Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Publication Date: 4/2/13
Source: Received from publisher for review
Love may be just a game, but the baseball players in Jennifer Seasons' sexy Diamonds and Dugouts series—they're playing for keeps!
Mark Cutter has it all: a lucrative baseball career, fast cars, and faster women—and all thanks to his priceless good luck charm. At least, that's what he thinks before Lorelei Littleton shows up. Next thing he knows, he's waking up alone, the sexy brunette has vanished, and his good luck charm is gone. More than a little curious about the wicked-hot cat burglar and determined to get his property back, Mark's going to track down the thief and make her pay—big time.
Maybe Lorelei feels a tiny bit guilty for stealing Mark's good luck charm, but when it's worth $100,000 and the money could save her niece's life? She's not losing sleep over it … but him? Lorelei can't get the ballplayer with the bad attitude out of her head. And now he's come after her with more than just revenge in his eyes. Lorelei has a choice: turn over the charm and lose the money, or keep it and risk losing everything … including her heart.
Stealing Home was fun fun FUN! I love a good contemporary romance (duh) and I am a huge sucker for a sports romance at that, so I was extremely excited to jump into this story. My expectations were definitely met, and exceeded.
It seems that most romances feature a shy, naive heroine who is subjected to the arrogance and hyped-up libido of the charming man who wants to make her his. And that's cool...but, Stealing Home is sooo not that story and I loved that. Lorelei Littleton is a desperate woman and a would-be thief. Her niece is dying, and she's given an opportunity to make the money to save her, and it is too good to pass up. All she has to do is steal the lucky charm of professional baseball player. Easy, huh? Well, even though Lorelei has a good plan, things don't go according to plan when the mark is a drop-dead sexy, charming man who makes you weak in the knees. I felt for Lorelei, I really did. There's not much I wouldn't do to save someone I love. But damn, this woman has her eye on the prize and she is ruthless. So even though I sympathized with her, I did have a hard time really liking Lorelei. However as the story moves along and Lorelei begins to soften towards Mark and really open up with her fun, sexy personality, I enjoyed her a lot. Major bonus points for Lorelei not being the shrinking violet, too. She was a woman who didn't shy away from her sexual nature, and I loved that. She was a great, great fit for Mark.
Okay, Mark. This is where things get fun. I'm not one to ogle athletes that much. Basketball, football, and hockey players don't really do it for me. But give me a good looking baseball player (or swimmer, come on), and I'm going to take notice. I'm going to say it's the arms and the uniforms that do it for me. [Sidenote: I blame my dad for making me watch the SF Giants religiously as a kid. My first crush was first baseman Will Clark.] So anyway, Mark Cutter is a MLB catcher in Denver, one of the best in the league. The world is his; money, prestige, women, and he loves it. But Mark is more than he seems, and he has some serious emotional baggage that is weighing him down. And naturally, he's pissed when the woman he intended to seduce winds up stealing his lucky charm, and he's determined to get it back. The complication is that Lorelei is just about the sexiest woman he's ever seen. She's a natural beauty, sexy, flirty, and seriously going to drive him crazy. I loved that Mark was a truly nice guy, and was the pursuer, wanted a real relationship with Lorelei. He has some issues that have made him insecure, which I'm not going to really go into here. And yes, he's a nice guy, but let's just say that Mr. Mark Cutler is a very naughty man in the bedroom. And he has a filthy mouth. SCORE.
(Incidentally, I talked at least five women into buying Stealing Home on release day simply based on Mark being a baseball player with a dirty mouth. )
When it comes to a fun, sweet, romantic, and suuuuper steamy story, Stealing Home really had it all. This book had me smiling almost the entire time I was reading. I really adored the characters, especially Mark (omg!), the road to them finding true love, and let's just say, this story really hit the spot when it comes to steam. I was dying a few times! It wrapped up in the absolute best way possible. I will be so excited to read the next Diamonds and Dugouts book this summer!
"I used to be smart, damn it. I should be able to figure this out. It's not rocked science, for goodness sake," she muttered to herself.
"What was that, Hamburgler? What's not rocket science?" he asked behind her.
Startled to find Mark standing behind her dressed in jeans and a green hooded Rush sweatshirt, she did a double take. Frowning at him, she said, "What did you just call me?" ~eARC, 20%
His running shoes made a muffled sound on the grass as he advanced on her. He hadn't shaved in a day or two and had the stubble to prove it. Dark blond hair curled around the bottom of his cap and smudges darkened the undersides of his eyes. They were hot, but his scowl was hotter.
He was mad, bad, and so damn good it hurt her heart to look at him. ~eARC, 74%
"I need to hear the words," he said just above a ragged whisper. "Tell me you'll stay." This time it wasn't a demand. It was a plea. ~eARC, 76%
"I promise, next time you can tie me to the bed and have your way with me. How's that sound? You can do whatever you want. Except whips and chains --I'm not into pain." He was quiet for a moment. Then he said, "Well, except maybe some spanking. That might be all right if you ask me real nice." ~eARC, 77%
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