Review: Curve Ball by Sloan Johnson

Title: Curve Ball

Series: Homeruns #2

Author: Sloan Johnson

Genre: MM Sports Romance

Published: July 29, 2015

Jason Klein’s living with the fallout from a decision he knew was the right one at the time. He never told anyone about the love of his life, which left him to mourn alone when he found out the man he gave his heart to had been killed in combat. Now, his heart has had time to heal, but he’s not sure he’s ready to let himself move on. Until he meets Cam Morgan…

Without a job lined up following graduation, Cam Morgan took his best friend up on his offer to move to Milwaukee and stay with him until he could get on his feet. The last thing he wanted to do the day after getting to town was go to a party filled with a bunch of jocks. Sure, they were “professional athletes” but Cam was convinced that bigger bank accounts didn’t make them any more accepting of people like him. He certainly didn’t expect to meet Jason, the Mavericks’ catcher who broke every stereotype he’d had.

What started out as one hot, sweaty night together quickly grows into something deeper. Jason welcomes Cam into his home and his life, but now he has to teach the younger man that it’s not a sign of weakness to let people help you.

Curve Ball Excerpt © Sloan Johnson 2015

“If you have something to say to me, just say it.” I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel to keep from shaking Drew. He was one of the youngest guys on the team, and right now, his immaturity showed through brightly. It was about time someone knocked some sense into him, before he wound up earning a bad reputation, both on the field and off. “I won’t apologize, because I haven’t done a damn thing to offend you.”

“Really? I shouldn’t be pissed off that I had no clue you were gay?” Drew seethed, his brown eyes narrow slits as he glared at me. “And I should be totally cool with you loading up my friend in the middle of the night to take him back to your place, right?”

“Yeah, actually you should,” I quipped, twisting the wheel tighter. “Cam is a grown man, and if you truly care about him, you should be fucking ecstatic that he’s getting out there to meet people.”

Drew muttered something to himself as he went back to staring out the window. His shoulders slumped forward and he seemed to shrink in his seat. I knew that look. It wasn’t one worn by a concerned or pissed off friend, it was the look of a man who felt the love of his life slipping away from him.

“How long have you felt this way about him?” I asked. My chest tightened, knowing that I wouldn’t stand between them. Drew and I might not be close, but I liked to think of him as a friend, a brother on the team.

“Doesn’t matter.” The response was so quiet I could barely hear the words. As I pulled up to the stoplight, I placed my hand on Drew’s shoulder, unsurprised when he jerked away.

“It does,” I assured him. “And you have to know I wouldn’t have done anything with him if I’d known.”

“Don’t say that. I’ve known for a long time that he’d never feel for me what I do for him.” I suddenly missed the anger Drew showed earlier. “If the way he looked this morning is any indication, you’re exactly what he needs in his life. And if I put my own feelings aside, you’re more than that. You’re what he’s always wanted.”

That was not how I expected this conversation to go. It started exactly as I’d seen it in my mind, but I hadn’t expected Drew to step aside. Maybe I was wrong in thinking that he was immature and selfish.

“Drew, if you say the word, I’ll back off. I’m not willing to destroy two friendships just for a few nights of fun.”

“The only way I’d ask you to do that is if that’s all this is for you.” I pulled up in front of the grocery store, but neither of us moved to open our doors. “Cam is one of the best guys I know. He’s got a big heart, but sometimes, he’s a little too open with it. If you’re only in this for a couple of hot nights, then yeah you should walk away from him.”

I felt backed into a corner. Sure, I’d thought about what it’d be like to explore something more with Cam, but I wasn’t in a place to do that. It had nothing to do with being on the road most of the year and everything to do with my own inability to be open with those around me. I’d grown accustomed to never letting anyone get too close, and Cam had already seen more than people I’d known for years. There was no way I’d be able to hold back if last night and tonight turned into something more.

“I’ll keep that in mind.” It was the most I could promise him. 

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

Review: This is the follow up to Wild Pitch, which I read earlier this year and also enjoyed. We do get to see the characters from the previous book make appearances here but nothing too heavy so it’s definitely possible to read this book as a stand alone. As always with me though, I think that reading the first book enhances the enjoyment of the second book.

I liked Cam the best in this book. He caused some drama here and there but he was definitely my favorite. He was very determined to make it on his own and also had a great sense of humor I loved. Cam and Jason are both kind of lost but Cam tugged at my heartstrings whereas I wanted to knock Jason upside his head to get some sense in there. There needed to be some sense sprinkled around to quite a few of the characters in the book actually, but it didn’t drive me completely crazy to see.

The banter in this book was probably my favorite thing. Cam and Mason in particular had an ongoing back and forth throughout the book that I really enjoyed. I love that in my books and it served to lighten up some of the angst that was in the rest of the book. I didn’t hate the angst but didn’t love those parts either, I need to be in the right mood for those kinds of books.

Overall this is a great m/m sports romance that I really enjoyed.

ARC provided in return for an honest review.

4 Stars

~Melinda

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3 thoughts on “Review: Curve Ball by Sloan Johnson

  1. Another series I’ve not heard of. Lately I’m very much into those sports NA series, though as I’ve already mentioned, in real life and certainly in my country it’s not something prominent AT ALL. So what do you say, should I go back to book one and give this series a shot? 🙂

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