Title: Going All the Way
Author: Megan Ryder
Series: Knights of Passion #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
He’s looking for redemption.
After destroying his reputation, Jason Friar is desperate to make a comeback in Major League Baseball. The only team who will have him is the perennial cellar dwellers, the Georgia Knights, who are looking for a leader for their struggling team. With the contract comes a leash, held by a sexy image consultant with whom he had a hot fling…
She’s looking for respect.
After being blamed for the collapse of a political candidate’s campaign, Stacia Kendall needs a new opportunity to prove herself to her father, a prominent and powerful Senator. Her one chance is to redeem the image of Jason Friar and not succumb to the heat simmering between them, a heat she knows so well…
Can Stacia help Jason find the redemption he needs, while protecting her heart?
Source: Review copy from Tule Publishing via NetGalley
For the most part I found this an enjoyable read, mixing romance and baseball, with a bit of redemption thrown in for good measure. The characters are interesting, the plot held my interest and it was a good read, but it didn’t blow me away.
Which is a shame, because I liked Stacia. She’s a woman who has had to work very hard to get where she is, despite her father’s influence. Or, rather, mostly because of her father’s influence and his habit of manipulating everyone around him and valuing them only so far as they are useful. I felt really bad for Stacia whenever she came into contact with her father and it made it easy for me to like her. That she’s hard working and determined to do a good job also helped. I loved that she never takes any of Jason’s pouting nonsense and is constantly pushing him to grow up and take responsibility for himself.
Because Jason does need to grow up, badly. Yes, he’s had a tough year and he feels hurt and betrayed because of how he’s been treated, but his surly attitude is not the way to sort anything out. It took him a little longer than I’d expected to wise up, but even when he’s still feeling sorry for himself, the chemistry between him and Stacia is undeniable.
All of which makes the first half a good read, as the pair of them grow closer and Stacia works hard to clean up Jason’s image. However, after the halfway point, the romance is sort of shoved aside, with fewer and fewer scenes between the two of them. I lost track of where their relationship actually was as Jason finally steps up to take his place in the team and Stacia… mostly spins in circles.
The emotional issues go round in circles a bit too. Both Stacia and Jason realise they are falling in love several times, without growing panicked, before suddenly it’s a massive revelation – complete with panic. Which I found annoying and slightly baffling. The conflict also rises out of something that had been previously discussed and was a massive overreaction, meaning I didn’t much care about it. Then both of them have contradictory thoughts about getting back together, apologising, demanding an apology – often in the same paragraph. It went from an enjoyable read to a bit of an overblown, rushed up mess, though I still liked the characters enough to want to get to the end.
So overall this okay. It suffers from repetition and contradiction at times, the conflict was silly and I would have liked more depth to both characters’ pasts and definitely more about Jason and that coach, but for the most part I enjoyed it. There’s baseball and sex, chemistry and conflict, and I would certainly be interested in reading more from the series.
Going All the Way is Out Now.
Visit Megan Ryder for more details.