Copper Valley Fireballs, Books 1–3
Heat Factor: Like all Pippa Grant, there’s a healthy dose of sexual tension and plenty of heat.
Character Chemistry: They’re all kind of bumbling but hot. It’s the Pippa special.
Jock Blocked – Brooks Elliott kept his V-card for baseball luck and upon being traded to the Copper Valley Fireballs, decides he’s going to finally do away with it. Ultra Mega Fan Mackenzie can’t let that happen, so she goes out of her way to stop him. Hilarity ensues.
Real Fake Love – Luca Rossi is in the baseball Hall of Fame and does a lot of modeling and commercials. Henri is a secretly famous romance author who can’t stop getting engaged and wants Luca to teach her how to stop falling in love with every guy she dates. There’s an Italian Nonna who is pretty absurd.
The Grumpy Player Next Door – Max Cole is a super anxious, grumpy baseball player with a really difficult past, who desperately wants to belong in the small town he’s in. Tillie Jean is like the backbone of the community, and his best friend’s sister. She basically needles him into making out and then everything falls apart. But in a good way.
Overall: This series is classic Pippa–a lot of physical humor, absurdity, and inside jokes–and it was absolutely good but I think I overdid the Pippa books.
When my youngest was just a marshmallow, I went through a pretty heavy Pippa Grant binge. I read pretty much everything I could get my hands on, and since Pippa is nothing if not a prolific writer, there’s a lot. When we started March Smashness, I was thrilled to delve back into Pippaland and the Copper Valley Fireballs.
The first thing you should know about this series is that while it’s a three-book set, there’s a TON of overlap. So you kind of have to just read everything to get the full story, but in short–the Copper Valley Fireballs have been a chronically underperforming baseball team, and management has decided to resuscitate the team in a last-ditch effort to save it. They’re picking a new mascot from a lineup of absolutely bananas options (an ECHIDNA?) and pulling in some new talent. This is where we start.
In Book 1, (the absolute most ridiculous one, in my opinion) Brooks Elliott has been holding on to his V-card for luck, but with this trade he’s had it. However, super fan Mackenzie can’t let him ruin his lucky streak, so she’s determined to block every attempt he makes. It’s pretty hilarious and absurd, and of course in trying to ruin all of Brooks’ fun, Mackenzie stumbles into some huge love.
In Book 2, we meet Luca and Henri. This one was actually pretty interesting–Henri is a secretly famous romance writer, but she’s a serial fiancee. After her most recent failed engagement, Henri decides she needs to write off falling in love forever, and convinces Luca to teach her how to avoid it, because Luca is a classic love-them-and-leave-them fella incapable of commitment. I didn’t really LOVE this one. Luca and Henri felt a little forced to me, and I felt like their dark moment and resolution was a tiny bit clunky. I DO love that this HEA was different and felt more genuine because it respected the characters as they were.
And lastly, in Book 3, we finally get a Grumpy/Sunshine with Max and Tillie Jean. Tillie Jean has been established in previous books as the backbone of the town of Shipwreck. The thing I didn’t love about this book (here comes the unpopular opinion) were the pranks. I didn’t really think they were all that funny? But the characters seemed to love them, so I just put my judgy disapproval on the shelf. Max was a pretty heart wrenching character who sort of subtly and gradually starts trusting the relationships he’s building, but there’s no watershed moment here, which I think could be off-putting to people who are used to big gestures. Tillie Jean really needles him a lot, which was also a tad off-putting because they progress as a couple with a remarkable lack of real conversation. But it’s sweet and funny and all in all it wasn’t BAD, it just didn’t sweep me off my feet.
The thing about Pippa is that her humor is largely based on taking you by surprise, and after something like 30+ books, it’s not really going to knock your socks off anymore. But if you HAVEN’T read her entire catalog, and you enjoy situational humor and just off-the-charts, bananas absurdity, you really can’t go wrong with this series.
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