Review: The Grumpy Player Next Door by Pippa Grant (Cooper Valley Fireballs #3)
Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Give Me Books Promotions.
Okay, I have something to confess: I have a thing for grumpy male main characters. As much as I adore charming male leads, there's just something about a well-crafted grump who turns out to be an absolute cinnamon roll that has me smitten. In The Grumpy Player Next Door, the third novel in the Copper Valley Fireballs series, Pippa Grant promises and delivers all that growly grumpiness side by side with a glittery serving of trouble. Mr. Grumpy Bear is the (maybe?) thirty-year-old Max Cole, starting pitcher for the Copper Valley Fireballs, and he's been perfectly paired with twenty-six-year-old Matilda Jean, aka Trouble, erm, Tillie Jean (or TJ) Rock, the Jill of trades (manager, server, bartender, hostess, AND busser) at Crusty Nut, purveyor of pranks, and an undeniably gifted artist.
The Bible states that we should love our neighbor, but it looks like Max Cole and Tillie Jean Rock may have totally missed that part during Sunday school. Sure, they're only neighbors while Max is staying in Shipwreck, Virginia during the off-season, but Tillie Jean's presence is seriously testing Max's resolve to keep hating her. Yes, he's got a running list of reasons why he needs to stay away from her, but the more opportunities they have to be in each other's presence, the more it becomes clear that Max may kinda-sorta-maybe not dislike Tillie Jean as much as he claims to. It seems like he's got valid concerns over pursuing her. Can Tillie Jean convince Max that he IS worthy of her love?
Gah! I utterly adored this book! Max and Tillie Jean were complex but at the very heart of them were two people who were kind and caring and loved those who were near and dear to them beyond measure. Their story gave me warm fuzzies, making me smile and laugh, but also having my heart squeeze in empathy while also tempting me a time or two to smack a number of people--I'm looking at you, Max and Cooper! Such stubbornness. I loved the aspects of family--both the one you're born into and the one you create for yourself--and home and love and friendship. An absolute bonus for Pippa Grant readers and fans is the plethora of familiar characters from the author's previous published work, and I'm not talking about just those from the Cooper Valley Fireballs series. The Grumpy Player Next Door is my favorite of the series so far and gets five stars!
Read my reviews for the Copper Valley Fireballs series:
Jock Blocked (book one) - five stars - My Review
Real Fake Love (book two) - five stars - My Review
The Grumpy Player Next Door (book three) - five stars - My Review (posted above)
Release Date: 08 July 2021
Date Read: 05 July2021
Learn more about Pippa Grant.
Pre-order The Grumpy Player Next Door on Amazon.