Pay It Forward · Review · Writing

Book Review: Curveball (Homerun #2)

Book – Curveball (Homerun #2)

Author – Sloan Johnson

Star rating – ★★★★

Ease of reading – Easy to read

Cover – Nice

Suitable Title – Yes

Would I read it again – Not sure

WARNING: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD!

As the second book in the series, I’m glad that it carried over the lives of the previous couple, in a small way. I also love the new couple: Jason and Cam. I loved that Cam wasn’t a player, but a regular guy who had no real interest in sport. It was a refreshing change to the setup of book 1.

However, I do feel almost as if these first two books of the series don’t belong in the same series, or at least by the same author. Book 2 has everything that I was missing from book 1, which is a shame, because they both deserved the same level of plot.

Cons

1 – There were a few typos in this, that confused me. I’m not labelling them, but I am pretty sure there’s an instance where one minute it’s Cam with pierced nipples and the next it’s Jason. That was confusing and stalled my reading, as I went back to take a second look.

2 – the plot, again, stalls in the middle. Around the 50% mark, the relationship and the plot stagnates and begins to lose steam.

3 – about halfway through, the relationship becomes more like “friends with benefits” until around 80% of the book, which is really disappointing. I get the point it’s supposed to put across, but the chemistry that makes this couple work disappears during this time.

4 – Reviewers noted that women are portrayed as degrading stereotypes in this series and I have to agree. It’s the one thing that lets the characterisation down.

All the women are shown as dumb, naïve, fanciful, chatty and with only an interest in relationships or talking about them, or ogling the men. NONE of the women in this series have expressed any knowledge of their husband/partners work – baseball – or any interest in it, other than ogling players and cheering them on. There was briefly a mention of beer and pizza loving women, who could talk about the game, but they’re all off-page and mentioned in passing. The women shown, as actual characters, are all prissy and self-involved WAGS, with nothing better to do than socialise and watch games. None of them are portrayed as strong, independent women, which is a real shame.

Pros

This book had all the chemistry I wanted to read between Sean and Mason. Jason and Cam, from the minute they meet, are intense, problematic and amazing together. I love them individually AND together, which wasn’t something I could say about book one. This couple fit together in ways that I can’t put into words.

I remembered the Adam backstory from book 1 and loved that it wasn’t only mentioned, but it was explored in subtle and brilliant ways. I really felt Jason’s pain and confusion, his hesitation to get into anything serious with Cam, and I could feel his connection with Adam, who wasn’t even an on-page character.

Cam was this bundle of feisty fireworks! Him and Mason together were genius and a real hoot. They were so much fun that I giggled and chuckled through most of the book, whenever they shared a scene. Cam has such a great sense of humour and that really comes through.

I also really love the one thing that didn’t make sense in book 1 – Cam and Jason have REAL, logical, realistic reactions to the situations and conversations that happen. They’re both happy to admit when they’ve made a fault and try to fix it or degrade themselves for it. And they have heated arguments and always know when to walk away or when to apologise.

Overall

As a whole, this was much better than book 1, but not without its flaws. While it gave me everything book one had been lacking – chemistry, a more thorough plot and characters that worked well together – there are still issues that make it less than the 5 stars it could have been.

Unfortunately, there seems to be a theme for this series:

1 – the ball player is not out of his closet

2 – the relationship/plot falters around halfway

3 – one of the characters has to “leave” for their own sake, for a few days. They have a mini-break up/fallout and then that same person turns round and apologises for something that wasn’t technically their fault, though they admit they were wrong to walk away and not stick around to talk it out.

4 – communication between the characters seems to be off and on again, not a constant and not always realistic.

Overall, the plot is good and strong, but it’s not always followed through with. There are events in this book – and the previous one – that are not explained to my satisfaction. There’s one more book to read and I really hope it’s all explained/answered in there, because it’s a real shame that I end this story feeling like the story is incomplete. It’s not an HEA, like book 1, but I don’t even feel like it’s a solid HFN. Only time will tell if book 3 secures that feeling or not.

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