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Hardball (Philadelphia Patriots Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

V.K. Sykes
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)

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Book Description

After years of hard work and keeping her nose firmly to the grindstone, Dr. Holly Bell has finally achieved her dream: a position as a pediatric surgeon at a prestigious teaching hospital. Children’s lives rest in her skilled hands. That means total dedication to her work and her patients without letting anything or anyone get in the way. And a hot affair with a superstar athlete is most definitely getting in Holly’s way.

Nate Carter, star pitcher for the Philadelphia Patriots, has the world in the palm of his baseball glove. He’s at the height of his game, a west coast team is about to lure him with even greater riches, and the most gorgeous women in town are in full pursuit. Nate has everything he wants, or at least he thinks he does, until he meets the beautiful and brainy Dr. Holly Bell. He’s totally up for a hot affair, and Holly turns out to be the hottest.

But will Holly be willing to play his game? When the lovely doctor starts changing the rules, Nate realizes he just might be playing for keeps.


Editorial Reviews

Review

Winner of the 2012 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Contest, Romance Category

"A story that is well told, characters that are engaging, a novel that is vastly entertaining, and one that is well-worth the time to read. I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5." --Desert Island Keepers

"This book has kept my attention from the start and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It was great and I really hope to read more of this writing couple in the near future."
--Natasja's Book Blog

From the Author

V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write sexy contemporary romance. Randy excels at plot and characterization, but tends to fall down on the job when it comes to that pesky old thing called emotion. That's where Vanessa steps in. She usually writes the sex scenes too, since Randy is a bit uncomfortable when it comes to that sort of stuff.  The process might be a bit messy, but they still manage to have a heck of a good time writing books.

Product Details

  • File Size: 544 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005639YOY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,523 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Spicy fun November 16, 2011
By Maria
Format:Kindle Edition
Hardball is a pleasant romance with a lot of heat! You can probably guess the amount of heat by the cover. It's too bad I read the ebook and didn't get to look at it in between chapters!

The story doesn't really have any surprises in it, but it's very well written and easy to read. Holly is a strong female protagonist and enjoyed her standing up to Nate for what she needed. The characters are very likeable, and oh so very human. Their strengths are shown as well as their flaws, so the reader can see them as real people.

If you prefer your romance without any spice, then give this book a skip. Everyone else, you'll really enjoy it!

*Disclaimer: I received this book from the authors for review, I was not required to write a positive review.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By Jamie
Format:Kindle Edition
I confess, I don't usually read just straight romance books; I prefer paranormal romance or romantic suspense. This book sounded like such a fun read I couldn't turn it down. Plus, it actually does end up having some suspense elements to it that I wasn't expecting! Also, did you SEE that book cover?! The only word that comes to mind is H-O-T!

I was able to relate and connect with both of the main characters, Holly and Nate, but perhaps not as much as I would have liked. Nate was a really down-to-earth guy, despite the fact that he was a famous baseball player; not stuck up at all and not especially full of himself. Holly was a pedatric surgeon; I like that she was a successful, confident female lead. She was completely independent and obviously very smart. There were times she annoyed me with her insecurities when it came to Nate, but at the same time I could totally understand where she was coming from.

I enjoyed the characters and seeing their relationship develop. The story overall was interesting; in addition to finding herself smitten with Nate, Holly also has to deal with the beligerant and menacing parent of a sick child she is caring for. That definitely adds a few tense moments, especially when she suspects that he doesn't have his son's best interests in mind. Also, the sex scenes were very steamy, but they didn't take up the whole book like sometimes happens with romances. felt like sometimes the dialogue (mostly on Holly's part) seemed a little awkward, where I found myself saying "Do people actually talk like that?" I also had trouble with the fact that the first few times Holly meets Nate she's really insecure and somewhat shy, as she was wondering why he wanted to spend time with her. Then on their first "date", she turns into kind of a sex kitten.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Love Really Enough? August 12, 2011
By Dr J
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a very hard-hitting, romantic story that brings two powerful people together and there is no doubt that their love affair lit up the skies. But there is also a whole agenda difference between these two individuals: one is a playful and highly competent professional baseball player who is just having fun and whats to keep it that way. That his attraction for Holly won't turn him loose is, of course, somewhat troublesome, but life is about fun and so are women. That Holly is now asking questions about the future really puts the cabash on his fun. Holly, on the other hand, is a woman who has left "play" behind in the struggle to achieve her goal as a first-class pediatric surgeon in a well-known teaching hospital. She has made it, but at what cost? Add in a mother whose own bitterness has shaped Holly's subconscious response to men in general and playful men in particular, and you have two people who view life from a very different perspective. I have a feeling that unless something changes, love will not be able to conquer the obstacles that separate these two. This is a fine novel, written seamlessly by a husband/wife writing team who have managed to speak with "one voice." Not easy to do under any circumstance but these two have pulled it off. This is a book that will grab the reader's interest right from the first paragraph and won't turn loose until the final line. THAT is the kind of novel I really like and the kind I prefer when all is said and done. This novel is contemporary, but its themes are as old as time. You really don't want to miss it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Insta-love at its worst January 22, 2013
By Jean
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I picked this book up when it was free because it sounded like it might be a fun, if typical, light romance. It wasn't.

Brief synopsis: Smart, competent, respected pediatric surgeon Holly Bell falls hard and fast for celebrity baseball pitcher, Nate Carter - a player, and not only of the baseball variety.

Here's what bothered me most about this book. I can't stand the insta-love. For no good reason that I could see, other than the fact that he's hot, the super-intelligent Holly decides after 3 weeks that she's madly in love with Nate and demands (yes, demands) a commitment from him. Because, even though she knew of his reputation with women when she started dating him, she decides their 3 weeks together are special enough to expect him to suddenly change and declare his undying devotion. But the thing is, there's really nothing special about Holly. She's all kinds of blah. So why would Nate change everything in his life for a whiny woman? Got me...but he does. Eventually. If she had demanded this commitment after 3 months, I wouldn't have had a problem at all. But 3 weeks? Sheesh.

Add a run-of-the-mill psycho stalker and that's pretty much the whole book. Not entertaining, not light, not even all that romantic. Honestly, I forced myself to finish it. And I did that with a lot of page skipping.

Adult language and sexual content.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute read
This was a good and quick read. It was well written and edited. It was predictable, but I enjoyed it. I will be looking for more from this author.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars More interesting than your average romance book
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun mix of sexy romance with bit of suspense and drama thrown in to keep it interesting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda Sabel
5.0 out of 5 stars Super cool
Finally a really good story all the way through.Neither character whined or moaned every page.Nate is hot.Holly is great. Just a really good love story.
Published 1 month ago by Dianne
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Enjoyable
Once again in this series a storyline was hit out of the park. This book was very suspenseful as well as a wonderful romance story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read.
Liked the characters and did have suspense too making you root for the good guys. Could use some hot ball player myself!
Published 1 month ago by Karen
5.0 out of 5 stars Sports, romance, and steamy sex.
Definitely a book you will not want to put down until you've finished. I have read a couple of V.K. Sykes' books before and thoroughly enjoyed them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Pat Ashcraft
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking amazing!
I was up until 4:45 am reading this amazing book between Doctor Holly Bell and Pat's Pitcher Nate Carter. You get a taste of him in Fastball and you can see how loyal he is. Read more
Published 3 months ago by April Scott
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice storyline
Loved the last story. I have to admit I skimmed a lot on both stories. Too wordy. First story wasn't all that interesting. Sorry.
Published 5 months ago by Raven's Mom
4.0 out of 5 stars ok
Good way to pass time while waiting for a flight. Or when you have to spend the night in an airport.
Published 5 months ago by Megan
4.0 out of 5 stars Sucker for Romance
I really enjoyed this story line. I love suspense and hot sexy romance all mixed together to create a "can't put this down until I finish" read on a rainy morning.
Published 7 months ago by Bonny Williams
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More About the Author

V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance and romantic suspense. The second book in their Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, in the romance category. Vanessa and Randy are also starting a new series of contemporary romances with Grand Central Publishing, out in Feb. 2015. MEET ME AT THE BEACH is the first book in The Seashell Bay Series, set on a small, charming, and very lively island off the coast of Maine.

Vanessa also writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her own name. Her first novel, Mastering the Marquess, hit the shelves in April 2009, and she was subsequently named by Booklist as one of the "new stars of historical romance." Her latest series, The Renegade Royals, is a national bestseller.

Vanessa was born a Jersey girl, but not in Tony Soprano country. Rather, she grew up in a gorgeous little colonial town just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. After completing her Master's in English literature, Vanessa headed to Toronto to enter a doctoral program, and stayed in the frozen north. Eventually, she found her way into the public sector, and spent many years writing reports and briefs.

Randy started out as a prairie boy, with a heritage in the starkly beautiful wheat fields of southern Saskatchewan, Canada. As a graduate student in economics, he migrated east to prestigious McGill University. After completing his Master's in labor economics, he ended up working in the public sector in the nation's capital of Ottawa. Writing endless reports and speeches honed his writing skills, but too often bored him senseless. When he finally turned his pen (or rather his keyboard) to fiction, life changed in a hurry. His "I can do this!" quickly became "Holy cow, this is hard!" And before he knew it, he was immersed in a strange land of romance fiction writers, almost all women, learning why books require such things as emotion and conflict to get readers to actually pay money to read them.

And this is where a romance-writing partnership makes such good sense. Do guys like to write about emotion? Not so much. Plotting? Yes. Humor? You bet. Murder and mayhem? Definitely. But when it comes to elaborating on matters of the heart, most guys would rather find a game on TV. Any game. Randy fits the stereotype. But, fortunately, he has the luxury of leaving those big blank sections for the emotion expert to work her magic. And strange though it might seem to Randy, Vanessa actually likes writing about emotion and (thankfully) doesn't mind doing the sex scenes, either.

You can find out more about V.K. Sykes at their website at www.vksykes.com. And look for Vanessa's historical romances and her blog at www.vanessakellyauthor.com. Vanessa also blogs with The Jaunty Quills, a fantastic group of authors like Kristan Higgins and Shana Galen who love to blog about life, their families, writing, and just about anything else you can think of. Please visit them at www.jauntyquills.com.

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