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5 Star, 4.5 Star and 4 Star Reviews for Sweet Spot (Homeruns #4) by Sloan Johnson #MM #Baseball

Baseball Ball on Fire. 2D Graphics. Computer Design.

Title: Sweet Spot (Homeruns #4)
Author Name: Sloan Johnson
Publication Date: May 9, 2016

Synopsis

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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Review

FiveStarsThis book in my opinion is about righting wrongs from the past and getting over insecurities in order to achieve happiness.

I think that Nick puts so much pressure on himself to be perfect that he does not realize that what is perfect is what he already had and gave up, Cody. Also his insecurities in my opinion is the reason that him and his dad do not have the closest relationship. I believe until he starts trusting himself and that he is good enough all the way around on his own then he will be able to have the things that he so wants to achieve and the person he wants to spend it all with.

Cody may be younger then Nick but in a lot of ways he is so much older. He is what I would call an old soul and so he is able to rationalize what needs to happen in order for Nick to become the man that Nick is meant to be. Yes I believe that Cody has some insecurities himself but that is normal because a person cannot be upbeat about everything all the time.

This was a great book and I enjoyed watching Nick grow to be the man he is meant to be and to watch his and Codys relationship blossom to a full bloom. Cannot wAit to read the next book in the series. I am sure it will be just as good as this one

Tosha

FourandHalfStars
This was a very sweet story.  The two main characters both have fights to overcome, however, they seem to do so with great success.

I think the highlight for me in this story was not necessarily the romance between Cody and Nick, but rather the struggle that Nick goes through to make it in the majors.  He has struggled his entire life to life up to, but outside of the light that is his father’s career.  Growing up with a father who might have the influence to create a career is both humbling and a huge obstacle.  Nick struggles in his own mind to make sure that he’s making it on his very own merit.

Despite that struggle, the romance is my second favorite part of this book.  I love the way that Nick and Cody figure out their relationship.  It’s both new and somewhat juvenile, but in the end, they navigate their careers, their lives and their friends to create an amazing journey.  Cody has some fierce friends who only want what’s best for him and protecting Cody against Nick again is both sweet and how their friendship grows.

While growing together in their relationship – they must face what all couples do – obstacles that test their relationship and commitment.  However, with this story also comes the lesson on trusting themselves, their friends and family too.

It’s a heart warming story that just adds to this series.

AvidReader

FourStars

I really enjoy this series. It broke my heart in the prologue but then my heart was slowly mended back together. You could feel the connection between Cody and Nick. I can’t imagine how hard it is to go without seeing your partner for weeks and months at a time. I know I hate it when I am out of town for work for a few days! I am glad we got to see characters from previous books, I love them and miss them. I was shocked how something from a previous book came back up from this book, I hope in the next book we see the outcome, I really want justice to be served! Like the other books in the series there was some sappy moments, some moments that made me laugh and cry and of course hot action between the sheets! Can’t wait for the next book!

Angie

Excerpt

For the first time in my life, I was walking into work every day as Nick Stone, pitching hopeful for the Mavericks. I wasn’t Marcus Stone’s son. I wasn’t the closeted gay kid in the clubhouse. I was just Nick.

“Thanks. You deserve a lot of the credit for that,” I told him, because it was the truth. He was the one who’d made me see my dad for who he was. He was the one who gave me the strength to quit lying about who I was. He was the one who made me understand what my dad said when he told me life was more than baseball. Today, I was more worried about leaving Cody than I was about my placement in the organization, but I knew that’s how it was supposed to be. Baseball was my job. Cody was what mattered.

“I didn’t do anything,” Cody scoffed.

I leaned over and kissed him softly, cupping my hand around the back of his neck. I pressed my forehead to his as I spoke. “Yeah, you did. Everything I have at the end of today is because of you. You’re the one who’s helped me through. I love you, Cody.”

Those words terrified me. I’d never said them to anyone other than family, but it felt right to tell Cody how I felt about him. It left me exposed and vulnerable, but it was right. I choked up, knowing that I’d do anything to keep Cody looking at me the way he did right then. Stunned. Happy. In love.

“I love you, too.” Cody sighed. “I’ve wanted to tell you for a while now, but I was worried it’d freak you out.”

I hated knowing that he still had traces of lingering doubts. I’d planted those in his head with my actions years ago. I shook my head and swallowed hard as I thought about how to respond. I’d promised him I was through apologizing to him, but that’s exactly what I wanted to do now.

“I don’t want you to feel that way, Cody.” I buried my head against his shoulder. “I never want you to feel like you can’t tell me what you’re thinking. I know why you do it, but that’s only going to make things harder for the next few months.”

“I know,” Cody responded, sounding like a kid who’d just been scolded. “I’m trying, I promise.”

“That’s all either of us can do,” I parroted the words he’d said to me several times since the first night we’d talked. “Someday, it’ll be easier.”

“Yeah, it will be,” he agreed. Cody rubbed his eyes and I could tell he was struggling just as much as I was with my possible early departure. “Look, I just wanted to tell you that before I dropped you off. You know, that you’re doing good. No matter what happens today, remember how far you’ve come.”

“I will.” This was the pep talk I really needed. It was important to me that he understand what was going on and that he was the one who was able to say what I needed to hear. “And I’m going to keep busting my ass so I can get to Milwaukee. I have too much there to stay away for long.”

“I’ll hold you to that.” With one final kiss, Cody straightened in his seat and re-fastened his seat belt.

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TWO 5 and 3.5 Star Reviews for Triple Play (Homeruns #3) by Sloan Johnson #MM #Sports @AuthorSloanJ

ClutchPlay

Title: Triple Play (Homeruns #3)
Author Name: Sloan Johnson
Publication Date: September 29, 2015

Synopsis

Drew Jackson seemed to have it all. He has a family who loves and supports him, a tight circle of friends, and is a rising star with the Milwaukee Mavericks. Then, it all begins to unravel. Cam, the only man he’s ever loved, falls head over heels for Drew’s teammate. He makes a critical mistake in the playoffs that he’s not sure he’ll be able to recover from. And then, his world really crashes around him…

Eric Sapp may no longer play for the Mavericks, but he’s still one of the guys. No one could have imagined how much his life would change when he agreed to help his former teammates mourn the end of their run for the pennant. After stopping a brutal attack, Eric is forced to face the feelings that’ve been growing for his roommate, Drew. That’d be much easier if Drew wasn’t hell-bent on pushing everyone away as he recovers.

Neither of them were counting on Bryce Shaw. He and Drew enjoyed the one night they spent together, but knew it was unlikely they’d be anything more since they lived in different parts of the country. After Bryce is relocated to help a failing LGBT homeless outreach, he wants to explore something more with the Mavericks’ short stop.

As much as Eric wishes he could be the one to help his friend, he knows Bryce holds the key to Drew’s recovery. Will pushing the two back together be the biggest mistake of his life or will they all learn there is strength in numbers?

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Review

FiveStars

OMG I loved this book so much!!
I will admit I was so nervous about reading this because I am the pickiest person when it comes to ménages.  But this book was perfect! My biggest problem with them is sometimes I do not feel like everything is equal between all three men, like someone is always being left out.  Well in this book that does not happen at all. Everyone discusses everything together and the whole relationship is equal between Drew, Eric and Bryce which I loved!
I will also say I have not read the first two books in this series and I did not feel lost at all.
Now there were some hard parts in this with what happened to Drew but you also get the sweet and the steamy. Which Damn this book was so Hot!!!!!!
I really do not want to give anymore of this book away because this is definitely one you should read for yourself.
I will leave this review with I 100% loved this book!
I would definitely recommend this book!
Kara
FiveStars

This story was not all about baseball, which I kind of liked.  It was more about the human condition and what people can do to help those who may need someone to lean on.

Watching this trio, it was somewhat harsh the way that this all began.  Drew made me incredibly angry.  He has these two awesome men, vying for his attention and he’s just being a big baby.  While I can understand that going through trauma can make one edgy, he was just plain rude and unpleasant.

But, Eric and Bryce were both great in their own way.  Trying to give Drew what he needed to keep going, I thought that the introduction of Cody was brilliant.

Then of course, you have OFF THE CHART chemistry between the three of these men and can I just say, WOW.  Not only was there some alpha scenes, but there was also just sweetness among the three of them.  And, while it wasn’t always fair – meaning that Drew seemed to get most of the attention, it didn’t bother me all that much.

I really enjoyed this addition to the series and hope there are more to come!

AvidReader
ThreeandHalfStars

I have been loving this series, but I have to admit that this wasn’t my favourite of the stories.  I really enjoyed Eric and Drew in the earlier books, but neither man became distinct enough for me to really love in this story.  I don’t remember Bryce from the first two books and I didn’t feel like I came to know him properly in this one either.

The action starts with Drew being seriously harmed in a seemingly random gay bashing.  I’m not sure I fully believed this.  Surely a professional athlete wouldn’t be a lone attacker’s first choice victim – and surely Drew would have had the strength to fight back?  

Both Blake and Eric rush to Drew’s assistance and the three men end up falling for each other.  Queue happy families as they take on the care of a homeless youth and completely drama-free revelations to friends and family.  This is not an angsty story.  The men move from attraction to sex to happily-ever-after very easily.  They enjoy some creative and very hot sex along the way.     

Watching the group of gay baseball-playing friends grow and mature was enjoyable.  I loved seeing Mason and Sean as parents and Cam’s turn on his Masterchef-style show was worth reading.  I’m not sure that the persistent homophobia in the locker room isn’t getting a little tired and dated, considering all of the current openly gay professional sportsmen. Drew’s family was lovely (once again) but this series seems to either have wicked parents or perfect parents.  I’d love to see a more realistic family added to the mix.

I struggled a little with the rotating POV.  I kept trying to figure out who was narrating for the first few chapters.  And then I caught a couple of typos where the author had mixed up the POV.  When a story has two narrators, I find it manageable, especially if the narrators are quite distinct characters.  Three quite similar characters was difficult.

If, like me, you’re a fan of the series already, you’ll want to read this book.  If you aren’t, I’d suggest starting with one of the two earlier books.  I enjoyed this, but it isn’t my favourite in the series.  

Sarah

Teaser

TriplePlay2

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Filed under 3.5 Stars, 5 Star, AvidReader, Kara, M/M, New Release, Review, Sarah

TWO 5, 4.5, and 4 Stars for Curve Ball (Homeruns #2) by Sloan Johnson #MM #Romance @authorsloanj

WildPitch

Title: Curve Ball (Homeruns #2)
Author Name: Sloan Johnson
Publication Date: July 29, 2015

Synopsis

Jason Klein’s living with the fallout from a decision he knew was the right one at the time. He never told anyone about the love of his life, which left him to mourn alone when he found out the man he gave his heart to had been killed in combat. Now, his heart has had time to heal, but he’s not sure he’s ready to let himself move on. Until he meets Cam Morgan…

Without a job lined up following graduation, Cam Morgan took his best friend up on his offer to move to Milwaukee and stay with him until he could get on his feet. The last thing he wanted to do the day after getting to town was go to a party filled with a bunch of jocks. Sure, they were “professional athletes” but Cam was convinced that bigger bank accounts didn’t make them any more accepting of people like him. He certainly didn’t expect to meet Jason, the Mavericks’ catcher who broke every stereotype he’d had.

What started out as one hot, sweaty night together quickly grows into something deeper. Jason welcomes Cam into his home and his life, but now he has to teach the younger man that it’s not a sign of weakness to let people help you.

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Review

FiveStars

I loved this story.  From Drew to Bev, the cook.  All of the characters were genuine and loveable.

I did not feel that I needed to have read the first book in the series to know what was going on which was nice.  From the beginning, I could tell that Drew was a wonderful friend to Cam.

Then there was Cam.  While I did not quite understand his insecurities at first, you did get to read a lot about how he was feeling and the reasons why, which helped the reader feel closer to Cam.  His character was well developed and even though I wanted to smack the back of his head at times for his stubbornness, I really loved him.  His passion for life, the fact that he wears his heart out there for the world to see and the fact that he loves so completely.

Jason is just a hot, romantic stub.  When I think of him squatting for the game… YUM!  I loved how he was so lost, but not afraid to go after what he wanted – once he figured out what that was.  I was relieved that he was able to find people outside of his life to help him see things for what they were/are/could be.  He was just so wonderful to Cam – I loved that he encouraged and protected Cam, even if the gestures were sometimes overbearing.

These two were perfectly matched for each other and despite the bumps, when you got to read about their date, Holy smokes was that fun, romantic and just an all around awesome date.

My only hitch was that it definitely needs a good once over. There were a few places where the sentences didn’t make sense and the wrong pronouns were used. As long as it goes back to the editor for those places, it will be a hit.

I really hope that next books are just as awesome and I can’t wait for Drew and Eric’s story.

AvidReader

FiveStars

OMG, I loved this book! I read the first book and loved it as well. Sloan Johnson just has a way of drawing you in and making you love these guys! Cam moves to Milwaukee after his friend Drew asks him too. Cam doesn’t have a job after graduating culinary school so he takes him up on his offer. Drew drags Cam to a party where he meets Jason. Jason is a fellow team mate of Drew and instantly is attracted to Cam. Problem is Jason hasn’t come out to anyone and no one knows about his past love and the heartache he has been through. I just love Cam and his attitude, he doesn’t care what people think and he will defend himself and not take crap from others. Jason has hidden for so long but he really likes Cam and they go home together and things get H.O.T. What was supposed to be just one night turns into something more. The more time they spend together the more they start to develop feelings for each other. There is a little angst and drama in the story but not too much, it all goes well with the story line. We get to see Sean and Mason from the first book and Eric too. I just love this series because I feel like I am right there in the moment and I feel everything that the characters feel and I get so upset when the book is over. I loved the game that Cam and Jason played as they went on their date “grab some pennies and if you flip tails we turn one way, heads we turn another”.  I just loved these two and I hope we get to see them in the next book in the series. I also hope that Eric gets his own book since Drew is up next for a book.

Angie

FourandHalfStars

Such a great story! I enjoyed it even more than Wild Pitch, loving both Jason and Cam. This time, only Jason is a ball player while Cam is a fledgeling chef. Flamboyant Cam struggles to find his place among the professional athletes while Jason struggles to out himself after years in a Major League closet.

The contrast between lifestyles and interests with Jason and Cam makes the story interesting. Cam’s relationships with the team wives and Mason, a newly retired stay-at- home dad, are fantastic. Cam’s food is drool-worthy even on paper!

We see more of the Mavericks team in this second book and I really enjoyed the interactions between the players as two more of the team outed themselves publically. The author refuses to add drama with unnecessary homophobia – her gay characters find themselves pleasantly surprised by the open minded support they receive from the majority of the team.

This is an easy, enjoyable romance – part of an addictive series. I’m really looking forward to Eric and Drew’s stories!

Sarah

FourStars

I liked this book more than I liked the first installment in this series. I really connected to both characters, not to mention their situations.
I did feel like we never really got the full story of what happened between Jason and his first love, we only got hints here and there, but never the full story.
We get to see the characters from the first book, which I always love, but they didn’t play a big part so I’d say this was a standalone in the series.
While I really liked both men when they were together…. there was just something about Cam I didn’t like. Whether it was his determination to do everything alone or the reason he sets himself up for heartbreak. I just didn’t feel that part of the story. Like it was there just to create drama that wasn’t really needed.
I will say the few naughty scenes in the book were HOT and I loved them, but then a lot of them were coasted over in a old school romance fashion, which I didn’t particularly care for.
That being said, I still greatly look forward to Drew’s story and see the man get his happy ever after.
Renee

Excerpt

“If you have something to say to me, just say it.” I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel to keep from shaking Drew. He was one of the youngest guys on the team, and right now, his immaturity showed through brightly. It was about time someone knocked some sense into him, before he wound up earning a bad reputation, both on the field and off. “I won’t apologize, because I haven’t done a damn thing to offend you.”

“Really? I shouldn’t be pissed off that I had no clue you were gay?” Drew seethed, his brown eyes narrow slits as he glared at me. “And I should be totally cool with you loading up my friend in the middle of the night to take him back to your place, right?”

“Yeah, actually you should,” I quipped, twisting the wheel tighter. “Cam is a grown man, and if you truly care about him, you should be fucking ecstatic that he’s getting out there to meet people.”

Drew muttered something to himself as he went back to staring out the window. His shoulders slumped forward and he seemed to shrink in his seat. I knew that look. It wasn’t one worn by a concerned or pissed off friend, it was the look of a man who felt the love of his life slipping away from him.

“How long have you felt this way about him?” I asked. My chest tightened, knowing that I wouldn’t stand between them. Drew and I might not be close, but I liked to think of him as a friend, a brother on the team.

“Doesn’t matter.” The response was so quiet I could barely hear the words. As I pulled up to the stoplight, I placed my hand on Drew’s shoulder, unsurprised when he jerked away.

“It does,” I assured him. “And you have to know I wouldn’t have done anything with him if I’d known.”

“Don’t say that. I’ve known for a long time that he’d never feel for me what I do for him.” I suddenly missed the anger Drew showed earlier. “If the way he looked this morning is any indication, you’re exactly what he needs in his life. And if I put my own feelings aside, you’re more than that. You’re what he’s always wanted.”

That was not how I expected this conversation to go. It started exactly as I’d seen it in my mind, but I hadn’t expected Drew to step aside. Maybe I was wrong in thinking that he was immature and selfish.

“Drew, if you say the word, I’ll back off. I’m not willing to destroy two friendships just for a few nights of fun.”

“The only way I’d ask you to do that is if that’s all this is for you.” I pulled up in front of the grocery store, but neither of us moved to open our doors. “Cam is one of the best guys I know. He’s got a big heart, but sometimes, he’s a little too open with it. If you’re only in this for a couple of hot nights, then yeah you should walk away from him.”

I felt backed into a corner. Sure, I’d thought about what it’d be like to explore something more with Cam, but I wasn’t in a place to do that. It had nothing to do with being on the road most of the year and everything to do with my own inability to be open with those around me. I’d grown accustomed to never letting anyone get too close, and Cam had already seen more than people I’d known for years. There was no way I’d be able to hold back if last night and tonight turned into something more.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” It was the most I could promise him.

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Filed under 4 Star, 4.5 Stars, 5 Star, Angie, AvidReader, M/M, New Release, Renee, Review, Sarah