Stardust, Texas #3
In Love of the Game (Stardust, Texas #3) by Lori Wilde, Physical Therapist Kasha Carlyle needs her new job, if she's to ever have a chance of taking care of her sister; a younger half-sister she never knew anything about until recently. But denying the chemistry she has with her newest patient, Axel Richmond, is impossible. Especially when he's charming, sexy and flirts with her any time they're together. However, it's not just fighting her attraction to Axel that's difficult. It's that if she can't improve the progress of his recovery from an injury in a week, she'll lose her job anyway.
Pitcher Axel Richmond needs to get back on the diamond and playing for the Dallas Gunslingers, so he can keep the promise he made to his late son before he died. Choosing to let Kasha help him to recover instead of undergoing surgery is the best decision he could ever make, especially when they get to spend time together on a friend's ranch. But when the time comes, and big decisions have to be made, will Axel follow through on his promise or choose the woman that's come to mean so much to him?
I haven't read a book by Ms. Wilde before, but now that I have, I'll be reading more of this author's work in the future. Because right from the beginning, this book was charming, full of emotion and so entertaining that I couldn't put it down for even a second. I liked the way it started with Axel getting a progress report on his injury, and Kasha offering her opinion, which gets her in trouble. Yet, at the same time, she's determined to prove that she can help Axel.
Both characters were compelling, and the dialogue between them was fun; and full of playful moments, as Axel does his best to melt away at Kasha's need for control. However, the dialogue was also intense due to both the main characters back stories, Kasha's need to take care of her sister because she thinks it will make up for the fact that her mother denied her half-sister a father, and Axel's determination to honor the promise he made to his late son.
Kasha is strong, brave, independent and tenacious. She's determined to help Axel get better while fighting the strong chemistry between them. Chemistry that had me cheering the moment they finally surrendered to their feelings, which eventually spilled over onto the pages in nicely-detailed sex scenes.
The heroine has been through so much in her life, and she's lucky to have her adoptive parents and siblings. They're a close-knit, loving family, and support her as much as she lets them. That's why it's so hard for her to tell them what's going on in her life, because she doesn't want to hurt them.
Indeed, it was difficult not to be affected by the emotions and reactions, of both Kasha and Axel. I felt sorry for her. Losing her biological parents in the manner that she did, the horrible way people treated her after the horrible ordeal, it wouldn't have been easy to cope. But she managed with finding an activity that calmed her -- yoga. Then there's Axel and how much he misses his son. He loved the boy very much, and it has made him realize that life it too short to not go after what he wants -- Kasha.
While Axel, he's confident, hard-working, and always pushing himself like he constantly has something to prove to someone. Perhaps it's to do with the promise he made to his son, yet it seemed more than that. Even the way he was with Kasha, desperate for her to give him a chance, he didn't give up until he proved she could trust him. Luckily, Kasha realizes that she needs Axel just as much as he needs her. Besides, how can they doubt the hope chest her sister gave her? It's proven to be a good thing for the couples it's brought together.
Overall, Ms. Wilde has penned a wonderful read that had me wanting to cry for all that the main characters have been through, but -- in the end -- had me rejoicing at how much they've come through the other side of that heartache for the better. Because they're a couple meant to be, no matter what obstacles they had to face to be together. The ending wrapped this story up nicely, and I liked how Axel fought for his and Kasha's relationship. She needed to know how much he wanted her, and how he couldn't let her go so easily. Not even so he could keep the promise he made to his son. I would recommend Love of the Game by Lori Wilde, if you enjoy small town romances, or stories where the hero has to convince the heroine that they're meant to be.
A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde…
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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
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.