Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Review - The Heat Is On by Katie Rose

Title: The Heat Is On
Series: The Boys of Summer #4
Author: Katie Rose
Release Date: January 5, 2016

Perfect for readers of Joanna Blake and Sawyer Bennett, hailed as “charming, sexy, and smart” by Lauren Layne, the Boys of Summer series from award-winning author Katie Rose heats up as a homegrown baseball star returns to snag the one that got away.

When veteran catcher Connor Jackson gets traded to the New Jersey Sonics, he welcomes the opportunity to possibly cap his career with a World Series ring in his home state. But there’s another reason Connor is glad things have come full circle. In pursuit of hardball glory, he left behind his college sweetheart, the one girl he could never forget. Seeing her again stirs up long-lost desires . . . and this time, he’s determined not to strike out.

A divorced mother of four, Tracy Coleman no longer aspires to gossip-mag glam—but she’ll make an exception for a date with Connor. Their chemistry is hotter than ever, and being alone with him is more seductive than she anticipated. Who could blame her for leaving out a little detail like the kids? Now all she has to do is come clean and convince the man of her dreams that they—Connor, Tracy, and her children—have a future together.

I had such a hankering for a baseball book, and knowing I had so enjoyed the other books in this series, reading The Heat Is On was a very easy decision. I could hardly wait to start, and then I stupidly read it in one delicious sitting. Now, it’s over…and I still want more of Katie Rose’s Bad Boys of Baseball. Sigh.

Connor Jackson is nearing the end of his career, and what better place to go out than with the New Jersey Sonics? The team is known for having fun and playing hard—and having one more shot at the World Series he covets seems like the perfect finale to a successful career.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that being back in his home state puts him that much closer to the one that got away—his college sweetheart, Tracey Coleman. Only Tracey isn’t the girl she once was. With one failed marriage behind her, and four sweet kids she’s raising alone, she’s not the typically baseball girlfriend.

In order for them to move forward, Tracey’s going to have tell Connor about her past and her kids…but if she does, will the chemistry fizzle before they get their second chance?

Connor Jackson…I think he may be my favorite bad boy so far. Why? Ummm, well, he’s determined (to get his girl back), he’s passionate (about the game and his team’s success), he’s sexy (I wouldn’t worry about dinner either, if I were in lucky Tracey’s shoes), and when the going gets tough, he stands up for his own (take that, ex-husband!) I loved this guy so much, you guys. SO much.

I didn’t love Tracey as much as Connor. I mean…the catcher is a great catch, after all. But I did love that she was strong, that she was protective of her kids, and that she willing to lean on Connor when she needed to. I was a touch frustrated with her inability to tell Connor about her offspring at first, but it worked so well for the story—and finding out about them was just another reason to swoon for Mr. Jackson—I quickly forgave her for that.

The Heat Is On is steamy and rewarding, and seeing Connor with Tracey, with the kids, and with his team was a blast. And that ending—well, I’m surprised you couldn’t see my smile from here. This series has so much heart, and the banter between the Sonics players was the perfect cap to a romance that captured my attention, stole my heart, and made me wish for more sexy baseball players in this series. 
~ Review by Beth

It’s no coincidence that Connor Jackson plans to spend his last year in MLB as the Catcher for the New Jersey Sonics. He knows his career is winding down and he wants to take one last shot at the World Series—and the Sonics are the team that can bring him there. But more than that? Being in New Jersey brings him closer to Tracey Coleman, the one that got away. Once college sweethearts, Connor left Tracey behind when he chased his MLB dream, but now he’s ready to chase Tracey, and he plans to give it all he’s got in order to get her back in his life.

Tracey has her hands full. As the single mom of four young children, she’s just trying to make ends meet and keep everyone alive. Her ex-husband is a no-good deadbeat dad, and she’s just trying to make the best of the cards she’s been dealt. When Connor shows back up in her life, it feels like a dream come true. She finds it hard to believe that the man who’s haunted her dreams for years is carrying a torch for her. On top of that, she has no idea how to let him know that she’s a package deal. The truth comes out, as it is wont to do, and the two must decide if the realities of their lives will work in a relationship with each other. 

Oh man, these Boys of Summer keep stealing my heart. Connor is…amazing. He’s a grown up (which—YES!), he’s sexy, and he’s protective. He’s also a realist who understands that taking on four small children is a huge commitment, and not one that he’s willing to make right away. It hurt my heart a little to watch Connor and Tracey dance around each other, trying to do what was best for the children while nurturing the love they felt for each other. As a mom, I totally get that fierce protective instinct, and I also get how sometimes the answers aren’t always cut and dried and we’re left to make the best worst decision. I identified with Tracey in that way—even as she frustrated me with her inability to communicate sometimes. 

When Connor finally steps up to the plate, my heart literally took off. I loved it. I loved him. I loved their chaotic little family. I loved how big they made me smile and all the bubbly things they did to my heart. And, of course, I loved catching up with the other Sonics players. They’re a little bit rowdy and rough around the edges but man, I love these guys. Keep ‘em coming, Ms. Rose! 
~ Review by Shelly

Katie Rose is the bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels published under the names Colleen Quinn and Katie Rose. She is the recipient of the Romantic Times Achievement Award, and the Colorado Romance Writer’s award, as well as the Doug Perry award for excellence in journalism. A graduate of Temple University with a BA in Communications, Katie lives on a lake in Medford Lakes, New Jersey, and is hard at work on her next novel.

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