Nat Owen, First Base

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PAPERBACK

 

What people are saying …reviews:

“This series just gets better and better. This time we have a male protagonist, Nat, who has to deal with more than the usual tough decisions brought on by his past and current circumstances. Throw in a heady mix of temptation, a feeling that he needs to grab the bull by the horns because, if nothing else, fame is fleeting and he’s got one shot to really hit the spotlight, and you have a very real conundrum for a man who wants to do right by everyone. In other words, he’s blinded by success and making some poor choices he’ll live to regret. Naturally one of those regrets has to be Nicki who tries hard but comes up short enough she’s forced into making mistakes that mirror Nat’s.

Their journeys and the consequences each must deal with makes for a very realistic scenario, and I will admit, my pompoms beat wildly for Nicki and maybe not so much for Nat, but in the end, he managed to win me over… big time.

The writing, as always, is crisp and on point, and it draws you completely into this very competitive and demanding world of professional sports. But Nat Owen, First Base goes that extra mile and takes you into the uncomfortable world of reality checks when ambition and fame seriously conflict with what makes their star players and everyone close to them tick. The ending is satisfying and I’m eagerly looking forward to more books in this excellent sports romance series.”  Beach Bum Books

“This is book four in the Bottom of the Ninth series by author, Jean Joachim. This one is a little grittier than the other three books in this series, but the story it tells will have you thinking about life choices and the effects they can have not only on the here and now but on your entire future, as well.

Nat Owen is young, handsome, single, and has just become the World Series MVP. He’s on top of the world and living his life to the fullest, including dating a world famous country singing star. Sharing in all her perks, publicity, and parties, and yet he is also yearning for what his teammates have. A wife or fiancée to share his dreams and accomplishments with, someone he can talk baseball with, someone like Nicki Overton, the best friend of his best friend, and teammate’s, fiancée. Nat is under the impression that, in his charmed life status, he can have both country singer, Lucy, and beautiful, female, softball catcher, Nicki.

Nat has always been a gentleman with Nicki, flirting with her, but never stepping over the line. This has led Nicki to believe that Nat is not really interested in anything more than friendship with her. She has been attracted to him since the first time they met but has never really let him know that. She’s afraid he will reject her, and break her heart. Not willing to take that chance she decides she will have to settle for just friendship with Nat.”  R.W.

 

EXCERPT:

Gritty, dark, “real life meets fiction”, said my editor. This story is definitely not a cookie-cutter romance. Totally unique, and out of my usual comfort zone. But I loved it. Loved Nat, who wears his flaws on his sleeve and Nicki, who loves him despite those shortcomings.

Had to tell their story without sugar coating it, because this is the way they wanted it. Here’s a brief excerpt. Can’t share too much or it will give away the story:

Bobby held the cab door open. The club had a neon sign on the front. The drum from the live music inside reverberated like the beat of a huge heart. Nicki tapped her foot while she waited for her escorts.

Located in the meatpacking district in the West 50s, the side street around the corner from the club appeared empty, but the avenue was hopping, people milled about going into and coming out of restaurants.

Two burly men stood by the entrance, their arms crossed over their impressive chests. Nicki chuckled to herself. If she had come alone, she probably wouldn’t stand a chance of getting in. But with Skip and Bobby, easy peasy.

“Private party tonight, lady,” one of the men said to Nicki.

The bouncers recognized the Nighthawks and greeted them with smiles and handshakes.

“It’s a private party tonight, gentlemen,” the dark-haired bouncer said.

“Nat Owen’s inside. First base? He invited us,” Skip lied.

The big man nodded. “Yeah. I saw him.” He stood aside for the men but closed his meaty fingers around Nicki’s arm. “Just a minute, sister.”

“She’s with us,” Bobby said, putting his arm around Nicki’s shoulders.

“Any friend of yours is welcome, Mr. Hernandez,” the man said, releasing her arm and stepping back.

“Bobby, please.”

The man smiled, and the three were admitted. Inside the club was dark. Purple and magenta lights strobed across the room, highlighting people on the dance floor and at the bar in lurid shades, adding a surreal effect. It took a few seconds for her eyes to adjust. She snaked her arm around Bobby’s waist and clung to him.

Totally at home on the softball diamond, Nicki was out of her element in this tony, upscale nightclub. Bobby squeezed her shoulder, glanced down at her and grinned. She shifted her gaze to the dance floor. The brightness of a too-blonde head bouncing to the beat attracted her eye. Lucy and Nat were grinding together to the music. Nicki’s heart sank. She turned to leave.

“Come on, Nick. We just got here,” Bobby said, taking her elbow and escorting her to the bar. “Whatcha drinkin’?”

Instantly, she got why Dusty had tried to discourage her from coming. Did she really want to see Nat and Lucy practically screwing on the dance floor?