by Collette West
Underdog Luke “Single” Singleton is yearning to make a comeback. After getting hit in the neck with a pitch—an injury that nearly cost him his life—he has one last chance to play for his hometown team, the Stockton Beavers. But his mom has Alzheimer’s, and he’s all she has to depend on. How can he pursue his career, much less someone special?
Personal care aide Roberta Bennett is done dating baseball players. Having had her share of heartbreak, she heads to Stockton hoping for a fresh start. But after she finds Luke’s mom outside, lost, and alone, she can’t refuse when he hires her on the spot. Unbeknownst to Luke, Roberta is all too familiar with the violent tendencies of the pitcher who hit him.
Now that they’re living under the same roof, the last thing either of them is looking for is a relationship. But it’s not long before they find themselves drawn to each other. And right when Luke is thinking about finally making a change to his single status, a secret from Roberta’s past emerges with the power to tear them apart.
I loved him from the first page–his determination to take care of his mother, even if he has to forgo his lifelong dream, was just so sweet, and though we didn’t see most of it directly, the way he fought even to get back on the field in the first place after a horrific injury was just amazing. Clearly, this is not a guy who’s going to give up on anything easily.
Really, Roberta should have known better than to try and resist him for as long as she did.
Single is the first book in Ms. West’s new series, a spin-off of her New York Kings one. I’ve only read the last book in that series so far, Game Winner , and it was a while ago so I don’t remember much of Jake’s “crazy ex” (aka Roberta) other than thinking at the time that their relationship was pretty messed up…fortunately, Ms. West gives Roberta a chance to explain why she’s the way she is here, and she becomes a much more sympathetic character.
Maybe even one who deserves the awesomeness that is Luke Singleton. 😉
Their romance develops as a slow burn–both have so much going on in their lives, and in the case of Roberta, so much from the past to deal with–and it felt very realistic. I loved the way that everything managed to come together in the end, especially when I finished the book and then glanced back at the book’s dedication on my way back to the front cover. (Do yourself a favor if you’re reading this one. Re-read that dedication once you’ve finished Luke an Roberta’s story. Trust me on this one–it’s a total “awwww!” moment :))
I didn’t quite understand why Luke was so determined to keep his mother’s illness a secret from everyone, especially since he brought her to so many of his games (honestly, it’s a miracle more people didn’t figure it out), but it does work out well in the end, so it ended up being just a minor head scratcher in an otherwise enjoyable read.
I am definitely signing up for more of this series–I can’t wait to find out what’s going on with Danny and his new woman!
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.