THIRD BASE by Heidi McLaughlin

 

 

Title: THIRD BASE

Author: Heidi McLaughlin

Series: The Boys of Summer, #1

On Sale: April 4, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Trade Paperback: $14.99 USD

eBook: $3.99 USD

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Ethan Davenport is already Boston’s most eligible bachelor. In his second season with the Boston Renegades he has set his eyes on the girl behind the visitors’ dugout.

That girl is Daisy Robinson, a journalism student at the University of Boston and a die-hard Renegades fan.

But with new found love comes challenges and Ethan and Daisy have to deal with his crazy schedule, school finals and his presence on her campus for some much needed media training.

For Ethan nothing can come between him and Daisy, until a secret that she’s been keeping threatens to destroy them both.

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THIRD BASE Release Day Blitz Excerpt

   

I look at the scoreboard from the on-deck circle. It’s the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Unless we go on some miraculous run, the game is over and we’ve lost, giving us our second loss in a row.

The Orioles coach calls for a time-out and approaches the mound. This gives Meyers, our right fielder, the opportunity for us to talk. Actually, it gives me the ability to stare at the girl that has held my attention all night. After my home run, I thought I could focus on the game, but each time I came up to bat or went out to the field, I was looking to see if she was staring… and she was, which really stroked my ego.

I meet Meyers halfway between the on-deck circle and home plate. Usually, we’d stand back or talk to the third base coach, but there’s no coming back from this defeat. When I reach him, I can tell he’s frustrated; we all are. We’re a far better team than what our record shows. Even though it’s still very early, our expectations are much higher, and with the road trip coming up, we have got to get out of this funk, fast… before it’s too late.  

“This ump is calling shit.” Meyers kicks the dirt around his feet.

“Has been all night.” On any given night it’s either in your favor or not. Some umpires come into a game with a chip on their shoulder. They remember everything, and they don’t let you forget it. They say once the game is over, it’s over. Umpires don’t feel that way.

“Play ball!” the umpire yells.

Meyers goes back to home plate and settles in for what could be his last pitch. If he gets on base, I’m up. If he strikes out, my night is over. I rest my bat on my shoulder and watch – not Meyers, but the girl in the hat. She’s leaning forward, resting her elbows on the dugout. I had every intention of finding an usher during the seventh inning but lost my nerve. I don’t know how that’d be received if our manager was to find out, and short of going into the stands the second the game is over, I’m running out of options.  

It’s a swing and foul ball for Meyers, still giving me hope. The girl hasn’t moved, and something tells me that she’s focused on me. I should be focused on the game, but I’m not.

I lean over to the usher who stands by the field and whisper, “There’s a girl in section sixty-five, row c, seat one. I’d like to talk to her after the game.”

He nods and says something into his really cool CIA walkie-talkie-type thing. When I first arrived, I asked if I could play with it. I was told no. It was a total buzz kill. I asked my agent to get me one, and he told me to grow up… not one of my finer moments.

Meyers goes down swinging and just like that, the game’s over. We lost three to eight. I wait for him to walk by before returning to the dugout, but not without one last look at the girl in row c.  Another usher is walking down the aisle toward her. I climb down the stairs and pause where she can’t see me. The usher approaches her and talks wildly with his hands. She looks around, reaches for her bag, and follows him up the steps. I can only hope she’ll be in the lounge when I get there.

Right now I’m thankful I’m not allowed to give interviews yet because it means I can shower and get upstairs quicker. The reporters call my name, asking about my home-run. They know I’m not allowed to speak with them, but they try anyway. I keep my head down, my classic move after we’ve lost, and rush into the clubhouse. There will be no after-game meeting; our manager will save that for tomorrow.

I shower quickly and slip into jeans and a t-shirt. My hair is still wet and dripping down onto my shirt, but I don’t want my third base girl waiting too long. I take the back stairs two at a time and enter the lounge. This is where the wives and girlfriends hang out, and now that I think about it, it’s probably not the best place to have sent her. It’s like vulture prey in here for new girlfriends… not that she’s my girlfriend. I just want to know her name.

As soon as I enter the hallway, I find her sitting outside the door. She stands up when she hears me coming and keeps her hands behind her back, watching me closely. I come to a halt in front of her, and all I can see is the top of her hat. She’s about a foot shorter than me, and I like that.

“I wanted to apologize for giving you the ball.” I keep my hands clasped to avoid the nervous twitch I have. The last thing I want to do is scare her away.

“Oh… do you want it back?” Her voice is soft, sweet, and completely Boston. Hearing her speak makes me feel like I have something to look forward to, like I’m home.

“What? No, I thought I embarrassed you… It’s just…”

My knees go weak when she looks at me. Her light green eyes are the color of sea glass, and she has a dimple that compliments her smile. I find myself wanting to rub my thumb over it so I can feel it.

“You didn’t embarrass me. It was nice.”

“What’s your name?” I ask, needing to know because calling her ‘third base girl’ or ‘girl in row c’ isn’t going to cut it.

“Daisy.”

Daisy, I repeat in my head so I don’t forget. Daisy… like the flowers that my mother loves.

“I’m Ethan,” I stupidly tell her but feel like I should introduce myself. “Wanna get out of here and grab some dinner?”

She eyes me and then the ground, making me wait what feels like an eternity for her answer.

THE BOYS OF SUMMER SERIES

THIRD BASE, #1

HOME RUN, #2

GRAND SLAM, #3

Series Page on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heidi McLaughlin is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell, Buttercup and a Highland West/Mini Schnauzer, Jill.

When she isn’t writing one of the many stories planned for release, you’ll find her sitting courtside during either daughter’s basketball games.

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Third Base
Heidi McLaughlin

3.5 stars

Third Base by Heidi McLaughlin is a sport romance about an up and coming baseball playing eligible bachelor and a beautiful fan who rocks his world. Though I did enjoy this story, there were some things that I found lacking.

Ethan Davenport plays for the Boston Renegades and is in his second season. He is also known as Boston’s most eligible bachelor. He is hot, young and enjoying the perks afforded to him. But baseball is the most important thing to him. Until her.

Daisy Robinson is a journalism student who never misses a home game. For two years Ethan has watched Daisy watch him from the stands. He is intrigued by her. Ethan finally decides to make a move and meet this die-hard fan.

Can a famous athlete build a relationship with a normal girl? As an athlete, he has expectations to fulfill and pressure coming at him from all sides. Pressures like the blogger who is making his and his teammate’s lives miserable. But this girl makes him feel and want things he has not wanted before.

Can Ethan and Daisy survive the many obstacles they face as they begin this new journey together? With his travelling and team responsibilities, his free time is limited. Daisy is a student looking to graduate soon and responsibilities of her own. Once secrets begin to emerge, can this developing relationship endure?

I found this story a bit different. It is entirely in Ethan’s point of view, which surprised me a bit. I did, however, like seeing a confident, gorgeous man experience doubts and question how to build his relationship with Daisy. But it was hard to connect with Daisy sometimes because we did not know what she was thinking and why she did some of the things she did.

I did enjoy how this story weaved baseball stats and tactics into the story. I am a huge baseball fan. But there were times the story moved too fast with no transition from one stage to the next. It seemed a bit fragmented at times. I did love the Renegade teammates and cannot wait to read some of their stories.

There were many things I liked about Third Base, but other things that fell a bit flat for me. I liked seeing Ethan stumble through some of his decisions. I liked his honest reactions and how hard he tried to be the man he wanted to be on and off the field. I did have a hard time connecting with Daisy at times. I am not sure if this is because we did not get her point-of-view, but I think it had more to do with getting so little of her perspective. Overall, a good, quick read that was okay for me.

~ Liz

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