I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Home Run by Heidi McLaughlin
Series: The Boys of Summer #2
Published by Forever Genres: Contemporary
Cooper Bailey didn’t always want to play baseball but after his mother passed away he and his father bonded over it as a way to heal. Now he has just been called up to the majors and he definitely has to prove himself. The team is currently having spring training in Florida where there is practice, media, and giving back to the community. When his team heads to the zoo to meet with under privileged children and spend the day with them, Cooper meets Ainsley who organized the event. Cooper knows he needs to concentrate on keeping himself on the roster but one look at Ainsley and he knows he wants to get to know her better. When Ainsley rebuffs his advances he knows he will have to work harder to convince her to at least go on one date with him but will dating Ainsley start to become his down fall?
Ainsley Burke had to step down from her job as a zoo keeper to help take care of her dying mother. She doesn’t have much time for anything other than the part time hours she puts in at the zoo while her mother’s home health nurse is there. Ainsley organized for the team to visit the zoo and she will admit she might have done a little research on the newly acquired Cooper Bailey. When Cooper starts to show interest in her she knows she has to shut it down but it never occurred to her that he would be so persistent. They start dating and everything seems to be going well until her mother passes away and she pushes Cooper back where he belongs – to his game. But now Ainsley needs Cooper more than ever but is he willing to give her a chance to explain?
Home Run was more emotional than I thought it was going to be when I started reading, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It was also sexy, funny and had really great characters in Ainsley and Cooper. I really enjoyed them and the chemistry that they had. From the very beginning when they meet you can see how interested they are in one another yet they both have reasons not to pursue a relationship but give it a chance any way. I liked that Cooper wasn’t your typical ball player, he was actually kind of awkward which made him even cuter. From the beginning he knew Ainsley could be the one and didn’t give up until she pushed him far away. I get why Ainsley pushed Cooper away but I couldn’t help but feel bad for both of them because they were so into one another and torn on how to handle what was going on.
Of course the best part about Home Run was the romance but Heidi McLaughlin did incorporate a lot of baseball and spring training rituals that made it realistic and fun. As far as the drama there was very little to none which I liked. The only thing that kept them apart was the different ways that their lives were pulling them. There wasn’t a moment in Home Run where I was bored and left unsatisfied. I actually liked Home Run much better than the previous book in The Boys of Summer series.
Overall, Home Run was a fantastic sports romance that I would happily recommend to all my friends even if they aren’t baseball fans like I am. Cooper is drool worthy and Ainsley had a good heart. Will they be the power couple of The Boys of Summer series or will they have some competition in the future? All I know is that I can’t wait for the next story in this series!