Fastball by V.K.Sykes
Reviewed by Mandi
Maddie is five months into her job as a sportswriter for a newspaper in Philadelphia. It is currently baseball season, which means she is traveling with the major league team, the Philadelphia Patriots. She has earned most of the guys respect on the team as well as her colleagues. Her boss is always pushing her to come up with a bigger feature, and now Maddie has an idea. Recently, superstar Jake Miller was called up from the minors now that his injury is healed. Maddie and Jake have chemistry on the sidelines and she asks Jake for an interview. Knowing it is against the rules for them to set up an interview themselves (they have to go through certain people) they sneak off to have dinner together where Maddie gets a great scoop on Jake, and the sexual tension between them continues to build.
But Maddie knows it would not be professional to start a relationship with one of the players she is reporting on. They also get in trouble for doing an unauthorized interview. Then a gambling scandal sprouts out of nowhere and this book takes an odd turn.
I wanted to like this book, as I love baseball romances but this one didn’t quite do it for me. I think the baseball world was set up well and the atmosphere at the games and in the locker rooms I enjoyed. I like that Jake is a well known baseball player struggling with an injury and his place on the team again. What I didn’t like was Maddie. She comes across as too much of a goody-goody. If anything bad happens, it’s somehow not her fault and everyone should know it. Her attitude of being too perfect, but pity me if something does go wrong, really got on my nerves.
Further, most of the book there is drama because Maddie and Jake want to be together but ethically and professionally they shouldn’t be because of their reporter/baseball player status. Which okay, I get. Yet, all of a sudden towards the end of the book, this gambling scenario comes into play and – spoiler
Maddie gets kidnapped by the gambling ring leader. Huh? Isn’t this a fun, cute contemporary? Not a fan of the kidnapping and not calling the police action at the end.
So the gambling takes center stage and the conflict of why Maddie and Jake can’t be together is only briefly resolved in the epilogue. I was also not a fan of how Maddie handled the gambling story and I don’t see how Jake could still be madly in love with her afterwards.
This one had potential but fell apart for me towards the end and had an unlikeable heroine.