Team Player

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Julianna Keyes is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is solid, her words flow well and she has a wicked sense of humor. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book of the Charleston Thrashers. Baseball serves as the backdrop and I am very impressed with the author's deep knowledge of the game as she used to play baseball. I liked the main characters, Gwen and Ty and they meshed together very well. Though they were both new to relationships, they had their subtle ways of affection. Also, there was not a lot of drama which is nice.
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I completely forgot to post my review here, but I love Julianna Keyes! Team Player  is a sweet romance. It doesn’t have a lot of angst but I think that’s a plus. Someone unneeded angst puts my off. And I love that’s it’s a sports romance!!
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I liked this story.. I love baseball, and I enjoyed reading a bit of “behind the scenes” of a major league team. Gwen and Ty were an enjoyable couple too. 3.5 stars from me.
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I did enjoy this books loved the chemistry between Tyler and Gwen. Gwen knows all about baseball especially the Thrashers since her aunt raised her since she was a little girl and taught her that she knows. Gwen is working in the Thrashers PR department and does all the jobs no one wants to do and feels she is living her dreams regardless of the job because it would have made her aunt proud and Gwen still really misses her. Tyler plays for the Thrashers but feels lost since his best friend Connor is now in jail and he is not friends with anybody else. Gwen and Tyler start spending time together even though it is forbidden, but someone figures it out and causes chaos with the things they spill, will they be able to survive it? Grab a copy and enjoy!
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This is the first time I have read this author and I really enjoyed this book. This a slow burn romance that I couldn’t get enough of. I love a good sports romance and this was one was right up my alley. 

Ty and Gwen had a connection that was sometimes on and sometimes off. I am recently learning the game of baseball so I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I was there with them during the baseball games. 

I will be reading more from this author.
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Julianna Keyes has yet to disappoint me with her books. There's something about her writing that I find very comforting. I was excited to see that she was releasing a new sports romance and I didn't hesitate to request a copy. Team Player was a low-key book, in my opinion, and that made it a story that was very easy to sink into. I enjoyed both Gwen and Ty's characters. They were both very likeable. Gwen was hardworking, brave, and very kind. She had recently lost her aunt who she was very close to. Her aunt was the reason she had gotten a job with the Trashers. There was a sadness and loneliness to Gwen that I found relatable. She was surrounded by all these people in her life, but she was still alone. I was really glad when she and Ty formed a friendship with each other. Ty was equally lonely in his life despite his fame as a baseball player. Their relationship was sweet and they had decent chemistry with each other. It obviously wasn't without its obstacles, but I never doubted that they would make it until the end. This was also my first baseball romance. It's not a sport I've read in romance and not that one I know anything about, so I was happy that Julianna Keyes spent some time really delving into the politics of the sport. Overall, I quite enjoyed Team Player and I look forward to reading more from this series.
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I am a fan of sports themed romances.  Team Player is light, sexy, and extremely entertaining.  I appreciated the complexity of the characters and world Julianna Keyes created.  I would have liked to see a little more growth on the part of the male lead, it would have made it easier to root for the happily ever after.  Ms. Keyes writes with humor and  I'll admit there were some laugh out loud dialogue moments and situations.  I am very taken by the secondary characters introduced in this book and really look forward to their individual stories.  I will definitely watch for the series. 
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
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Enjoyed reading this book. Juliana wrote something that was hard to put down. Loved the sports romance aspect of it.
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Gwen Scott has been a fan of the Charleston Thrashers since she was a little girl. And getting a with them was supposed to be a dream. Turns out not everything is fairies and rainbows where her colleagues are concerned. With a head for numbers and stats, being stuck as an errand girl for the PR departments is the last thing she wanted but, the bills need paying so she's keeping at it. A few words uttered without constraint to the coach while on an errand brings her in to his focus and she finds herself advising him on media comments, players and strategies. And of course that also makes her get noticed by some of the players including bad boy Tyler Ashe, the team's shortstop. Even though neither of them are allowed to get involved and neither of them wants anything serious, they soon realise that nothing is as it seems and the best made plans usually fail.

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I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.   Thank you Netgalley. 

I grew up watching baseball with my grandfather, so i'm always a bit excited for baseball stories.     This book didn't disappoint.  

Such an easy and enjoyable read.
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I love this author’s work. This story was so good! I loved the hero in this story and I though the ending was good. Definitely recommend
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I saved this gem of a sports romance for my Opening Day read and it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long while. Astros baseball on the television and a harried, hard working PR assistant falling in love with a lonely short stop on my Kindle. Heaven.

This was such an easy read. I appreciated that the author brought her baseball knowledge A game. You can just tell she loves the game. Gwen and Ty had great chemistry, and despite their relationship being kept secret for most of the book (for reasons), the angst level wasn’t overwhelming. Oh, there was drama to be sure, mostly Ty screwing up and acting a fool, but it wasn’t rip your heart out of your chest and this couple always made up pretty quickly. 

It wasn’t just the main protagonists and their relationship that kept me turning pages. I’m so interested in the rest of the players on the Thrashers. Especially Reed. I mean how do you not want to know more about a man who starts reading YA PNR in order to connect with his teenage daughter? And I want to find out more about Connor and his insider trading. What’s next for him? Does he come back to baseball? Ms. Keyes just whet my appetite and I can’t wait for more.
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I grew up watching baseball and so I'm a HUGE fan of it. I think what I appreciated the most about this book was the fact that the Julianna knows her stuff and you can tell. Sometimes when you read sports romance books you can be disappointed when there is a lack of the actual sport in the book. With this story that is not the case, you get the "view" the games not just be told about it. 

I also loved Gwen and Ty's relationship, how they grew not only as a couple but as individuals. The only issue I had was the ending, I wish we could have seen them farther down the line, however, that's just a personal preference. 

I can't wait to see who the next book is about. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A new top five favorite sports romance. I just love Julianna Keyes' writing. It features two characters who are both dealing with different kinds of grief find someone with whom they connect. Low angst. Realistic conflict. I can't wait for more in the series.
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3.5-4 STARS!
I love Juliana Keyes—her stories, her writing style, how she meticulously plans out a well thought out story.
Team Player is a start of a new series for her... an office romance, forbidden love story centered around baseball super star Tyler Ashe and newbie PR publicist Gwen Scott.

This is a slow-burn romance to begin with, the characters in each other's space because they both work for and represent the Charleston Thrashers. I loved each of their back stories—who they are as people molded by their past history, both similar in their lives now being alone with no real friends or family. I liked their bantering, their easy friendship that turns into something more, their connection over baking lol and their mutual love of the game.

There were some things that didn't work for me... I wanted to understand more the friendship between Connor and Ty because that was glossed over and I felt that for all of Ty's mistakes that Gwen (though fiercely independent and strong) easily forgave. Maybe it was for the love and trust she never had with another person other than her beloved aunt but I wished that she made Ty work for it more.

Their physical connection was hot but there were times I just wished for more. This is a start of a series I am very much looking forward to. I enjoy this author's work and can't wait to see whose story she gives us next.
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I had some trepidation picking up this latest book from Julianna Keyes. Not because I don’t enjoy the author’s work – I do.  Not because it’s about baseball, which is boring.  Friends.  It is.  And not because anything about it sounded bad or not good or uninteresting.  I was nervous because I hated Ms. Keyes last book.  Big time.  Happily for me (and you), she’s written a homerun (Hi!  I’m Em.  I’ve never met a sports metaphor I didn’t love).  In Team Player, two lonely, sad souls (keep reading) find the love of their lives where and when they least expect it. Unlike every baseball game I’ve ever watched, Team Player kept me engaged from start to finish, and I couldn’t put it down.  Funny, sexy and with just enough angsty emotional twists and turns to power the second half, Team Player hopefully marks the start of a new baseball-themed romantic series from this talented writer.  I liked almost everything about it and contemporary romance fans will too.  Even the baseball – which the author clearly loves.

Gwen Scott is weighing the pros and cons of making a run for it.  Another Charleston Thrasher (a fictional South Carolina MLB team) loss means someone has to deliver talking points to team manager, Rex Stripley, before he meets with the press.  The last time Gwen was given this job, Rex had just fired his fourth assistant – the same unfortunate person who used to deliver these talking points.  Gwen’s decided to make a run for it when the manager of Public Relations, Promotions & Social Media Strategy finds her, hands over the bulleted list and instructs Gwen to deliver it to Rex.  And even though Gwen isn’t sure she even likes her job – she applied on drunken whim after her aunt Marge, a die-hard Thrasher superfan, had a massive heart attack and died – quitting now feels like an insult to her aunt.  So when Team Player begins, Gwen is on her way down to the clubhouse, death warrant/notes in hand.

The visit doesn’t go according to plan.  Awkward and nervous, Gwen flings the talking points out to Rex.  But when he starts reading them out loud, growing angrier with every inane platitude on the paper, Gwen finds herself talking about the game with him instead – and he likes what she has to say.  When he uses her talking points instead of the ones on the paper, Gwen is secretly thrilled – and scared.  But her boss likes what she has to say, and before long, Gwen finds herself responsible for providing the manager with talking points after every game and managing the team twitter feed, along with a ton of new promotional responsibilities.  Gwen isn’t totally surprised – she knows baseball.  Since the moment she was sent to live with her aunt aged nine, MLB and the Charleston Thrashers have been her life.  She knows everything there is to know about the team, their stats… and their players.  Including Tyler Ashe, the team’s handsome and eligible shortstop, who’s been struggling all year and needs some talking points of his own.

Tyler has been an MLB all-star player since the start of his career.  But this year, after his closest friend and fellow player, Connor, was sent to jail, Tyler has been off his game.  Lonely, depressed and withdrawn, the last thing Tyler wants to do is talk to the press about any of it, but after skipping out on another post-game interview, Rex benches him in favour of a younger player.  Determined to get back in the starting line-up, Tyler promises not to miss any more interviews and listens when his manager recommends he speak to the latest PR staffer for talking points.  Gwen isn’t what he expects.  Smart, sharp and knowledgeable about the game and his play, she gives him good advice.  She’s also attractive and funny, and Tyler finds himself curious about her – seeking her out whenever she’s in the clubhouse.

What follows isn’t quite your standard workplace romcom.  For starters, these two adorkable nerds bond after separately escaping a team publicity event and unexpectedly winding up alone together in the arcade room of a popular bar.  They trade game stats and childhood memories, until Ty winds up taunting/challenging Gwen into racing him in Taxi-Kart (a game they both love).  When the extremely intense and competitive race is over, they’re pressed close together and wind up making out on a nearby pool table.  Just before Gwen nearly has sex with Ty in public, on a pool table, at a bar… they hear another Thrasher player looking for Tyler and separate.   Gwen is quick to regret the incident and her loss of control.  She might be in a dry spell and Ty might be her fantasy come to life, but she knows better.  Ty’s a player, on and off the field, baseball is his one and only love, and she’d be terminated if they got caught.  She flees and makes plans to avoid Tyler.  Oh Gwen.  Good luck with that.

Team Player doesn’t quite proceed in a straight-line – mostly because Tyler makes a lot of mistakes and Gwen doesn’t put up with any of his bullshit excuses for treating her poorly or making bad decisions because he’s never been in a relationship before.  Ty wants Gwen and he works hard to woo her; but it’s a battle he’s destined to win, because it’s clear she likes him too.  The chemistry between Gwen and Ty is delightful, the sex is steamy and passionate, and their witty back-and-forths are a highlight of their often funny, tender and sexy secret affair.  He works hard to tear down the walls that Gwen keeps between them, and as a couple – friends and lovers – they begin to heal the hurt and loneliness plaguing them both when the story opened.

While the romance between Ty and Gwen hits only high notes (even when they’re on the outs), their lives outside of the relationship improve as well.  Gwen’s work in the PR department gains the approval of super scary boss Allison – and although that means she’s given more responsibilities, she’s good at her job, and starts to enjoy it.  Ty works hard to build relationships with his teammates too, and it pays off.  The team starts to gel on and off the field and finally starts winning.  While the romantic relationship is my favorite, the bonds Ty forms with these guys – a quirky, odd, and eclectic group – is also perfectly rendered.  The author never panders to our stereotypical ideas about athletes and sports romances, and Team Player is a fresh, and supremely entertaining take on sports romance.

So what doesn’t work?  A couple of things.  Ty’s relationship with Connor might be the reason he’s down when he meets Gwen, but the author doesn’t spend quite enough time showing us why.  He felt more like a convenient plot device than an actual character, and an unnecessary suspense subplot – a saboteur may be working behind the scenes to damage the team – was a ridiculous and unnecessary addition to a novel that was nearly perfect without it.

Despite these minor complaints, and the swing-and-a-miss that was her last book, Ms. Keyes hits this one straight out of the park.  #YouLoveMyMetaphorsToo
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The first book in the Charleston Thrashers, Team Player, is a promising start to this new series. I enjoyed the character interaction, the seamless flow of the story and the engaging plot. I will look to read more of this series
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Gwen Scott is in a rut. Her only remaining family member, her aunt, recently died and in a moment of grief and/or drunkenness, she applied to PR department of her aunt's favorite team, the Charleston Thrashers. As part of her position, she has to give PR notes to the coach of the Thrashers, a notably awful task. While giving the approved talking points, Gwen finds herself talking to the coach and her genuine knowledge of the game and PR gives her the ability to translate the points into something usable and honest. When the coach starts to use her talking points instead, Gwen gets thrown into the deep end in PR and in doing so, keeps running into Tyler Ashe, the hotshot shortstop of the Thrashers. 

Tyler is in the midst of a rut as well. His best friend, and only family, was recently sent to jail and Tyler isn't handling the loneliness that causes well. He's snappish and off his game. While having constant run ins with Gwen in her new position, Tyler finds someone to talk to and open up with. 

I love reading about competent women. Lately I have been on a clumsy awkward heroine binge and while that has its place, it is so refreshing to read a book about a woman, who while she is learning a new position, is still really good at what she is doing and is accomplishing her work. And part of her attractiveness to Tyler is the fact that she is genuinely good at her job. 

There are angsty twists and turns but they communicate with each other and help each other grow. It is an adult story about adults and I highly recommend it.
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Team Player is a fun contemporary romance that features a baseball player and a PR rep for his team. There's a secret romance, loads of drama, and lots of sexual chemistry!

I enjoyed this book. I like Julianna's writing and the story flowed really good.
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Other than the occasional soccer game that my husband talks me into watching with him on TV, I'm not much of a sports viewer; and definitely not what I'd consider a fan. So I was a bit leery of this story because so much of it seems centered on baseball. Which it is. But only in the fact that most of the action occurs in and around a ballfield with a team of baseball players. The real meat of the story, however, is all about the people and the relationships that they develop. 

Ty is pretty much your typical egocentric, playboy jerk. But (before the action of this story even begins) he experiences some personal losses that make he start to reevaluate his life and what he wants from it. 

Gwen, on the other hand, is a reclusive loner who never ventures out of her comfort zone. She weathers an even more devastating loss that basically leaves her floundering and unsure of what to do with her life. 

That they end up being perfect for one another is as much a surprise to them as it would be to anyone else (if anyone knew). The tale isn't just about how their romance grows though; it is also about the many other relationships that both of them develop, especially among their coworkers, many of whom end up becoming true friends. I appreciated the fact that everything didn't magically turn around both characters after they "found love." They both still had real struggles and difficulties. But, as in real life, at least it was easier to bare (mostly) when they had each other. 

There is quite a bit of baseball jargon and discussion, which gives a real feel for the game and this (fictional) team in particular. But it is never so much that it is excessively boring or overwhelming to the actual plot.

There are quite a few things about the politics of the team that, while I'm sure are more than accurate, really bothered me. One scene in particular at the near end was highly upsetting to me. And I did feel that the very end was a bit too little too late. But, in another way, it was also quite appropriate for this couple. I'll let you read it yourself to discover what I'm talking about.
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