Thursday, October 18, 2007

Review: Squeeze Play and Curve Ball by Kate Angell

I've recently discovered this author while I was looking for something funny to read. While her books aren't that funny and even if I have some issues with them, they are quite enjoyable and fun to read.

Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
published by Love Spell in June 2006

Risk Kincaid has just won the World Series with the Rogues from Richmond. Now, he's going back to his hometown of Frostproof where he's going to spend a month; first for the charity event organized by another baseball player and his childhood friend, Aaron Grayson, but also to spend time with Jacy Grayson. Jacy is a sassy and spirited woman who owns a coffee shop... and Risk thinks he is her rebound lover... Basically, Risk and Jacy became an item soon before Risk left to start his pro career and knowing the demands, he didn't want to commit to Jacy, but promised her he would be always there when she needed him most, i.e. when her heart got broken - which is how they first got together.
Genre: Contemporary romance, Sport romance (baseball)
Series: The Richmond Rogues series, Book #1

Why I got this book? I got and read Curve Ball first and enjoyed it... so I decided to get this one too.

My first impression: I enjoyed this book. Of course, it wasn't perfect, but it was quick and fun. My only problem with this book is there were three storylines: 1) Risk and Jacy, 2) Zen (another baseball player) and Stevie and 3) Aaron and Natalie, and we get to follow all three in the same book. In this one, it does work because all three players are here for the same reason and the book spans a short period of time... however, I'd rather follow only the main characters and their sex scenes, instead of all three couples.

The Characters: I really enjoyed all the characters except for Natalie and Aaron. Risk and Jacy were just perfect together... Risk is the mature ball player who's been a pro long enough and the fast and edgy life is no longer appealing. Instead, he wants to make his relationship with Jacy official. I think he came across as everything to the reader - lover, big brother and friend, as well as handsome and sexy man :) I like his protective and jealous side :) Jacy was fun. She's lively, likes colors and changes... think of new-age outside, without the new-age thinking. She knows Risk is a public face with a lot of groupies, but she's confident in herself, enough not to panic and run away. She's also building her courage to tell Risk the truth - that she loves him... and that all those break-ups she had were with imaginary boyfriends, and all she wanted was Risk.

As I said, we also follow Zen and Stevie's relationship and Aaron and Natalie. I liked Zen and Stevie... Zen was the serious type, the one that doesn't simply see the outside appearance of a person. Very logical man who falls in love - always fun :) Stevie always thought she would marry Aaron, but then get dumped without notice when Aaron announced his engagement to the very rich and spoiled Natalie. It doesn't help that Stevie has gained quite a lot of weight in the past year, ever since Aaron has been distancing himself from her. I liked Stevie, she was genuine... of course, she took the break-up hard, but Zen was there for her and she quickly got over him... Aaron and Natalie were my least favorite couple... basically, I think they are fake and phony and that Aaron is very stupid. I also didn't believe in Natalie's love for Aaron at the end. We're also introduced to the Bat Pack, three young ball players with a lot of powers... their job was to provide the comedy relief and they delivered :D

I guess that's pretty much it. I think that everything tied in quite well - the characters, their relationships to each other and the events/what is happening. Like I said, I just simply didn't like Aaron and Natalie and the fact that all three couples had sex scenes. I don't know, I prefer to follow one couple... I don't mind the knowledge of them having sex, but don't like to read about it. Of course, I don't think that everyone will mind that :P

Grade: B

Curve Ball by Kate Angell
published by Love Spell in August 2007
The Bat Pack are the bad boys of baseball and have always live fast and hard, but all this comes to an end when they actually fight with their new star pitcher on Media Day, just before the start of the season. As a result, they are being benched for 13 matches... and all have to find how to spend that time...
Genre: Contemporary romance, Sport romance (baseball)
Series: The Richmond Rogues, book #2

Why I got this book? I was looking for something funny. Someone recommend this to me at the used bookstore.

My first impressions: For some reason, I really liked this book... probably for the characters. I don't think that most of you will find it as enjoyable as much as I did. Again, we follow 3 couples. The three main guys were introduced in Squeeze Play, but I read that book afterwards... Unfortunately, I don't think that the author did as good as a job in this book intertwining the three relationships with the events. I guess it would have been better if each player had their own book, but all three books happened at the same time... understand what I mean?

1) Psycho (Cody McMillan) and Keely Douglas (his decorator): Psycho is the crazy one, the dangerous one, the one no one can predict... he's also a confirm nudist. In Squeeze Play, he was a funny PITA, but he comes across much more dangerous in this book. I liked him... as Keely says, "Mr. McMillan says and does what he pleases. He doesn't give a damn. That fascinates ppl." I totally agree :) As for Keely, she's the poor girl, fed up of small job and trying out as a decorator. It's kind of unbelievable that she pulled it off, but aside from that, I liked her. I guess because she can stand on her own and even say no to Psycho, without being too ass-kicking... Personally, I think they were my favorite couple... there's just something about Psycho :)

2) Romeo (Jesse Bellisaro) and Emerson Kent (a sport reporter): Romeo is the playboy, the one with way too many women buzzing around him. Emerson is a sport reporter and she intrigues Romeo, mainly by not falling at his feet. Basically, I don't have much to say about them, because I think this one was the most boring out of all three couples and their story was the most cliché...

3) Chaser (Chase Tallan) and Jen Reid: Jen is Chaser childhood friend and neighbour. Basically, they're still living next to each other and after a surprise kiss, sparks fly and they realized that the person they've been looking for was there all along. Seriously, who doesn't like the whole best friends turn lovers plot? The only problem was this was way, way, way too short. We were introduced to them, they kiss and then, didn't appear for awhile. Then, went on a couple of blind dates and realized that they want to be together, had sex and then, we didn't see them anymore, at all! I mean, come on... why write their story then?

So obviously, there were some problems; however, the book wasn't all that bad. The characters were fun and I enjoyed seeing professional players outside of sports. All the charity activities they participate in and their interaction, that I liked. Still, I'd have like them to have all their own books.

Grade: B-

ps. Anyone has read Ms Angell's previous books? They are not sport books, so I don't know if I'll enjoy them as much... so I want others' opinion :)


  1. I've never read anything by Kate Angell. Looks like you had a few good reads ~ I may have to check into her books at some point....after I make a dent in my current TBR.

  2. Hi Nath, your a great reviewer, you make me want to read them.

  3. Dev - I enjoyed them :P I don't know if others enjoyed them though... so I'm a bit nervous to make them as recs.

    Chantal - LOL :) thanks Chantal :)