Alessandra Torre never disappoints. A bewitching tale of first loves and second chances, laced with just enough mystery to keep our hearts racing, this was a book I could not put down for a second. And even though the author wastes no time in immersing us deeply into the fast-paced world of Major League Baseball—the heart-stopping backdrop to this captivating tale—we know from the start that this is a love story first and foremost, one whose heartbeat never fails to pound to the rhythm of the game it sprouts from, up and down, faster and faster, and all the heart-stopping beats in between. I swooned, I ached, I cheered on until the very last page, and fell just a bit more in love with this author’s remarkable ability to transform her voice time and time again.
I loved them all. I would do anything for those forty guys. And they would fight to their end for me. This team was my family, my soul.
After losing her mother as a child, Tyler “Ty” Rollins gave up dolls and dresses when she was only seven years old for a life on the road with her dad, one of the most prominent closing pitchers in the league, living and breathing the game of baseball every single day since then. Now a ball girl for the New York Yankees, seventeen-year-old Ty has found a family among her father’s teammates, a life she loves and hopes never to change, especially with adulthood looming before her. But everything changes the day Chase Stern, finest batter and most notorious “bad boy” in the league, gets traded to the New York Yankees after his latest indiscretion.
“How can you not want him on our team? He’s Chase Stern.”
“I have a teenage daughter. That’s the only reason I need.”
Warned about his reputation, Ty tries her best to avoid the team’s newest player and to never catch his eye, but from the moment he walks out onto the field and takes his first swing, her childhood crush becomes so much more.
He was a superstar, the best in a sea of greats, and that was what my soul struggled with the most. Because as much as he may be a slut or an ass, all it took was him swinging that bat against a fastball, or his impossible leap into the air after a line drive, and I was lost.
As one of the most coveted players in the league, Chase Stern has gotten away with more than his fair share of improprieties, but since joining the team of his dreams, a team known for its strict code of conduct and low tolerance for scandals of any sort, he has tried his best to keeps his focus on the game, and to stay out of trouble. From the moment he sees Ty, however, he knows he is going to lose the battle with his self-control, and as one innocent night-time walk quickly turns into any and every stolen moment they can find to be in each other’s arms, we watch them fall head over heels in love with one another, a first for both.
“I’m going to marry you one day, Ty Rollins.”
But as quickly as it started, it all just as quickly comes crashing down around them, and they do not lay eyes on each other for the next four years. When we see them again, they are both changed people in so many ways, even though their hearts have never recovered, regardless of how hard they both tried. When suddenly faced with being in the same city again, they are finally forced to confront the past, and what they uncover might change their lives forever.
What would happen when he saw her? Every emotion that he’d tried to bury, every piece that he’d tried to forget…it would all come back.
An addictive read start to finish, with a subtle vein of mystery gently interwoven into the storyline, this was a book I seriously found myself unable to put down. I loved the contrast between the euphoric innocence of a first love, and the more complex feelings these characters have to overcome when faced with a second chance at happiness; I was enthralled by the writing style, its fast pace and short sentences mimicking the swiftness of a game of baseball; and even though, at times, I craved a more visceral connection between the characters—one I could feel in my bones, see in their every action, taste in their every word—making me feel less detached from them on occasion, and less swept away by the storyline itself, this, ultimately, did not affect my enjoyment of this captivating book in any significant way. This story literally took my breath away with its vigorous pace and clever plot twist, and when all the puzzle pieces finally came together, I found myself once again in awe of Ms Torre’s ability to create such interesting stories that never fail to warm my heart.
First loves were supposed to be flimsy and temperamental. They were supposed to burn bright and fade fast. They weren’t supposed to stick. They weren’t supposed to eat away at a man’s heart, his capacity for life.