|Squeeze Play bats at baseball fans everywhere, but only scores fouls where this romance reader is concerned.
Ever since high school, pro player Risk Kincaid has been Jacy
Grayson's rebound lover. Whenever she breaks up, he goes back to his
hometown to cheer her up. She's been keeping him so busy the last
twelve years that he hasn't had time for any other lover. Now, he's
back in town again to organize a fundraiser, but this time, he's
aiming at something more permanent. Jacy would like nothing better;
she's only ever had one lover. But since neither Risk nor Jacy come
clean to each other, they get their own story and a very drawn out
one at that.
Risk keeps wanting to propose to her, but never pulls it off. Every
time he's ready to say the words, something happens. Nor is it always
external factors that distract him. Even when they're debating the
ideal spouse over a Cosmo quiz, speech fails him almost as badly the
story did me. The way I figure it, Risk must be lacking something in
the intelligence department. He's spent not one, not two but twelve
years as Jacy's friend and rebound lover, but has never wondered
where all her other men are and why no one's ever mentioned any.
While Risk is striking out swing after swing, his teammates are
working hard to get their love lives to home base. Zen Driscoll is
lining up for Jacy's friend, Stevie Cole. She, however, is rooting
for Aaron Grayson. When Aaron publicly announces he is engaged to
Natalie Llewellyn, Zen steps up to the plate. Meanwhile, Aaron is in
for a few surprises. He's never realized how much Natalie enjoys
public sex and isn't sure he can keep, um, up with her. To make
matters worse, he suspects Natalie still has the hots for Zen (she
does). Which leads to predictable entanglements and big
misunderstandings that are as drawn out as main story's.
Lori Foster's front-cover endorsement pronounces the characters
"fun," but overdone and ridiculous come closer. At best, Zen is
likeable and Stevie touching. She makes up for her misplaced crush on
Aaron by having a real head for baseball trivia. Jacy's wacky
sweetness, on the other hand, is downright irritating. I might buy
her adventures with color (she regularly dies her hair in outlandish
shades and doesn't mind mixing stripes and plaids), but her work
ethics are unsavory. She runs a coffee shop where she invites Risk
for a quickie in the food cooler and offers her other clients a
personal touch: she adds sugar to their coffee, stirs it with her
finger and blows. Food and health regulations, anyone?
Fortunately, we aren't subjected to many quirky small towners, just a
couple of old men, ex-girlfriends and cute little girls who play
rules-free baseball under Jacy's and Risk's glowing eyes. And I will
reluctantly admit that the Bat Pack, Risk's three younger teammates,
have some testosterone-coated charm.
Readers who really care for baseball might enjoy the trivia questions
that pepper the book. I'm baseball illiterate and therefore no judge,
but I strongly suspect even they don't make this silly book worth a
minute of precious reading time.