Readers will find themselves charmed by this roommates to lovers romance set in the baseball world as childhood friends are caught off guard by an attraction suddenly brewing between them. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Change Up by Meghan Quinn, along with my impressions of it, which will have you wanting to add this fun and flirty romance to your bookshelf!
BREAKING NEWS: The Bad Boy of Baseball, Maddox Paige, is totally and utterly whipped.
Okay, that might not be the headlines in the newspaper this morning, but it's the reality of my current situation.
It all started a month ago when I received a call from my best friend, Kinsley. She got a new job in Chicago and needed a place to stay. I've known the girl since I was five, what harm would it be to have her stay at my place for a while?
Ha! Total disaster.
Now instead of going out every night with my teammates, I'm couch surfing and sketching endless photos of my best friend...but that's the least of my concerns.
The disaster, you ask? I'm rapidly falling head over cleats in love with my best friend, my roommate, and my number one fan.
And she has no idea...
Have you ever said something you regret?
Something you haven’t forgotten about an hour later?
Something that sits with you, stews deep in your belly, and then seeps into your bones, burying itself so far into your marrow that all you can think about is the one thing you said...and how you wished you could take it back the minute it slipped past your lips?
That’s where I am. Full of regret.
People always say, “Don’t regret anything. It’s what makes you who you are.” That was said in a whiney, nasally voice. Did you hear it?
Well, those people, the ones trying to spew rainbows and sunshine up your ass about blatant mistakes...yeah, they’re only saying that because they fuck up on a daily basis.
Think about it, what REAL person is okay with all their regrets? No one. There is always that one thing you did, that one time, that you will always, always, always think...“What if I’d done that differently?"
It keeps you up at night.
You wonder, what transformed, what took over my brain, to utter such words. To alter your life completely and send it down an entirely different course.
Yeah, my life has been fucking altered all right. Everything was fine.
I was pitching one hell of a fucking season for the Rebels, my ride or die team. I was getting along with my teammates, even the infamous Cory Potter, who made a splash after last season. I’ll hand it to the man, he really is the boss. I was getting laid whenever I wanted, which is always a plus for a guy who has massive amounts of adrenaline pumping through him daily, especially on a pitching day. And there were no strings attached.
Yeah, I might have a rotation of women I call, but any single player in the major leagues does. You need the outlet. Even the prestigious Cory Potter had some booty call numbers before he found Natalie.
I was living a great life, and then it all changed. And it changed fucking fast.
Before I knew it, I was staring into my fridge at dairy products not made from a cow, but rather from oat. What the fuck is that? Oat milk? Explain to me where an oat has a goddamn nipple.
My toothbrush is made from bamboo, which gives off a very woody, splintery taste, and I’ve been using toothpaste tablets instead of paste from a tube...because apparently, tubes suck up life in the landfill.
The eco-friendly toilet paper in my apartment disintegrates in my hand and is worthless, making bathroom breaks a fucking nightmare.
And there’s a goddamn three-legged dog in a suit and tie sitting on my couch that goes by the name Herman, or Hermy for short.
I don’t have any privacy, I don’t even remember what meat tastes like anymore, and “Hermy” has a goddamn staring problem. And the three-legged motherfucker, yeah, he’s stealthy. I find him waiting for me outside the shower...staring.
When I wake up...staring.
When I’m trying to make a goddamn tempeh sandwich...staring.
Every time I tell him to “get a life” or to “fuck off” or for the love of Christ “get a new hobby”, he doesn’t even bat an eyelash.
He just stares!
can’t fucking take it anymore.
I’m losing my goddamn mind and I don’t know...maybe it’s because I haven’t had sex in what feels like forever, or because my burgers are now made of imposter “meat”, or maybe because I’m forced to do things I don’t want to do. Either way, something needs to give, because I’m pretty sure from all the vegan shit I’ve been eating, my armpits are just about ready to spring their own mung beans.
One phone call.
That’s all it took.
One fucking phone call from a person I cannot say no to, a person who will forever and always be...my insanely beautiful and free-spirited best friend.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Throughout Ms. Quinn's most recent books set in the baseball world, I've fallen in love with one delicious hero after another. With this latest book I'm once again left drooling over Maddox Paige and his charming and decadently delightful friends to lovers romance with longtime friend Kinsley. With each turn of the page I discovered a hero vastly different from who the world sees and with his growing connection to a woman who's opposite to him in many ways shows that they couldn't be more perfect for each other. Theirs is a romance that pulled at my heartstrings, while putting a smile on my face, and its near-perfection has me waiting impatiently to return to the world inhabited by these boys of baseball.
Maddox Paige is seen as the Bad Boy of Baseball for his ability to not only throw strikes but also throw punches in defense of his teammates. He enjoys the perks of baseball groupies and has no desire for permanent intimacy as he gets just what he needs from a revolving door of one night stands. Considering his painful past his views aren't surprising, and with his mother's abandonment and father's alcoholism, it made for lots of loneliness and doubts of others sticking around for long. He might not want to get close to others, but when it comes to Kinsley he can't imagine his life without her. She's been his everything since they were young...his friend, his cheerleader, his coach, and the one person he could always count on. When a recent job change brings her to his doorstep, after he offers her a place to stay, everything starts changing between them. The comfort they've always found with each other steadily turns more sensual while close quarters ramps up the sexual tension in a burgeoning romance that grew hotter and hotter. When they hit an emotional speed bump though it will take a lot of groveling, and advice from teammates, for Maddox to set things right with Kinsley as he pulled all of us into his loving embrace.
Kinsley's an immensely likable heroine, an eclectic one with a big heart that she wears proudly on her sleeve. She's a vegan who loves animals and truly wants to make the world a better place. Whenever she comes on the scene she becomes the center of attention for her big personality and outgoing nature. Her interactions with Maddox were funny from the start, playful, and showed a strong will in calling him out on his crap. He might not have always agreed with what she had to say but he always wanted her honesty and valued her for who she was and the support she always gave him. Kinsley's the kind of heroine you want to know in real life, the kind of heroine who ingratiates herself through sweet words and deeds. She and Maddox were crackling together and their journey from friends to lovers had me fully on board from the start. The more time they spent together the more carefree he became, the more open he became to the possibilities of love and commitment and it had me rooting for them every step of the way.
From the first page to the last I found this an utterly delightful romance with a very likable main couple whose interactions endeared them to me and put a permanent smile on my face while making me blush a time or two along the way. Maddox and Kinsley were wonderful as friends but even better as lovers. Early on Maddox was a bit rigid in his ways, always a bit on edge because of anger over the past that he's never fully dealt with. Slowly but surely Kinsley helps him deal with the past and I loved how natural their connection felt, how unwavering they were in their support, in a feel good romance full of steam. Alongside this wonderful main couple were glimpses of Maddox's teammates...and what a charming group of tough guys they are! They're strong and sexy with a family vibe whenever one of their own needs help and I enjoyed their talks about love and relationships. On every level this story charmed me! From the wonderful characters to their crackling connection I was wrapped in a romantic haze that has me greatly anticipating what Ms. Quinn has planned next.
My rating for this is an A.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.