Pink hair, manscaping, dogs in purses… not his thing. This ball player is less than excited about his new hometown. That is until he crosses paths with beautiful Mia Tomko. She lets him know that not all L.A. women are just after fame and fortune.
As Tate and Mia find that their interest in each other isn’t the only thing they have in common, neither are prepared for what their future holds.
When someone from both of their pasts arrives, will it tear them apart or make them closer?
***I received this eARC as a gift in exchange for an honest review via the author.
+++Does contain triggers.
Fear of Striking Out will leave you breathless, bemused, and terrified. The exhilaration and happiness of perfect love is poisoned by a relentless past that threatens every second of ecstasy. The fear is very real and the probability of a disaster looms throughout the story but never once is it hopeless. For Mia, love is the strength that gives her what she needs to fight for her future. For Tate, Mia is the missing puzzle piece he never knew he needed to make him whole. Brace yourself for a lot of tears and even more smiles.
- Tate is a sweetheart. He loves hard and has a big heart. Not only is Tate seriously sexy but what makes him so addictive is what a great guy he is. He’s attentive, he’s in awe of Mia’s beauty and doesn’t fail to show her just how much he adores her. Tate has a past, it’s not pretty but he adapted and has become a greater man because of it. Tate has Mia on his mind all the time and the compassion he shows her is incredible. He’s intoxicated by her personality, her beauty, her heart.
- My heart broke for Mia, over and over again. Her pain is crushing, consuming and slowly seeps into your soul. Her anxiety, the way she adjusts, avoids, and manipulates her words to protect herself from her ex are true insight into dealing with aftermath of abuse. Mia’s imprisoned by her past and the need to protect others from what she’s suffered. She’s willing to give up her heart, her chance at happily ever after to shield those she loves from danger. It’s powerful and agonizing. Mia is courageous but she can’t forget her past and falls prey to her memories. The depictions of abuse are hard to get through. From the small scenes that show possession, dominance through punches and bruised wrists to the more graphic, Mia’s thoughts are an amalgamation of memory and living in her happiness with Tate to escape these incidents. Mia is not always courageous, she gets scared, she becomes complacent to save herself from a worse situation but she’s never weak. Lyssa Layne did a fabulous job capturing the many parts of Mia and how they war with each other, calling out for her to fight back, to protect herself, to give up and to dream. Lyssa wrote Mia as confident, take charge, and yet hidden beneath this outer persona is a scarred past that threatens to overcome the Mia she so desperately yearns to become.
- Together, Mia and Tate have undeniable attraction. Scenes are HOT. They’re all the more heated because of how poignant their emotions are. Each touch is made of love.
- The scenes with Mia and Toby. Yeah, I cried…
- Asher is a charmer but a slimy one. To an outsider, he’s a golden boy. He’s attractive, successful, charismatic but seeing the way he leers at women, the way he robs Mia of space and claims her as his property, will make you sick. Any bit of attraction disappears and is replaced by disgust. Asher is a vile, despicable human being and not far from psychotic. When he loses control it’s horrifying. Fear for Mia is a shadow that lingers on the edge of her happy moments.
- For the most part, the abusive scenes are mild but for anyone who has been through domestic abuse or abuse in general, it might be too much. The intensity does increase as the story progresses. I appreciated that it wasn’t extremely explicit.
- That final scene. Prepare for the ugly cry because OMG the anticipation. That was evil.
- The epilogue. My heart. A little sappy but beautiful. Every bit of love is magnified and solidified in simple words that ring with power and truth.
- If you’ve read The Right Pitch, Colie and Grant are back and as adorable as ever. This mini continuation of their story is the satisfaction you didn’t know you needed after their story ended.
- Fights were too easily resolved and didn’t build up to the level of drama needed to make them feel like a huge deal.
- Some sections could have been expanded to show the development of Tate and Mia’s love. It was explosive, they fell fast, and it was a tad like instalove.
Waves crash in the darkness of the night. The moon peeks behind a few clouds as I lean against Mia’s deck sipping whiskey. Once again, the thought of moving to L.A. doesn’t seem so bad, especially when I feel her hand slide over my back pockets. Her breath is warm on my ear as both hands run over my backside. I feel her smile against my cheek. She lightly kisses it and whispers while she gives me a squeeze, “I can’t wait to see you in baseball pants this season.”
Laughing, I turn around to face her and pull her body against mine. She moves her arms around my neck and we exchange a powerful kiss. My whole body shakes inside and I don’t ever want to stop kissing her. What is this woman doing to me? I’m not the kind of man that wants to settle down. Back in Milwaukee, I had a few lady friends that I would get together with from time to time, but I’ve never seen a woman the way I see Mia Tomko. She breaks the kiss, but I don’t let go.