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Bench Player

(Charleston Thrashers #2)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  196 ratings  ·  84 reviews

As Public Relations Manager for the Charleston Thrashers, I’m responsible for protecting the team’s reputation. But after our right fielder gets sent to prison and we lose the World Series, my own reputation takes a huge hit. There’s only one way I can save my job: by revamping Connor Whitman’s tarnished ex-con image. Keeping my eye on the ball isn’t a problem until
ebook, 300 pages
Published March 30th 2020 by Julianna Keyes
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  196 ratings  ·  84 reviews

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Sam (AMNReader)
I could not wait for the follow up to Team Player, and it definitely felt like it came out of nowhere. I jumped on this ARC, which I do for about 2 authors. Since I read Team Player, Gwen and Ty loomed very large in my head, and I was so desperately excited to learn this would indeed be Connor's and Allison's book.

It opens with Connor's release from prison, essentially, his loss of time and opportunity, and his determination (and fear) that he will not be able to recapture his place on the team
Christine (Shh Moms Reading)
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 STARS!
I love Julianna Keyes and couldn't wait to get my hands on this book.
When the former left fielder went to jail for insider trading is released from prison, it's publicist Allison's job to reform his image and get him back in the game. With all of the things around them not going in their favor, namely Connor is a pain in the butt, the general manager doesn't want to sign him back on the team, AND Allison is fighting to keep her job in the process, we don't know if she will be able to s
beachbum bookworm
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is Connor and Allison. Connor is a disgraced pro-baseball player trying to get back to the game after a two-year prison stint for insider trading. Allison is the Charleston Thrashers PR guru...the team Connor was part of when his arrest took place, and is blamed for costing them the world series. Allison is being told she is being fired by the new general manager who seems to want to shake up everything, but the players on the field. She makes a deal with the manager if she can change Conno ...more

This was a typical Julianna Keyes. And I mean that in the best of ways.
Not your formulaic, escapist lovey-dovey slop (don't get me wrong, I love me some lovey-dovey slop from time to time), but a realistic, genuine take on how relationship dyamics actually work, even though it was set in the out-of-reach world of professional Baseball.

I really enjoyed this.

ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved the first book in Ms. Keyes newest series, and I wasn't sure how she could redeem a jailed/surly/seemed kind of dick secondary character, so I was a teensy eensy bit worried about book two. But I had faith. Also, Allison was super badass and I loved her, so...

Anyway, my faith was amply rewarded with this absolute sexy and smart charmer of a book. I think I liked it better than Team Player? Don't hold me to that; I'm re-reading it right now. First off, I don't know who that cover model is
Pelusa Rivera
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in this series and just as good as the first. So again I encourage you to read it you will get a better understanding of this cast of characters. So we met Allison in the first book, she was the head honcho in PR, known as a tough woman and I am saying that nicely, I liked Allison because she stood by Gwen and even championed her so she won my loyalty after that. We also knew a little about Connor in last book since he was Ty's best friend, the one in jail. So Connor gets ...more
This was very sexy and I loved the relationship building. I have even less idea about the baseball in this one because it seems sort of outlandish and plausible at the same time. Would most definitely recommend.
Kate R
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Bench Player is the second book in the Charleston Thrashers series. We did meet Allison in book one and heard about Connor in book one. But, I was a little nervous coming into this book because both characters had not come off particularly well in the first book. I am happy to say that I had absolutely nothing to be worried about. Both were tough characters, but had their reasons for it, and knew the right times to be vulnerable.

Allison is a really strong character. She’s known as the “ice quee
The new General Manager of the Charleston Thrashers is a total ass. He's more concerned about focus groups and the bottom line than baseball. He tries to sack Allison Whyte, the head of PR, after a bad season (because obviously it's the PR that's to blame) and in a desperate attempt to save her job Allison volunteers to rehab the public image of former baseball legend Connor Whitman who has just been released from prison after serving two years for insider trading. She just won't tell Connor tha ...more
Sunny (Kindles & Wine Book Blog)
After loving Team Player (book 1 in the Charleston Thrashers series), I was super excited to get a chance to read Bench Player. Connor was so mysterious and Allison was so unlikeable, so I was curious to see how Julianna Keyes would pull off their romance. She didn't disappoint!

Connor's character worked for me. He was remorseful for the naïve mistake that put him jail for two years. He understood his baseball career wasn't going to be handed back to him on a silver platter. The perspective he ga
4 1/2 stars

I have to say I really enjoyed Bench Player. I think I was impressed that the author didn't just redeem one character but two. I felt like Connor and Allison were both misunderstood characters in Team Player. Connor is in prison for insider trading and refuses to see his best friend, Ty, every time he comes to see him there (which is frequently). That pretty much made me think he was a selfish piece of work. Allison puts forth an image to everyone in the Thrashers organization that sh
Ash P Reads
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Allison and Connor are two people that you would never think would get together. They're one of the most unexpected couples but I'm definitely shipping them. Connor uses every technique in the book to be the one to swim against the tide. And Allison is determined to get this bad boy to conform to the accepted norms of society. Building his image up is the only way that she can save her job and give him the opportunity to be a part of the game once again. Getting him to participate and socially i ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a good read. Connor just spent 2 years in prison. Now that he's out he plans on getting back into baseball. Allison shows up to help him. They of course fall in love and get their happy ending. ...more
Maggie Whitworth
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Connor and Alison have been a dream to get to know.

The grumpy Ex-con and former Thrashers Star, and the high strung lady who fights the fires that the players start with their antics.

It’s been a journey and a half.
Highs , lows, laughs , tears , fights and makeup’s, but through it all these two have had that chemistry that lights up pages and encourages you to continue reading more.
Addictive stuff, I’m looking forward to reading more.

I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to p
Well, I expected to love this because I loved Team Player, but I didn’t expect to cry my eyes out.

This was a surprisingly appropriate book to read during these quarantined times. Connor’s been in jail for the past two years (kind of the ultimate quarantine, tbh) and watching him recalibrate not just to “regular” life, but a brand new “regular” life with a different set of priorities felt like reading about all of us months (or, god, years?!) from now. Massive life-changing events have a way of
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, sports-romance
This is the romance for readers who miss baseball, love a strong heroine, want a gruff but gooey-centered hero, and need all the feels. A tall order, but Julianna Keyes delivered a homerun with Connor's return to professional baseball after two years in prison for insider trading.

I was so excited to get Connor's story after meeting him briefly in Team Player and was not disappointed by his uphill battle for forgiveness and redemption. Thrashers fans haven't forgiven him for getting arrested righ
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bench Player follows the emotional journey of Connor and Allison. We met Connor in the first book in this series as the disgraced baseball player in jail for insider trading. Allison is the ice queen PR rep that scares everyone into submission.
The author does an amazing job of sending both main characters on a journey of self-discovery. Connor is fresh out of jail and trying to acclimatize to 'real" life while working to realize his dream of playing baseball again. Allison is dealing with her a
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
One of my edits, featuring a grumpy, disgraced MLB hero and the team's ball-busting PR manager heroine, out now! (This can easily be read as a standalone story.)
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow
First string for me!

I finished Bench Player by Julianna Keyes right before work, pulling out the dry shampoo and skipping breakfast … but couldn’t get the book and characters out of my mind.

I was dubious that this story would work. … and can I say that I couldn’t be happier to tell you that I was dead wrong! This book was a home run for me all the way. I’m a big character reader and this book met my high expectations. … and also ticked the storyline and writing boxes as well.

Bench Player has a s
Lenore Kosinski
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

4.5 stars — Well, this book was a lot more emotionally impactful than I was expecting. Not that I don’t expect any emotion, but I also don’t expect to have a bawling episode. But I’m also tired.

When I started reading the book, I wasn’t sure what to think about Connor. He’s this reticent, reserved character that just got out of a life-changing stint in prison. It
Apr 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sequels aren't necessarily my thing, and neither is sports; but that being said, I found myself really enjoying this book! As with the preceding Charleston Thrashers story, this one also focuses almost exclusively on relationships among the characters, although in a somewhat different way than I had anticipated.

We first met Connor at the end of Team Player when he finally deigns to meet with his best friend Ty who is having girl troubles. Prior to that, he'd kept himself completely shut off fro
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good sports romance. This was my first Julianna Keyes book, so I obviously hadn't read the first book in the series before this one. However, I don't think you'll lose too much of the story if you don't read the first book. The reason why I couldn't give the book 4 stars is because part of the first half really seemed to drag and I found myself not hurrying back to finish reading it. The book does pick up and I thoroughly enjoyed the last 40%.

Allison is the PR/Social Media Man
Jeeves Reads Romance
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first book in this series was seriously good, so reading this was a no-brainer for me. It's light and sexy with a lot less angst than you'd expect from such a heavy storyline - baseball player recently released from prison and taking a good look at his life - with a relationship that feels real. I really enjoyed the first half, as these two opposites get to know each other in a new way. Personally, I felt like the second half was a little lackluster, the chemistry dulling and the amount of s ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Bench Player
By: Julianna Keyes
3 Stars ⭐️
Blurb: As Public Relations Manager for the Charleston Thrashers, I’m responsible for protecting the team’s reputation. But after our right fielder gets sent to prison and we lose the World Series, my own reputation takes a huge hit. There’s only one way I can save my job: by revamping Connor Whitman’s tarnished ex-con image. Keeping my eye on the ball isn’t a problem until I discover what’s underneath his unkempt exterior a man who’s unexpectedly vulnerabl
Stephanie Panach
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes a book comes along and totally knocks you out, when you least expected it. That was Bench Player for me. I adored it. Connor is someone who had it all - but then messed it all up in spectacular fashion. He went to jail for 2 years for his white-collar crime. In going to jail, his team went from world-series contenders to a losing season. He's now been released from jail and has five objectives: train, train, train, train, make the team. The only problem is that the team owner has absol ...more
Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)
Original review: A Novel Glimpse

Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

4.5 Stars
After reading Team Player, I was excited to hear there was going to be a second book in the Charleston Thrashers series. Bench Player was a great sports romance read. It had an almost enemies vibe going on at first, which then turned into a sort of forbidden lovers thing. Both of those tropes were done well and made the romance all the more fun.

I loved Allison. She was tough as nails, but also had
patrick Lorelli
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance-sports
This is the second book in the series and though I did not read the first one you really do not have to. The story mostly about Connor who is a star outfielder and had everything going good until he is arrested during the teams run in the World Series when they were up three games to one. After his arrest, the team lost the next three games and for the next two years while he has been in prison it has been so good for the team of him.
Now released and wanting to play again his idea is to get bac
After reading Team Player, I didn't see how Julianna Keyes could top it but I shouldn't have doubted her. Bench Player is a fundamentally different type of romance with a very different feel yet I loved it even more. The only thing the two books have in common is that they are both love letters to baseball and to the players who step out on that field every season and give their all. The first book was fun and flirty, this book is reflective and serious. There is some occasional banter, but both ...more
Kelly-Jo Sweeney
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
I should start by saying that what I know about baseball would fit on the back of a stamp and still leave room for a margin. It seems to be a bit like rounders but played seriously by adults and it's not cricket. That's all I know. That didn't stop my enjoyment of Bench Player though. This is actually a story about two people sorting out what is important in life and rethinking their priorities.
I liked both Connor and Allison. They were both characters who have to prove who they really are, as o
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Julianna Keyes is a Canadian writer who has lived on both coasts and several places in between. She's been skydiving, bungee jumping and white water rafting, but nothing thrills - or terrifies - her as much as the blank page. She loves Chinese food, foreign languages, baseball and television, not necessarily in that order, and will go to her grave swearing that 'ain't' is not a word. She has volun ...more

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Charleston Thrashers (2 books)
  • Team Player (Charleston Thrashers, #1)

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