PLAYING FAST - Melanie Scott
A New York Saints Novel , Book 5
St. Martin's
ISBN: 978-1-250-07721-9
September 2016
Contemporary Romance

Saratoga Springs, New York - Present Day

Pro baseball player and bad boy Finn Castro has accepted his demotion to the New York Saints Triple A affiliate, Saratoga Springs Preachers, and plans to do whatever it takes to get back to the big league. The Preachers' administrative manager, Eva Harlowe, has had a crush on Finn for years, but due to his bad boy reputation and their age difference (she is six years older than Finn), she has kept her feelings under control. But with Finn now around, he's proving to be a temptation that's hard to resist.

Finn is intrigued by Eva, even though she made it clear at the beginning she has a policy of not getting involved with players. Yet, every time they turn around, they run into each other, which only heightens the attraction between them. Finn is trying to prove he's no longer the bad boy of baseball, and will do anything to win over Eva. Slowly, he breaks downs her defenses. Eva thinks Finn will only be around for the baseball season and, because she is planning to leave her job in December, a fling with an end date in sight sounds appealing. The sex turns out to be hot and beautiful. Is Eva lying to herself in thinking she can end it with Finn at the end of the baseball season?

Eva fits in with the boys of summer in PLAYING FAST. Her parents died in a crash when she was 18 and she took over the raising of her three younger sisters and started working in the Preachers front office.  Her sisters are now grown up, and while Eva still is a mother hen to them, she's feeling like it's time to fly the coop and makes plans to head to California for a photography course with an esteemed photographer in her quest for a new career. Eva's plans seem to be going well…until one of her sisters has a crisis. Will Eva give up her plans in order to be there for her family? As for Finn, he's making noises about wanting to continue their affair past the end date. Will Eva change her mind about no romantic commitments?

Finn's plans are to work hard so he can return to the New York Saints. Last season he made headlines with his dislike of the veteran ballplayer he is backup to, Oliver Shields, and indirectly caused Oliver to injure his hand. Things are all well and good between them now, since Oliver is involved with Finn's friend who is almost like a sister, Amelia Graham. Oliver and Amelia's story is in PLAYING HARD, out now, and while we see these characters in PLAYING FAST a couple of times, each book can easily be read as a standalone. Finn has a good heart, but immaturity, impatience and booze have made him act like a louse in the past. He's now clean and determined to make it in the big leagues again. As his affair with Eva progresses, Finn wants to see where it takes them. But she's determined to break it off at the end of summer.

PLAYING FAST is a sports romance, but readers not into baseball can read this without too much difficulty. It's all about the growing relationship-and romance-between Finn and Eva. She has kept commitment out of her relationships, and while he might have agreed with this in the past, Finn is soon hooked on Eva. Can both achieve their dreams and also have each other? Find out in the fast paced and utterly charming PLAYING FAST.

Patti Fischer