Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Review: Single (Stockton Beavers #1) by Collette West

Source: Received an ebook from the author as a beta reader, and plan to purchase a finished copy upon the book's release. All opinions are my own.
Release Date: April 22, 2016


Description from Goodreads:
Underdog Luke “Single” Singleton is yearning to make a comeback. After getting hit in the neck with a pitch—an injury that nearly cost him his life—he has one last chance to play for his hometown team, the Stockton Beavers. But his mom has Alzheimer’s, and he’s all she has to depend on. How can he pursue his career, much less someone special?

Personal care aide Roberta Bennett is done dating baseball players. Having had her share of heartbreak, she heads to Stockton hoping for a fresh start. But after she finds Luke’s mom outside, lost, and alone, she can’t refuse when he hires her on the spot. Unbeknownst to Luke, Roberta is all too familiar with the violent tendencies of the pitcher who hit him.

Now that they’re living under the same roof, the last thing either of them is looking for is a relationship. But it’s not long before they find themselves drawn to each other. And right when Luke is thinking about finally making a change to his single status, a secret from Roberta’s past emerges with the power to tear them apart.

When I first heard about SINGLE I was a little unsure of it because I hadn't been a big fan of Roberta in Collette West's New York Kings books, but as I read more and more excerpts and sneak peeks, I grew more and more excited to meet Luke and to finally learn Roberta's story! So, when Collette West asked me if I'd like to help her out by beta reading SINGLE, I jumped at the chance! It was definitely the right choice because I was hooked from the start. I'm so glad that I kept reading excerpts, and gave SINGLE a chance because it was fantastic, and I really did grow to love Roberta...I actually feel a bit bad about how strongly I disliked her before! :P

While SINGLE isn't part of the New York Kings series, it does exist in the same world and takes place after the most recent NYK book, GAME WINNER, and we have seen Stockton before in Collette's first book NIGHT GAMES. I loved getting to see Stockton again, and it was really interesting to see the dynamics of a different team. I loved seeing Luke improve as a player and gain confidence after facing a horrible accident, and I really loved seeing his relationship with his teammates. I loved how close he Danny were, and I really enjoyed seeing him and Rob grow closer. And Hoff! He's a gruff, older player with a chip on his shoulder, but he really surprised me and was there for Luke when it really mattered. :D

As for Luke himself, well I loved him! He was such an amazing and genuinely kind person. I loved how he always did everything that he could for others, and how he constantly had a positive outlook. I could definitely relate to him, and I sensed a kindred spirit in him (he's totally a fellow Hufflepuff, I just know it :P). I loved how much he cared for his mom, and how hard he worked to make sure that she had the best care that she could get. And I really loved him as a romantic lead! He was so considerate, thoughtful, and he never pressured Roberta to share more than she was ready to tell him. He let her decide when she was ready to confide in him, and when she kept things from him, he was so understanding. It was really refreshing to see a male lead like him. I'm not saying other male leads are inconsiderate douche-buckets, but they're definitely not usually as understanding as Luke was, and I think that largely came from how he treated his mother. Family was everything to him, and he's one of those characters that will fight to the ends of the world to protect someone that he considers part of his family, including his friends. Along with being just an all-around amazing guy, he was definitely sexy...which I always appreciate in my leading dudes. ;)

And Roberta. Roberta, Roberta, Roberta...well, as I said at the beginning of the review, I was pretty unsure of her as a main character, but I'm willing to admit that I was so wrong. We've always seen her as the foil (or one of the foils) to the relationship that we're routing for in the New York Kings series, so in SINGLE, we're finally seeing things from her side. Yes, she totally hooked up with some of the Kings players, but they're a lot more to her story and a lot more to her. She's a strong, independent, and sassy woman, which is something we didn't get to see much of in Collette West's other series, but in SINGLE we see it all. We finally see why Roberta was resisting getting into relationships and we finally see the real relationship that she has with Mike Landry. I absolutely loved getting to see it all, and in the end, I really loved Roberta. I loved her compassion for Luke's mother and how much she genuinely wanted to help others. I really, really empathized with the hardships she faced in her past, and I was so happy when she finally opened up to Luke and she let herself enjoy a loving relationship with a wonderful man. And most of all, I just loved her and Luke together so much!

Overall, I loved SINGLE. It was a fantastic story, and a great start to the STOCKTON BEAVERS series! I already can't wait for more from Collette West!




Woo hoo! SINGLE releases this week, and I just had to post my review to celebrate!

As I mentioned in my review, I wasn't sure about this one at first. We're focusing on a different team here, and it features Roberta as one of the main characters. I wasn't a Roberta fan before SINGLE, but I've completely changed my tune. :P So, I'd recommend SINGLE to fans of the Collette West's New York Kings series, and to readers who are trying her books out for the first time. :)

What do you think?
Does SINGLE sound like something you'd like to read?

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