Charming the Shortstop

Heather B. Moore, Rebecca Connelly,
Sophia Summers

ANTHOLOGY:  Brighton West is a flight attendant on the plane that Axel Diaz, professional baseball player, takes to get home for a friend’s wedding.  Axel and Brighton meet on the plane and there is an attraction, but Axel knows he’ll never see her again, so he doesn’t get to know her.  However, she is also the flight attendant on his next connecting flight, and they do get the chance to talk.  After learning that all of his friends are bringing dates, he decides to bring a date as well. Both protagonists have issues to work through. Axel takes the responsibility of caring for his mother and sister seriously, so he doesn’t date.  Brighton has abandonment issues after being dumped and rejected right before her wedding.  

This book is part of a series of six stories all about the Belltown Six Pack.  Although there are atypical elements in this story that help it stand apart, the book does include some clichéd themes often used in sports romances.  Fortunately, Axel is a decent guy, and although he is a baseball star, he doesn’t sleep around.  He takes the time to get to know Brighton, and his motivation is clear.  Brighton is also a fully realized character with strong motivations for the way she behaves.  Their passion is expressed through their careers and through the way they communicate with each other, instead of through their sexuality. There is an arc of growth in both protagonists, and there is an awesome community of friends to lend support. The story pace is maintained throughout, and the baseball player friends from Belltown are a loyal group of friends to have.  

Carey Sullivan