Title: Third Base
Author: Heidi McLaughlin
Series: Boys of Summer #1
Release Date: June 7, 2016
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.
If you’re looking for a fun, sweet summer read then Third Base is worth checking out. Heidi McLaughlin immerses readers in the exciting and drama-filled world of professional baseball with this novel. Third Base follows Ethan Davenport, an up-and-coming baseball superstar, as he navigates fame in the social media age. He meets his match in superfan Daisy, a season ticket holder and journalism student. Together they are a great mix of adorable and awkward, ensuring that their story has all sorts of feels. Constantly under the scrutiny of a popular baseball blogger, Ethan and Daisy find it difficult to get their relationship up and running while also juggling his game schedule and her college classes and personal responsibilities. These two shared an unexpected connection and their easy friendship made me giddy with promises of so much more.
“It’s a different kind of love than the kind one has for a family member or friend – it’s hard to explain. For me, the game means everything.”
I adored the match that Heidi McLaughlin proposed with Ethan and Daisy. Their shared love of baseball and palpable connection made my heart flutter despite all of the obstacles in their way. Ethan was fun to get to know. I liked how undone he became around Daisy, constantly questioning his feelings and coherent decision-making abilities. His awkwardness made me chuckle as it was such a sharp contrast to his usually cool and confident demeanor. Seeing him with his niece and with Daisy’s grandfather were definitely highlights for me, but there were also several moments where I just wanted to slap him. Unfortunately the moments of stupidity outweighed a lot of the sweetness and I never really fell hard for him like I wanted to. I was left feeling like Ethan still had a lot of growing up to do.
“This is the moment when either I can stand here and take the strike, because that is what’s expected of me and I’ll still be ahead in the count, or I can swing for the fences.”
Daisy, on the other hand, is very much an enigma and I couldn’t wait to discover her secrets. It was obvious that she was incredibly vulnerable and worked hard to keep herself closed off. When we finally learn a little about her life, my heart broke for her and the kind of things she’d been dealt at such a young age. As much as I liked Daisy, I did struggle to connect with her. Even as the story progressed and secrets came to light, we didn’t get to know much more about her and that left this character feeling somewhat underdeveloped. Maybe it’s because this story is told entirely from Ethan’s POV, but I needed something more from her. This character was interesting, relatable, and incredibly lovable, but the lack of emotional depth had her falling just short of her full potential.
“What I want is you, if you’re willing to have me, flaws and all.”
Overall, Third Base is a lighthearted read. Peppered with humor and good-natured teasing, this book is not one to leave you feeling emotionally steamrolled. Admittedly, the plot was somewhat predictable and there were moments when the pacing felt a little off to me (rushing a few of the more significant scenes). There were also some things that were mentioned and then never again addressed (like the questionable absence of Ethan’s brother-in-law), but this story was undoubtedly entertaining. For me, the best part of this novel was the obvious passion with which Heidi McLaughlin penned this story. Her love of professional sports and the sense of camaraderie that comes along with them pours from the pages of Third Base. From the excitement and anticipation of the first game of the season to the frustration and disappointment of losing to a long-standing rival, this book captured a multitude of emotions and brought the world of the Boston Renegades to life. If you’re a baseball fan and are in the mood for something light then Third Base may just be the book for you.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Boys of Summer series:
Home Run (Boys of Summer #2)
Grand Slam (Boys of Summer #3)