Why did I want to read this book?
I enjoy reading sports romance. I’ve read romances with football and hockey but I don’t think I’ve read one with baseball yet. This was one of the things that got me interested in the book. I also love that particular bit in the blurb about an off-limits kind of romance.
What worked for me?
I was really pleased with the overall feel of this book. This is the first time I’m reading this author and yet I felt a sense of familiarity to her writing. Her words got through to me and her characters, gosh, Heather and Garrett just killed me not just with the romance aspect but with their individual back stories. Their voices were clear in my head and that made me feel closer to them as I read through the book.
Heather, in all accounts, would be considered an heiress. As the daughter of an owner of a baseball team in the Minor Leagues, she can be seen as one who leads a privileged life. But her life has not been completely perfect, with a mother who had suffered a drug addiction and a father who seems to have never learned to give even the simplest compliments to her daughter’s achievements. But she’s strong and she’s determined. And yet her hurts are very apparent to the reader and her hurts make me hurt as well.
Garrett, on the other hand, is a boy who came from the foster system but who was able to build a new life because of his talent as a baseball pitcher but an alcohol addiction had derailed his life until the day Heather’s father, signed him up for his team. He’s strong and very determined as well and yet his past continues to haunt him and drag him down with guilt.
It was so satisfying to watch these two face the worst of their fears with both trying to become the better versions of themselves as well as helping each other, although inadvertently and sometimes without meaning to. Their tentative relationship and slow burn romance was set in slower pace than I am used to (e.g., they don’t even share more than a kiss even past halfway the story) and yet I can still feel the strength of their emotions for one another.
What did not work for me?
As this was my first Harlequin Heartwarming line, I guess it took a little bit of getting used to since the heat level of the romance is much, much lower than what I am used to reading in my romances. But over-all, it still worked out with the rest of the story.
I also hoped there could have been more rationality when it came to that final conflict in the end. I felt like it was a bit of an overkill and then the characters suddenly came to their realizations and everything was well again. It just felt, for me, a little ragged at the edges.
My over-all take on it?
This was definitely a sweet and endearing story about two people finding their places in the world and learning to trust people again when trust was something that has been absent most their lives or something that has caused them so much hurt in the past. It also sends an inspiring message about learning to trust in yourself first and foremost and about having faith in the things that and the people who matter.
Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.
About the Author:
I’m an award-winning author of both YA and adult contemporary romance. When I’m not busy writing, I enjoy watching romantic comedies, cooking my nona’s Italian recipes and playing with my King Charles Cavalier cocker spaniels who haven’t learned how to ‘fetch’ but have taught me a lot about love.
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