previously reviewed at Dear Author.Boys of Summer is a compilation of three short stories featuring heroes who are employed by the Louisville Slammers, a major league baseball team. The sex scenes are quite explicit in this story, as explicit as the ones sold at Ellora���s Cave. These stories all suffer from the same problems1) lack of showing2) minimal dialogue3) attempt to fit an entire romance into a compressed space4) a blushing herioneThe Leto story sets the stage for the entire collection and involved baseball errors so large that I could not get past it to enjoy the story. I kept saying ���this would never happen��� and thus was unable to become immersed in the characters. Donovan Ross is the owner of the Louisville Sluggers. A secret deal has recently come to light that the team will be sold to a Las Vegas money man. Do you see the problem here? A) there can be no secret deal because all team sales must be approved by 3/4 of the owners and MLB and B) you aren���t moving a team to Las Vegas. There are no professional sports teams in LV because of the legalized gambling. The entire set up of the story is predicated on a false construct. This is fine if you are writing fantasy but you aren���t writing fantasy. You set your story in the contemporary world and used MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL as your forum.What is possibly worse than the false premise of the story is the characterizations. The heroine, Callie Andrews, is a restaunteur whose business arose from money she got through her divorce 6 years earlier from Donovan. Callie blames Donovan for the potential loss of her business given that it is based around the Louisville Sluggers. If her restaurant is any good, she should be able to rename it and keep going but instead she would rather harp on Donovan for intentionally trying to ruin her and the entire city of Louisville. Worse yet, Callie takes no responsiblity for the divorce at all. It is all Donovan���s fault for traveling and not being supportive of her desire to make a living on her own. Not that she ever talked about that with him. She just assumed. The false plot and the bad characters lead me to give a C- for Fever Pitch.*****Raye's story featured the childhood friendship of Brody Jessup, Slugger pitching coach, and Babe Bannister that grows into an adult love. Babe is convinced she wants to seduce Cody Cameron, the Sluggers shortstop, before the Sluggers leave Louisville. (what���s with the cutesy names?) Babe owns The Sweet Spot, a ice cream parlor featuring baseball themed desserts. Brodie knows that Cody is a player and wouldn���t want Babe to get hurt. Brodie offers to teach Babe a few things about Cody hoping to turn her away from seducing him and Babe accepts believing that Brodie���s inside information will be invaluable.This story is probably the best of the bunch but features a blushing Babe who has had a run of boring boyfriends. Backstory is given on Brodie about his poor childhood that seems to have no relevance to the relationship conflict between he and Babe. Maybe it is because of this that the conflict which keeps Brodie and Babe apart toward the end seems manufactured. There was no real information given as to why both individuals believed that their night together was meant to happen only once, but they are set in their ways and allow a Big Mis (albeit abbreviated given the constraints of an anthology), to separate them. *****Kelly's story pairs the owner of the Slugger souviner shop, Janie Nolan, and the star pitcher, Riley Kelleher. Janie lacks any self esteem and can���t believe that Riley would be interested even though he makes a pretty serious pass at her.The sexual quips that the two exchange seem odd in juxtaposition with the constant blushing of Janie and the portrayal of her as a nice young innocent. Yet for all her supposed innocence, she gives a blow job better than any high priced escort. There is rarely any motif that I dislike more than the virgin whore complex which seems to be the fulfillment of a male fantasy rather than a female one. What I want to know is where are all the women who blush these days because I haven���t seen a blushing innocent in years.Kathy
Setting: Diamond, four-star restaurant; Round the Bases, memorabilia shop; Sweet Spot, specialty ice cream shop; Louisiana Sluggers;Theme: baseball team, will they stay?; old loves; new loves, shy loves;Characters:Callie Andrews: grew up on the wrong side of the tracks; fell in love with a rich, honorable man whose dream to own a baseball team; married, he thought she’d be happy when he could give her all money could buy, as they traveled/partied with the team; but she wanted roots, wants to stay in one place, and asks for a divorce… and he can see she’s unhappy, and agrees, giving her a good settlement; which she uses as seed money to open a restaurant ; and he brings the team for dinner after home games, wanting to continue to see her; but the team’s presence brings in customers/fans – and the food is great – and it is doing well; Donovan Ross: last summer, he signed a deal with a sketchy, Las Vegas friend for quick infuse of money – in trade for signing over his team if he doesn’t pay the loan back within a year; he used the money to buoy up his father’s business/retirement that a trusted exec made bad business choices … but it looks like it will be close as to whether he can repay the money on time - he needs the team to have a great box office season; but his sketchy friend leaks it to the press, outraging the city… and he needs… so he takes himself to Diamonds for dinner, and to see his ex;Babe Bannister: Callie’s friend; owner of the Sweet Shop next door; she excels at creating interesting combos of ice cream flavors and naming them after the Slugger’s players – and the players often have ice cream after dinner at Diamonds; she is a bit plump; she has a big heart; parents highly into sports, named their 3 girls after baseball players – Mickey, Babe, and ? – and older sister did great in sports, married a sport’s agent, had 3 sporty sons – younger sister is gorgeous, cheerleader in high school, and now owns a gym – Babe, clumsy, plump, but knows a lot about sports; she wants a night of out-of-the park sex, and has targeted the Slugger’s short stop; she has regular visits from Coach Jessup, whom she grew up next to, and they are good friends;Brodie Jessup: grew up next to Babe; growing up, no dad, mom absent a lot, he would spend every night practicing his pitching while Babe sat on the fence watching him, and coaching him – helping him; great pitcher for the Sluggers, until an injury took him out; now he is a young coach, working the last 6 years to prove himself; stops at the Sweet Shop to talk shop and have a scoop of vanilla ice cream 3 or 3 nights after practice, as the shop is closing up; Janie Nolan: big hearted, somewhat plain woman; she has taken over the running of her brother’s dream sports memorabilia shop, even though she knows nothing of sports while he serves in the army (he joined up after his girlfriend dumped him); she gets the best business advice from the 78 year old grandmother’s boyfriend at the ‘Community for the enlightened years’ aka retirement home; after meeting the boyfriend’s grandson – current pitcher for the Sluggers – and he makes a flirty comment about her picturing her rear in tighter jeans, she has fantasies of hot sex…Riley Kelleher, aka Riley the Rocket: pitcher for the Sluggers; half dozen years ago, taken to the laundry by an exwife who only wanted his money/fame, and a year of manwhoring it, he has kept to himself most days. He is intrigued by ‘Just Janie’ whom he meets when visiting his grandfather, but thinks she is too young.Summary:Three stories, three women, three sports men, three authors; the three women decide a night of high passion in the uncertain times of whether their businesses would survive if the Sluggers moved to Las Vegas… each to fulfill it beyond their wildest dreams;Callie and Donovan – when he comes to her in true need, she can only respond… and though thinking she’s only offering him a night of passion (and he already realizes he wants more) – when he tells her the truth, of the deal to save his father’s business, while protecting his father… and the thousands of employees in his father’s company, she staunchly stands by him… pestering him to tell the public the truth, involving his parents – who make a public statement… and their 2 weeks together, and the public confession on opening day… leads to great sex against the owner’s box specially treated/shaded window … and a new commitment between two people who always loved;Babe and Brodie: Babe is trying to get up the nerve to proposition the shortstop (not knowing he is in the process of moving in with his girlfriend he met at the strip show club), and after she lost her nerve, she confides in Brodie what her plan is… and Brodie decides to help her learn all about the shortstop – though his intention is for her to not like him… and as they spend time together… he finds he is attracted to her… and thinks she is reciprocating… and she is going to practice her seduction techniques… and oh my… they realize they’ve loved each other for a long time…Janie and Riley: Riley is tired of women using him, and is keeping his heart closed off; he is a bit intrigued by Janie the couple of time he runs into her at the retirement home… but… and Janie’s friends treat her to a makeover… and dressed to the nines, Callie gets her a table near Riley’s – they exchange some heated looks, but he figures she’s too much a groupie, and leaves without dinner before he succumbs; he goes around the corner for a hamburger… and going back to his car, he passes the open door of the back of the shop, hears something fall, and steps in to make sure whoever is okay… and comes across the woman from the restaurant, except now she is in jeans… they talk, they flirt, she (who is very good at oral sex), gives him a blow job to end all blow jobs… but when he asks for her name again, she tells him Just Janie and he finally figures out why she is familiar… and he walks out… the team loses a few games… he flies home between away games and tracks her down, and makes up… and they have a month of great sex… and great games… they overcome their last trust hurdle… and when he offers to ease her burden of the shop, she says no (too independent)… and in their stock tryst, they knock down a box of baseball cards a woman brought in for $50 with turn of the century cards… making her brother/shop a millionaire - ahhhhSherie
I really liked this anthropology. Each story was linked, which was great. I love when writers can work together to create a story. These novella were about 3 best friends who decide to step out of their comfort zone and seduce a member of the local Baseball team. I loved Leto's Fever Pitch. Callie and Donovan were clearly in love with each other but couldn't figure out how to make their marriage work. Six years later, I think they finally saw what each other truly meant to them and over came their differences to be together. I really loved the emotions playing out in this short story. This was my first Kimberly Raye book and I truly enjoyed her story. Babe and Brodie were great characters, who didn't know what they had along, love and friendship. I was so happy Babe finally came to her senses in the end and found a great man and not a boy!Kelly's novella was my favorite. I loved Riley and Janie. I loved her grandmother even more. It was so great to see Plain Janie over come her ordinary appearance and try to seduce a play boy. I really like Janie but she wore her emotions on her sleeve. She has me nervous there and Riley wasn't the bad boy we all thought at the beginning. He was just a MAN not a ball player looking for a good time.Just - The romance reader
While reading this I was craving baseball and summer. These authors paint a very fine picture of the boys of summer. Boys Of Summer is a quick read, of three enjoyable novels, all about three best friends who set out to enjoy baseball and some of its sexy players in a whole new, very hands on way.Sharon
This was one of the better little collections...maybe it was the hot, athletic men. But the men and women were fun characters with romance and hot sex...a fun quick read!CL (www.loveisastateofmind.net)
I have always been a bit wary of anthologies, wondering how much justice can be done to characters' relationship in 50-page segments. However, this book may have just changed my feelings on that!A wonderful trio of entwining stories that effortlessly flowed into each other and could have passed as being written by one author.I liked the third story a little less than the first two but still definitely an all-round enjoyable read.Marky
More like 3.5 but I will give the four for getting 3 stories in one :) Short and sweet with different scenarios to each...light read :)Mareli
This little anthology is an easy reading for a rainy afternoon. It's short and easy and I liked it but all the three stories were really light.Those 3 friends are sad because the city baseball team is probably leaving and they work on baseball fans. But really the introduction serves to meet the young women and to know their stories with baseball related men.I liked the third story more than the other but the others two were okay too.