LOVE OF THE GAME
Stardust, Texas #3
Releasing April 26th, 2016
With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas . . . striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.
Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel’s guarded heart also needs healing . . . requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.
If you've enjoyed the previous books in the Stardust, Texas series you will enjoy Kasha's story. If you haven't read the previous books, Kasha and Axel's story works as a standalone.
Personally, I'm a little torn about this book. For a book to really sweep me off my feet, it's not just the hero who has to make me fall for him, but I also need to connect with the heroine, relate with her and feel like she could be my friend if she were real. With Love Of The Game, I had a hard time connecting with the heroine, so even though I liked the story, I was never really pulled into it.
I tried really hard to understand the reasons behind her behavior, but at times I really wanted to slap her. I admired the way she was willing to put her half-sister's needs before her own, and went out of her way to obtain custody of Emma, but at times her determination seemed a little selfish. I never truly connected with her, so I had a hard time following the story and rooting for her happy ending.
Axel, on the other hand, was amazing and the reason for the extra star, when I was torn between 3 or 4 stars. At first I thought, "Here we go: just another cocky ball player," but the more pages I read, the deeper my respect and my liking for him grew. He's a broken man, not only because of an injury that is threatening to end his career, but also because of the loss of his son, that left him devastated and even more determined to make him proud. He's working hard to recover and finally be able to pitch for the Yankees, like he promised his son he would, and in his quest for success he's somehow forgotten how to live. Until he meets Kasha and his quickly escalating feelings for the therapist make it hard for him to remember his ultimate goals.
I liked the sort of insta-attraction between them, the way Axel teased Kasha bringing her to the point she'd rather lose her job than cross a line she wasn't supposed to cross. I liked watching Axel slowly fall in love and opening up, and I liked the way he managed to reach down into Kasha's soul and pull out the ugly secrets of her past, helping her heal. The build up made things more interesting and really nice when they finally surrendered to their feelings.
But, like I said, Kasha just didn't click with me so even the happy ending I was hoping Axel would get didn't leave me as happy as it would have, had I connected more with Kasha. And Axel's decision at the end left me a little disappointed (sorry, can't say more or I'll spoil the ending).
Despite my personal issue with the heroine, if you like sports romance and heroes with a broken heart waiting to be healed, you will enjoy Kasha and Axel's story.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.
Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.
A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.
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