Published on March 29, 2016 Genres: Contemporary, Romance
They call Dash Wallace the Diamond King.
He’s the hottest commodity in baseball and in the bedroom.
When he runs the bases, every woman’s eyes are glued to his stunning body and a smile that puts the night lights to shame.
I’m no queen. I’m a regular girl with a regular job. I just watch him on TV and from the bleachers, season after season.
Girls like me grab a guy like that one in a million times.
My number just came up, and he is as spectacular in bed as he is on the field.
But there’s not a woman in the world who can distract Dash Wallace from the game. Not for a moment. Not even me.
Until the night I do. And everything changes.
SPECIAL GUEST REVIEW by Michelle New
Hardball is a SMOKING HOT, SEXY romance with a touch of angst and a ton of heart from CD Reiss. It’s a fun, witty, full-length standalone.
Cover model for all the things is Ashley Gibson with Lovenbooks.
Dash Wallace is the star shortstop for the LA Dodgers, multi-time MVP and Golden Glove winner and is now hot on the heels of librarian to the underprivileged. Oh, and he’s perfect. Like P.E.R.F.E.C.T.
Told from both Viv’s and Dash’s point of view, we get the inside look into both of these characters. And what I loved the most about that shift in perspectives – that we get them at the right moments. We get the most impact from each scene and this is something that for me has always stood out for me when it comes to Christine’s writing. It’s purposeful. If you need to be in that character’s shoes to feel the full impact of that moment, that is where you are going to be.
I am going to really try to not include any or a million baseball puns, I really am. I might fail. But oh, well. That’s life right? So, back to this book and the yummy goodness that was found overflowing from the pages.
Hardball is a contemporary sports romance, but don’t worry my kinky friends, because Dash is not vanilla at all. This particular story sort of had two parts, maybe even three. So I am going to try to capture my reactions to those particular parts and stay away from the story aspects, which is best for you all to experience firsthand.
Dash had some battles of his own to overcome and I loved that these weren’t swept under the rug or over explained. We got to experience them. It was honest, brutally. Dash didn’t have the benefit of disclosure, he had to cope and he had to deal. And I loved that as a reader, I was tossed right in, forced to get my bearings. It made me feel that much closer to Dash in the end. I loved that it felt chaotic at times because I was able to enjoy the peaceful times that much more. I was able to see the highs, lows, fast and slows all in real time.
This set the conflicts up perfectly. I loved that this was the choice for the author. I loved that it was something that wasn’t simple, I loved that it was something that is not really addressed by the characters the right way. And although at times, Dash had me pulling my hair out, if I reasoned it out, I could understand it.
Now to the love story. The emotions that pull on that beating blob in your chest. We get an instant attraction for these two, but I adored that Viv was level headed and smart. She knew what a man like Dash could do to her heart. I loved that she stood her ground, and that she didn’t just give in to his every whim because he was DASH WALLACE. I loved that she still had to give in to the attraction, but did so with her wits about her. These two, together had a rhythm. It felt natural. It felt like two best friends were made overnight and for me as a reader what I took away from that was longing, on both their parts. The way they both just fell into a fluid relationship – like they both were just waiting for the other to come along. It had nothing to do with the relationship being easy or uncomplicated, it was just because it was right.
There is a particular moment in this book were all those swoons and butterflies turned on me and I had what might have been a mild panic attack. I don’t think I took a steady breath for the whole chapter, I know that I broke out in a little bit of a sweat. I read a sentence. I stopped. I gave myself a pep talk and read that same sentence again, then did that for a few or twenty minutes. It was devastation in its purest form. It was getting choked up one moment and spitting nails mad the next. I was feeling everything. It was the high and the low, it was the utter fear that was palpable. It was the unraveling of everything that was order and routine. It was the unknown and it was risk and it was terrifying.
Sometimes the best parts of a romance are the moments that hurt the most. Because that shows you exactly how much the author made you love the characters. How invested you are in them. I was invested. I was a bona fide stockholder in Dash & Viv.
And lastly (because I really need to wrap this up), the writing of these characters and their emotions. This story is driven by the characters and their experiences. You don’t get phony dramatic moments. You get moments that fit their story. That fit them. And you get stunning writing. You don’t read a book that Christine writes, you experience it. In full color, in 3D with surround sound. These words come to life before your eyes and you live in color for a few hours when everything else appears in black and white.
Hardball is a venture into the world of contemporary romance for an author who has a steady fan base in her more erotic works, but I think I can speak for fans of this author when I say that, if she writes it – we will read it. And we will love it.
Hardball was so much more than I expected (and I expected a lot). I knew I’d get the experience of reading poetry in motion when it came to her style. I knew that I’d get a hot leading man and a strong woman. But the feelings this story evoked could not have been predicted. From the first kiss that left me panting and wanting more to the very last shared kiss where I felt like my heart was ten times bigger than it was when I started the book – every moment in between the first word and the very last spelled out perfection.
Thanks Michelle for that awesome review! I can’t wait to start this one!