Review – Catching Heat by Alison Packard

Catching HeatPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

Life has taught Angie DeMarco that all baseball players are womanizers, and her incredible one-night stand with sexy San Francisco Blaze back-up catcher J.T. Sawyer seemed to prove it. Determined not to give in to their sizzling chemistry a second time, she’s kept her distance ever since, focusing on her accounting job with the team. But now she’s laid off…and pregnant.

J.T. was hurt by Angie’s rejection, but with one more year with the Blaze, he has no time for love. He needs to spend the off season training hard so he can negotiate a better contract with a new team at the end of the year. But when Angie shows up on his doorstep, he‘s overwhelmed by wanting to not just do right by her but pursue a relationship with her. Hoping for a second chance, he proposes.

Angie agrees to marry J.T. on one condition: the marriage will be purely a business arrangement. But as Angie spends time with him and his family, and J.T. neglects his training to spend time with her, what begins as a union in name only slowly grows into something more—something that looks a whole lot like love and friendship.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I absolutely adore Packard’s contemporary romances, and think that everyone who loves Shannon Stacey, Jill Shalvis and Carly Phillips absolutely MUST pick up one of Packard’s books!

Angie loves her front office staff job at the Blaze, so when she finds out that she will be laid off it throws her world into a tailspin, especially since she’s pregnant. Walking out on J.T. after their night together was the only thing Angie could think of to do to keep her heart in tact. Having his child is a complication she doesn’t need, but one she is ready to accept. However, T.J.’s marriage proposal takes her by surprise, and she doesn’t know if she can stand to marry a man who doesn’t love her.

J.T was raised by parents who taught him the value in coming for a two-parent home. It’s what he wants for his child, so when Angie announces her pregnancy, J.T. tries to get her to marry him right away. Agreeing to Angie’s marriage of convenience rule, they tie the knot. Spending time together shows both Angie and J.T. just how great their lives could be together, if they were both willing to take a chance on love.

I absolutely love marriage of convenience tropes, so this book really worked for me in that regard. Add in the unplanned baby, and I was a total sucker for Angie and J.T. I thought all the forced time they had to spend together was absolutely perfect, and it really worked with the progression of their romance. I liked the slow burn they had going on, especially after their passion fueled night. It really gave them a lot of sexual tension to work through that I thought was so great.

Poor J.T. was pretty much in love with Angie, so when she agreed to marry him with her conditions, he really set out to make sure she actually fell in love with him. Although he was planning on devoting himself 110% to baseball training, I liked the way that Angie and the pregnancy started taking some priorities, and J.T. was able to show just how devoted he was to Angie and their marriage.

Unfortunately for Angie, she had a lot of hangups about J.T. and their relationship. While this would normally be a huge negative factor for me, Packard was able to make Angie change and grow in a way that I completely accepted her. She was so emotionally stunted by her mother and father, that I was able to easily believe in where she stood. However, she also grew to trust and care for J.T. each and every time that his actions proved he could. I loved that Angie was able to see that J.T. was trustworthy, and that his goal of making her fall head over heels was so easily achieved.

In addition to the wonderful hero and heroine and the great romance, the one thing that really stood out in this book was the secondary characters. J.T.’s family was INCREDIBLE. I loved watching them interact with one another. They were so loving and real with each other. All the Sawyer brothers were so fun in their own ways, and Packard confirmed with me on Twitter that they are all getting their own books (YAY!!).

All in all, I thought this was such a wonderful book in the Feeling the Heat series. I thought both Angie and J.T. were wonderful characters to read and fall in love with. The Sawyer family made this already sweet romance even better by being awesome secondary characters. I am now waiting anxiously for Packard’s next book!
I give Catching Heat a A-

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