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Hardball (Philadelphia Patriots #2)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  3,180 Ratings  ·  142 Reviews
Book Two in the USA Today Bestselling Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances

After years of hard work and keeping her nose firmly to the grindstone, Dr. Holly Bell has finally achieved her dream: a position as a pediatric surgeon at a prestigious teaching hospital. Children's lives rest in her skilled hands. That means total dedication to her work and her patients
Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published June 14th 2011
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Rating details
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Sep 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick easy read. The story is about the meeting and forming of a relationship between baseball player Nate Carter and Dr. Holly Bell. It was basically a good story but somtimes Holly's description of Nate was bit redundate. She was overwhelmed with how handsome he was and how great his body was to look at-it just was repetitive when the author used the same descriptive words. The author did a good job of giving the h/h a real life relationship struggle. There is even a little suspense ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sports-romance
2.5 stars.

I'm a bit disappointed. Hardball is definitely not as good as Hot Number. FULL REVIEW TO COME...
Jamie Kline
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-for-review
Review: I confess, I don't usually read just straight romance books; I prefer paranormal romance or romantic suspense. This book sounded like such a fun read I couldn't turn it down. Plus, it actually does end up having some suspense elements to it that I wasn't expecting! Also, did you SEE that book cover?! The only word that comes to mind is H-O-T!

1) Character Development: I was able to relate and connect with both of the main characters, Holly and Nate, but perhaps not as much as I would have
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Dr. Holly Bell has worked hard all her life and is a very experienced Pediatric Cardiatic Surgeon in Philly. Unfortunately she is not as experienced in relationships of the heart and intimicy.So when she meets Nate Carter, yummy, georgeous, masculine, star picture of the Philadephia Patriots, she is thrown for a loop. Holly is one who likes organization, and has a map planned out for her career. Nate has a chance of playing in the big league and likes ALL the fun that comes with being a supersta ...more
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was up until 4:45 am reading this amazing book between Doctor Holly Bell and Pat's Pitcher Nate Carter. You get a taste of him in Fastball and you can see how loyal he is. Nate is sweet and caring and can be stubborn. Holly Bell is a fantastic doctor and loves what she does, and she can be just as stubborn as Nate. I think the sex between Nate and Holly was just a little hotter than Jake and Maddie's. Jake and Maddie do make a few appearances in this book unfortunately it is not reviled in thi ...more
Danni Potter
Apr 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fantastic book.
A great story line, very mature nature and relatable.
Gets the heart racing at certain points, and you really feel for the characters.
I was uncertain in the beginning but I do not regret buy this book.
Certainly recommend.
Margo - this job thing really screws up my ability to read/review
The heroine was such a whiny, needy bitch I couldn't read another page. The hero was supposed to be the cliche sports star who can't keep his dick in his pants, but he was actually fairly likeable. I just couldn't figure out what he was doing with the psycho doctor.
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great story. Heroine's patience pays off.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freebies
Marissa Chavez
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holly and Nate's story was simply amazing!
Sharon M.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Nate Carter met Dr. Holly Bell when he was visiting sick children at the hospital. Nate is the pitcher of the Patriots. He gets what he wants, and he wants Holly. Holly is a surgeon. She is no groupie willing to play games. Nate is going to have to reconsider his game plan if he wants Holly.

Now Holly is being pursued by a killer. Nate is determined to protect her. Nate also needs to figure out if he can be in a monogamous relationship with Holly.

Can Nate save Holly? Can Nate give Holly what she
Dec 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Good continuation. Didn't quite have the same chemistry as book 1, but overall good.

***Detailed Review***

HARDBALL is a quick and fast read that continues on the Philadelphia Patriots series. Featuring star pitcher, Nate Carter and pediatric surgeon, Dr. Holly Bell.

Holly is similar to Maddie from book one in the fact that she loves her career and doesn’t want to risk losing it if love isn’t the end result. As a pediatric surgeon, she’s passionate about staying focus on saving the lives of sick c
Yeah, where do I start??

Let me summarize real quick:
Plot: awesome (exciting, keeps you going, with twists - predictable ones, though)
Characters: meh (I just didn't like Holly...)
Writing style: good (there r a lot of descriptions of the surroundings... that was a bit boring at times)

So, let me start with the writing style.
Maybe I'm getting tired of this genre 'cause the first 17+ scene was just really boring to read for me. I don't know...

And don't get me started on Holly Bells.
I mean, gosh, she
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: athletes
This was a really fun read. I really liked the use of suspense mixed in with sports. I also felt the depiction of Holly and Nate's relationship was pretty realistic. I hate instalove and I hate when the guy is possessive and overbearing, and there was none of that here. Nate was just a guy who really liked a girl and wanted to see where it went. He got understandably freaked when she became more invested than he was ready for and I felt that part of their struggle was portrayed in a very real wa ...more
Amanda (Hootie) Clark
Did you see the cover? Yeah It's hot! This was one of those books that I didn't know what I thought about it until it was done. It was OK, I didn't feel a connection to the characters like I was hoping to. The story was decent, you got the shy, insecure Doctor, Holly Bell who by chance meets a popular baseball player Nate Carter and that sets off a whirlwind romance. They have hot sexual chemistry they can't deny but he isn't ready to settle down and after almost a month of dating Holly wants hi ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Holly Bell is a children’s surgeon and just started her new job in the hospital. She knows she shouldn’t get too involved in the private lives of her little patients, but when this little boy becomes her patient she cannot ignore the warming signs. Holly is also not ready of all the attention this gorgeous pitcher is giving her from the moment they meet.

Nate Carter is a star pitcher and has a highly reputation with the ladies. When he meets the new beautiful new children’s surgeon during his mon
Aug 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
4.5 out of 5. A delightful novel that is great for romance fans, sports fans, and for those who really like a spicy story with some very real edge to it. The doctor has her professional demands, not the least are the concerns of the parents of her pediatric patients. It is not pleasant when a parent just can't seem to cooperate, but when a parent becomes threatening and uses intimidation to prevent treatment for his child, then things heat up and the story is not only a romance with its ups and ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chick-lit, fiction, 2011
Ooo, this book is hot! Nate Carter starts out as seemingly sort of full of himself and that's exactly what Dr. Holly Bell thinks when she first meets him. Quickly she and we readers realize that's not the case. Holly and Nate quickly fall into a relationship even though they come from two very different worlds. This book sucked me right in!

The book is a romance and there is some hotness throughout the book but this book has great characters that really serve to carry the story along. Nate is a p
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An all-star Philly baseball player, Nate Carter, bumps into a sweet doctor with a big heart, Holly Bell when he's making rounds cheering up children at the local hospital. The chemistry is instant and Nate knows he'll need to find a plan to get to know the good doctor better.

Holly was caught off guard when the charming, athletic, breathtaking Nate stumbles into her in one of her patient's rooms. Cautious with her heart and dedicated to her work, dating a celebrity athlete was not part of her pla
There's a whole lotta story in this story, and for that alone I'd say you'll get your money's worth out of this book.

Here's my 2 cents worth:

The author is actually a husband/wife team and they write an excellent sports erotic romance.

Dr. Holly Bell is a no-nonsense pediatric cardiac surgeon. Love interest Nate Carter is one hot, charming and disarmingly sexy baseball player. Even as her brain is saying "no, bad idea", her mouth is saying "yes, Yes, Ok, yes". It's actually funny at times, becau
Christa Simpson
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dr. Holly Bell is a pediatric surgeon who just started her new position at a hospital in Philadelphia. She meets the infamous Nate Carter, a pro ball player (though she's never heard of him), while he's visiting sick children. Immediate sparks and let the romance begin.

There's also some stuff about a crazy ass father of an ill patient, but I'm not gonna go there.

I guess the doc's been less than active sexually, and yet that doesn't stop her from doing Nate on the first date. Apparently she just
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-r-c-g
I got Hardball by V.K. Sykes for free on Amazon.

Hardball is a pleasant contemproary romance with a lot of heat!
Just have a look-see at the cover.

To me the story doesn't really have any surprises in it, but it's very well written and easy to read. There is some suspense in the book and I knew there was going to be a showdown close to the end.

Holly is a strong, successful,some what shy female heroine and I enjoyed her standing up to Nate for what she needed and wanted.
Nate was a really down to e
Jan 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was a good read, good characters and storyline. Dr. Holly Bell comes across as a confident "don't take no shit" kind of gal but when she meets Nate Carter, a pro baseball player she falls head over heels. I though Nate was a bit stuck up his own butt at the beginning and even throughout yet not as much. He always gets the girls and he's the best pitcher ever etc etc. however I did like him.
When he and Holly are going through a 'hard time' I really felt for Holly, some would see she wa
Marissa Culp
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
Nate Carter is a buff (duh) baseball player who visits the children’s wing of the local hospital and meets the new doctor in town. Holly Bell is a workaholic who cares overly much for her patients and doesn’t have time to date. He is from a working class family; she is from a wealthy one. He plays the field, she seldom dates. But the electricity flies and the two become involved. In the ointment are an offer to play for another team across the country, threats coming from a young patient’s fathe ...more
Jul 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Holly is a slightly neurotic surgeon with less-than-stellar social skills. I actually commiserate with her because when it came to dating, I wasn't one to play around either. Before I started dating my husband, we had a long talk about where we saw the relationship going. We didn't want to waste our time. So I get Holly's thing for not wanting to put energy into what amounts to a fling. I think she could have handled it better,, say, letting Nate know that before they started datin ...more
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks-i-own
I love Nate's character in this series...he is the quintessential jock douchebag when you look at him on the outside, but when you step into his mind you see he's not what everyone leads you to believe he is. He's known as a playboy with a long string of girls from different cities....then he meets Dr. Holly Bell and his whole life gets flipped upside down, and he doesn't know how to handle the emotions she brings out in him. When Holly brings up the fact that she is NOT into sharing Nate tries ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Arrogant jerk star baseball player has the hots for gorgeous doctor. Life is grand except for the jerk baseball player's unwillingness to tell sexy doc that he won't see anyone else while they are seeing each other. Jerk baseball player is obviously a classic manwhore who expects sexy doc to understand that superstars, such as he, get to operate under a different set of norms because they are just so darn awesome. Sexy doc is not understanding. Somehow the problem is resolved at the end with ver ...more
Jan 02, 2013 rated it liked it
It was a good book...I would say even a 3.5. It kept me reading, but have to admit there were some areas where I could definitely see where others reviews came from as Holly was quite a bit insecure...not that I cannot understand her fear of dating a professional athlete with a reputation as a women's man....however, she is successful, attractive, and smart so not sure why she was as insecure as she was. His issues with commitment didn't sit well either. He didn't have much of a basis for it oth ...more
Feb 10, 2013 rated it liked it
With the unique perspective of BOTH the male and the female in a new relationship and navigating falling in love the husband and wife writing duo make this a highly credible romance. Dr. Holly Bell is swept off her feet by Nate Carter who is a superstar pitcher for a baseball team and she wonders how she compares with the other women Nate has been with and is she really special to him. As they spend more time together Nate has to decide if Holly is worth exclusivity and the conversations and the ...more
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lend-nook
Boy the crazy people come out again in this book as well. But we are along for a hot steamy ride with Holly and Nate. WOW. Talk about bumps along the way as well. Poor Tyler. I just want to beat the living shit out of his dad as well. GAWD and these people walk the streets every damn day. Another great book by they dyno-duo.
Feb 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-rom
Nate and Holly were a fun couple, but I found myself irritated with Nate. What man in his late twenties/early thirties doesn't GET that a woman *might* want him to not sleep around? VK Sykes did a decent job of explaining his viewpoint (that he wasn't positive he could keep the promise and thus didn't want to make the promise - though you'd think he would have picked up on the fact that he was no longer looking at other women a little quicker), but he just seemed so oblivious and taken back by t ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is definitively not for me. It’s not bad written simply I can’t appreciate the characters and their value. The fact that the male protagonist, Nate, only want Holly for sex without any wish for the simplest commitment went against what I think is right. I’m not speaking about waiting until the marriage etc but the fact that even when he is in a relationship with her he still wants, thinks about bedding other hurt me. In my opinion when you are with someone you renounce to all the other ...more
Karen Cino
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed watching the relationship between Holly and Nate unfold. Another quick read. However, I thought the subplot was a little too long and repetitious, taking away from the romance until the end. I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves sports.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it liked it
Hardball is a pleasant romance with a lot of heat! You can probably guess the amount of heat by the cover. It's too bad I read the ebook and didn't get to look at it in between chapters!

The story doesn't really have any surprises in it, but it's very well written and easy to read. Holly is a strong female protagonist and enjoyed her standing up to Nate for what she needed. The characters are very likeable, and oh so very human. Their strengths are shown as well as their flaws, so the reader can
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I actually really liked this book. The relationship between holly and Nate is simply smoking hot although the conflict between them was a little odd. I really liked the secondary story too, the issue of how many complicated, highly dangerous surgeries any child should have to face pushes a lot of my medical buttons, especially when there is no clear end in sight. Tyler's case was interesting. To me it was a pity that Tyler's father went about his objections in a way that was plain wrong, but tha ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Out of all the free books I've read in the past couple weeks from iBooks, this is one of the better ones. It's a quick read and good brain candy if you're looking for a gushy, steamy, heartwarming love story. This is the second book to this baseball series, so I'm going back to read "fastball" as soon as I can :)It has the recipe for a great story- boy falls for girl, they find a connection, she gets scared that he'll hurt her down the road, tries to leave him, find out they can’t live without t ...more
Becca Mitchell
Sep 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Cute read

This was a good and quick read. It was well written and edited. It was predictable, but I enjoyed it. I will be looking for more from this author.
Jan 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Baseball may be an unlikely setting for a romance, but this book makes it work. I may even become a fan.

I loved the fact that at first Nate wasn't willing to make any commitment or promises, even though he had strong feelings for Holly. Rather than turning his character into an unlikable jerk, it made him appear more real and believable. I congratulate the author(s) on their bravery, since I'm guessing more than one editor had reservations about that particular plot twist.

Rich athlete and craz
Susan Qualls
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very good book.

I really liked this book. The story was great and I liked the characters. I highly recommend this book as a good read. SQ
Mar 16, 2014 rated it liked it
This was an okay read. The characters were decent. Not one i'd pick up again, but it was a free Kindle download so no complaints.
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Suddenly I find myself cheering for another team besides the Yankees. Lol Awesome!
Mar 15, 2013 rated it liked it
There was at least 1 continuity error that I found. There were also grammatical errors. We don't find out what ultimately happens with the kid. Also, even though its a book, her talking to Nate about her patient was a HIPPA violation. Just saying. Also, it seemed to drag on in places and thing were being repeated. Lots of filler. BORING!
It wasn't a completely crappy ready because it did hold some interest, but not enough. I kept finding myself doing other things than finishing the book.
I also h
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. a great sporting romance with plenty of steam.
Jan 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm a little irritated. I thought this would be a nice little read (thanks Amazon freebies!) but just a few chapters in I found myself disliking both main characters. I will say that Nate Carter is SUCH a many chapters am I in now where he's all pissed off that Holly won't stay with him because he refuses to tell her that he won't be sleeping with other women while they're together? And to be clear: he doesn't just not like it...he GENUINELY can't figure out why she doesn't want to ...more
Jun 28, 2014 rated it liked it
An easy read more romance in baseball
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V.K. Sykes is really two people - Vanessa Kelly and Randy Sykes, a husband and wife team who write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romance. The second book in their Philadelphia Patriots Series of sports romances won the Kindle Book Review Best Indie Books of 2012 Contest, in the romance category. Vanessa also writes award-winning, Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra under her o ...more
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