Reading the Signs

Narrated by: Greg Boudreaux
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: LGBT, Romance
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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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

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    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 do 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.

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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.

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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.