Posted:  April 8, 2014

Better Than Perfect by Kristina Mathews  The woman he left behind and the son he never knew are tougher opponents than any he’s met on the field. Pitcher Johnny “The Monk” Scottsdale has won awards, been named an All-star and has a perfect game to his credit. Known for his legendary control both on and off the field, his pristine public image makes him the ideal person to work with youth players in a preseason minicamp. Except the camp is run by the one woman he can’t forget…the woman who made him a “monk.” Alice Harrison’s three strikes include an unexpected pregnancy, a marriage of convenience and young widowhood. She once traded her dreams so Johnny could have a chance at making it to the Majors. Johnny comes back into her life just as she’s ready to resign as foundation director and pursue her own dreams of finally earning her teaching credential. Her plans may go on hold, though, depending on the reaction when she confesses she may have kept a major league secret from Johnny and her son. With the minutes ticking by until Johnny will leave for spring training, they’ll need to let go of the past and work together in order to win the game of love. CONTENT WARNING: Some strong language, consummated love scenes
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance

     Johnny Scottsdale lived, eats and breathed baseball.  Alice Harrison and he were madly in love in the day she would have followed him anywhere and done anything to help further his career.  She herself was working on getting her teaching degree.  Johnny’s roommate and good friend was Mel Harrison.  He was their third wheel doing just about everything with them he was the one with the money most of time if not all of the time.  You see Johnny was dirt poor coming from a prostitute mom and Alice had a working class parents who barely made ends meet.  They didn’t even like her since they had to get married because of her.
     As Johnny became more and more entrenched in the sport she began to see how popular he was coming with more and more females.  He never seemed to notice them even he didn’t even look at them.  But her feelings of jealousy were making her see green, she just didn’t like that feeling.  So, after a night of passionate love making she broke it off with Johnny giving him his unwanted freedom.  Saying that she wanted him to be able to devote all his time to his new job and that he couldn’t do that with her around. 
     She really didn’t want it either but couldn’t take all the women wanting him.  In the back ground Mel was feeding into her insecurities.  She was broken up.  Who was there to console her but the third wheel and the man who would become her husband and the father to the child she was now carrying from that last night of passion.  Mel even went as far as sending Johnny an invitation to the wedding.  You see Mel was the first one to see Alice but was too shy to go up to her and talk to her so asked Johnny to and she fell in love with him. 
     Now though Johnny has been traded to the Goliath’s baseball team back home.  Fan Day he sees Alice and her son.  Which was a shock in itself but he also finds out Mel passed away 9 years ago, which totally surprises him.  Here he has held so much anger towards his old friend for all these years only to find out it was misplaced and for not.  He missed Alice more than he realized. 
     Alice hadn’t realized how unsettled it would make her seeing Johnny at Fan Day in person would be.  She knew what she had to do back then but now not as sure since she sees how unsettled Zach is too.  Now he is taking over as the pitcher to help at the day camp for the children.  Now the three of them will be thrown together.  Set emotions on edge putting her teaching career on hold, the Harrisons, and her.
     How do you tell the man you once loved more than life that the decision you made at 20 years old could have altered all of their lives forever.  Effecting them beyond her good intensions.  That’s when she walked away from him it was with a pure heart for him to have his dream of full baseball career with a World Series.  And the night his career changed forever Mel and her went out drinking got too drunk to drive they got a room, one thing led to another and she woke up with no clothes on, in the same month she and Johnny had sex.  So, when she found out she was pregnant Mel said he wanted to marry her.  She jumped on it even with them both always questioning if it could be Johnny’s child.  Something was always lacking in their marriage, but he was a wonderful father, the thing was once he got me as his prize he put me on a shelf and walked away.
     The day he died, in his car accident they had argued over Mel wanting to have another child and Alice not wanting one.  She wanted to finish getting her teaching credentials to become a teacher.  Mel got angry and left, never coming home again.  Telling her he had a feeling his best friend still had her heart.
     Totally enjoyed this book.  It was a story that was really believable in a lot of ways.  The emotions were there for all the characters involved.  Its how most couples would feel during and after a break up, especially with a betrayal by his friend?  At first, it seems this Mel guy was this sainted guy friend but it turns out he was a sleaze ball and Alice liked his parents and security much more than him.  What’s funny is I think his mom knew it and understood it.  Which made me feel sad for her, for the father I think he found out how bad his son turned out after it was too late and he was gone.  With Zach he was making amends.   Very good emotional but good story you knew you would have a HEA or at least you hoped but the route was still interesting.  Provided by  Follow us at:
5 stars

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