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cover41133-mediumLife has taught Angie DeMarco that all baseball players are womanizers, and her incredible one-night stand with sexy San Francisco Blaze back-up catcher J.T. Sawyer seemed to prove it. Determined not to give in to their sizzling chemistry a second time, she’s kept her distance ever since, focusing on her accounting job with the team. But now she’s laid off…and pregnant.

J.T. was hurt by Angie’s rejection, but with one more year with the Blaze, he has no time for love. He needs to spend the off season training hard so he can negotiate a better contract with a new team at the end of the year. But when Angie shows up on his doorstep, he’s overwhelmed by wanting to not just do right by her but pursue a relationship with her. Hoping for a second chance, he proposes.

Angie agrees to marry J.T. on one condition: the marriage will be purely a business arrangement. But as Angie spends time with him and his family, and J.T. neglects his training to spend time with her, what begins as a union in name only slowly grows into something more—something that looks a whole lot like love and friendship.

When I read The Winning Season I was super excited about the possibility of J T’s story and Packard doesn’t let me down.  Unlike the Matt & Kelly’s story, this one isn’t quite as angst ridden but it still packs an emotional punch.

J T has felt a connection for Angie from the first time he met her but she refuses to give him the time of day … until one fateful night that changed their lives.  J T was such a standup guy in TWS that I was hoping to see that continue and we do – he’s got a lot of heart and character, dependable, honest and hardworking.  He loves his family and was brought up with respect and love that he carries on to the rest of his life, regardless of the crazy world of baseball.  Angie on the other hand did not have such a solid upbringing and her parent’s history has led her to make assumptions about all ballplayers, including J T.  Once he gets her in his home though and makes her a part of his family, Angie quickly realizes her mistake.  The only problem is that because of their rocky start neither is sure of the other’s feelings.

I adore Packard’s writing style – it’s tight without a lot of unnecessary drama (which she could have easily done based on J T and Angie’s troubles) and it flows very smoothly.  I was so engaged I didn’t even notice how quickly I worked my way through Catching Heat and I was very sad to see it end, although very happy for J T and Angie.  He has three brothers though so I’m expecting to see more of the Sawyers and I’m super excited to see what Packard brings us.  Based on how much I’ve loved the two I’ve read, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.