Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Line Drive by E.M. Lindsey Release Blitz

James "Scooter" Harney is good at two things and two things only: Pitching... and running away from his feelings.

James "Scooter" Harney is good at two things and two things only:
...and running away from his feelings.

So, when he comes face to face with a high school baseball coach who gets under his skin like no one ever has before, James isn't quite sure what to do about it. After all, Ridley is smarmy, annoying, ridiculously good looking…

And worst of all, straight.

Then, James' world is turned upside down one evening when Ridley admits that he's been having thoughts. Thoughts about James. Thoughts that are making him question his own identity.

James knows he won't make a good boyfriend, but the way Ridley looks at him, the way Ridley trusts him, makes James realize that maybe—just maybe—there’s something worth fighting for.

Line Drive is the second book in a fictional MLB series featuring a smarmy pitcher good at annoying his teammates and stroking his own ego, a team ready to win no matter what it takes, a lost single dad who just wants to know he's doing a good job, and an agreement that wraps both of their hearts into a tangle. Each book in the Hit and Run Series stands alone, contains no cheating, and has a happily ever after.

Don’t miss our reviews of the rest of the Hit and Run series!
For book one, Switch-Hitter, click HERE and HERE.


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Line Drive by E.M. Lindsey

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Audiobook (US)  ~  Paperback (US)
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Line Drive is the second book in the Hit and Run series. It can be read as a standalone without issue.

James Harney is an MLB pitcher. He had a horrible upbringing, spent some time in jail, and doesn't know what it's like to have someone love him. He loves pitching but wants more in his life. When he passes a bookstore for sale, he decides on the spot to buy it. Why? He has no idea. He befriends a trans teenager with Cerebral Palsy (CP), but he isn't expecting the friendship or the instant attraction to his father.

Ridley has a career-ending injury and ends up a high school baseball coach. His marriage crumbled after his wife had an affair. He's always had an attraction to men but never acted upon it, but now that he's free to, he isn't ready to even admit it to himself, let alone go out with a man. But when he's faced with a man he's always admired, he can't get James out of his mind.

Phoenix, Ridley's son, is a smart mouthed amazing character despite of the battles he faced being trans and having CP. While I did enjoy this read, the first quarter was so much backstory and not enough between the two characters. I enjoyed when they did finally get together, with Phoenix's help, and the battles that they faced. I just wish there was more content with them together.

Line Drive is the second installment in the Hit and Run series. While it can be read as a standalone with little to no confusion, I suggest reading Switch-Hitter first, as well as the novel, Nothing Ordinary, where the cast of characters is introduced.

I'm going to go against the current here, while everyone else is most likely basking in the warmth of James and Ridley's love...

James is an MLB star with a dark backstory, an inspiration that did the impossible by making it to the big leagues.

After a career-ending injury and a life-altering divorce, Ridley is a high school coach and father to a trans son with CP.

James and Ridley share more in common than baseball... they're desperately lonely.

Sounds deliciously angsty, with a meddlesome teen playing interference, right? Complex and deep, with all the issues addressed...

There wasn't much happening during Line Drive, other than a bunch of inane filler, telling not showing, and feet dragging. The emotions were surface level, not deeply explored. Our love interests barely had contact throughout most of the novel, outshined in every way by the son, Phoenix.

James and Ridley didn't meet until the 25% mark... a quarter into the novel. I'm a sucker for delayed gratification but this was at the expense of any connection felt between James and Ridley. Not much of anything happened in the first quarter that couldn't have been condensed so that James and Ridley had enough time to develop a connection, just inane daily activities that felt like transitional filler.

Phoenix felt like the main focus, as awesome as the kid was written, to the point it was to James and Ridley's detriment. They weren't as interesting, as gripping, and had one-note personalities, but this wasn't Phoenix's novel.

The budding friendship between James and Phoenix was sweet and heartwarming. The complex relationship between a father and teen son was realistically portrayed. Ridley's desire for intimacy and connection was peppered throughout, resonating with this reader, as well as James' loneliness and need for a life partner by his side. Their insecurities would ring true, but it felt as if those issues were merely a plot device not deeply ingrained into the characters.

James and Ridley's connection to Phoenix was the only highlight, and without him, there wasn't really much content. The romance was insta-love with surface level emotions, told but never shown, and it left me frustrated.

There was no connection between Ridley and James. A quarter of the novel with no contact, where they just did inane things that did not add to character development outside of interacting with Phoenix. Then it was straight to sex, implied I love yous, being ghosted, and pining for one another. They had little to no interactions during the entire novel outside of sex, phone sex, or Ridley blowing James off (and not in a good way). No meaningful conversations that a solid relationship is built, those conversations were shared with side characters.

With so few scenes shared, outside of between the sheets action, James' connection to Pietro, to Phoenix, even Orion, was more complex than a handful of texts with Ridley, since they actually spent page-time together and discussed actual important issues. James and Ridley met at 25%, had two on-page interactions up to 70%, then didn't share a single page together until 90%. Since this was a shorter novel – no harm in that – it was only a handful of pages at time, where it's hyper-speed on the romance and sex without any buildup or connection.

The classic "getting in your own way" with no outside forces being the issue, no matter how badly Ridley seemed to have wished they would. The only angst/drama was Ridley not giving James the time of day, and this lasted well up to 90% of the novel, and it wasn't due to Ridley stepping out of his own way either.

This lack of time spent together, as well as the feet dragging (which was to slow the insta down but had no real reasoning), left me disconnected from their romance. Ridley was more worried about how his ex-wife and son would think of him, when they both outright told him to knock it off multiple times... and he still made excuses, which made me feel as if he didn't feel for James as he professed inside his inner monologues. Actions speaking louder than his thoughts, especially when those actions mirrored his words to James. Ridley reminded me of someone who thought everyone was always up in his business when they all wished he'd get a life and get out of their business – self-important and controlling.

Ridley never stopped dragging his feet, leaving it up to James. This does not make a strong romantic hero. I was not Ridley's biggest fan, and I thought James deserved someone else.

While I liked James in current times, he had this huge backstory that was just a blip of info-dumpage and that's it. There were bits left dangling, as if they would be expanded on later, then just dropped off. Names mentioned, events thought around, like it was to impact the story later. A large info-dump in the beginning, then just muttered or thought snippets that popped up in relation to Phoenix and parenting. What should have had a deep impact was a shallow plot device never explored properly or developed.

Even Ridley's fear of coming out was just a few words tucked in here or there to explain away dragging his feet since Phoenix couldn't be used as an excuse any longer. It felt inauthentic and made Ridley seem not as into James as James was into him, which contradicted what the reader was "told." Between the ex and the son begging Ridley to date, it made zero sense either was a viable excuse not to date James.

I felt like the book picked up threads and then never went in that direction. The backstory. James helping Ridley's team. An actual conflict between the lovers. The phrase "pulled the hit" comes to mind. The hit was pulled, so it had no impact.

I wanted to love Line Drive, but it doesn't matter what dark and gritty backstory was given, or the plight to side characters, when the characters are just there "in" the pages and not actually living their story "on" the pages.

The previous novels featuring Gabriel and Pietro captured my interests, made me feel true emotions, and had me rooting for the characters, both on my reread list. To be honest, in the future, I'd skip this installment.



Author Bio

E.M. Lindsey. Gay Romance Author.

E.M. LINDSEY is a non-binary, MM Romance author who lives on the East Coast of the United States. When they're not working, E.M. is spending time on the beach, kayaking, swimming, and playing with their dogs.

Connect with E.M. Lindsey

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  TikTok  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Facebook Group: Lindsey's Liaison



This is kind of everything to me. You—the kid—everything that comes with that package.


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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Line Drive (Hit and Run #2) by E.M. Lindsey to read and review.

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