Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: Sweet Spot by Kate Angell

Hey everyone!! So how was your week-end? I hope every mom got a nice Mother's Day and caught a bit of a break :) My sister and I... well my sister, LOL, cooked supper and I made a salad. I think my parents both really enjoyed it. Otherwise, let see, we did some yard work on Saturday. It was fun, but so tiring! My parents haven't been interested in yard work in the past couple of years... but they seem into it this year. My dad wants roses again and they've even discussed getting some bushes. I think it's good for them, another hobby :P I know my father will be babying those roses and it will give something else to do.

In other news, I bought new glasses!! Actually, I bought 2 pairs! As soon as I get them, I'll show you :) And that's pretty much it with me these days...

As you've probably noticed, I've been on a YA kick lately :) I don't know, just feel like reading them... Also, they were many just released. To avoid this from becoming YA central, I'm going to try to balance it better with non-YA books review. First up is Sweet Spot by Kate Angell :) I really enjoy Ms Angell's books. I can't pinpoint it, but the style just suits me. Ms Angell was contracted with Dorchester and we all know what happened to that publishing house. So two years after it was supposed to be released, we finally get the ending to her Richmond Rogues baseball series :) Enjoy!

Sweet Spot by Kate Angell
published by Kensington in May 2012

James "Law" Lawless is the star second baseman for the Richmond Rogues, the wildest group of free swingers ever to barnstorm their way through the big leagues. So when he hooks up with a seductive stranger at a costume party, it feels like he just hit the winning run of the World Series.

Extra Innings

Catherine "Cat" May was the hot number in that skimpy Wonder Woman costume. But she's not about to let Law know it--especially after he hires her to help him expand his off-the-field business empire. But how's she going to keep her identity secret when his every touch urges her to make him her very own...
Genre: Contemporary romance, Sports romance
Series: The Richmond Rogues series, Book #5 (End)

The Story: James Lawless plays second base for the Richmond Rogues and he is also independently wealthy, being the sole heir to the Grace Hotels Worldwide. Recently, James has established Prosper, an organization that supports graduates from the Richmond Business College in starting their careers as small business owners. For the program, James intends to buy Haunt, a club where inhibitions are left at the doors and anonymity is key as the customers come disguised. A big fan of superheroes and comics, James - dressed as Captain America - decides to check out the club. There, he meets Wonder Woman and sparks fly between them. When Wonder Woman runs out on him, leaving her Lasso of Truth, James vows to find her again.

The next day, James meet Catherine May who is in charge for looking for good investments for the Prosper program. James is attracted to Cat, but he can't forget Wonder Woman. Also, while attracted to Cat, he knows that she comes with strings attached... and James may never be ready for commitment, after losing his parents in a tragic car accident. Meanwhile, Cat has no intentions of revealing the truth: she was Wonder Woman. Having behaved uncharacteristically that night, she only wants to forget... but James is persistent. And as she comes to know the baseball player, Cat is not so sure of her decision anymore.

There's also a secondary story involving Brody Jones, the Rogues' new short stop. Being new to the majors, Brody is enjoying his success, i.e. the money and the women. When his fiancée shows up, it puts a cramp in his style and all he wants is for Maggie to return to their hometown... Oh and to break their engagement. But Maggie proves to be more stubborn and determined than Brody gave her credit for.

My Opinion: Yay, I finally got to read Sweet Spot! And I really want to congratulate Ms Angell for her tenacity! I really believed at one point that Sweet Spot would never be released, but I was wrong!! And it's instance like this one I'm glad to be wrong :) Because of the wait though, I find it really difficult to write a review for Sweet Spot. On one hand, the expectations are quite high and on the other, I can't really be objective ^_^; However, I'm still going to give it a try, so bear with me :)

All in all, I did like and enjoy Sweet Spot. It was a nice book, but definitively not a wowzer. I'd say one of the reasons it wasn't a wowzer was its lack of substance. James and Cat were likable characters and I loved the scenes with the baseball team. The interactions and camaraderie between the men were great and as a result, it gave a good feel to the book. And as usual, Psycho stole the spotlight for me :) Two of my favorite scenes were when they were betting who'd get his wife pregnant first and when their costumes choices for the opening of Haunt - superheroes or sidekicks - depended on their batting results :) It was so hilarious LOL. Those were great moments, but it was all very light. I felt like Ms Angell laid it out there for readers to read - the characters, the possible conflicts like James' fear of commitment, the romance, but it was never fully developed, fleshed out. I guess what I mean is the story was quite superficial :( For example, you have two good characters that are attracted to each other. They got to know each other a little by hanging out... I actually appreciated seeing them hanging out, but I wonder if that part needed to be so detailed? Because when it came time to really get James and Cat together, instead of developing the romance, Ms Angell switched gear and introduced the secondary storyline with Brody and Maggie ^_^; It left me wanting more meaningful moments between Cat and Law which is kind of weird when they've actually spent quite a lot of time together. The romance simply felt fast and I couldn't really pinpoint when Cat and Law became an official couple :(

I also felt the secondary storyline involving Brody and Maggie was totally superfluous. Especially since Brody acted like a jerk and it made it really hard to root for him. Those pages would have been better spent focusing on James and Cat. Also, as it's been pointed out in reviews for the previous books, Ms Angell's knowledge for baseball lacks a bit of research ^_^; So I did like the actual sport scenes - there were a few. However, other elements really didn't make sense. For example, all the players coming to work for the team once they stop playing ball? Yeah, not going to happen.

Still, despite all the issues, I liked Sweet Spot because it was a light and fun read. I also happen to enjoy Ms Angell's writing style a lot :) Plus, I love the team and am sad this is the end of the series. Speaking of the end, the epilogue was extremely cheesy, but cute :)

My Grade: My initial reaction when I finished Sweet Spot was to give it a B-. However, if I'm being honest instead of a fangirl, which is the point of this review, this book deserves a C... In the end, I'll give it a C+ because I really enjoyed re-visiting some of the characters :) Honesty mixed with some of the fangirl - fair right?