Reaching First by Mindy Klasky

I decided to review one more book in Klasky’s Diamond Brides series. I won’t be reviewing any more (as there are plenty more books to review and this series will be nine books long), but as the first three are being released as a companion set, it felt like a good stopping point.

Damn if Mindy Klasky doesn’t write the most fun niche genres that seem tailored to me. I love this lady, I do. Baseball + Romance + Teaching to Read = Joie bait. MMMMMMMMMMMM. This is my favorite, thus far, of the Diamond Brides series and I eagerly await the next installment. Give me my sexy, sexy infield.

And hallelujah for resolved narrative issues! 😀 In the first two books, as much as I enjoyed them, there were some moments when the characters were too understanding – where conflict SHOULD have been there was none OR the conflict got resolved by a sudden burst of “I understand your motivations and all is forgiven” rather than a discussion. The discussion in this book didn’t occur between the two main characters (Tyler and Emily), but it did occur. Tyler struggled and sought perspective. I really appreciate problems that need to be resolved.

We did go back to rushed romance in this narrative (seriously, I’m LDS (Mormon) and I’m not used to people falling in love and getting engaged so fast), but I appreciate that this time, there was a reason it happened this fast: these characters spent HOURS upon HOURS together, alone. They had more time to bond.

There were some really healthy discussions of virginity and of learning disabilities and how our culture deals (poorly) with both. I love that Klasky is so sex and person positive. I also really appreciate how she presented the main heroine’s religion’s role in her decisions about sex without demonizing it. It was a fact of the character and it wasn’t blind faith. Seriously, she writes a utopia that I would really love to live in. Healthy attitudes about sex for EVERYONE! Healthy depictions of differing opinions for ALL! Healthy treatment of differently abled persons ALL THE TIME!

I also note that I finally caught that she’s gently introducing the couples for the next book each book. It’s so gently done that it took me three books to catch on and I really like that.

So, ultimately, I think this series is going better places and even if it just maintained its quality from here on out, I would be VERY happy.

A (solid writing, improvement in each book, better depiction of conflict resolution, healthy attitudes about personal choices and problems; rushed romance development)

[><] & [::]

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