Review: You Should be So Lucky by Cat Sebastian

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Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh is a social media and digital marketing expert, CMO of Dream Machine Foundation, and storyteller with a purpose. She grew Dream Machine to 8M followers and edited videos that raised $750K for charity, earning attention from Oprah, Steve Harvey, and Khloe Kardashian.

An emotional, slow-burn, grumpy/sunshine, queer mid-century romance for fans of Evvie Drake Starts Over, about grief and found family, between the new star shortstop stuck in a batting slump and the reporter assigned to (reluctantly) cover his first season—set in the same universe as We Could Be So Good.

The 1960 baseball season is shaping up to be the worst year of Eddie O’Leary’s life. He can’t manage to hit the ball, his new teammates hate him, he’s living out of a suitcase, and he’s homesick. When the team’s owner orders him to give a bunch of interviews to some snobby reporter, he’s ready to call it quits. He can barely manage to behave himself for the length of a game, let alone an entire season. But he’s already on thin ice, so he has no choice but to agree.

Mark Bailey is not a sports reporter. He writes for the arts page, and these days he’s barely even managing to do that much. He’s had a rough year and just wants to be left alone in his too-empty apartment, mourning a partner he’d never been able to be public about. The last thing he needs is to spend a season writing about New York’s obnoxious new shortstop in a stunt to get the struggling newspaper more readers.

Isolated together within the crush of an anonymous city, these two lonely souls orbit each other as they slowly give in to the inevitable gravity of their attraction. But Mark has vowed that he’ll never be someone’s secret ever again, and Eddie can’t be out as a professional athlete. It’s just them against the world, and they’ll both have to decide if that’s enough.


Dear Cat Sebastian,

When I preordered this book I did not realize that it was written in the same universe as “We Could Be So Good,” so it was a pleasant surprise to see Andy and Nick and even Lilian and Maureen again. And they played a small part in the story and did not just pop up to say hi to the reader which are my favorite kind of guest appearances. 🙂

We are once again in the New York of the early sixties and Andy, who is finally managing the newspaper, asks Mark to write a feature on one of the newly traded baseball players, who is apparently having a hard time. Mark, who has not written much in the last year, feels like he has no choice but to agree.

The book is once again written in third person present tense POV (same as “We Could Be So Good” was) and the POV switches between Mark and Eddie, and basically this book, charmed me just as much as the first one did. This happened despite me usually vastly preferring books with way more plot that this duology has. I mean I do not think it is fair to say that *nothing* happens in this book, definitely some things do happen, but the most importance is placed on the two main characters interacting and falling in love with each other.

Mark is meeting Eddie to get to know him and to write Eddie’s diaries for the newspaper.

Eddie is not in the best place of his baseball career when they meet for the first time. This will actually be a good place to clarify that I know very little (nothing) about baseball and not because I did not try to learn and understand this game. I did and people around me tried to teach me. Alas. I understand the pitcher and catcher throw to each other and the ball gets to other people and they run on the field. The end.

The only reason I mentioned this bit of personal information is because I am trying to explain that I was having a hard time understanding what a player in Eddie’s position actually does on the field and more importantly what was he having problems with doing. I think later in the book they were trying to help him to relearn how to hit the ball, but then how is he different from a pitcher?

In any event, I did not feel I needed to understand it all that much in order to love this book. Basically Eddie stopped being able to play well and before he was playing fantastic so he was obviously frustrated and upset and initially was not sure that talking to the press would help. This is how he responds when Mark is asking him to have dinner together for the first time:

“Eddie has to be careful, otherwise he’s going to open his mouth and give this man five paragraphs of lunacy, starting with “You’re pretty” and ending with “Are you always this bad at your job?” with maybe some “Can I touch your suit?” thrown in there to maximize the horror. “No,” Eddie says, which is enough. A single syllable, a complete sentence. He can’t get himself into trouble with one word. Then he imagines his mother whacking him with a rolled-up newspaper in open despair at his manners, and he decides he’ll have to manage a few more syllables. “No thank you, Mr. Bailey.”

Of course eventually both of the main characters will warm up towards each other to put it mildly, but for me it was a joy getting there.

We are see pretty quickly that despite Eddie being lonely in his new team (after he opened his mouth to talk to the reporters and said things he may not have meant the team was giving him the silent treatment) and not playing his best, he really has a very open and friendly disposition and once some external obstacles disappear, Eddie is more of the type to spread joy around.

It was interesting to watch how initially Mark tried to get through Eddie’s defenses when it was mostly his job (and he genuinely tried to see Eddie’s best side to show to the public), but when they started connecting on the personal level as well, it was Eddie who was getting through Mark’s defenses.

“Mark, he realizes, is not a very nice man. It isn’t so much a question of whether or not he likes Eddie—he plainly doesn’t, but Eddie has the distinct impression that Mark doesn’t like much. But he still got rid of the people who were bothering Eddie, and was annoyed with them on Eddie’s behalf. That’s the closest thing to kindness that Eddie’s had experienced in weeks”.

These both quotes are from the very beginning of their journey and for me from there it was only getting better.

Somehow for me the author managed to balance really well the sport setting, New York in the sixties, and the actual romance.

I said before I know nothing about baseball and I do not, but somehow I still enjoyed reading about an elite sportsman hitting a rough patch and trying to figure out how to get the feeling back when he is able to do what he did best again in full strength and the ways his teammates were trying to help him.

Somewhere in the book there is a reference of baseball always being a metaphor for something and maybe Eddie’s struggle was also a little bit of a metaphor for them trying to figure out how to live together knowing what they both want. As the blurb said, Mark did not want to be a secret anymore (and him not wanting that was not quite why I thought it would happen) and Eddie being a professional athlete in the 1960s really meant that he cannot be out everywhere. But I loved how they tried to find a balance because there were aspects of their life where they could be somewhat out, even if it was not much.

And I really, really loved how the author chose to portray them being in bed together. I thought that in this book going for more of emotional aspect of it made perfect sense. No, it is not a closed door romance, but it was not very explicit either.

I cannot offer much critique of anything here.


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