Samhain / August 6, 2013 / $5.50 digital
She’d be the perfect catch if he could take his eye off the ball.
Emmy Kasper knows exactly how lucky she is. In a sport with few opportunities for women at the pro level, she’s just landed her dream job as head athletic trainer for the San Francisco Felons baseball team. Screwing up is not an option.
She’s lost in thought as she pedals to the spring training facility, her mind abuzz with excitement as she rounds a corner—and plows head-on into two runners. The end of her career dances before her eyes when she realizes she’s almost run over the star pitcher.
As Tucker Lloyd watches the flustered Emmy escape with his bandana tied around her skinned knee, the view is a pleasant change from worrying about his flagging fastball. At thirty-six, the tail end of his career is glimmering on the horizon. If he can’t pull something extraordinary out of his ball cap, the new crop of rookies could make this season his last.
The last thing either of them needs is a distraction.
The last thing either of them expects is love.
Tucker and Emmy start their relationship with a bang when Emmy almost runs the star pitcher over. Yes, she is only on her bike, but that is not the way she would have liked to introduce herself to the man with whom she would be working very closely. All running him over accomplished was letting Emmy know, in no uncertain terms, that Tucker Lloyd is one fine man and she is going to have trouble working with him and not seeing him in a sexual light.
Emmy is the the team's first female Head Athletic Trainer, and she has a true passion for baseball. She is determined to prove that she wasn’t hired because she is a woman but because the General Manager recognized her worth. But in order to do that, she has to remain professional at all times—especially when she deals with Tucker.
Tucker Lloyd is recovering from Tommy John surgery and has to prove himself to the organization or else he'll be out; there are talented rookies waiting to take his spot. Emmy is a distraction that he doesn’t need, but one he can’t seem to resist. When it becomes clear they have a chance at something special Tucker decides to pursue her with all he has and maybe win her for a lifetime.
Pitch Perfect by Sierra Dean does a wonderful job of combining sports and romance. Ms. Dean takes us into baseball parks around the country and describes them in a way that made me feel as if I were sitting in a seat watching a game. She mixes real life tidbits into her telling with flawless delivery, combining them seamlessly with the story of Tucker and Emmy.
Wade Boggs ate a full bucket of fried chicken before each game. I'm not totally sure how he didn't die of a heart attack by thirty-two.
He was pretty sure Spike Lee had once personally called him Fucker Lloyd for striking out Jeter.
Tucker and Emmy are both likable characters, and together they are wonderful. Their relationship develops over the course of a baseball season and is a pleasure to follow. The story is very much driven by a healthy, stable couple with no overbearing angst or drama, something we don’t see much of lately.
If you are looking for a book about the boys of summer and you love romance, this book does an excellent job of mixing the two. Throw in some snark and hot loving and you have Pitch Perfect.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Sierra Dean's Pitch Perfect before its August 6 release: