(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: Suttonville Sentinels
Published by Entangled Teen Crush on March 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Dating & Relationships, Love & Romance, Performing Arts, Sports & Recreation, Young Adult, Young Adult Fiction
Outfielder Tristan Murrell has a problem. As the number two slugger for the Suttonville Sentinels, his team is counting on him to make their very first run at the state championship. But he has a secret—his swing has totally deserted him. As in, he can’t hit anything. He needs to fix the issue, and fast, but how?
Ballerina Alyssa Kaplan has a problem, too. The shiny new sports complex in town has left her family’s batting cage business on the verge of going under. Nailing her audition for a prestigious dance company is everything, but there’s no way she’s letting her some shiny big-box company destroy her family’s livelihood.
Tristan needs a miracle. So does Alyssa. And maybe, just maybe, Tristan’s secret weapon might be the girl of his dreams…
Disclaimer: This book contains hot, shirtless baseball players, kisses that bring a ballerina to her knees, and a lot of baseball smack-talk.
Kendra C. Highley continues to astound me with her romances. I loved The Bad Boy Bargain, so much so that I admitted that Kyle Sawyer gave Ben Franklin a run for his money. If you know how much I loved Ben, you know that is a big deal. Well, add Tristan Murrell to the list of male leads that I am swooning over!
Okay, it’s hard to compete with Kyle and Ben—they’re at a whole other ballpark of book boyfriends. So, Tristan had a lot to measure up to, and I couldn’t wait to meet him and fall in love with him like I had the other guys in my heart.
This is the second book in the Suttonville Sentinels series, so I got to see some of my favorite characters from The Bad Boy Bargain in a whole new light. Kyle Sawyer was still as cute as ever, and I honestly don’t know how he convinced anyone that he was a bad boy before. Faith Gladwell locked on tight to the friend I wish I had role, and I even fell for a few new characters.
But the focus of this story: Alyssa Kaplan and Tristan Murrell, and I shipped them so hard.
Alyssa was an ex-softball player turned dancer and daughter of the inside batting cage owner in Suttonville. She knew how to throw a wicked curve ball and danced in pointe better than almost anyone at the studio. She was fierce and independent. While she obviously had a girly side, she wasn’t afraid to work on the pitching machine in cage five or smack talk an overly cocky baseball player when he needed to be put in his place. In other words, I loved half of the story being told through her eyes. She was loyal to a fault, and she had to learn that sometimes she did need to put herself first. Her first decision: fall for Tristan.
Tristan was in a slump. He wanted to be captain of the Sentinels, but unless he got out his funk and started hitting some homeruns soon, it wasn’t in his future. He walked into Swing Away, Alyssa’s dad’s batting cages, and everything changed. With Alyssa around, he was a better player. She challenged him in ways that he had never endured before and kept him on his toes about where they stood in their relationship. I did love him. He’s up there with amazing book boyfriends, especially with the wonderful way that he treated Alyssa, but it’s too darn hard to compare with Kyle and Ben. (See what you’ve done to me, Kendra?)
Their happiness came to a resounding halt when a few secrets are thrown into the mix. I live tweeted while I read it and had so many emotions going through my head. It was obvious that Tristan and Alyssa needed to be together, but it stressed me out waiting for it to happen—in the best possible way, obviously. For instance, I didn’t know what to think of Alyssa’s best friend, Lauren. Sometimes, I hated her. Other times, I was like, “Go Lauren!” It’s a rollercoaster of emotions the whole way through, and I could scantly put it down. I basically read the whole thing in one sitting and went from one emotional spectrum to the next.
Let me just talk about Tristan’s best friend, Dylan Dennings. PLEASE tell me he’s getting his own book? I’m just going to leave that little seed of I need that book right here.
Kendra! Stop with the amazing books! Okay, okay, don’t stop with the amazing books because I want to keep reading them forever. I’m a romance junkie, and Kendra C. Highley is at the top of my list for insta-buy, must-read, and I-need-that-book-now authors! I’m already anticipating her next book. Lovers of baseball, ballet, and a few stolen kisses here and there can rejoice for this story of finding the swing of things, love and otherwise.