Book: Bases Loaded 2nd Edition
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design
Publication Date: January 23, 2018
Length: 210 pages
Reviewed by Michael
Can they survive the off-season and keep from striking out?
Baseball player Brett must get rehabilitation for his shoulder if he wants another season in the Major League. He and his partner, Benj, take off to the boonies to stay with physical therapist Ralph, a tough-talking, routine-setting guy, and Jean, Ralph’s Cajun lover, who cooks as well as he loves.
Brett and Ralph butt heads from the beginning. Ralph wants Brett to be more in touch with his feelings; Brett wants Ralph to give him his therapy and leave him alone. Benj and Jean get along far better, with Jean showing Benj around the kitchen and reassuring him when things with Brett get strained.
Before Ralph can even begin to work on Brett’s shoulder, though, Brett faces an even more difficult physical challenge, one that does more than threaten his career. He and Benj have to work through some tough issues, making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives together. Their gradual friendship with Ralph and Jean helps them through the bad times, but even that might not be enough to pull them through.
I’ll be perfectly honest, I had a really hard time getting into this at the very beginning for one big reason: I strongly disliked the characters. I found Brett to be an arrogant, self-centered jerk. And Benj was so wrapped up in what was going on with Brett, always so willing to please Brett, that he seemed to have no identity of his own. I like to root for the main characters and hope that whatever obstacles are thrown their way, they can overcome them together. And I couldn’t see that with these two.
Then something happened, and I took a step back and tried to look at the bigger picture.
We are, by nature, creatures of habit. As individuals, we go about our daily routines not even aware that we’re doing it. Then something major can happen, you get into a car accident, someone steals your wallet, you lose your job, and that routine can be derailed.
Relationships work the same way. Each relationship has a routine. And, again, when something major happens, it can threaten to derail the entire relationship.
Brett has been so lost within himself since his injury, and so angry about it, that he has all but shut out the world. But there are moments where his love for Benj is so clear and evident, that you just know if he could break from his own cycle and focus on that love, he would see that he’s not going through his pain alone, he has a partner that is quite literally willing to do anything for him.
Taking that into consideration, I realized that’s what this book was really about. Not about Brett’s rehabilitation from a potentially career-ending injury, but Brett and Benj reconnecting as a couple.
Sometimes a break from the break in our routine is needed, a vacation from Life if you will, in order to set everything right. And sometimes Life throws you a curveball, but it’s how you deal with it together is what truly matters.
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