cover image The Prospects

The Prospects

KT Hoffman. Dial, $18 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-59686-9

Hoffman hits it out of the park with his feel-good queer frenemies-to-lovers debut. Triple-A Beaverton Beavers infielder Gene Ionescu, the first openly gay, openly trans man to play professional baseball, is envious and frustrated when his former college teammate, Luis Estrada, who’s also gay but in the closet, is traded onto the team and takes over as shortstop while Gene moves over to second baseman. Seven years earlier, Gene and Luis abruptly lost touch when Luis was called up to the majors, and a standoffish Luis, back in the minor leagues following an accident, seems uninterested in rebuilding their friendship. Then Gene walks in on Luis mid–panic attack and helps him through it. The men agree to put aside their past grievances for the sake of the team, slowly relearning how to coexist on the field and—once long-hidden mutual crushes come to light—in bed. Gene’s love for the lusciously depicted setting of Beaverton, Ore., and enthusiasm for the game are both infectious, meaning even readers with no interest in baseball will be swept away. This hopeful story of triumphant underdogs and blossoming love is a home run. Agent: Allison Hunter, Trellis Literary. (Apr.).