19 December 2016
Lincoln Landry was raised as part of the best kind of family. The kind that, despite their individual imperfections, love each other and subconsciously live out that love as part and parcel of their daily lives. That support system helped get him to where he is now, as a top player for the Arrows, a major league baseball team located in Memphis Tennessee. It's also their support that's helping him deal with the uncertainty of having to rehab an injured shoulder in the months leading up to his scheduled contract re-negotiations.
Danielle Ashley, by contrast, grew up with no siblings, a father who was too focused on his career to be bothered with his only child, and a mother who, when faced with the choice of which of the two to focus her attentions on, chose her husband over her daughter. Having grown up without, Danielle is determined that if she ever goes down the who marriage and family route, it will be with someone who is invested in the idea of creating a family centered around love, not someone who'll push it that potential family to the side like her father did ... for baseball.
Despite how hot and swoony Danielle finds Lincoln to be, she's determined to 'not go there' with him, having had first hand experience with guys who love their careers more than anything else in life, even if she were to succumb to his dreamy charms (which are extensive, particularly when he demonstrates that he's good with kids), she knows that all it will ever be is physical. Steamy, most likely, but temporary at best.
Blown away at first sight, and utterly stupefied at first rejection, Lincoln quickly works out three things. 1. Dani isn't like any girl he's ever met before. 2. He wants her like he's never wanted any girl before, and 3. He's got his work cut out for him.
Bringing back familiar faces from the first book in the series, and showcasing them in different lights, Swing by Adriana Locke immediately recaptures the sense of family that the Landry's embody and imbues that throughout the whole story. Somehow both sweeter and cockier than his older brother, Lincoln nevertheless doesn't fail to heat things up even without the use of grapes (which do make a special cameo appearance).
I loved how, as the younger son, Lincoln's relationships within his family are markedly different than those of his brother in the preceding book, which, over and above the storyline itself being markedly different, differentiates his character and helped bring him into his own. Further, as a treat for fans, Adriana subtly weaves into the narrative characters from some of her other supposedly standalone works, and even the odd mention of characters not her own as surprise little Easter eggs well worth the hunting.
This book made me smile ... a lot. It also brought with it tense moments, a tear or three, and the impulse to hold Dani's father down so that Lincoln could be free to teach him a lesson, but on that count, I managed to restrain myself. (Mostly because I reminded myself that he's a fictional character)
Written as a standalone, you could easily dive in and enjoy it, but if you've the time and inclination, I'd recommend reading Sway first.
Either way, I say "Go for it!"