Friday, January 29, 2021

Home Plate (Easton U Pirates #2) by Christina Lee


Amazon Link   - Available in KU  

Dominic Girard

My final baseball season with the Easton U Pirates feels bittersweet. I’d like to go out on a high note, graduate, and focus on the family business. But a certain pitcher is making senior year a challenge. Not only because Maclain is stubborn as hell, but because he makes me feel things I never have about another guy. With each snarky comment and hard-won grin, he reveals a little more of himself, and before I know it, I’m in over my head.

Mason Maclain

I’ll be graduating college this year, which also means the end of baseball, a sport I’ve played my entire life. It feels like a significant chapter is coming to a close, leaving behind a void I’m unwilling to face. Something else I don’t want to face? The impossibly charming Pirates catcher, whose quick wit and killer smirk poke holes in all my defenses. With each lingering look and quiet exchange, I want to push him away and pull him closer at the same time. I’ve never felt this intense draw before, and there’s no way I’ll ever admit it.

When Coach proposes a team-building activity to improve our chemistry on the field, little does he know things are heating up behind the scenes as well. A flicker of a connection sparks into a firestorm, and soon Girard and I are experiencing things for the first time—together. But outside the haven of our hotel room, reality infringes all too soon. I’m clinging to my fraying relationship with my dad, and for Girard, coming out is still scary, loving family or not. Resisting the pull to Girard seems futile, but I struggle at every turn. Any longer and I’ll lose the only person who makes my pulse thud quicker than a fastball over home plate.

There’s a pitcher-and-catcher joke in there somewhere.

My Rating - 5+ Stars!

Christina Lee's Home Plate is a fan-freakin-tastic college sports romance. The second book in the Easton U Pirates series, it's easily read as a standalone, but do yourself a favor and read the first book Bat Boy, as it's wonderful. 

It's no surprise that my favorite read is a college sports romance. And this one grabbed me immediately and consumed me throughout. I love every single second of this book. 

This is an emotional read, with plenty of baggage and angst involved. 

The enemies to lovers aspect is a large part of their story, as hatred can often be a disguise for something else. The two men need to work together and drop all their anger for the good of their team. Cue the forced proximity, which is the driving motivator here.

What follows is an amazing romance, as two road roommates give into their sexual desires. There's tension, want, and need throughout. Theirs is a stunning tale of sexual discovery, sexual experimentation, and first times. 

Omg, the sex scenes. They're as emotional as can be, just leaving me in awe of the closeness between the two. I can't praise these scenes enough. Every single touch, caress, and moment between the two is simply brilliant.

The relationship between the two is truly remarkable. They go from enemies to lovers, with many small, slow steps along the way. Their slow experimentation, while placing mutual trust in one another, is beautiful. 

Their tale is also drowning in family issues and heartache. Mason's relationship with his step-father is painful to read. The feelings about his long deceased mother are tear inducing. All of these scenes will leave you wanting to hold Mason and tell him he's worthy. 

This is a tale of fear. So much fear. Fear of coming out to a the only family member you have left, knowing he's homophobic. Fear of facing a future alone.

This is also a tale of baseball and some of the nuisances of the game. I appreciate how many game moments were in this tale, including the importance of the relationship between a pitcher and catcher. The teammate moments are perfectly done as well. I love it all.

And omg, the ending!!! 

The writing is wonderful. No surprise there, as Christina Lee is a marvelous author. She excels in creating memorable characters and a riveting storyline. The characters, their journey, and all that's between them, is written with the emotions jumping off the pages throughout. 

The secondary characters are well developed and add tremendously to the story. Hell, Mrs Girard is absolutely amazing, even though she made me cry big, ugly, fat tears. I was absolutely choked up and glad no one saw me. 

Home Plate is a must read for any sports romance fans. Christina Lee had be consumed throughout this journey of coming out and found family. Christina's ability to combine a love story between two athletes and a heartfelt, emotional tale, makes this a must read in my eyes. Honestly, I love this effin book! Just read it!

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