Stealing Home by Becky Wallace has stolen my heart. I loved this YA baseball romance that is the PERFECT summer read.
Seventeen-year-old Ryan Russell has life perfectly planned. If she keeps up her hard work, one day she’ll take over the family business: owning the Buckley Beavers, a minor league baseball team, and become one of the only female General Managers in the sport.
But when the newest member of the Beavers, child-phenom Sawyer Campbell, shows up, Ryan’s carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, his ambition rivals her own workaholic nature—and he’s completely out of bounds. Fraternizing is against every rule in the Beaver’s handbook.
Then Ryan’s divorced parents butt heads over the future of the Beavers, and her mom plans to sell her shares to a business group known for relocating teams. If this happens, Ryan’s dreams of becoming GM disappear. In a bid to save her future, she partners with Sawyer to use his star power to draw in sponsors who will keep the team in Buckley. But the more time she spends with him, the more impossible it becomes to play by the Beaver’s rules, and she can’t afford a strikeout on the path to her dreams.
Full count with two outs, Ryan’s one pitch away from losing the whole ball game.
I’ve never been the sporty type. I’ve never liked playing sports, and I don’t generally like watching sports. But one of the few games I enjoy seeing in person is baseball — and I’ve definitely always been a sucker for baseball stories. (Give me a baseball movie any day, and I will be a happy camper. If you build it, I will come.) So naturally, I was excited when this baseball-centric YA romance landed in my mailbox and friends … it did NOT disappoint.
I loved Ryan as our plucky heroine, and I loved that Sawyer constantly surprised her. Despite a very rough first encounter, these two hit it off and their connection felt genuine and real. Both of them are young for their positions and have to work extra hard to be taken seriously (Ryan even more so, being a woman) — so they each have good reasons for wanting to keep things professional. But FEELINGS, ya know.
The chemistry between these two is palpable and so endearing. As a reader, you understand why they are trying not to give in to their feelings — but you also just want them to mush their faces together and make out.
Wallace does such an excellent job of balancing their love story with the struggles they’re both facing — Sawyer, as a very young first-round draft pick, and Ryan, as a young woman hell bent on breaking the glass ceiling in baseball management. And as much as I loved the growing relationship between Sawyer and Ryan, I also loved seeing the connection between Ryan and her dad. They have a unique bond, and I especially enjoyed seeing this dynamic at work.
With baseball as such an iconic American pastime, and a genuinely sweet romance, Stealing Home is the perfect summer read. Look for it in stores July 9th.