05 May 2014

Strike Out by Cheryl Douglas

 When professional baseball player, Zach Foster, agreed to go into business with five of his best friends, he didn’t expect their little sports bar to evolve into a national chain, spanning fifty states, but it did. The business helps to fill the void in Zach’s life during the off-season, but when he closes his eyes at night, he still can’t forget the girl who left that gaping hole in his heart when she left him standing at the altar.
Lauren ‘Rennie’ Alexander would do anything to fulfill a sick child’s wish. Not only is it her job, as director of the Sky’s the Limit Foundation, but it’s her passion. So when her assistant brings her a letter scribbled in crayon, complete with an application from the little boy’s loving parents, Rennie is ready to make another dream come true. Until she realizes that sick little boy’s dream is her worst nightmare. He wants to meet his hero, baseball player, Zach Foster. The same lying jerk who broke Rennie’s heart. It’s seems she has no choice but to take one for the team.

Strike Out is a good start to the Texas Titans series. The prologue did an excellent job of setting the stage for the book and allowing the reader to connect with Zack and Rennie more quickly (at least for me). It certainly made it easier to understand the motivation behind their actions, both a decade ago and in the present. Ms. Douglas had done a nice job in creating two realistic characters in a difficult situation.

This is a second-chance romance featuring adult characters (early 30s) and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. While I will admit that I’m probably a bit more vindictive than Rennie (I would have told Zach about overhearing the conversation so he would know exactly why I left), I could appreciate how she handled the wedding scene. Fortunately, a decade helps heal a lot of wounds and while Rennie does what she can to avoid Zach when they’re both back in their hometown, she sucks it up and does the right thing when she is no longer able to avoid him and the reason behind her leaving him is revealed. While there is definite chemistry between the two, the author focuses more on the plot and relationship development and while we only get one sex scene between the two, it definitely gets the job done (if you know what I mean). The book had a great ending, but I felt it was a little rushed – or maybe I just wanted more of the story.

Ms. Douglas has given us a well-written novel that was well worth the ready. I honestly have no idea who may be featured in the next book in the series as I do not recall any of Zach’s teammates being introduced and that’s probably one of the biggest failings of the book. This is the Texas Titans series and I believe that the author missed a great opportunity to build the foundation for the series by not featuring the team and its players. That said, I am looking forward to the next book in the series and hope that Ms. Douglas takes the opportunity to present more of the players and the game.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GAPQ4FO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00GAPQ4FO&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20&linkId=42MIJA6J7V326JVJ    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/strike-out-cheryl-douglas/1117027454?ean=2940045297646&itm=1&usri=strike+out+cheryl+douglas


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