READING THE SIGNS
Published: September 22nd 2016 by KA Books
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 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 is 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.
“I used to dream about you here.”
Reading the Signs was a cute and fast read. The writing was solid, fast paced, and engaging. It was really easy to fall head first into Jake and Nico’s world, and I’m not even a baseball fan! And despite baseball being one of the main plot aspects, not being familiar with the sport wasn’t a problem when reading this.
The real focus of the book was Jake and Nico. They were great characters, both really well developed and interesting. I actually loved the way the author portrayed Nico’s anxiety, with his POV chapters and inner monologue making me feel nervous for him. The side characters were also a treat, especially Nico’s family. They all felt very real, even those characters who didn’t get a lot of page time.
Jake and Nico’s relationship was the high point for me. I loved that Nico was Jake’s friend’s little brother, and that they had met before when Nico was a teenager. It gave depth to their relationship; it also made it all the more fun as Jake was forced to reconcile the boy he met with the man he was now attracted to. And it only made all the steamy scenes even better, to be honest.
Two things I did have a problem with were: all the self-loathing and guilt from Nico, which got a bit tiring after a point, and characters outing each other to other people. The latter happened so many times in this book, and only twice was it recognized as a bad thing. It was really messed up, especially when the author was trying to establish trust and acceptance between characters.
Overall, Reading the Signs was a good read. It was about learning how to accept who we really are, and not being ashamed of our true selves. I definitely recommend it to baseball fans, and to anyone who likes some angst with a happy ending.