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Publisher's Summary

This hot-headed rookie needs discipline - on and off the field.  

As a teenager crushing on Jake Fitzgerald, his big brother's teammate, pitcher Nico Agresta decided he can never act on his desire for men. Nico is desperate to live up to his Italian American family's baseball legacy, and if he can win Rookie of the Year in the big leagues like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he's worthy.  

At 34, veteran catcher Jake just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn't have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress anyway? Jake lost his passion for the game - and life - after driving away the man he loved. He swore he'll never risk his heart again.  

Then he's traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. Tightly wound Nico's having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection and needs a firm hand. Jake fights to teach him patience and restraint on the mound - but when the push and pull explodes into the bedroom, can they control their hearts?  

Contains mature themes.

©2016 Keira Andrews (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Reading the Signs

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent sports romance

I have a confession: I enjoy Greg Boudreaux/Tremblay as a narrator but I don't think I've ever genuinely enjoyed one of his audiobooks. Something about the quality of the books he narrates really doesn't do it for me. I have a similar problem with Keira Andrews; I typically like her work but I'm not crazy about her narrators. Finally the two have combined, and the result is a sports romance which is sweet and entertaining, if a bit formulaic. And yes, I'm aware that "Beyond the Sea," another collaboration between them that was released recently, but I don't enjoy gay romances starring straight men, so I'm gonna give that one a pass. Luckily this was originally released in 2016, before M/M romance authors apparently decided that gay men aren't sexy enough to be the protagonists in their own genre.

Ok, down off my soapbox I come. The book focuses of the characters of Jake, a closeted gay baseball player at the end of his career, and Nico, a closeted gay baseball player at the beginning of his. They knew each other as children, and Nico had a crush on the much older Jake, a friend of his brother's. Nico's brother and father are also well-known baseball players and Nico feels as though he has a lot to live up to. As a result of his homophobic father and the pressure he feels, Nico is far more closeted than Jake, who at least can admit his sexuality to himself. There's a bit of a light BDSM subtext to their relationship, which I have to admit I was sort of dreading because it's not my thing, but it's done well and it's actually pretty hot, and this is from someone who typically finds audiobook sex scenes really awkward. So, extra points to Andrews for accomplishing that feat.

I liked the baseball stuff a lot, including the interaction with their teammates (actually I could have used more of this). I also really enjoyed Nico's family drama, dealing with a somewhat bigoted father and grandmother. There's a way to put homophobic characters in a book and there's a way NOT to do it, and this book does it well. It never turns them into cartoonish villains the way other LGBT books do. I liked Nico and Jake's developing feelings toward each other.

A few things didn't work out as well for me. Nico has issues surrounding his deceased mother, and I feel like that subplot could have been scrapped altogether, because it had the tendency to dissolve into melodrama. Another subplot involved an ex-teammate and ex-friend of Jake who he had feelings for, which was well done insofar as it was mentioned, but I feel like it could have been developed more than it was. It appeared in the book so sparingly that every time it did, I thought to myself "Oh yes, that's a thing that's happening, too." And the circumstances that first ignite Nico and Jake's relationship are so out of left field (ha!) and out of character for Jake that it's almost immersion-breaking.

Altogether though, I was happy with the book, and I'd gladly listen to it again. Greg Boudreaux's natural voice sounds just a smidge too proper for me, but since the book is in third person and Boudreaux's character voices are always on point (especially his female voices), it's a definite five star narration from me.

12 people found this helpful

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DEEPLY ENJOYABLE!

Jake and Nico's story was so enjoyable. The narrations was all so good. Now, my opinion, Their story placed a realistic light on how people are treated just because of who they choose to love. And Nico's father was riding the homophobic wave in spades. With that being said, I'm glad he got over some of those prejudice, because, unlike others, he did not turn his back on his son, once Nico came out of the closet. Jake was such a good match for Nico. I loved these two together. I totally enjoyed their story. And I so recommend. ENJOY!

2 people found this helpful

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I loved this so much

This is my 2nd book by this author and just like the first one I loved this book so much. I very rarely read/listen to baseball books but I do love Greg's voice and this was recommended to me by a good friend. This one had it all it was the perfect amount of angst, humor, and sexy times. I will definitely be listening to this one again.

1 person found this helpful

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loved it

amazing story and characters 👏. I was so captivated by this audio book I definitely recommend everyone that stumbles across it should listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it!

This story is hot and sweet and going onto my all time favorites list. If you love dirty talk you will not be disappointed. Greg Boudreaux nails the narration as always.

1 person found this helpful

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better than expected.

So nice to read a M/M sports romance that actually had sports playing a prominent role rather than just a brief mention.
The story had a great group of secondary characters who helpmove the action and keep the story interesting.
The sex enjoyed by the main characters is not s turn on for me , but not featured often enough to disturb.

1 person found this helpful

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A feel good low angsty gay sports romance

I always enjoyed books by Keira Andrew but this one has to be one of my favorite. It hits some of my favorite tropes like childhood crush, hurt/comfort and age gap. Greg did a fantastic job narrating this one. The confusion and angst from
Nico is so heartfelt. Greg has one of my favorite female voices and this book is highly enjoyable. The D/s play is light but sexy AF. Definitely one of my favorite of the genre.

1 person found this helpful

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baseball romance

What a sweet story. love sports romances and this one is so worth the listen. Greg Boudreaux does an outstanding job with the characters and bringing this romance to life. hopefully, there are more to come. if you like coming out light BDSM with a HEA, this is the book to purchase. Well worth the credit and your time to listen...

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Enjoyable Sports Romance

Even though I first read this book a few years ago I loved listening to it. Audiobooks have a way of rejuvenating a story and showing me a totally different side to it. Keira Andrews is one of my favorite authors and I love her style of writing. She writes characters with real flaws that are in situations that are so important and also so relatable. This story tackles the world of professional sports, baseball to be exact. I love baseball and I don’t find many good baseball stories. I am happy I listened to this because it reminded me of how much I enjoyed so much about this slight age gap, rookie and veteran story with light D/s elements.

I have listened to a little bit of Greg Boudreaux but I cannot remember if I have ever listened to a full book read by him. He has a very easy voice that melted my earbuds. It was very relaxing. I appreciate how he gave the characters different voices and he did especially well with the female voices. Val is one of my favorite characters in this book and I don’t think she stood out while I originally read it. Greg’s voice made her a stand out character for me. I will definitely look for more books narrated by him.

The story had a good flow. If I have to give any criticism it would be that it was a bit of insta-love and while Nico and Jake had very hot sex I don’t think we got to read much about them really getting to know each other outside the bedroom. Nico obviously was almost in love with Jake since he first knew him years before but Jake sort of fell in love very fast. I would have liked to have seen them outside the bedroom and off the field more.

I liked how Nico had to handle coming out to his family, especially his father who made homophobic remarks for years. Nico had a lot of issues stemming from his childhood and the loss of his mother. That made me tear up and my heart break for him. I thought this entire situation was handled well.

Being that Nico was only 22 I wasn’t too annoyed with his immaturity, during baseball and when he got jealous over Jake talking to a former lover. That situation seemed like it was thrown in to cause some angst and it was almost unnecessary but I do remember being 22 and this being Nico’s first relationship with a man made the entire part of the story believable. That could’ve gone overboard but luckily it doesn’t get the chance.

Is this Keira Andrews best work? It’s really good but I think she’s written better. Was this hot and worth reading and listening to? Absolutely. I’d even listen to it again.

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Great Sports Romance

Refreshingly, the author knows baseball. The combination of that fact with a great story and a phenomenal performance by the narrator makes this one of my favorite listens.

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Profile Image for Hannah
  • Hannah
  • 01-02-21

Way more than 5 Stars.

I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. It deserves 50.

This was simply stunning.

It was more than a book about baseball.
It was more than a book about BDSM.
It was more than a book about complicated family dynamics.
It was more than a book about fear.
It was more than a book about LGBT politics in professional athletes.
It was more than a book about acceptance.

It was just...more.

Rarely have I read a book that so perfectly melded character dynamics (both romantic and platonic) with the subject matter of the book.

It was about baseball and it was about ALL of it. I loved that you had games written out so much you could almost smell the popcorn. I loved that you could feel all of the emotions from everyone at all times.

I listened to the full 8 hours and 29 minutes in one go. I just could not stop.

This will be relisten after relisten.

If you love baseball and you the depiction of a real relationship, warts and all, you will LOVE this book.

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  • Mel68 🐣
  • 08-11-20

Very moving.

Loved it. Dealt with the serious subject of self acceptance and reconciling the past.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Book addict
  • 07-20-20

Lacklustre

This book was a bit of a drag. It was bogged down with baseball technicalities, and then the actual interactions and plot were uninspiring. Many of Keira Andrews’ other books are far better.