I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Stealing Second by Alison Packard
Series: Feeling the Heat #5
Published by Carina Press on June 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Barnes & Noble
I like second chance romances. They’re not my catnip; I don’t love them, but I like them. I know some people think that there’s a reason a couple broke up in the first place, but I think in cases like this, enough time has passed where the characters are different people at a very different point in their lives, and it could work.
Katherine (Katie) Whitton and Tom Morgan were high-school sweethearts in Dallas, TX until the very end of their senior year when they broke up and went to separate colleges. They’ve both moved on somewhat, had other relationships (it has been seventeen years, after all), but neither of them has ever had anything even close to that relationship since high school, has never loved anyone else like that.
They each seem to blame the other for the break-up, and it becomes clear very early on that neither of them has the full story. Hurt feelings and pride kept both of them away from Dallas after that summer, so when Tom comes to work for the San Francisco Blaze, where Katherine has been working for about a decade, it’s the first time they’ve seen each other since high school. The chemistry between them is still there, it hasn’t gone anywhere. Tom is the team manager, and Katherine is the head of the public relations department, they’re going to be working together a lot. There obviously needs to be a conversation about the past, but every time one of them tries to bring it up, either the other shuts it down, or a phone rings, or someone interrupts them. It isn’t until they’re both on a road trip with the team that they both acknowledge that it has to be talked about, possibly fought over, but gotten out in the open if they’re ever going to be able to continue working together.
I felt for Katherine and Tom both when they found out what had happened seventeen years ago. They both feel betrayed, rightfully so, and can’t get past the time they lost together. Who knows how their lives would have turned out if they’d stayed together, but they both would have liked to have found out. They were really good together, we can see from the glimpses we get of them from the past, and the way they are with each other now. This may have been the rare high school relationship to go the distance, but they weren’t able to find out.
For the most part, I liked this book. Katherine does keep one secret from Tom, and when he discovers it, it’s the Black Moment in the book, and he runs. I didn’t love this. I don’t deny him his feelings; I get why he’d be upset, but he was looking at the situation as a mid-thirties man would, not as a terrified teenage girl would. Every time Katherine tried to talk to him about it, he’d shut her out and walk away. I was as frustrated as Katherine was and don’t know if I would have been as willing to keep trying. When she made it clear to them that they were done, I may have cheered a little bit. But only a little bit.
This is the fifth book in a series, which I didn’t realize before picking it up. It was clear that some of the couples in this one were from earlier books, so I may go back and read them. It seemed obvious who would be in some of the upcoming books, too and I think those stories will be really good, so I’ll definitely move on with the series, even if I don’t read the backlist. I would definitely recommend this one!