High Heat is the first book in the Hard Hitters Series by Linda Morris. This is a contemporary sports romance, and each book is a standalone. I love sports romance stories, so I couldn't wait to read this book. I had never read anything by Linda Morris before, so I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. Unfortunately while I enjoyed parts of this book, this ended up being just an okay read for me.
Sarah Dudley grew up loving baseball. While her mother encouraged Sarah to go after whatever she wanted, after her death everything changed. Her father owns a minor league team, and while he appointed Sarah to VP of public relations he prefers that she keep herself away from everything else baseball including the players. But when her brother's former best friend and major league pitcher Tom Cord shows up to the club while in rehab for a shoulder surgery, she finds herself back to having the crush on him she did years before. Though Tom is known for his casual hookups with models and reality stars, Sarah finds herself getting to know the man beneath the facade and they start to become friends. But neither one of them can deny the chemistry and heat between them. Knowing that Tom is headed to Chicago as soon as his rehab is up though and with his reputation, is there any chance of something more for them?
I have to admit that a lot of my issues with this story were with Tom and Sarah. While I felt the chemistry and attraction between them, I wasn't really feeling their connection. Tom was pretty cocky, and unfortunately for me it wasn't in a charming way. The crap that would come out of his mouth was a serious turn-off to me, and I found myself wondering what Sarah saw in him besides his good looks. While he had his moments that he was better, I just didn't ever really warm up to him. Sarah was another problem for me. She didn't seem to really have a mind of her own, and she had no backbone whatsoever. She allowed her father and brother to push her around and make decisions for her, or basically convince her to do things that she wouldn't have otherwise. She also had been seeing someone she had absolutely no interest in for over two years, and yet she refused to break it off for no reason that I could see. She had never had sex with him and didn't even seem to enjoy spending time with him, so it made no sense to me why she would continue things with him (even off and on). She was hard to like or really support, and I just felt like she needed to stand up for herself and start living her life according to what she wanted, even if that meant leaving the family business behind.
I also felt like this story was pretty slow and I just wasn't invested. Because I didn't really care for the main characters, I found myself wanting to skim just to find out how things would play out. I also didn't care for Sarah's family, especially her dad, so there really wasn't much to hold my interest here. So while this book was okay, it wasn't anything special or memorable to me. I don't know that I will read anymore in this series, but depending on who the next book is about I might give it a shot. If you are a sports romance fan, particularly a baseball fan, you might consider giving this one a shot. I just wish that I had felt more of a connection between Tom and Sarah for this one to have worked better for me personally.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**