Received from InkSlingerPR

Title: The Player
Series: The Player #1
Author: K Bromberg
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 17 April 2017
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Easton Wylder is baseball royalty. The game is his life. His passion. His everything.

So, when an injury threatens to end Easton’s season early, the team calls in the renowned physical therapist, Doc Dalton, to oversee his recovery. Except it’s not Doc who greets Easton for his first session, but rather his daughter, Scout. She may be feisty, athletic, defiant, and gorgeous, but Easton is left questioning whether she has what it takes to help him.

Scout Dalton’s out to prove a female can handle the pressure of running the physical therapy regimen of an MLB club. And that proof comes in the form of getting phenom Easton Wylder back on the field. But getting him healthy means being hands-on.

And with a man as irresistible as Easton, being hands-on can only lead to one thing, trouble. Because the more she touches him, the more she wants him, and she can’t want him. Not when it’s her job to side in the club’s best interest if he’s ready to play.

But when sparks fly and fine lines are crossed, can they withstand the heat or is one of them bound to get burned?

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With the title The Player you would be forgiven for thinking this refers to Easton’s reputation, however, in this instance, it couldn’t be further from the truth. By using the term The Player is one of the ways Scout reinforces the emotional distance she maintains in order to treat the athletes she is working with. By keeping her dealing unemotional and impartial she is convinced she is maintaining her professionalism as well as keeping the best interests of the team at heart.

Easton is baseball royalty; living in the shadow of his legendary father. To the outside observer, Easton has led a charmed life, unfortunately, looks can be deceiving. His father has placed an extreme amount of pressure on Easton all his life, his childhood mostly sacrificed to baseball. His father’s domineering ways have created a void in Easton’s life whereby he feels as if he can never live up to the expectations placed on him. A foul tackle by an opposing team member (Santiago) creates a bad shoulder injury which is taking longer to heal than anticipated. With a contract to rehabilitate within a certain time period, Easton is under pressure to return to the game that is his life. There is an undercurrent of secrecy and foreboding surrounding the timeframe and the player  (Santiago) that caused the injury adding to the tension within the narrative.

Scout is the physical therapist hired to rehabilitate Easton’s shoulder. There is a lot riding on her ability to get him game fit, not only is his contract dependent on this happening within the set time frame but also Scout’s families reputation and career-changing contract within the team.

Both Easton and Scout carry the scars of their childhood inflicted by their parents, although predominately their mothers. Abandonment issues on both sides, whether emotional or physical abandonment has defined their identities.  While they both maintain distance from the people around them through their own fears, there is no denying the chemistry between Scout and Easton. Both craving the stability and love they missed out on growing up; a special person to share their lives with, someone who understand and supports them unconditionally. Easton and Scout, quite simply click on all levels, if there was ever a perfect person for each other it is Easton and Scout.

Although circumstances are less than ideal for their relationship to blossom, if it were to become public it would destroy Scout’s career and her family’s reputation while calling into question Easton’s  recovery. As well as ongoing family issues on both sides creating additional pressure in their lives and relationship. More than that, the problems with Santiago appear to be escalating, calling into question the motive behind his continued attacks on Easton. There are some major hints as to the origin of Santiago’s grudge against Easton within the narrative, but, dammit, we have to wait for The Catch. to find out if the suspicions will be confirmed.

I loved Easton and Scout together, they really are the perfect fit, I am just hoping and praying they are strong enough together and individually to survive the trials that have been placed before them. What would their ship name do you think – Scouton or Eastout? Because I would have a t-shirt with that team name on 😉

Be warned The Player ends on a MAJOR cliffhanger that will make your heart jump into your mouth, tears fill your eyes and the words WHY being screamed across the room. I cannot wait for The Catch to find out what happens next!!!!