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Review: THE WINNING SEASON by Alison Packard (Feeling the Heat #2)

The Winning Season
by Alison Packard


Kelly Maxwell has finally landed her dream job as publicist for the San Francisco Blaze. But the team’s newest member, handsome bad boy catcher Matt Scanlon, is refusing every interview. She’s got to get him to open up before the season ends, or she may not be back next year. And after everything she overcame to achieve her dream, Kelly’s not about to let that happen.

Matt Scanlon just wants to be left alone to rebuild his life and his career. After a year of masking the pain of a recent loss with hard partying and fast women, he finally hit rock bottom and was traded to a team he’s loathed his entire life—a team with little to no chance at the post-season.

Butting heads is getting Kelly and Matt nowhere but annoyed, and with the team’s schedule on the road, they can’t avoid close quarters—or their surprising attraction to one another. As the season winds down, Matt finds his growing feelings for Kelly have brought his numbed emotions back to life. But when betrayal shatters their fragile trust, winning it all seems more impossible than ever.


I loved about 75-80% of this book: watching Matt and Kelly go from two people who can barely stand to be in the same room to two people who can’t be apart for the space of a road trip was fantastic. Great chemistry, and fabulous dialogue galore! Both hero and heroine have issues in their past that they end up sharing with each other–again, awesome–and if you’ve read Love in the Afternoon, Kelly’s Kayla’s sister and Matt’s Sean’s best friends, so you’ll appreciate seeing them pop up in this story too.


The relationship’s “black moment” really rubbed me the wrong way. Okay, it was an issue Matt was extremely sensitive about, I get that. And yeah, he’d only shared it with a very select few people. But why on earth he’d immediately suspect Kelly of causing the problem made zero sense to me. Nothing she’d done up to that point indicated that she’d be capable of doing anything even in remotely the same neighborhood as what he accused her of doing, and that bothered me to no end that he was so quick to assume and acted so hatefully. It was pretty obvious to the reader what had happened, but it felt like Matt was just looking for the easy way out and that was aggravating.

Cute ending, but he should have done waaaaaaaay more grovelling to make up for his asinine accusations. On the strength of the majority of the book, though, I’m continuing with the series–for the most part, I do enjoy Ms. Packard’s writing.

Rating: 4 stars / B

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