Review: Playing the Field

playing the fieldReviewed by Janell

Sonny is a 31-yr-old single mom of a diabetic kid. Her parents abandoned her. She got knocked up at 19 and then abandoned by her boyfriend, and everything terrible happened on a Saturday. She put herself through college and started her own organic goat cheese business that now boasts the best Gouda in the country. She rarely wears makeup and never uses a hairdryer. She has an eclectic yet tasteful decorating style. These facts tell you everything you need to know about her: she’s over-the-top perfect but she’s had her hard times so you’re not allowed to hate her.

JP is 26 (young man alert!) and a new shortstop for the Denver Rush. He is almost perfect, but slightly arrogant. He grew up in a loving farm family and, even though he’s a professional athlete, he doesn’t want to sleep around with airheaded bimbos. He wants a woman with substance, and he wants her for more than one night, because he’s just that committed to families and relationships. He meets Sonny at a charity event and decides that he wants her based upon her good looks and her inner awesomeness that shines through.

The chase goes like this: JP is direct in his desires. Sonny brushes him off and shouts, “I’m a single mom!” JP keeps showing up and buying goat milk. Sonny thinks about him a lot, then shouts, “I’m a single mom!” and runs away.

Finally, JP manages to get Sonny to kiss him, and of course it rocks both of their worlds. Then Sonny spends a lot of time thinking that she doesn’t want a relationship with JP because he’s a celebrity and has no privacy. Also, she’s a single mom! It’s just her and her son, no one else is allowed! She tried exactly one relationship in the ten years since she got pregnant, and it flamed out, so she believes that no relationship will ever work out again, but that’s okay because she has her son and they’re a team.

JP convinces Sonny that he’d be a good guy to have around, so they have sex, but then she never tells her son that she might be dating JP because she’s just not sure about a relationship with him. For reasons. Because she’s a single mom. When JP gets caught in a conversation with her son about their quasi-relationship, Sonny freaks. Then she sees a tabloid picture of her and JP groping under a tree and she freaks some more. JP asks a lot of people for advice, grovels, makes a big gesture, and finally Sonny says okay, he can be her boyfriend.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but Sonny drove me crazy. Granted, I’m not a single mom, nor was I raised by one, so I can’t say how that would affect my relationship with men. But, come on. Most single moms do date eventually, right? Also, Sonny mentioned over and over again how she hated JP’s celebrity status. Was she worried that her son’s father would show up? Because he didn’t. Was she worried that her parents would surface? Because they didn’t. Did she think her peaceful farm would be disrupted by stalkers? Because it wasn’t. Did she think her business would fail (or thrive) based upon her association with a baseball player? Because it didn’t. The only disruption his celebrity had on her life was that, while on dates, people would ask for JP’s autograph, and sometimes a photographer would take their picture. You’re right, Sonny, that is way too much to deal with.

Poor JP, everyone told him that he screwed up and he believed it. Maybe I hated Sonny a little too much because I don’t think JP did anything that horrible. Nevertheless, he pulled off a big gesture that anyone would fall for, even Sonny. Luckily it worked because I was just about ready for him to move on.

This is part of a series about the players on the baseball team, so you might enjoy this if you like baseball, or if you like reading about hipsters shopping in thrift shops and eating goat cheese. I just didn’t find myself rooting for the romance at the end because Sonny was so annoying, but maybe it’s just me reading it wrong.

Rating: C+

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon

Playing the Field
by Jennifer Seasons
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Publisher: Avon Impulse

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