Title: Reading the Signs
Author: Keira Andrews
Publisher: KA Books/ Self Published
Release Date: September 22nd 2016
Page Count: 293
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
This hot-headed rookie needs discipline—on and off the field.
Pitcher Nico Agresta is desperate to live up to his family’s baseball legacy. Since he was a teenager crushing on his big brother’s teammate, he’s known he can’t act on his desires. His father’s made it clear there should be no queers on the field, but if Nico can win Rookie of the Year like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he’s worthy after all.
At 34, veteran catcher Jake Fitzgerald just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn’t have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress? Jake lost his passion for the game—and life—after driving away the man he loved, and he swore he’d never risk his heart again.
Then he’s traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. But tightly wound Nico’s having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection, and Jake needs to teach him patience and restraint on the mound.
When their push and pull explodes into the bedroom, Nico and Jake will both learn how much they’ll risk for love.
This gay sports romance features men who have been repressing their feelings far too long, light BDSM, an age difference, sweaty locker rooms, and a happy ending.
Surprise, surprise! Did you hear? Keira Andrews does baseball+BDSM+“my friend’s little brother trope”+age gap!
I won’t lie, as far as baseball is concerned I’m like…
It’s a relatively new sport in my country (started in 1997 if I remember correctly), and every time I happen to take a glimpse of a game, I cave no clue what the hell is going on.
There is A LOT of baseball in this book, especially in the first half. If you ‘re a fan of the sport, you ‘re going to love that aspect of the story. My cluelessness didn’t stop me from enjoying it, especially after the 50% mark where the romance really picks up.
“No queers in baseball. Not allowed.”
That’s what Nico’s father said, and since baseball is always more important, Nico was willing to live in denial, and hide this part of himself. Until Jake (his brother’s old friend, and Nico’s teenage crush) joins the team.
The only time Nico speaks up is when he gets mad during a game. Otherwise, he’s shy, closed off and lives A LOT inside his head. He makes things ten times worse than they really are.
He does have a filthy mouth, though.
“I used to dream about you here.”[…]
“Did you touch yourself?”
“Fuck, yes. All the time. Imagined how big your cock was, and if you were cut or not. What it would taste like. Wanted to swallow your cum. Used to taste mine and pretend it was yours.”
“Jesus. We can’t.”
“When I found out you were traded and I’d see you again, I got so hard I had to jerk off. Shoved my finger in my ass and imagined it was your cock, and—”
You can guess what happened afterwards. Jake is the only one who can calm Nico down during and after a game. The sex, albeit hot, is not gratuitous at all. I found that every sex scene was poignant; Liberating for Nico, and a fantasy coming true. And for Jake, a chance at something he thought he’d never find.
As far as the BDSM part is concerned, it is very light and it’s more about the mentality behind BDSM. Nico needs to feel grounded, and for someone else to be in control, and make the rules in the bedroom. Jake gladly accepts that role. So no, there are no whips or chains here. Some bondage and spanking is as far as it goes, and I for one am grateful for it.
I won’t lie…there is angst and pain. There is self-loathing and guilt. But it’s not overwhelming or OTT. There’s also a hissy fit from Nico (because young). In a way, this story is Nico’s journey to self-acceptance. But it’s Jake’s story too, and his second chance at love and friendship. I’m very happy I was there to read their stories.