Out in the Field by Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 16, 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Ignacio Rodriquez, Iggy to his friends, has been dreaming about playing baseball for the Brooklyn Eagles ever since he was a boy. His dream comes true and then some; he finds himself playing alongside his idol, first baseman Matt Blanco, who is everything he dreamed of and more.
Matt Blanco is entering the twilight of his career, plagued by injuries and two decades of lying about who and what he is, but he thinks he still has a few good years left in the major leagues. Then he meets Iggy and everything turns upside down. But carrying on an affair with a much younger man is one thing. Having an affair with his teammate introduces a whole new set of complications. When a trade and a career-ending injury threaten to keep them apart, both men have to figure out what they’re willing to risk for the love of baseball and each other
At first I did not know where McMurray was going to go with this book. Was it going to be another trope-y book filled with another angst-filled we shouldn’t be doing this sports bros or something more?
The first half of the book covers the falling in love, teammates angst thing, but in the middle of the book something (no spoilers!) causes a shift in their relationship that is shown throughout the second half. This is a bit of a tough review to write without spoiling everyone but I promise that McMurray does a good job of expanding their relationship beyond a trope.
I was really hoping that Iggy and Matt were going to do more than the whole teammates-hiding-the-fact-that-they-are-dating thing and I was very happy that McMurray did something different. She went beyond the whole closeted sports jock trope to add more depth to what those guys would have to go through if they were on a sports team. She had family, friends, and teammates in on the secret and it made it much more than an us vs them scenario. It made it more realistic to me.
The thing that excited me the most about the romance between Iggy and Matt was the tenderness and caring these two showed for each other. Don’t get me wrong, the sex and chemistry was hot, but I personally enjoy reading about characters that genuinely care for each other and treat each other well despite conflict or whatnot.
Another thing that I really liked about this book was that McMurray shows their romance grow over a few years. You get the meet-cute, honeymoon phase, etc. etc. so that you get to see how their relationship fares over the long haul. It made it more believable and made me more invested in their romance because I got to see it unfurl a bit more.
You can tell that McMurray is a baseball fan because of the realistic portrayal of the game in this book. One of the things I appreciated the most about this book was the knowledge of the everyday stuff involved in baseball. I love baseball so this made the book (and the romance!) more believable and interesting.
If you don’t enjoy baseball or even sports romances you may want to take a couple steps out of your comfort zone to read this one. I promise it’ll be worth it!
Kate McMurray is a nonfiction editor. Also, she is crafty (mostly knitting and sewing, but she also wields power tools), she plays the violin, and she dabbles in various other pursuits. She’s maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with a presumptuous cat.
You can find more of her works over at her website (click here!)
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.