The Perfect Catch by Maggie Dallen

The Perfect Catch Cover

Review of audiobook version of delightful, G-rated, YA, sports romance

The Perfect Catch (Kissing the Enemy #1) by Maggie Dallen

Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: August 30, 2018
Pages: 182 pages
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

Callie Cooper and Noah Mason grew up together as next-door neighbors in the fictional small town of Fairfield in Upstate New York. Noah was Callie’s older brother Eric’s best friend from kindergarten through high school, though after graduation they have been attending different universities, with Noah staying local at Fairfield University, and Eric attending a university in San Francisco. Currently Callie is 17, a few months away from turning 18, and a rising senior in high school. Though Noah is only 18 months older than her, he is a rising sophomore in college.

Callie and Noah have been friends all their lives. The main thing they had in common for most of those years was that both of them are talented pitchers, her with softball and him with baseball, until some months ago, when Noah sustained an injury to his pitching arm that ended any chance of a future professional career. Ever since that time, Noah has been cold and distant with Callie, and she is convinced that it is because he is mourning his lost career, and it pains him to be around her, because Callie remains a star pitcher with years of play ahead of her.

Callie is scheduled to participate in a weeklong, summer, softball clinic at Fairfield University, where she will be staying on campus at the dorms. She is certain she will run into Noah frequently this week, because his mother has informed her that he is doing an internship at the sports health center on campus, where her softball clinic will be held. She is greatly hoping that he will have healed enough emotionally from his crushing loss such that he no longer feels the need to withdraw from her.

As she had hoped, Callie spots Noah immediately her first day on campus but, rather than welcoming her with the warmth of a lifelong friend, he acts as if she is an impertinent stranger when she bounces toward him and greets him with an enthusiastic hug. Callie is shocked and hurt. Why is he still treating her so coldly? And what will it take to get their friendship back to normal?

This is a fun, YA romance which offers several, ever-popular themes from that genre: “friends to lovers,” “forbidden romance with big brother’s best friend,” and a “girl power” sports romance with a heroine who is a talented athlete. Callie and Noah are admirable, sympathetic protagonists, and even though this book is G-rated, there is plenty of chemistry between this attractive pair.

This is the first book in a trilogy, and in it we meet, as important subcharacters, Levi and Kate and Ox and Maddie, who are the romantic pairings of the next two books in the series.

I have read this book in Kindle format, and this week I had the chance to revisit it as an audiobook. It is narrated by Liz Krane, a talented voice artist. She does an excellent job with both male and female characters, of all ages and backgrounds.

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 4

Hero: 4

Subcharacters: 4

Romance Plot: 4

Sports Plot: 4

Audiobook Narration: 4

Writing: 4

Overall: 4

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