Miles Cartwright had the rookie season of any player’s dreams. The San Francisco Felons made it all the way to the World Series – with some help from his electric talent – then lost it all in game seven with him on the mound. To make matters worse, a misunderstanding has him in hot water with the law, and on a short leash with his club. The next season might be his last shot at a major league career, and he can’t let anything get in his way.
Last chances are something Carmen Murphy is all too familiar with. Her goal of becoming a respected sports writer is circling the drain while she wastes her talents writing sports gossip for a trashy, but popular, blog. Getting some insight on the Miles Cartwright scandal would be great for page views, but she knows a candid editorial could be just the ticket to a real career. Too bad Miles doesn’t trust her.
With the heat of summer building, and two dreams on the line, can Miles and Carmen both get what they want, without getting in each other’s way? And can they stop driving each other crazy long enough to realize that what they’re looking for might be right in front of them?
If there's anything better than a book being as good as you want it to be, it's when the book is better than you thought possible.
I have made no secret of the fact that I love the Boys of Summer series, so for me to love this one was not a surprise. Not even a little.
I was expecting a great book. I was not expecting the book to be better than great and close to perfect.
This book has it all. Compelling characters. Miles and Carmen are perfect. They draw you in, and you care about them...more than you think you will. Wonderful writing. You got it. Balanced romance, character development and baseball? Check.
I am not a baseball fan. I live in Los Angeles, less than the infamous "LA 20 minutes" from Dodger Stadium, and I have never been to a game. I have never even been to the parking lot of the stadium. Baseball just isn't my thing.
So, why do I love to pieces the Boys of Summer books set in the world of baseball? Because Sierra Dean loves baseball. And, through her, you see the magic of a game that looks slow (I know, LOL) and like nothing happens...her words make baseball one of the main characters of the story. With heart, and with emotion. It almost makes me want to go to a game. I probably won't, but it's tempting, just to see if a little of the love of the game makes its way out of the books and into the experience of actually watching the sport.
Baseball is a character in the story, as well as a really perfect way to let you into the mind of Miles, a fairly new pitcher for the San Francisco Felons. You get to know him by the way he reacts to the other players, his thoughts while he is pitching, and overall the way baseball is more than a sport to him, it tells you who he is. There's a line in the book about having a little vulnerability in the masculine world of baseball, and that describes Miles. A really good guy, to the core a nice guy, and one who wants, more than anything, to give his best to the game each and every time. His focus, and his drive, make him interesting. He's there, he is at the top and yet he strives to be just that little bit better each and every time.
Carmen is a sportswriter, in a world that apparently is not all that fair to women, which I have never really given much thought too...but I bet this is the case. I love how strong she is, how principled, and how flawed. I was very drawn to the juxtaposition of her desire to be the best writer possible and her loyalty to the story with her desire to do right by Miles. She was human. We have all been there, so torn about what is right, the end we know needs to happen and figuring out how to get there, maybe making mistakes along the way.
The relationship is a slow burn, with an encounter at the very beginning when Miles isn't in the best place, and then a professional relationship that turns into a friendship and then gradually into a romance. The slow burn is one of the toughest romance stories to write, as you have to use more than sex to keep the story going. In this, I loved that the romance took off gradually as you were able to get to know Carmen, Miles, and baseball.
Somehow, I almost forgot to mention that characters from the first 2 books show up in this one. Which makes sense, as they are all on the same baseball team. If you haven't read the other books (what are you waiting for???) there is no issue with continuity. If you have, the appearances are wonderful, and add so much to the story. They sneak through, so you barely notice them, unless you are a fan of the other books...and then you totally catch them.
I could go on. I could say more, but really you just need to read this one.
I definitely recommend this title. Is the next one out yet?
I love sports romance-love them. I have enjoyed the previous books in this series and jumped at the chance to read this book. It absolutely hit the spot for me. I confess it took me a while to find this series-but I'm so glad I did!I really adored these characters. This author has written some pretty compelling characters before so I expected to like these characters-but I wasn't prepared to fall for them as quickly as I did. These aren't easy characters, they're faced with some pretty tough situations to work through, but it's how they work through them that gets me.
Carmen was such a guarded woman! It's hard to get inside someone like that for me because I'm just an open book. But just like Miles, I wanted to know more. I wanted to get to the root of what made Carmen tick. Once I got to see inside her I was completely won over. She's not perfect, and that's part of her appeal to me. She's passionate and strong, which are two great qualities in my opinion.
Miles-ok, he broke my heart in the very first chapter. He has quite the journey to go on through this book and I loved seeing him grow through that. He's overall just a good guy at his core. He is definitely book boyfriend material!
This romance doesn't happen immediately. This book is the PERFECT, and I mean perfect, example of what a slow burn romance is. I never once wanted these two to pick up the pace, I loved every second of how their relationship progressed. They are just fantastic together.
Baseball is definitely a big sport where I'm from-and it's a game I played as a kid and enjoy watching as an adult. So this backdrop is something I understood, something I could relate to. If you aren't a baseball fan though? This book, and all of Ms. Dean's, will at least have you appreciating the game.
I loved getting to see peeks back into the lives of other players that we've met in previous books. If you haven't read them (go, go now and read them) it won't detract from this story at all. It's always tricky to bring past characters into books, you don't want them to overtake the story. In this book it's almost essential, as it's a team environment-and I love that.
I flew through this book. It was one I couldn't put down once I started. Trust me, you don't want to miss a chance to read this Boys of Summer book! You'll fall in love with these characters and this book. I highly recommend this title.
Sierra Dean is a reformed historian. She was born and raised in the Canadian prairies and is allowed annual exit visas in order to continue her quest of steadily conquering the world one city at a time. Making the best of the cold Canadian winters, Sierra indulges in her less global interests: drinking too much tea and writing urban fantasy.
Ever since she was a young girl she has loved the idea of the supernatural coexisting with the mundane. As an adult, however, the idea evolved from the notion of fairies in flower beds, to imagining that the rugged-looking guy at the garage might secretly be a werewolf. She has used her overactive imagination to create her own version of the world, where vampire, werewolves, fairies, gods and monsters all walk among us, and she’ll continue to travel as much as possible until she finds it for real.
She’s also a book lover (of course!), obsessive collector of OPI nail polish and the owner of way too many pairs of shoes. Portrait Credit: Megan Lara
AUTHOR INTERVIEW!This series, set in the world of baseball, is close to your heart as you are a huge baseball fan yourself. Does that make it harder or easier to write the characters and scenes?
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. It's definitely a job, so there are days I sort of drag myself through it. But it's also incredibly satisfying when the words flow and you have an amazing writing day.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I always say the hardest part of writing is whatever I'm doing at the moment. If it's outlining, that's the hardest. Writing, the hardest. Editing, definitely the hardest. So there really aren't any easy parts, lol.
Do you have playlists for your books?
I've made a couple for the Thunder Road and Genie McQueen series, but they're mostly songs that make me think of the books, rather than songs I write to.
Do you need silence to write or is there certain music you have to play when you write?
Depends on my mood. Often I'll write in silence but sometimes I like music. I listen to a playlist called "Southern Gothic" on Spotify for the Genie books, since they're set in Louisiana. I also like writing to jazz because there aren't any lyrics to distract me.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
I had to speed it up a lot. Writing my first book took me 5 years. I now write about 5 books a year, so it's certainly forced me to become a lot faster.
Do any of your characters have traits/habits that you have?
Absolutely. Emmy in Pitch Perfect is a big Hall and Oates fan, and I often use their music to psych myself up for things. I think I add my own touches to characters without thinking about it.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
You want to be true to the characters as people. I don't pretend to know what it's like to be a man, but I want to make sure that all my characters are well rounded and believable. I like to craft real people. I know a lot of men, it's just a matter of being observant, being fair, and being respectful.
How do you select the names of your characters?
Sometimes I'll stumble on a name I like on a TV show or movie, or hear it in real life and make a note of it. I have a list on the whiteboard by my desk of names I want to use. But the name also needs to fit the character and the story. I couldn't put Secret McQueen in a baseball book, but in an urban fantasy series, her name works great.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I'll read reviews from bloggers I know, who I know will be fair even if they don't like the book. It's nice to see the opinions of people you know and respect. Those ones, even when they're not glowing, are the ones I handle the best. I don't read Amazon or Goodreads reviews. I fully support every reader's right to hate my books if they want to and say so openly, but I don't need to read it. It would keep me from being able to work.
In Pitch Perfect, Tucker has a moment and Googles himself. Have you ever done this?
I did it all the time when my first book came out! I had an alert and everything. I stopped that pretty quickly. No one needs to pay that much attention to what other people think of them. Tucker was feeling a bit self-destructive that day.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
2-3 months, depending on the length of the book, re-writes, etc. I have it down to a pretty fine science now.