Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books
Release Date: 9/22/2016
Length: 293 Pages
Genre: Contemporary, M/M, Sports, Romance
This hot-headed rookie needs discipline—on and off the field.
Pitcher Nico Agresta is desperate to live up to his family’s baseball legacy. Since he was a teenager crushing on his big brother’s teammate, he’s known he can’t act on his desires. His father made it clear there should be no queers on the field, but if Nico can win Rookie of the Year like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he’s worthy after all.
At 34, veteran catcher Jake Fitzgerald just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn’t have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress? Jake lost his passion for the game—and life—after driving away the man he loved, and he swore he’d never risk his heart again.
Then he’s traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. But tightly wound Nico is having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection, and Jake needs to teach him patience and restraint on the mound.
When their push and pull explodes into the bedroom, Nico and Jake will both learn how much they’ll risk for love.
This gay sports romance features men who have been repressing their feelings far too long, light BDSM, an age difference, sweaty locker rooms, and a happy ending.
I received a copy of Settling the Score by Eden Winters via Indigo Marketing & Design in exchange for an honest review.
I was glued to this book. Weekend reads are so special when you happen across a story that pulls you in and keeps you focused on a world not your own. It feels like a vacation.
I’ve read several Keira Andrews books and she continues to surprise me. I never know what’s next from her.
In Reading the Signs she gives us a sports romance with no skimping on the sport. If you like baseball, you’re going to appreciate the attention to detail. I may not be baseball’s biggest fan, but I could more than appreciate a sports themed romance that gives much more than a passing wave at the theme.
The romance was heart-breaking/warming. My favorite kind. We are given an amazing set of characters. Each fully developed and shown true-to-life. No caricatures in this book.
Nico’s Italian family:
Nonna – religious, great cook, loving and commanding grandmother who still presides over her family even well into her 80s.
Father Al – American-Italian old fashioned head of the household. These men are intrinsically good but have some bad (offensive) habits and mind frame.
Sister Val – nosy, emotional and supportive
Brother Marco – clueless but accepting
Jake’s Canadian family:
Widowed mother – highly active in her community. Always with a positive outlook and completely accepting.
Ron – the friendly hookup
Brandon – the heartbreak friend
Diego – the forgiving and accepting friend
The teammates and coaches all portrayed so life-like.
Everyone so real that when I finished reading and looked up I had to say “oh, hello world” because I’d been lost in the one Andrews built.
Jake is an older pro-baseball player at the tail-end of his career. He’s gay and out to his family and close friends but still in the general closet in deference to his career. He’s made mistakes in the past with people who counted. Now, he’s ready to finish out his last two years and retire peacefully. But the sudden, surprise transfer throws his life into turmoil. Even though he gets to go back to Canada, he has to start all over again in a new location with new teammates. It’s unsettling enough even before he meets Nico.
Nico is the little brother of one of Jake’s baseball friends. He used to play catch with Jake when he was 13. That was also when he developed a hopeless crush on Jake. But, Nico is so far in the closet that he can barely admit to himself that he may be gay. Nico’s anxiety and self-esteem issues are affecting his inborn athletic talent. The best thing that’s ever happened to him is getting Jake as a catcher on his team and a soulmate in his life.
Both characters experience growing pains as they resolve past issues and forge a new future. I was rooting for each in turn. For me, the family scenes were the most poignant and brought tears to my eyes. But watching these two men do incredible things for each other by helping to heal old wounds and repair existing holes was beautiful to watch. The epilogue was just perfect.
Reviewed by Fabi