Dana reviews Reading the Signs by Keira Andrews (Published by KA Books, September 22. 2016. 295 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I love stories with gay players in sports, wondering about the parallels in real life. I am also a fan of this author’s other works. So when we were offered a copy for review, I jumped at the chance to see how this author wrote this trope.
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’s 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’s 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. 86,000 words.
There were so many things in this blurb that interested me. There was the gay romance set in baseball, the age difference between Nico and Jake, and the BDSM aspects. I was intrigued for sure.
Before Nico joined the major leagues, Jake was playing on the same team with Nico’s older brother. Nico idolized his brother’s teammate. Years later, Jake is traded to the team that Nico is pitching for. Both of them in their closets, not knowing the other is gay, they work on Nico’s control of the ball and his temper. Jake is more seasoned, but he no longer has the passion he once had for the game. I feel like it is partially because he has locked away so much of himself, that he has lost that part of himself. Nico has reasons for keeping quiet with his father and brother both playing professional baseball and he has so much to live up to. His passion for the sport is still there despite his anxiety of being found out. The two of them together can teach each other a lot.
In a moment of childish behavior by Nico, the dominant side of Jake comes out and so does Nico’s true desires. I do like Jake and Nico. They both have fiery personalities. Jake’s is more subdued but it is there. The passion between them is really hot. The blurb says light BDSM, and it really is accurate. If you are looking for contracts and clubs, it is not in this book. But the discipline of BDSM and the control and submission are present between the two of them and I think it is good for their relationship as pitcher and catcher on the field as well. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them as much as I would have liked to. I am used to realizations of love that hit the characters by surprise, and that didn’t happen here. The lust just gradually turned to love without a lot of notice. Perhaps it is more realistic because of that.
Of course the two of them have to keep their relationship on the down low. Not only are they sports figures, but they are on the same team and it could mean disaster if they are discovered. I always am on the edge of my seat wondering how they will be outed, because it seems inevitable. I was very surprised by the events that do happen, because I was not expecting things to go down that way. The author did surprise me and I really like that she did. I felt that the author ended the story very well and I enjoyed it a lot. I definitely recommend it, it was another great book by Keira Andrews.
8.5/10 Pots of Gold (85% Recommended) – Compares to 4.25/5 Stars
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and–although she loves delicious angst along the way–Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” Find out more about Keira and her books at http://www.keiraandrews.com.