The Perfect Date

The Perfect Date

by Evelyn Lozada, Holly Lorincz

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Overview

When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.

Angel Gomez has never lived by the book. A Bronx-based unwed mother by the time she was sixteen, Angel’s personal mission has always been to show the world that a Puerto Rican girl is not to be messed with—especially by a man. The only thing that matters to Angel, now, is providing for her son and earning enough tips at the club to complete her nursing degree along the way. Love is nowhere on her agenda.

Caleb “The Duke” Lewis is a star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts whose romantic escapades make delicious fodder for gossip columns. But lately he’s been trying to keep a lower profile—so much so that when he meets Angel, first while she’s in her nurse uniform and the next time behind the bar, she has no idea who Duke is, fails to fall for his obvious charm, and ends up throwing a drink in his face! She is the perfect woman for Duke...to fool the tabloids into thinking he’s finally settling down. But what begins as a charade soon has Duke and Angel hurtling into a full-blown romance that rocks each of their worlds and begs the question: Is this the real deal—or are some love stories just too good to be true?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250204882
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/11/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 65,476
Product dimensions: 5.58(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.78(d)

About the Author

EVELYN LOZADA, is a high-profile American-Latina reality television personality, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist. She is best known for her role on VH1’s hit series Basketball Wives (2010-present), OWN’s hit series Livin’ Lozada (2015), author of the first installment of the book series: The Wives Association: Inner Circle (2012) and creator of Healthy Boricua (A Puerto Rican Lifestyle Guide to Healthy Living). Evelyn has become a national trendsetter, a “go to” fitness export, jewelry designer, fashion and beauty maven, social media royalty and a stimulating voice and proactive supporter of causes that effect women and girls through the Evelyn Lozada Foundation. Evelyn is a Bronx native, mother of two (Shaniece Hairston and Carl Leo Crawford) that currently resides in Los Angeles.

Holly Lörincz is a successful collaborative writer and owner of Lorincz Literary Services. She is an award-winning novelist (Smart Mouth, The Everything Girl) and co-author (best-selling Crown Heights, and How to Survive a Day in Prison) living in Oregon.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Angel Gomez hissed under her breath.

Claro. Of course. If she was going to get a paper cut, it would be from the page illustrating the male reproductive system. The twenty-three-year-old sucked at the thin line of blood on the web of her hand, squinting hard at the flayed cojones in her anatomy textbook.

As a nursing student, Angel knew the male anatomy — from the bulb to the external urinary meatus — but her ability to reel off the Latin names of penis parts seemed to scare the living, breathing version away.

Not that I want a man, she reminded herself, her inner voice stern. Focus, girl.

Dark spirals of hair popped free from her ponytail as she bent closer to her textbook. Concentration was elusive. She closed the window next to her with a shriek of metal on metal, shutting out the gray February breeze and the number 4 train running on the elevated tracks down Jerome Avenue. She tilted her head, listened.

What is that?

Breathing. It was gaspy, heavy breathing, coming from the depths of the worn corduroy couch behind her.

Angel twisted in her chair. "Jose," she said, too loudly, knocking pages of lecture notes off her makeshift desk on the radiator.

"Mama, I'm fine," the seven-year-old boy muttered. He turned up the live radio stream coming from the decrepit laptop and avoided her eyes.

"Go get your inhaler. Now."

"Just a minute. The Duke is about to pitch."

Faintly, she could hear Suzyn Waldman, longtime announcer for the Bronx Bolts, adding color to a local charity game. "He's winding up and ... another beauty, right over the plate ... Ohh no, the batter's hit a hard foul right into the dugout." The announcer clucked, but then, "What's this? The Duke seems to want off the mound."

"No!" Jose yelled at the computer, as if it could hear his complaint.

"His ankle may still be giving him problems."

"Jose! What'd I tell you?"

Jose's face shone with perspiration as he stomped past her, wheezing down the hall to his room. That beautiful pouty face, she thought. His bronze complexion, a shade darker than hers, was the perfect blend of her and his father. Jose's dad was long gone, however — the high school quarterback had disappeared when he found out his fifteen-year-old girlfriend was pregnant, but not before slapping her around, yelling, "That ain't my kid." Angel had shoved him into the hallway, slammed the door in his face. She didn't want him. She didn't need him.

Two years after Jose was born, her mother died. Angel was seventeen. She almost buckled from the pressure of the responsibility to care for another, tiny human. She had no safety net. His dark eyes, staring up at her with such adoration ... She'd shoved steel into her spine, stood up straight, and vowed her boy would be safe, happy, and healthy on her watch.

And she was doing it.

In a few more weeks, she'd be done with nursing school and would take her final boards. She survived by putting her head down and pushing through, focused on getting them out of this decrepit apartment building filled with dust and screeching train brakes. She kept the rest of the world's bullshit at arm's length.

"Usted va a la escuela, muestran al mundo que las niñas puertorriqueñas no deben ser," Mama said. You go to college, show the world Puerto Rican girls are not to be messed with.

There was a small inheritance when she died. Angel used the money and grants and side jobs to pay for the student nursing program at Bronx Community College. But with a child, it wasn't easy. Her lab partners would compare notes on grinding sessions and Beyoncé's salty AF concerts while she wrote reminders to pick up diapers and Goldfish crackers. Thank God for Gabriela — her Dominican neighbor had bullied her way into their lives a few years ago, insisting on helping with Jose. "Auntie" Gabriela treated them like family.

Angel stooped and gathered her homework from the apartment floor. She'd been working on it since returning home from morning practicum rounds. The medical training taught her to recognize Jose's triggers and how to deal with the onset of an asthma attack, but, really, she needed a good-paying job. A nursing job.

"Mi chiquito?" she called out. She and Jose had exchanged less than ten words that day, which had included Can you keep it down? I've got to study. As she scrabbled for air beneath an avalanche of schoolwork and practicums and part-time jobs, he got the short end of the stick.

She looked at the clock and the guilt bubbled up in her stomach. How can it be time to go to work already? She hated her nights at the Peacock. Her teeth clenched at the thought of the handsy men in their tailored suits and the entitled women with their eyes focused on the air above her forehead while they ordered their lavender-infused martinis. It took all her willpower not to throw the shade right back in their faces, with force. But the tips at the high-end club were too good. Those bitches and their flowery drinks pay my rent.

There was a knock at the door. Gabriela had come to get Jose and bring him with her downstairs, so he could hang out with her and the other stylists in Gabriela's beauty salon while Angel catered to the rich.

"Come in!" she shouted, and made her way back to Jose's room, picking up socks and a baseball mitt along the way. She pushed open his door, "Baby, how many times do I need to tell you to —"

Her heart lurched.

"Jose!"

CHAPTER 2

The student nurse at the local medical clinic's intake desk scrunched up her pink face as Angel glared at her. She and Angel were both in their early twenties, and in the same classes, but Theresa was routinely mistaken for a high school candy striper fresh from cheerleading practice.

"Angel, you know as well as I —"

"Look here, girl, you've got eyes in your head. Get the doctor. Now!" Angel gestured at the small boy huddled on Gabriela's lap in the waiting room, ashen-faced, with big, scared eyes, laboring to catch his breath.

Jose's face was only slightly more alert than when she'd found him a few minutes before, lying on his bedroom floor, gasping, the skin around his lips blue. His inhaler had been lying next to him. Empty.

I should have known it was empty. This is my fault. The rage, atherself and the world, roared through her like an apocalyptic fire.

From across the crowded room, she and Gabriela exchanged a glance. The older woman gave her a nod, agreeing with the young mother that it was time to release the mama bear.

Angel walked around the desk and loomed over her fellow student nurse, using her slim five-foot-eight frame to intimidate the even smaller girl. "Theresa, I am going back there. I'm not gonna spaz, I promise." Sorry, that's bullshit, she seethed. Turning and jogging down the hall before Theresa could gather her wits, she thought, People don't start moving their asses, shit will burn.

An X-ray tech and a registered nurse were walking toward her. "Hi," the RN said politely, but they didn't stop. Angel wore scrubs from her morning rounds. She blended right in.

She knew the nurse, and these rooms, not just because Jose was a repeat guest but also because this was where she'd been placed for her nursing practicum, with Dr. Collins as her supervisor.

She could hear the doctor's stupid, fake southern accent two doors away, followed by a nervous giggle. Walking past the open door, she could see the crusty bourgeois bastard, his signature black turtleneck setting off his waxy, pale flesh. He stood way too close to a teenage girl lying stiffly on the exam bed.

Angel coughed to get Dr. Collins's attention. Where is the nurse who's supposed to be in here?

"Hey! I didn't know you were on rounds tonight!" The doctor slid away from the teen, slicked back his silver hair. "We're waiting for Brandi's mom to come back with her paperwork."

Angel purposefully stepped closer to the exam table, forcing the doctor to slide further away. "Sorry to interrupt," she said blandly. "I'm not working, just checking to see where you're at with patients."

"The nurse can finish up here. I have a minute." Dr. Collins placed a hand on Angel's upper arm. Her muscle twitched involuntarily, his touch lingering too long, with a hint of a caress, before he casually dropped his hand and shoved it into the pocket of his lab coat. "Did you need something, darlin'? Help with one of your reports? We can go to my office ..."

"No! No, sorry, it's Jose. He needs a breathing treatment. Right now. He's in distress."

"Ah. Sounds like it's time to get him on daily doses. Why don't you put him in exam room three. I'll meet you there in a minute," Dr. Collins drawled, raking his eyes up and down her body, settling on her chest. Even when she wore loose scrubs, the man had the ability to make her feel naked.

"Okay, but right away." She wanted to jam her fist down his throat, grab him by his goddamn phony Colonel Sanders vocal cords, and swing him around the room. It made her stomach roll to let him get away with his creep-ass behavior, but she only had to put up with the pig for a few more weeks. Once he signed off on her practicum, she planned to turn him into bacon.

Besides, he was the only one who could help her son right now. Keeping her lips pressed firmly together, Angel nodded and quickly retraced her steps to the waiting room.

Jose had been a healthy baby. Then, last year, he got pneumonia. Since then, he'd complained of an occasional tightening in his chest and start to wheeze. But a single puff from his inhaler had always solved it. Today is different. I need Dr. Collins to fix this. Through the open doors, she saw Jose sitting slumped in a chair. Her heart quailed. Even if that means selling my soul.

Gabriela was nowhere in sight. But there was a lanky man wearing sweats and a baseball cap, next to her son, talking to him. She hurried across the room.

"You like baseball, huh? You on a team?" The man's voice was mellow, the brim of his cap angled low. He was around her age and vaguely familiar. Is he the water delivery guy?

"Yeah." Jose sat up straighter as she approached, but his eyes were foggy, his voice rough and far away.

"What position do you play?"

"I like ..." Jose took in a slow, agonizing breath, a tiny hand pressed against his chest, "shortstop."

"Easy, buddy. In ... out ... good. Shortstop is a great position. Very important to the team. With those long arms, I bet you get a lot of those grounders, huh?" When he realized someone was standing over them, the man glanced up.

Angel startled. From under the bill of his baseball cap, he peered at her with sharp, translucent eyes, a surprising green against his warm mahogany skin. He had high cheekbones and his lips were sculpted perfection. Maybe I've seen him on a billboard?

He broke their locked gaze, furrowing his brow at Jose as he struggled to answer the man's question.

The seven-year-old shut his eyes. "Yeah." Big, shallow breath. "I'm mad fast." Ragged cough.

"Jose," she said, upset with herself for getting sidetracked, even for a second. She gently drew the boy to his feet. He had deep, dark circles under his eyes. She pulled down his bottom eyelid; the color was faint but not gone. His breathing, however, sounded like a train from one of his cartoons. "Come on, chiquito, we've got an exam room ready."

"You be strong, little buddy." With graceful, fluid movements, the man bent over to retrieve a baseball that had fallen from Jose's lap when he stood. He slid the ball into the boy's sweatshirt pocket. "You don't want to forget this."

Jose nodded listlessly. The man patted his shoulder and then arched an eyebrow at Angel. "I'm not sure I should let you take off with this kid. Shouldn't you wait for his mom?"

Angel's mouth dropped open in surprise, but before she could retort, Gabriela materialized, flapping her hands anxiously.

"Finally! Thank the Lord!" The stylist kissed the top of Jose's head, then she batted her fake eyelashes and flipped around her long, shiny black hair, focusing in on Jose's new protector.

"Gabriela, you left him? With a stranger?" Angel asked through gritted teeth, keeping her eyes averted from those piercing green eyes while maneuvering Jose out from the adult bodies encircling him.

"Oh, honey, relax. Nursey over there was watchin' him. I had to use the ladies' room." Gabriela put her hands on her hips. "Besides, don't you know who this is?"

The man took a sudden step back, his eyes wide. Angel, her arm wrapped around Jose, was already moving her sick son toward the back hall. She couldn't care less about some hood rat, no matter how attractive. "There's an exam room ready. I'm taking him back." Guiding him past the chairs packed with coughing, groaning patients, Jose's ragged breathing distracting her, she said over her shoulder, "We'll be out soon, thanks."

"I'll be right here!" Gabriela shouted behind her.

Then she heard the green-eyed man say, "You gonna let a nurse talk to you like that?"

Her friend's response was smooth as Chanel silk and filled the room. "And how the hell do you know she's not a doctor?"

Angel smiled without turning around. Gabriela always knew what to say.

CHAPTER 3

"Doc, you can't say anything. You gotta swear to that."

"Obviously. Besides, the muscles are just weak, you're going to be fine. Take it easy." Dr. Collins stood up, placed the extra tape and gauze on the counter. "Alright, you can put your sock and shoe back on. The nurse will bring your paperwork."

"No paperwork." Duke tasted iron. It was from biting his tongue. This skinny motherfucker is a piece of work. I could knock him over if I blew on him.

"Right." The doctor nodded, once, scrunching his black turtleneck. "Cash only, then." The exam room door swung shut behind the old white guy with the weird accent.

The ballplayer could only hope a newspaper didn't find out he'd been to the clinic. What if they offered the doc more money for details? The man was as smarmy as they came.

Duke took a deep breath, hopped off the table, and gingerly put his wrapped right foot on the ground. His green eyes narrowed to slits. While it was not unbearable, there was pain. And where there was pain, there was a problem.

When is this going to be done?

It wasn't just the ache. The unhealed ankle was a constant reminder of the worst night of Duke's life. In his dreams, he saw his friend Mark, the Bronx Bolt catcher, take a bullet in the chest, dying painfully fifty feet from him. Another stray bullet took Duke in the ankle but had seemed like nothing in comparison, until the wound put his career in jeopardy. Without baseball, he was nobody. Just another Bronx dude on the street, good for nothing but throwing a ball.

Caleb "the Duke" Lewis would be stripped of his status if he couldn't stand steady on the mound by the time he reported to spring training next week. The Bronx Bolts would replace him with the young buck they had waiting in the wings. Which was why he, the Bronx Bolts' star pitcher, was at a crappy clinic in the middle of the Bronx instead of at the Bronx Bolts' medical facility. He had to trust the skeezy Dr. Collins to keep his mouth shut.

In the waiting room, he found Aaron Miller, his agent and childhood friend, ranting into a cell phone, oblivious to the annoyed scowls from the people around him. Catching Duke's eye, Aaron clicked off and loped over.

"Man, you look fine. You're not even limping. You okay?"

"Yes." No.

"Good! Anyone recognize you?"

Duke tugged the brim of his baseball cap lower and shook his head. There was the mother in the waiting room earlier, but she hadn't taken any pictures. Maybe the sexy nurse — the uptight one who'd taken the asthmatic kid away ... But he didn't think so.

There was something about that feisty young nurse. When their eyes had met, he'd felt a weird jolt, and now he couldn't stop thinking about her. The gold flecks in her brown eyes were mesmerizing, her skin was golden and smooth, her thick dark hair had gold highlights. She was naturally beautiful. God musta sprinkled gold dust over that luscious woman.

He turned to scan the room but then abruptly swung back around. What am I thinking? I have got to get my shit together. No time to chase skirt around.

"Yo, Earth to Duke. Let's get you outta here."

"Hang on, I gotta make a call." Walking out to Aaron's SUV, Duke tried calling his father, who was his business manager, but there was no response. "Pops," Duke said, leaving a message. "Call if you get this. I need you to drop some money at the clinic out in Mount Eden. I'll explain tonight." And I don't need any of your bullshit, he wanted to add, but didn't. He'd deal with his father later.

Aaron opened the car door for him, bowing like a butler. "Where you want to go, bro?"

"There's a bar a couple blocks from here." Duke pictured a row of tequila shots.

"We not going to some whack dive bar."

"Fine. Let's go to that place Roland's always talking about, not too far from here. The Peacock."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Perfect Date"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Evelyn Lozada.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Perfect Date 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
4GranJan 5 months ago
Rate this with a Huge R for Raunchy! This could have been a great piece of Women's Fiction. Romance, Political Commentary, Serious Social Hype, Sexism in the Workplace, and being a POC and poor. That part of the story was great. I did not need to have eroticism, foul language, and drugs in every chapter. I would not have requested this book had I known how raunchy it was. I found it neither 'heartwarming' nor 'fun'. I received this ARC book for free from Net Galley and this is my honest review.
grandmareads102 7 months ago
Angel Gomez wants to make life better for her son. She's working hard to become a nurse. Her son needs medicines that she can't afford. The Doctor where she works is harassing her. She thinks her life can't get any crazier. Then she meets The Duke, a professional baseball player at the clinic where she works. He wants her to pretend they are romantically involved. She agrees because he was nice to her boy. I couldn't believe what happened next. I like these characters. Angel is a loving mother. Her love of her son is sweet. Her chemistry with Duke is powerful. Things get heated when they're together. Duke is struggling to hold onto his sanity and his career. I liked that Angel helps him forget. The story is interesting. The author combines romance with emotional drama. I found the rich and the famous don't have everything. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
grandmareads102 7 months ago
Angel Gomez wants to make life better for her son. She's working hard to become a nurse. Her son needs medicines that she can't afford. The Doctor where she works is harassing her. She thinks her life can't get any crazier. Then she meets The Duke, a professional baseball player at the clinic where she works. He wants her to pretend they are romantically involved. She agrees because he was nice to her boy. I couldn't believe what happened next. I like these characters. Angel is a loving mother. Her love of her son is sweet. Her chemistry with Duke is powerful. Things get heated when they're together. Duke is struggling to hold onto his sanity and his career. I liked that Angel helps him forget. The story is interesting. The author combines romance with emotional drama. I found the rich and the famous don't have everything. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
Lillian Maddocks-Cummings 8 months ago
Can you make this work? Caleb "Duke" Lewis has it all a good career at the Yankees as their star pitcher and all the money that he needs but he is lying to everyone around him. Can he really recover from his ankle injury or will this be the end of his career? Angel is trying so hard to hold everything together she just needs to get through these last exams then she will be a nurse but her son Jose has just taken a bad turn his asthma is getting worse and she just hopes that she can make some more money at her night job to be able to get all the medicine that he needs. Duke can't get the nurse out of his mind he knows that he is taking a big risk by going to the clinic but he has no choice he just hopes that the doctor will keep his mouth closed. So he is surprised when he sees the nurse at the local club but things go downhill quickly as he had been drinking and he thought that he was clever. Angel is fired and now she knows that she can't afford to get the rest of Jose's medicine and she just hopes that she can talk to her boss and that he will forgive her from throwing the drink into clients face. She knows that things are only going to get worse so when she sees that man again and she finds out who he is she is confused why he even wants to spend time with her. She knows that she had agreed to be his girlfriend but she doesn't belong in his world everyone is fake and they are all out for themselves. Can Duke win her back or will it be the end even before they got to know each other? Do they really have a chance at making this work? Will Duke be able to walk away from his old life for Angel & Jose or will he be too afraid to? Has Duke got the guts to be honest about his problems and to do the right thing? A good read. I was lucky enough to receive a copy via Netgalley & the publishing house in exchange for my honest review.
SevenAcreBooks 8 months ago
The Perfect Date, available June 18, 2019 The Perfect Date is well written look at how no matter who we are, or how famous we may be, everyone goes through hard times and it's how we handle those hard times that define us. When Angel, an overworked single mom meets Duke, the head pitcher for the Yankees at the clinic where she works, her life gets turned upside down when she gets caught up in a fake relationship to keep the press off his back. Now, she has to deal with paparazzi and snarky socialites on top of studying for her nursing exams. Duke seems like an ideal guy until his deceptions about his injury and his past become more drama than a fake relationship is worth. Both Angel and Duke will have to come to terms with their own insecurities and decide what matters most to them. This was a well written and fast paced story. Angel is a great character-she's tough, smart, and independent. Duke's character grows so much over the course of the story and I really enjoyed watching him develop emotionally. Great book-highly recommend! Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title. All opinions are my own.
booklover_lexi 8 months ago
The Perfect Date cover gave me major The Proposal vibes which is why I thought this would be such good book to read! Angel is a single mother who got pregnant as a teenager. Not only a few years after Jose was born, Angels mother passed away leaving Angel to pick up the pieces and get her life together. Angel is a nursing student trying to graduate so she can make a better life for her son, while also bartending at an upper class establishment. Jose is a huge baseball fan and has an asthma attack while watching a game which has Angel rushing her son to the clinic where she works. While her son is waiting to be seen Angel goes back to talk to her boss Dr. Collins to see if he can get Jose in faster. Whens he comes back, Jose is talking to a stranger. Little does she know it's the Yankee pitcher "The Duke". Later than night Angel runs into him while she is bartending and Duke is drunk and hits on her rudely causing her to throw a drink in his face and get fired. The duke has to go back to the clinic the next day to secretly get his ankle checked, because if the Yankee's manager catches wind he hasn't recovered his career is going to be over! He runs into Angel again recognizing her and tries to apologize but the press have figured out that The Duke is at the clinic. He then asks Angel to be his "girlfriend" to throw off the press. I had high hopes going into this book because the romance that is being released right now is amazing! However this book just fell really short for me. I had a hard time falling in love with the characters. Angel is fiesta latina women who has been caring for her son she had when she was fifteen. I loved the strong woman power she had! But her romance with Duke was lacking fire for me. I didn't get the butterflies while reading this. I think the story line was good but it fell short in the character development for me. This book is a quick read and if you are looking for something easy this might be for you! I was just looking for a little more depth between the characters.
EileenAW 8 months ago
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozado and Holly Lorincz is far from perfect. Angel Gomez is a single mom, finishing nursing school while juggling a practicum, a part time job bar-tending and raising her son; she doesn’t have time for romantic relationships. The “Duke” is a pitcher for the Bronx Bolts but lately he’s been getting more attention for his behavior off the field than on. They meet at the clinic and at the club Angel works at where Duke tries to convince Angel to pretend to be his girlfriend to throw the paparazzi off of why he was actually at the medical clinic. I thought this would be a cute, light-hearted romance, but if was closer to the opposite. Duke likes Angel because she sees the real him, unlike other girls who only want him for the fact he’s a pitcher and has a lot of money. Angel also seemed determined to call Duke out for his behavior; at least for part of the book. As this story continued, the reader is exposed to rude characters who were either mean or angry much of the time. Then there is the male doctor at the clinic where Angel had her practicum who believed it was okay to inappropriately touch the nursing students. There were a number of misogynistic attitudes with some of the male characters or and female characters who did not care who they were hurting. They may have thought it was fun and endearing banter, but this reader found it a bit offensive. The epilogue was a definite redeeming moment in this dramatic and difficult story. Overall, despite the problems and drama, I enjoyed reading The Perfect Date. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Rita0285 8 months ago
This book has a lot of drama. It’s about a young Mom working hard to make a new life for her and her son. She’s trying hard to make things work and become a nurse. Then a baseball star jumps in her path.
Fredreeca2001 8 months ago
Angel is one hardworking single mother. She works at a club at night to support her and her son. She is also in nursing school. She has no intention of falling in love. She just doesn’t have time for that! Enter Caleb! He is the star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts and Angel is not impressed! She is immune to his charm and good looks….until she isn’t! Caleb and Angel have a love-hate thing going at the first. Angel is a fiery Puerto Rican and she does not take crap off of anyone. She doesn’t care if that someone IS the star pitcher. Caleb is attracted to her from the first he laid eyes on her. These two make a wonderful team. I enjoyed Angel. She is my type of female character. She is tough, independent and smart. She and Caleb have a rocky start. But, soon they both realize they have way to much chemistry to ignore. Plus any book that talks baseball is perfect for me! This is a quick, enjoyable romance. I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.
DebDiem 8 months ago
The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada is a not so perfect read. Ms. Lozada has produced a book that might appeal to very young adults, but it doesn't appeal to this mature adult at all. Angel is an overworked single mom going to school to become a nurse and working two jobs to support her asthmatic son. Duke is a baseball pitcher that suffered an injury during a shooting at a bar. Duke is angsty and spineless. Their story is loaded with drama, ghetto slang, bad decisions and sex. The story itself I would have probably enjoyed but the writing of it ruined it for me. I'll be sure to skip any other books by this author. The Perfect Date is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Noire 8 months ago
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada and Holly Lorincz is a modern day retelling of the Cinderella story set in the world of professional baseball. Angel Gomez is a struggling single mom who attends nursing school during the day and bartends at night while trying to make a better life for her young son. She meets Caleb “The Duke” Lewis a star pitcher for the Bronx Bolts when he shows up at the medical clinic she is doing her practicum in to get treatment for his injured ankle and because he is trying to hide how badly his ankle is he asks her to pretend to be his date so that the press and his coach won’t get wind of the reason for his visit to the clinic. I enjoyed the story and it’s peek into the dark side of professional sports and do recommend it. More sweet than steamy. Publishing Date June 11, 2019 #NetGalley #ThePerfectDate #StMartinsPress #StMartinsGriffin
gmcootie 8 months ago
What’s not to like? This book has it all: a young, ambitious single mother who will work herself to the bone to take care of her child, an athlete who is used to the easy life but has to face some tough times and make some hard choices, some shady characters, including a doctor, and an adorable child with life-threatening asthma. Throw in some fun when Angel and The Duke pretend to be in a relationship and you have the perfect book – The Perfect Date! The Perfect Date moves along quickly, is easy to read, with people you want to know more about. It’s a feel good book and refreshing in the diversity of its characters and locations. Thanks to St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review. Great read that I recommend.
onemused 8 months ago
THE PERFECT DATE is a fast-paced contemporary drama that follows a young, single mother and an infamous baseball player, known as "The Duke." Angel is 23 and trying to take care of her seven-year-old son, Jose. Jose has asthma, and since it was considered a pre-existing condition, insurance won't cover any of the medications he needs (e.g. albuterol and advair). Angel is attending nursing school by day and getting in her practical hours at a clinic run by a shady and sexist doctor. By night, she tends bar at an upscale place where her uniform reveals more than she wishes it did. At the clinic, she is surprised when Duke (actual name Caleb, but almost entirely called Duke) asks her to be his fake girlfriend- especially right after he got her fired from tending bar for grabbing her and her pouring a drink on him. He is at the clinic for his ankle which was injured in the previous season, and he wants to keep it quiet that it is still bothering him as he wants/needs to play this year. If he pretends to be at the clinic visiting her, maybe it will throw off the press. As the charade continues, they find each other insecurities and uncover worse plots in each of their own lives. I was expecting a rom-com from the premise, but the book ended up being much darker and more dramatic with murder (past), blackmail, sexual harassment, sexual assault, medical fraud, drug use, and sexual exploitation. The pacing was great, and it ends up being a quick read, so I found myself turning pages quickly. The story goes back and forth between Angel and Duke, and sometimes the change was rather abrupt. I would have liked a simpler story with maybe only one dramatic/difficult situation, but the plot was fully laden. There's a lot to unpack. The romance, which seemed to be the focus from the description, took a backseat to most other things, and I did not feel that I got to know them enough as a couple. I would have liked more of that and simpler plot, but maybe that is because I was expecting a romance and not a drama. Overall, it's an engaging book with a lot going on that would be great for drama lovers. Please note that I received an ARC from the publisher through netgalley. All opinions are my own.
ViperSpaulding 8 months ago
Gritty, realistic opposites-attract romance Angel and Duke run in wildly different circles; he's a famous professional baseball player and she's struggling each day to provide for her son while she attends nursing school. After they cross paths a couple times, Duke's image needs a bit of wholesome credibility so he asks Angel to be his fake girlfriend whenever they're in public together. As they get to know each other, the differences in their lifestyles and circle of friends become nearly-insurmountable obstacles. The writing style is unique in a romance book in that we're not directed to see each main character as always doing the right thing or even acting reasonably. Angel is constantly having to rein in her temper, while Duke shows a surprisingly pouty side and occasional lack of backbone. There's also an intriguing storyline running throughout that adds betrayal, mystery, and a bit of a crime drama element. The HEA expertly wraps all the assorted narrative threads nicely. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
Anonymous 8 months ago
DNF at 32% Kudos to Angelica who perfectly captured my feelings about the book, here, glad to see I didn't miss anything by giving up part way. Angel Gomez is a single mom, nurse, part-time bartender studying to get a better life for herself and her son who suffers from asthma. Caleb Lewis is a baseball player nursing an ankle injury following a shooting, seeking medical assistance on the down-low. I didn't like either character, it all seemed like a cookie-cutter single-mom meets famous sports star, right down to the mom being a nurse (have you got the idea? She's called Angel and she's a nurse - ie perfect, nurturing, above all other women) working two jobs and having a sick kid (do all nurses have sick kids, is it like a prerequisite?). Duke on the other hand allegedly has a bad reputation but honestly he doesn't seem to do anything to deserve it. There's a lot of casual misogyny but also women putting women down. When Angel is supposed to be studying for her final exams (or something) but is clearly wavering towards going to a party thrown by a reality TV star (who just happens to send her a fancy dress and shoes to wear so she doesn't feel out of place) instead (I didn't stick around to see what she was going to do about her sick kid) I decided to bail. Not the sweet, charming romance I was hoping for. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.