The Shutout by Dianna Roman

@Archaeolibrary, @debbiereadsbook, @dromanbooks,

#Contemporary, #MM, #Romance,

Sometimes love is where you least expect it, and sometimes it's right where you left it in this slow burn to steamy friends to lovers tale.

Widower, Max Hartwell, is barely keeping it together, being a single-dad, managing his law firm, and navigating life's chaos. Life after loss is too difficult for surprises, which is why Max would be lost without his reliable best friend and neighbor, Jack.

Best pitcher in the MLB, Jack Spears, is at the top of his game. He has it all, except for the one thing he wants most, which happens to be the one thing he can't have if he doesn't want his private life to overshadow his career: love. When an emotional evening reveals his biggest secret, he's faced with losing everything that matters most to him.

Can Max see him for the man he truly is, or will Jack forever be doomed to live in the shadow of the image he created as America's favorite pitcher?

Heartfelt and human, The Shutout is a story of friendship, loss, love, and the rough road to new beginnings.

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Adventurous or cautious?

A bit of both

Antique or brand new?

Antique, baby!

Asking questions or answering questions?

Asking. You learn more that way.

Bagels or muffins?


Black and white or colour?

Black and white

Black leather or brown leather?

Brown leather is seriously underrated

Books or movies?

Books of course

Boots or sandals?

I own cowboy boots and combat boots. No one wants to see my long narrow feet. My second toe on each foot is the length of my pinky finger, and my toes are double-jointed.

Bright colours or neutral tones?

A bit of both in clothing and home design.

Cake or pie?

I don’t understand people who don’t eat cake.

Call or text?

Neither 😆

Chinese or Italian?


Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate all the way.

Cowboys or aliens?

We watch a lot of old John Wayne movies, and I love historical western romance books.Alien and Aliens are still my favorite alien movies though. “Get away from her, you b!+ch!” Go Sigorney!

Dancing or singing?

Both, at the same time. I may have dislocated my knee once, right after busting a move to “Dirty Dianna”’re going to edit that out. Right?

Dogs or cats

I love cats, but only about 5 percent of them aren’t assholes, so I better go with dogs. I still miss my giant, maincoon cat, Moose 🥲 She was a lazy, sweetheart and made my Corgi think he was a cat.

Drawings or paintings?

I love how the detail looks in drawings, but it fascinates me that people can paint that detail.

Dress up or dress down?

I never get to go anywhere that requires dressing up and help my folks on their farm.

Dresses or skirts?

Dresses. You can pick your waistline location that way or hide it.

Facial hair or clean-shaven?

Clean-shaven, stubble, or goatee. Keep the duck hunter beard. Ugh.

Favourite colour


Fiction or non-fiction?


Football or Rugby


Freckles or dimples?


Fruit or vegetables?


Glasses or contacts?

On me – glasses.

Hardwood or carpet?

Hardwood. I’ve seen what children and pets do to carpeting.

Hugs or kisses?

Hugs are super underrated.

Ice cream or yoghurt?

I ate a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked like 3 days a week while I was pregnant...not sure what my excuse is now.

Internet or cell phone?

Cell phone

Introvert or extrovert?


Ketchup or mustard?


Leather or denim?


Light or dark chocolate


Long hair or short hair?

I’ve had long hair for 35 years, since my mom gave me a Beatles haircut when I was about seven.

Marvel or DC?


Morning, noon or night?

Night or early morning – the quietest times of day.

Numbers or letters?


Orange juice or apple juice?

Apple juice

Pancakes or waffles?


Pen or pencil?


Pepsi or Coke?

Coca Cola

Personal chef or personal fitness trainer?

This is funny.

Picnic or nice restaurant?


Raisins or nuts?


Rural or urban?

I’ve been everywhere, but the countryside never left my bones.

Sausage or bacon?


Saver or spender?

Saver for my kids.

Sci-Fi or fantasy?


Scrambled or fried?

Fried, but I always break the yolks.

Silver or gold?


Spicy or mild?

Ketchup is spicy to me.

Spring or fall?

I love everything about Fall, except the dust from harvesting our fields and getting in and out of grain trucks.

Tan or pale?


Tattoos or piercings?

Tattoos are easier to snuggle.

Tea or coffee

Coffee every morning. Decaf green tea every night.

Think before you talk or talk before you think?

I try not to, but often talk before I think.

Truth or dare?

I’m too damn old and arthritic for dares, but there was a time I never batted an eye at one.

Washing dishes or doing laundry?

Okay. I hate both equally.

Whole wheat or white?

White. All we ate as a kid was Roman Meal wheat bread, and I got sick of it.

Wine or beer?

I drink about once per year. Glass of wine with my oldest at Christmas, or the one night a year me and the better half get to go out a year, I usually go for beer.

Winter or summer?


3 out of 5 (good)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

I liked this book, I did but it one of those NICE books, that, while a good read, I'm not really left feeling very much of anything about it, you know?

There was a lot of book, I think, that wasn't really necessary and while 2 epilogues is nice, one would have been suffice. The whole thing could have been a really great book, with 100 less pages, I thought. I found myself skimming over a lot. I didn't miss anything, either!


It's a lovely tale of a gay guy falling in love with his straight best friend. There's a nasty co-worker, some amazing friends, parental units who don't deserve the father title, and family members who really do take the closeness a bit far. Some amusing moments with Max' sister and Jack!

And then the fall out from Jack being outed to the entire world, and the closing ranks around him that he never expected.

It's all very NICE, is all. Nicely written, nicely delivered and nice.

Having said that, this appears to be the author's first book, and I would like to read more as they hone their craft.

3 good, solid nice stars

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Romcom author, Dianna Roman, believes in laughter, happily-ever-afters, unsung heroes and heroines, internal struggles, chocolate, coffee, fluffiness, talking to yourself, hard work, and above all, love.

She enjoys writing stories set in small and rural towns and about characters who don't have this thing called life quite figured out yet. Her favorite writing challenge is tackling the miscommunication trope by making it entertaining.

Dianna lives with her husband and daughter in the woods where sunsets and gardening are the reason her house may be a bit messy.

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