Friday, May 13, 2016

Sweet Spot by Sloan Johnson

Four years ago, it took no time at all for Cody Marshall to fall for the rookie pitcher at spring training. While their lives were nothing alike, Cody understood Nick Stone's insecurities and pain. And then... Nick left. Eventually, Cody found his own passion and landed a dream internship with the Mavericks. His life was finally turning around. And then... Nick came back.

Just like the first time they met, Cody finds himself falling for Nick. Unfortunately, Nick is still plagued by the belief that he is where he is because of his father. If they're ever going to make it, Cody has to prove to Nick that his success has little to do with his name and everything to do with his drive to succeed.

Two men, both close to having everything they've wanted. Will they be able to find the sweet spot between dreams and desire?

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Book 4
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Cam turned the stove to low and pulled up a seat next to me. “Damn, you really are touchy today. What’s going on with you?”

“I talked to him yesterday,” I admitted. I’d rather talk about this with Cam than the other guys. He was more like a really cool cousin than an overly protective big brother.

“I take it it didn’t go well?” Cam prodded. I shrugged because I didn’t have an answer for him. “Look, if he’s moved on, then you need to do the same. You’ve been doing well for yourself. Don’t wreck the life you’re creating by wishing for something you can’t have.”

If only it was so simple. Did I dare tell Cam that Nick was the one who wanted to give things another chance? He hadn’t specifically requested as much, but it was evident he’d been hoping for it by the way he reacted when I told him we couldn’t go back to what we used to be. As I drained my orange juice, I decided that Cam was the perfect person to talk about this with.

“That’s not what’s going on,” I admitted to him.

Cam set down whatever he’d been stirring and gave me his undivided attention. When I didn’t offer up the juicy details, he motioned for me to continue. “Unless you’re trying to wait long enough that everyone’s down here, you might want to start talking. I’m sure they’ll all have plenty to say to you on this topic.”

No way in hell did I want everyone to hear about my talk with Nick. Drew would tell me I needed to think long and hard before forgiving Nick, which was what I was trying to do. Bryce, who was the closest thing I had to a father at this point, would give me the same advice he had before: to forget him, because if he’d wanted me, he’d have found a way to talk to me. And Eric, well, he tried to see it from both sides, so there was no telling what he’d say. Sean and Jason would try to stay out of it, but Mason wouldn’t be able to help himself. He’d jump into the conversation and tell me Nick was a sack of shit and didn’t deserve another chance. Sean would then get into it and remind Mason that Nick wouldn’t be the first person to put his career above what he really wanted, and then the entire conversation would derail. Nope. Not what I needed to deal with today.

“Okay, so it’s like this,” I began as I filled a plate with food. I rehashed the entire conversation without interruption, other than a few grunts and nods in places.

“And what do you want?” Cam asked when I finished. I shrugged again, which brought back a memory of Nick bitching at me for not voicing my opinion. “Well, you’re the only person who can figure out the answer to that question. But if it was me, I’d be willing to hear him out. You were both really young back then. I know you’re not the same sullen, shy kid you were four years ago, and I’d bet he’s not the same either. If he’s asking you to give him another chance, I say you should go for it.”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Nick and Cody met when they were young. They fell for each other quick. It was taking moments when they could at spring training. Nick was early in his baseball career. He was still fighting for his place, even though he was the son of the GM, he wanted to make it on his own. He had to work harder, throw harder, and focus harder than his competition. He didn't want anyone saying he had a hand getting to the big leagues. That meant cut out any distraction in his life, Cody included.

When Nick decided Cody couldn't be a distraction, the break up was quick. Cody was devastated. It took him a long time to get over Nick, to be able to live a normal life. When he accepts an internship with the Mavericks, he knows there is the possibility to see Nick. It will be hard, but Cody is determined not to let Nick's presence get to him, until Nick asks for a chance to apologize. Nick wants Cody to know how sorry he is, Cody wants Nick to see he's unaffected, until he isn't. Can they make it work again? Is Cody willing to risk his heart? Will Nick keep his priorities straight, realizing there is more to life than baseball?

I enjoyed this new Maverick's book. I love seeing the past characters in snippets, seeing how their lives are moving on. Ms. Johnson got me again with this one. I found it to be emotional and, at one point, was almost brought to tears. At times the story did slow down for me, but I knew to hang on, that it would grab me again, and it did. I like the progression of Cody and Nick's relationship and the fight they had in front of them. The relationship wasn't easy, but it was worth it and those are the best kind of reads.

I could waffle on about the lovely romance between Cody and Nick and how they work to get over mistakes of their past, but for me the highlight of this story is Nick's struggle to make it to the majors.

Being the son of the club's General Manager, Nick doesn't want any unfair treatment because of who is father is. It is a huge hurdle for him to overcome because he isn't getting unfair treatment and his own paranoia about the issue is holding him back. Nick's struggle to get to where he wants to be had me in tears and I felt every emotion, every frustration, right along with him.

I loved Nick and Cody and I loved seeing the struggle of the younger ball player that we get in Sweet Spot. After spending the time with the guys from this series, I want to go back to the beginning and read them all again.

I am a really big fan of sports romances, and this series of MM ones is very, very good. I highly recommend that you read them from the beginning, so as to not miss out on a whole heap of hotness – however, if you want to dip a toe in, then this is not a bad place to start.

A big part to this story is the way that one's own head can cause more trouble than really exists, and how easy it is to deny oneself happiness for fear of doing the 'wrong' thing. Nick is so worried he will be judged due to his father's position, and so sure he would disapprove of his sexual preferences, that he sticks his head in the sand – and lives a lesser life because of it. Cody was a casualty of those fears before, and really isn't sure if he can put his heart in such a vulnerable position again. Watching these two men grow up, grow brighter, and create a really hopeful future makes for a very hot, passionate, and heartwarming story. Having friends around them, that we've met in previous books is the icing on the cake!

Thank you again Ms. Johnson, a great addition to the series.

Also Available in the Homeruns Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Wild Pitch Blog Tour.

Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Curve Ball Blog Tour.

Book 3
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Triple Play Blog Tour.

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

Connect with Sloan

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Sweet Spot (Homeruns #4) by Sloan Johnson to read and review.

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