Book Reviews

Bases Loaded by Sean Michael at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 24-January-2018

Book Blurb

Can they survive the off-season and keep from striking out?

 

Baseball player Brett must get rehabilitation for his shoulder if he wants another season in the Major League. He and his partner, Benj, take off to the boonies to stay with physical therapist Ralph, a tough-talking, routine-setting guy, and Jean, Ralph’s Cajun lover, who cooks as well as he loves.

 

Brett and Ralph butt heads from the beginning. Ralph wants Brett to be more in touch with his feelings; Brett wants Ralph to give him his therapy and leave him alone. Benj and Jean get along far better, with Jean showing Benj around the kitchen and reassuring him when things with Brett get strained.

 

Before Ralph can even begin to work on Brett’s shoulder, though, Brett faces an even more difficult physical challenge, one that does more than threaten his career. He and Benj have to work through some tough issues, making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives together. Their gradual friendship with Ralph and Jean helps them through the bad times, but even that might not be enough to pull them through.

 

 

 

First Edition published by Torquere Press, June 2009.


Book Review

Injuries are tough to deal with for anyone – but they can affect athletes, who depend on their bodies being top fit for their livelihood, in an even more fundamental way. And if they are macho I-have-no-feelings guys like Brett, the challenge to get them through the rehabilitation and healing stages can be almost insurmountable. As for their partner, especially if they are the more sensitive type like Brett’s partner Benj, things are just as bad, just in a different way. Suddenly Benj has to be “the strong one” while Brett needs help, and that role reversal on top of everything else puts enormous strain on their relationship.

Brett is, hands-down, one of the toughest men I have ever read about. He is proud, physically strong, except for his shoulder injury, and he has walls of protection built around the walls of protection that guard his heart. It gets to the point where he actually believes he has no feelings, and the scenes where his physical therapist, Ralph, tries to get Brett to relax and meditate are hilarious. They are also sad, because Brett is not open to any of the well-meaning help that he darn well needs if he ever wants to get better.

Benj has a hard time dealing with how closed-off Brett has become since his injury. And since Benj is not a go-getter and does not like to push anyone to do anything, he has pulled back rather than challenged Brett to do what is needed. He is not comfortable with taking charge, but the one thing that will get him there is his love for Brett. Benj really comes to the rescue when he is most needed, and I loved seeing him step up and really help Brett.

Benj and Brett start out with a lot of stress between them, and it takes them a while of staying with physical therapist, Ralph, and his partner, Jean, who is a nutritionist and does miracles in the kitchen, to get to the point where they begin to relax. Their love life recovers first, and the resulting scenes are hot, passionate, and very loving. They need this somewhat strengthened foundation when disaster strikes and Brett faces an even tougher challenge than his injured shoulder.

The additional interplay between Jean and Ralph, who are also a very loving couple, was fabulous. The way Ralph and Brett butt heads initially is as infuriating as it is entertaining, and Benj’s interactions with Jean are simply wonderful. I loved watching the budding friendship between both couples as well as all the individual interactions.

If you like stories about athletes going through tough times when they have to deal with injuries and physical challenges, if you want to see two men who are deeply in love rediscover what their relationship is all about, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining, emotionally touching, and occasionally really funny, then you will probably like this novel.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 210 pages/60272 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 23-January-2018
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/bases-loaded-by-sean-michael-9282-b