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Writer J.T. Green desperately wants to be taken seriously at national weekly Sports Today, both for her and her father (the Coach), but a locker-room mishap lands her a losing assignment covering a dead-end local baseball club, the Gilbeytown, Pa., Beavers. Unbeknownst to her and her editor, famous pitcher Tommy Bainbridge is in town, and he's determined to help the Beavers kick their losing streak. Tommy and J.T. fall for each other, but their careers and trust issues make it impossible for them to commit; soon, however, J.T. uncovers a conspiracy threatening the Beavers that could drag her and Tommy down with it. Bruce (Who Wants to Be a Sex Goddess?) is in good form with this sports romance, keeping the baseball in the forefront without getting technical. Tommy is an almost absurdly good guy-humble, honorable, an old school sportsman-and J.T. is a strong foil-independent, indomitable and sexily vulnerable. Though readers may wonder at some of the loose ends, the novel's smalltown setting, vibrant supporting characters and modest aspirations make this a charming exploration of love and baseball. (Dec.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.