Tuesday, April 30, 2013

V.K. Sykes -- Fastball

V.K. Sykes - Fastball

Rated: ♥ ♥. ♥   {2.10}
Action: 1.0 / Emotion: 0.0 / Romance: 3.0 / Sensuous: 4.0 / Suspense: 0.0  //  Laughter: 0 / Tears: 0

Setting:     Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Era:           Present Day [2012]
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
After receiving a Kindle as a Christmas present from my sister, decided to purchase the set of three V.K. Syke's e-books in The Philadelphia Patriots Series that were being offered for 99 cents.   First off, an apology is in order to the husband and wife team who wrote this book.   This book did not receive a high rating simply because Contemporary Romance (with strong Erotica leanings) is not my favorite genre . . . and I was concurrently reading a paperback historical romance book by my favorite author -- so, of course, this book lost out simply by default.   So please don't judge whether you will like this book simply because it did nothing to impress me.

As you can tell by the rating chart above, for a book to "work" for me, it should contain scenes of actions, inspire an emotional connection to the characters, should warm the romantic cockles of my heart while steaming up the windows with sensuality, as well as support an aura of suspense.   And for the book to really be a success, the author needs to bring forth peals of laughter and/or have caused tears to flow.

Sadly, the only feature in which this story excelled was the spicy, heated, very sizzling lovemaking scenes.   In fact this book was so spicy, that it seems it could almost be classified Erotica instead of Contemporary.   Not that that's a bad thing . . . it's just that the book needed to inspire more excitement, more emotion.   For Pete's Sake, it's about a baseball player . . . and that, in and off itself should have generated a bit of excitement.

The reason this book fell flat was because it was so "ordinary."   Sykes painted a picture of the common, ordinary everyday life of a sports reporter, Maddie Leclair, and the, supposedly, not so ordinary life of one of the Patriots' ballplayers, right fielder, Jake Miller.   Jake is called back up to the majors after having to recover from an injury and play in the minors until a position opened for him on the Patriots team.   Now the description of Jake was enough to make your mouth water . . . who couldn't appreciate not only a hot ball player, but smoking hot.   The kind of guy whose poster you buy to put on your wall to drool over.

Now, Maddie, who is supposedly a bit shy and reserved, wants to kick her slowly rising career up another notch by scoring an interview from the 'I don't like to talk about myself' ball player.   Not only is Jake hot, but he's a team leader, a man of integrity and a loyal friend.   So when Maddie approaches Jake for an interview, he grants her one if she will break the rules and meet him away from the watchful eyes of the front office.   Since Maddie has had a crush on hot Jake Miller for years, she agrees to meet him at a restaurant in La Jolla to conduct her interview.

Since Jake thinks Maddie is gorgeous and wants the interview to end up back at his hotel, he decides to open up a bit and tell Maddie about himself.   It was clear that Sykes was trying to draw forth sympathy and emotion from the reader by featuring Jake as a man who supported the very charity that causes Maddie to almost fall into tears because her mother is in a home because she suffers from Alzheimers.   But the empathy and emotion just weren't there.

However, the "connection" between Jake and Maddie was potent.   Yes, you could feel the 'I want to do you right here on this table' vibes coming through loud and clear.   But, it wasn't just the sexual attraction, but a personal interest in each other as well.   So Sykes did do a great job on the romance and sensuality portion of the book.

But Maddie was a control freak and put her career first.   So she refused to get involved with Jake because it could tank her career.   And then, she did the typical, ordinary, thing that we women do -- continued to dwell on whether she was passing up an opportunity at happiness with Jake because she wouldn't risk her career.   And, being female, Maddie had to talk to two of her girlfriends at depth about how much she wanted to be with Jake, but it was against the rules.

After listening to her friends, Maddie decides to take the risk (because she really is attracted to hot Jake Miller) and after shutting Jake down cold a couple of times, she opens the door to risk.   So they have some very hot and heavy sex (on the pages of the book) and talk long into the night (off the pages of the book).   Everything seems to be progressing at a fast pace towards commitment when Jake and Maddie have a big fight.   Both parties were stubborn mules, unable to see the other's point of view.

Sykes throws in a little bit of action and suspense where Maddie gets into hot water because of her hardheadedness and Jake (and his teammate Nate Carter) rush to her rescue, which gives the reader a smidgen of action, but didn't inspire an ounce of intrigue.   And then Sykes totally drops the ball with the rest of the story.   The story ends with the necessary I Love Yous, and 'I don't know how I would have lived if anything happened to you' hugs and kisses, but all the threads of the story were left unraveled.

After spending extravagant amounts of time worrying about the repercussions to their careers if the baseball world found out Jake and Maddie were seeing each other secretly -- wham -- the situation was resolved in the Epilogue.   No explanations.   No irate rampages from the front office or the editor about breaking the rules.   Nothing!

And what happened to Robbie Benton, the ballplayer responsible for causing the big fight.   He just dropped out of the picture, leaving the reader in the dark about what happened to him.   Yes, the reader has to assume Robby has tanked his life as a ballplayer, but where are the details tying up the loose ends?

So, all in all, Fastball, V.K. Sykes' first book in The Philadelphia Patriots Series is just too uninspiring to be a must read book.   It just doesn't have the deep character development and action and suspense to make it recommendable.
--Vonda M. Reid (Wednesday, April 24, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.)     [307]

Books In The Series: "The Philadelphia Patriots Series"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.03-2012FastballJake Miller, right field, sluggerMaddie Leclair, Philadelphia Post sports reporter
02.06-2011HardballNate Carter, pitcherDr. Holly Bell, Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon
03.10-2012Bigger Than BeckhamTony Branch, British soccer heroMartha Winston, Philadelphia Post sports reporter
04.05-2013CurveballRyan Locke, veteran outfielderTaylor Page, Patriots Assistant General Manager
05.. . .. . . . . .. . .

Did Not Keep Track of the Characters For This Book ..........

"Fastball" Quotations

Why it was so easy to dislike Maddie:

2599For her to adopt such a rigid and self-righteous attitude completely threw him.   She'd obviously thought it necessary to appoint herself judge and jury -- and maybe even executioner -- before she even had all the facts.   (Jake)
2607she couldn't help but send and unmistakable signal that she was shutting him out.   It hurt that she would do that before giving him a chance to lay out his version of events, . . . (Jake)
2616"Robbie's always been a screw-up, and everybody lets him get away with it."   (Maddie)
2635"I have to help my friend, Maddie.   Call it a cover-up if that makes you happy, but I'd rather call it a rescue mission."   (Jake)
2635Jake couldn't believe her lack of empathy.   Did the rules really matter that much to her?   Then again, given her reluctance to break team rules by getting involved with him, he guessed he should have seen this coming.   Maddie liked the straight and narrow, and she wouldn't have sympathy for someone who wandered off into the weeds.   He supposed he could understand it, but it sure didn't sit that well with him.   (Jake)
2673"The way I was raised, friendship meant something.   It meant being willing to take some heat to help a friend in trouble.   It meant having compassion, even when that friend really [screwed] up.   I don't know any other way to be, Maddie."   (Jake)

"Fastball" Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----V.K. Sykes's WebsiteAuthor
----V.K. Sykes's FacebookAuthor
----V.K. Sykes's TwitterAuthor
. . . . . . . . .. . .
4.17 average{23 reviews}Amazonas of: April 30, 2013
4.50 average{7 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: April 30, 2013
----Fict FactList of Books In "The Philadelphia Patriots Series"
----Fiction DBList of V.K. Sykes's Books
3.77 average{48 reviews}Good Readsas of: April 30, 2013
3.5003-16-2013Guilty Pleasuresmade some valid points that hadn't thought about
--{no reviews}Library Thingas of: April 30, 2013
2.50 average{3 reviews}Shelfarias of: April 30, 2013
C-05-31-2012Smexy Books--Mandi {great review} {agree}
--04-03-2012The Pop Culture Divasno review, lots of information and links
--04-04-2012The Revolving Book-- Joanna D'Angelo // no review, information and links
4.0 / hot08-19-2012Two Lips Reviewsa PR blurb, didn't really "review" the book
2.1004-30-2013Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I Purchased This e-Book
♥   Very Subjective Rating
♣   Will add your Fastball review link to table, just ask

No comments:

Post a Comment