The Prospects

Dial. Apr. 2024. 384p. ISBN 9780593596869. pap. $18. LGBTQIA+ ROMANCE
DEBUT Queer joy and a healthy dash of hope infuse nearly every page of Hoffman’s home-run debut novel. Trans minor-league baseball player Gene Ionescu is happy playing for the Beaverton Beavers, but his world is upended when his former college teammate Luis Estrada gets traded to his team. Luis and Gene have a tense history, but they also quickly discover that they have chemistry both on and off the field. As the Beavers’ season progresses, Gene begins to hope not only that the team can make the playoffs but also that he might find love—and maybe even get called up to the Majors. Hoffman’s characters experience some transphobia, but the novel relentlessly centers Gene’s dreams and wins and features nuanced depictions of trans and gay athletes, along with mental health issues in professional sports. A dugout full of entertaining teammates rounds out this sweet and slightly steamy romance.
VERDICT The plot follows the tried-and-true sports romance formula that will please fans, while the love story and the tenacious, hopeful hero at its center will give readers the warm fuzzies.
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