Review: “Check Swing” by Carrie Aarons

Series: Callahan Family, #3

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: March 12th, 2021

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

Sinclair Callahan is a trust fund baby.

Born into one of the richest, most notorious families in the country, the black sheep title was stamped on him from an early age. While the rest of his relatives earn their keep at the top tier baseball team they’ve owned for generations, Sin prefers spending his time and money on booze, babes and bad decisions.

Until all three land him in a coma, fighting for his life.

One year later, with a sober chip in his hand, he arrives at spring training ready to turn it all around. But when he meets the only woman who doesn’t recognize just who he is, he can’t help omitting a few important details … like his last name. No stranger to charming women, Sin uses one of his old skillsets to kick off what is sure to be an epic hookup.

But when she shows up five months after their brief Florida fling with a secret that will topple his privileged world, he might just lose everything he’s worked so hard to rebuild. Including a real shot at love with the sassy redhead that he’s been too much of a coward to pursue.

Can he shoulder the responsibility he’s always shrugged off? Or will he balk at the real-life complications and strike out completely?

Francesca Kade is an independent goal-getter.

As one of the only female strength coaches in the league, she’s used to invading the boys’ club. After putting up with being passed over and not promoted for a number of seasons, she’s finally got her shot.

A consummate professional with blinders on, there is no way anything will screw up all she hopes to achieve. Well, except for maybe the new employee with eyes the color of ocean waves and a smirk that’s the definition of sin. When they catch fire in the southern heat, it’s almost impossible to put it out.

Until she finds out that he’s her boss’s boss’s boss.

Burned from the betrayal and panicking with a fresh secret of her own, Frankie is shocked when she lands her ultimate dream job. There is no way she’s turning it down. But when she bumps into Sinclair on day one, all of the old feelings and new problems come hurtling at her like a baseball to the face.

Will she ever be able to trust that he’ll put both her and his responsibilities before his vices? Or will their differences cost them the game?

 

By now, you know how much I love and adore the Callahan family. So far, Colleen and Hayes have been my favourites, but with Check Swing, I think I might have a new favourite pairing in Sinclair and Frankie.

“I wanted to remember her and I as a spectacular shooting star, riding high on the best part of what we were to each other before it all burned out.”

Right from book one, we’ve seen Sinclair and his hijinks and his party boy ways. His family doesn’t think much of him and he’s coasted along on the money he gets from being a Callahan. Colleen and Walker have had their fair share of opinions about him and Sinclair has always been painted as a waste of space. But in Check Swing, he completely redeems himself. In Walker’s book, Stealing Home, we see how much of a difference Sinclair is making in his life. An accident completely knocks him on his ass and in a coma and he’s forced to make some tough choices. And that includes working for the family business and going to Florida for spring training.

That’s where Check Swing picks up. He’s not playing baseball like I originally thought he would be, but he’s part of the video production team and he’s trying to get through the day without screwing up at every turn. Sinclair doesn’t have the skills for that kind of job, but because he’s got a choice and his father is cutting him some slack, Sinclair is making the effort. More than that, he’s also aware of how rough his whole life has been and how much he’s put his family through and he doesn’t want to keep doing that to everyone.

“She’s so visually stunning that I almost forget to breathe, and I’m positive I’ve been staring at her for way too long without saying anything.”

And then we meet Frankie. God, I love Frankie. She’s a strength coach and she’s worked her way up through the minor leagues and she wants to be taken seriously in the business. And with Colleen finally managing the team and making big decisions, Frankie has her chance. And she takes it on like a boss! I love how strong, powerful, smart, sexy and gorgeous Frankie is. Nothing is going to stop her from getting what she wants, not the men who think she’s not worth holding a job like this, not cheeky baseball players – Frankie has earned her right to be where she is. She’s truly a badass and it’s obvious why Sinclair is drawn to her.

Their chemistry is incredible. Right from the moment they meet, it’s beautiful. Of course their initial attraction is very physical, but they get to know each other and things take an interesting turn with them choosing to be friends with benefits and having all of the benefits without the feelings involved. And my god, the steam in this book. They hit the ground running with their sexcapades and it is so hot. But obviously things start to change slowly and it goes from being just sex to something more. But spring training is only for three months and after that, who knows what’ll happen? Besides, Sinclair hasn’t told Frankie who he really is and that’s going to come back to bite him in the ass later.

“We’re both damaged.” Sinclair twines his fingers with mine.

“Both healed,” I correct him.

I’m a sucker for redemption stories and that’s what this is. Walker and Colleen are less than supportive of Sinclair and Frankie and everything that transpires five months after spring training. And while I was so mad at them for their reactions, it’s understandable. This is Sinclair, he’s made mistake after mistake and done stupid things all the time, so they’re not expecting a sudden change in personality or anything. But when they come back around, man, it’s lovely. This family is so special.

I absolutely loved this story and like Warning Track and Stealing Home, Carrie Aarons has written a love story set in the world of a popular American sport while keeping the essence of everything nicely balanced. I also absolutely adore the Callahan family, so loving this book was really easy. It’s a romance set in a world of sports, but I like that even though both of them are so ingrained in baseball, it’s not the focus of their relationship. For Colleen and Walker, it made sense that it was, but it was nice to have Sinclair and Frankie enjoy everything else as well.

Thanks to Carrie Aarons for generously providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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