Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Alison Packard - The Winning Season

Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team's newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She's got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly's not about to let that happen.
Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he's loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.
Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team's schedule on the road, they can't avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.

Comment: This book hasn't been in the pile for long. I don't exactly remember when I got it, but it was somewhere this year. The premise of the story seemed appealing to me despite the first book not being something I'd want to try. Usually I try to follow series' order but in this case I just wanted to get to this book and that's it.
This is the story of Kelly Maxwell, a successful woman working for a baseball team. She faces a new challenge, Matt Scanlon, a new player in the Blaze team, coming from the Dodgers, a rival team.
Matt knows he's done badly in the last year but he has good reasons. He doesn't know how welcome he will be in his new team but he didn't think he would have to deal with Kelly too.
Kelly and Matt met before and their conversation didn't went well. Could they now work together? Kelly needs to settle Matt's interviews with the press, but despite thinking they don't have anything to talk about, surprisingly they do have things in common...
I liked this story. I liked the "feel" of the story and how nice it was to meet the main characters and see them interact and become better by being together.
I liked that both Matt and Kelly acted believable. They didn't do stupid things and the author didn't turn this into comic/exaggerated territory. In the end of the day, this story was sweet, simple and almost perfect because of that.
The flaw I found in this book comes from the conflict. We are told about the character's secrets and personal issues, they share those and it's actually good because it helps to strengthen their bond. But at some point the secrets come out and one of them acts fast and without weighting the consequences. I found this hard to believe when they are characters that act so practical and conscientiously the rest of the time. I understand this is supposed to add some drama and accelerate the HEA by making them react and be forgiven but sincerely the whole situation didn't have to follow this cliché of fighting and making up.
I also didn't get all the baseball facts. That's a sport that we don't have here in my country and apart from movies I have no clue about how it's played, why some things happen and most of the baseball talk about specific or technical facts passed me by. I assume most things make sense though.
I'm not saying I graded this lower because I didn't get it, but it's true I didn't follow some parts. Still, I suppose things are correct and all that talk helps building up the story and the dilemma that can be to change teams.
The romance was sweet. I liked knowing Kelly and Matt. I also liked them together.
Kelly is a likable woman, she's been through some hard challenges but she's smart, understandable and dedicated to her work and her hobbies. I liked her a lot.
Matt also had difficulties in his past, we totally get why he behaved badly before and I felt much empathy towards him and how hard some things he went through must have been like. He faces some personal issues but also professional because he changed teams. I thin this subject was interesting and in a way I wish the author had focused a bit more on it.
Their relationship was quite balanced and easy to want to follow.
I liked the author's writing. I think the story itself helped but overall I had a good time and found the writing appealing and without annoying fuss or details. I'm really interested in reading more by her.
This first book by a new author surprised me positively and this book is quite good.
Grade: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment