FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Harper Collins (via Edelweiss).
Series: Love Between the Bases #1
Publisher: Avon on May 26, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Playing for the Kilby Catfish is hotshot pitcher Caleb Hart's last chance to salvage his career after a major league meltdown. But the day of his opener with the minor league team, Caleb strikes out with the gorgeous woman who is delivering a petition to run the unruly Catfish out of town. Now, to stay in the lineup, Caleb will need to score big with the feisty brunette he can't keep out of his thoughts.
After the nasty lies Sadie Merritt's rich ex-boyfriend spread about her all over town, she's lucky to have a job at all. She can't afford to screw it up by falling for the player who is supposed to be helping her change the image of the fun-loving Catfish. But that's easier said than done when Caleb's voice alone is enough to make her pulse race. And when he surprises her with a mind-blowing kiss, she knows there's no turning back.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Caleb is facing a low point in his career, putting too much pressure on himself to take care of his family. His past is something he’d love to leave in the past, but it keeps showing up again in the form of his ex-con father. Sadie’s just trying to fly under the radar and salvage what she can of her reputation. They’re not all that impressed with each other when they first meet, but a tentative friendship is born, and before either of them see it coming, their feelings cross into something more serious.
Sadie’s situation is sad and unfortunately not all that uncommon. Her ex-boyfriend, mad at her for having broken up with him, took to slut-shaming her by posting intimate pictures of her online and emailing around an embarrassing video. Whether she’s done anything wrong or not (in this case not) it seems that everyone has turned against her. Even finding a job was next to impossible until the mayor hired her as a favor to Sadie’s mother. The local minor league baseball team on which Caleb plays has a past and reputation of their own, and Sadie is tasked with helping them clean up their image — but Caleb’s simply too hard to resist of course.
While their friendship made sense to me as it grew, I never completely felt the connection between Caleb and Sadie. Fortunately, their individual stories were so interesting that I couldn’t help but keep reading. I was most impressed by the fact that Sadie, while still labeled and shamed by the locals, has enough confidence and self-worth to stand up and eventually go after what she truly wants with Caleb. There was lots of not-so-platonic banter early in their friendship, and it carried over into their more serious relationship as it grew. The fact that while they both initially resisted, they soon gave in and didn’t care what the town thought, just made them both that much more likable in my eyes.
All of Me is a bit different than your standard romance novel, though it follows the same general formula. What makes it stand out are the characters themselves, each dealing with very realistic and believable problems, even as their relationship together grows. Sadie’s a bit of a spitfire, and Caleb is incredibly generous in the way he puts his family first. If you love a good love story and really appreciate characters who don’t fall for every contrived bit of drama thrown their way, this one is definitely the book for you.