Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Book Review: READING THE SIGNS by Keira Andrews

Reading the Signs
by Keira Andrews
Genre: Contemporary M/M sports romance

Book Description 

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.

Carra's Review

Take one of my favorite sports (baseball) and pair it with my favorite genre (M/M romance) and I just couldn’t resist picking up Reading the Signs.  Throw in the age gap and coming out tropes along with some light BDSM…well now you’re just ticking off a whole bunch of my favorite boxes. This book has all of it, plus some added family drama-and it all combines to result in a really great story that I’ll be re-reading many times.  It is also told from both Nico and Jake's points of view, giving the story additional depth that I really appreciated.

I loved the main characters.  Jake is a veteran player who is not out publicly, and is strong, in-control and let’s not forget-sexy as hell.  Nico is a rookie, feeling the pressure to perform in the big leagues and letting his temper get the best of him more often than not.  They know each other from when they were younger and Jake played with Nico’s brother back in school…when Nico was crushing on Jake but never let it be known.  After all, according to his father there’s no place in baseball for someone who’s gay.  So Nico is also in the closet—way in the back corner, wedged in tight.  At least until Jake is traded to Nico’s team.

Jake and Nico actually complement each other really well, with Jake’s experience and calm demeanor countering Nico’s inexperience in the majors and his tendency to fly off the handle.  Jake’s influence helps balance Nico out-in more ways than one.  After their first real confrontation over Nico’s attitude during a game (in a scene that is the only reason I didn’t rate this 5 stars-Jake’s reaction is extreme and unacceptable, something he realizes and does acknowledge but it still made me cringe a bit), they start a relationship-that of course is also in the closet.  Because in the world of sports where alpha males abound and historically homosexuals have not really been accepted, neither man wants to take the chance with their careers.

There’s angst, drama and plenty of heat to be found, but there’s also acceptance and self-discovery.  As the two of them grow closer and closer, I became more and more invested in their relationship.  But one of my favorite scenes is between Nico and his father, where Nico becomes fed up and finally takes a stand.  It’s emotional and made me fall for Nico’s character even more.  There’s also a very pivotal point late in the story after a play Jake is involved in during a game, and what happens afterward shows just how far he and Nico have come-not just together, but individually as well.

Reading the Signs gets 4.5 stars from me, and if your an M/M sports romance fan you are definitely not going to want to miss this one-I do highly recommend it.  This story is for readers 18+ only due to adult language and explicit M/M sexual content, including some light BDSM…that will probably leave you hot and bothered ;-) 

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