Read an excerpt from The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson

Don't miss our sneak peek at The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson.
The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson. Image Credit to Berkley.
The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson. Image Credit to Berkley. /

Sports romances are easily one of the biggest trends for 2024 and it's clear with some of the books coming out the rest of the year including The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson.

Ever since the cover was revealed and we got a synopsis, I was all over this book. I already read and reviewed With Love, From Cold World last year and it ended up being one of my favorite reads of 2023.

Upon getting the chance to share an early look at The Art of Catching Feelings, I immediately jumped at it and Berkley was kind enough to share an exclusive excerpt with us to share with all of you.

Whether you're someone who is looking forward to the latest from Alicia Thompson, love sports romances, or just need something new for your beach bag, then you don't want to miss this early look at The Art of Catching Feelings.

Check out this excerpt from The Art of Catching Feelings.

Before getting into the excerpt, I want to thank Berkley for setting his up and Alicia Thompson for making me already want to preorder this book. With that being said, let's get into it!

The atmosphere had been buzzing with excitement when the Battery scored a few to take a narrow lead, but toward the end of the game, that lead was long gone and they had their backs against the wall. At least, that’s what Goatee Guy reported, looking as red-faced and fired up as though he were on the team’s coaching staff. “And now it’s Chris fucking Kepler on deck,” he said, gesturing angrily toward the guy coming out of the dugout with his bat. “Bottom of the ninth and this joker’s on the interstate. Hell, put me in to hit for him. Who’s running this fucking team?” “Dude,” Kim said under her breath, “it’s April. Chill out.”

But Daphne liked Goatee’s passion. He was just a man who cared about his team. Wasn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t people care more? “Chris Kepler?” she said, more to feel the name in her mouth than anything else. Kepler. That was a hard name to do anything with. Chris Kepler, watch your step‑ler! She’d sound like an after-school special rap battle. The very idea had her laughing so hard she almost choked on her beer.

“You are on another planet,” Kim said, and Daphne couldn’t tell, but she didn’t look as amused anymore. More concerned, but truly, she had no reason to be. Daphne felt great. She’d gone to sporting events with Justin before and always felt like she was solely there to make sure he had a good time—hold his cup when he needed her to, make the snack run when he didn’t want to miss any of the action, stay sober enough to drive them home. She’d never have been able to let loose like this on his watch. This was freedom, baby! She cupped her hand around her mouth.


Kim wasn’t wrong. Baseball players did have amazing fore- arms. There was netting between them and the players, but this guy was so close that she could practically feel the texture of the red clay streaked down one leg of his white pants. He twisted one foot every time he took a swing, flashing the bottom of his shoes, and she could see the clumps of grass and dirt stuck in his cleats. His back was to them, and there was a small nick on his left elbow, the dried blood of a scab. Daphne felt like she could reach out and open it up with the flick of a fingernail.

Which was an extremely weird thought to have.

She felt her mood starting to tilt precariously, like it was a boat on choppy waters she had to get back under control. Chris Kepler. What could she do with that?

“Yo, Chris!” she said, clinging to the netting in front of her. “Your name should be Christopher Robin, ’cause you’re hitting like Pooh!”

Bam! She’d hit that one out of the park. A play on his name and a reference to a charming children’s book—an all-star heckle if she’d ever heard one.

Then he turned and looked at her.

Her breath caught in her throat. For all the shouting she’d been doing for the last half hour, it had honestly never occurred to her that this could happen. It felt as strange as if she’d been watching the game on TV and one of the players had faced the camera to address her directly. Because she’d said something from her cushy seat in the stands, and suddenly here was this guy all dressed out in his uniform with the clay rubbed into it and the nick on his elbow, and he was looking right at her.

Weirder still was the way he was looking at her. She might’ve expected anger—it would’ve been uncomfortable and made her face flame even more than it probably already was, but he’d be justified in getting irritated with some random drunk woman tell- ing him his playing was shit. She might even have expected a non- chalant, lighthearted clapback, the kind of thing she imagined famous people had to get really good at. Something that said, Keep talking trash while I make fifty times your annual income, but you know, in a fan-friendly way.

But this guy—Chris Kepler, a real name that belonged to a real person—didn’t look like he was angry or like he was ready to take a little heckling in stride. He looked . . . stricken.

That was the only word she could think of.

His eyes were in shadow, his batting helmet low over his fore- head, but somehow she still felt his reaction like a punch to her stomach. His lips were slightly parted, like he was about to say something, his knuckles white where they gripped his bat. He wore the navy blue jersey of Carolina’s team, Battery in stitched-on letters across the chest, and for some reason it only then hit her. She’d been yelling at the home team. Why would she yell at the home team?

Music pumped through the PA system, a swinging drumbeat, but still he just looked at her. And suddenly she couldn’t help but look at him—take in his broad shoulders and the way the fabric of his pants pulled tight over his thighs. Fuck, he was hot.

He was also noticeably affected by her words. The way he was looking at her made her feel ashamed for noticing his attractiveness now, made her regret that she’d shouted anything in the first place. It was like he saw right through her and didn’t even register she was there, all at the same time. She felt his focus as a shiver up her spine, and she waited for him to break the tension, to speak and make the moment solidify into something concrete instead of just this unbearable crackle in the air. But instead he gave her one final glance before walking toward the game, ready to take his place at home plate. She was grateful he hadn’t said anything.

She had a twisted, masochistic need to know what he might’ve said.

“You got his attention!” Goatee cackled from beside her. “Now hopefully he steps up. I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Daphne turned away, no longer as well disposed toward this hypercritical fan she’d been shouting with only minutes before. A thick wave of shame rolled through her, and she rested her elbows on her knees so she could lean forward and try to catch her breath. “Oh my god,” Kim said from her other side. “Did that just—”

“I think I’m going to be sick,” Daphne said, and Kim must’ve seen how close she was, because she didn’t say anything else. She just grasped Daphne by the elbow and helped her to her feet, guiding her through the crowd with more forceful words than she’d used to get in. No more sorry or excuse me, now it was all, coming through, she’s sick, we need to leave. Behind her, Daphne was dimly aware that something must be happening, because the crowd stood up, a weird hush coming over everyone before the hum of conversation started again. She looked down before leaving the ballpark to see Chris Kepler striding away from home plate, head down, bat still in his hand. He’d struck out.

Whether you're a baseball fan, love sports romance, or are as excited as we are about The Art of Catching Feelings, this excerpt gives us a taste of what we're in store for. All I can say is that this book is bound to be a home run for me. I'll see myself out with that baseball joke, but it had to be made!

The Art of Catching Feelings by Alicia Thompson will be released on June 18th, 2024.

Are you excited about The Art of Catching Feelings? Be sure to let us know your favorite sports romances.

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