Baseball isn’t supposed to be a game of life and death…
The summer that Chase Stern entered my life, I was seventeen. The daughter of a legend, the Yankees were my family, their stadium my home, their dugout my workplace. My focus was on the game. Chase … he started out as a distraction. A distraction with sex appeal poured into every inch of his six foot frame. A distraction who played like a god and partied like a devil.
I tried to stay away. I couldn’t.
Then, the team started losing.
Women started dying.
And everything in my world broke apart.
Ms. Torre has artfully blended together a murder mystery with a sports romance in her latest book, Moonshot. I’m a baseball fan, and I really enjoyed the baseball-isms, lore and history incorporated into the story.
Baseball and the Yankees team are so intrinsic to the story, that both are virtually characters. Tyler Rollins, daughter of baseball great and Yankees’ closer, Frank Rollins, grows up in Yankee stadium after her mother’s passing. She is homeschooled on the road, and eventually hired as a batgirl for the team. She lives for that team, but 17-year-old Tyler crushes on a shortstop on another team—Chase Stern.
“Everything was the same, yet everything was different, the change palpable in the air. Chase Stern’s arrival at the Yankees hit like an atomic bomb—so loud it was silent, the cloud of effect rippling out from her person in a giant wave that touched all of us.” –Tyler
Chase Stern is a baseball bad boy. His bat is hot, and not a ball gets past him on the field, but his tortured past has him behaving badly off the field. Promiscuity, drugs and alcohol are distractions he needs too often but must give up when traded to the Yankees. Despite his reputation, Chase Stern is actually a likable guy with some decent qualities. In fact, Chase and Ty are great together. Even their chaste friendship has sparkling chemistry.
I loved the creative story structure; there is a natural flow to it. The story begins when Ty is four, and each jump to the future comes at a natural break in the story. Moonshot is told over a baseball season, which begins in April and tension mounts along with the race to the World Series. Midway through the season (June), there is a jump to the future, however, the storyline resumes from the same month just four years in the future. Moonshot is told from a couple points of view, and the narration changes from first person to third person with the POV changes. All of these structure aspects make for an interesting and complex story.
Chase is careful with Tyler; not only does his career depend on it, but he has found a girl worthy of his care. He has found his own baseball goddess. He has found his soul mate. The problems and separation they face are maddening and unfair, but life can be like that. Sometimes stormy and passionate, sometimes sweet and soulful, their relationship is something to hope for, to mourn, and to hope for again.
Moonshot is steadily paced. Although the tension does build, I didn’t find it compelling or nerve wrecking like some thrillers. In each time segment, you know that something or someone is going to throw a wrench into it, you just don’t know who or why. All my guesses were wrong, and I was completely surprised by the twist at the end. While the murder mystery aspect was interesting, it is Ty and Chase’s love story that kept me reading.
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Alessandra Torre is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels. Her books focus on romance and suspense, all with a strong undercurrent of sexuality. Torre has been featured in such publications as Elle and Elle UK, co-hosted Dirty Sexy Funny with Jenny McCarthy, as well as guest blogged for the Huffington Post and RT Book Reviews. She is also the Bedroom Blogger for Cosmopolitan.com.
You can learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or Facebook.
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