something more so I could feel their relationship had a chance. So much changed in Alice’s life I wanted to see how the adjustment went. I also noticed Alex’s increased awareness of how much additional pressure he had to perform in his profession given his changed life circumstances as well. I think if they kept the same deliberation as their initial romance build-up their relationship could work but I wanted to see their characters remain essentially the same. I hope the next installment does provide us a peek at how they are doing.
MinnChica: All in all, I really enjoyed the second installment of the Boys of Summer series. I love the way that Dean is able to engage the reader and make you fall in love with the characters and the sport of baseball. I adored Alice, and while I thought she got a bit shafted at times, I really wanted to believe in her chance at a relationship with Alex. I hope that Dean gives us a chance to see them again in future books, and that we get to see their HEA in action.
I give Perfect Catch a B-
E: Despite my complaints I did enjoy reading this story. I think the beauty of the romance build-up smoothed over some of my concerns about the stability of their relationship later in the story. I also thought Dean’s detailed knowledge about baseball without drowning me in minutia really helped build the setting and let me grasp Alice’s professional and personal fears along with what was at stake for both main characters. I am curious to see what she does with the next installment.
I give Perfect Catch a B-