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Thursday, March 22, 2018

WILL GRANT, CENTER FIELD -- NEW RELEASE! #romance #sportsromance

Sometimes reviewers can sum up a book better than the author. Here are two of my favorite reviews:

March 27, 2018Format: Kindle Edition   A heartwarming tale of finding and creating a family when fate steps in with those curve balls the 'Hawks handle so well. This time it's Will, a hard-working guy given the chance of a lifetime in the major leagues, only to discover his real challenge lies off the field when he meets Jackie and her precocious son Mickey during winter baseball camp.   Continuing with the Bottom of the Ninth series emphasis on well-rounded characters who are genuine - warts and all - Will Grant's story takes a strong turn to how it feels when a man tries to do the right thing, then has to look failure in the eye and still keep on swinging. Jackie is one of the strongest female leads in this series, with real emotions and grit, and her son Mickey is a star-struck six-year-old with a story arc of his own that drives this lovely tale of what it means to be family - both on and off the field.   I recommended this very satisfying exploration of learning to fit in and second chances.


"Once again Ms. Joachim hits one out of the park with this heartstring pulling story of rookie Will Grant,Jackie Rice and her adorable little boy Mickey. The foolhardy teasing to the young rookie is sure to make you smile. 
   Remembering how each and every player before him had to walk the path of good natured ribbing when they went after the female of their choice will make you laugh, shake your head and wonder if they will ever grow up. Our favorite author likes to spice her stories up with deeper and sometime tough topics and this one was no exception. 
   Love has no boundaries, society viewpoint tends to set the standards for what is acceptable and what is not, usually with a double standard. We view a couple that has an older male counterpart as acceptable but when the woman is the older partner she becomes a horrible person. Jackie made many references to their age difference as she struggled to accept her growing relationship with young Will. The fact she was a single mother and had a young son was also a hot topic, as they came as a package deal.          
   Many people are not willing to take on a ready made family and the responsibilities that come with them. The circumstances around Jackie's single parent hood also played a major role creating an underlying feeling of impending doom and the waiting of the preverbal other shoe dropping.
    The 1 in a million chance that Jackie's choices and a choice from Will's past would actually collide make for some intense drama. Ms. Joachim allowed us to see this situation from both sides, letting you feel both characters emotions, see both points of view and reminding the reader that a seemingly unimportant choice can cause consequences that can come back and bite you in the a@# in the future. A great story, awesome characters and a storyline that made you think." N.D.

This snippet takes place in Florida. Will's participating in the Nighthawks baseball camp for kids. It's his first day in the camp.

The next morning, he rose early and grabbed breakfast in the hotel dining room. He studied the roster, memorizing the kids’ pictures. He wanted to be able to greet them by name. He remembered how he’d felt on the first day of Little League. His mom had taken him. He had been small, short and slight back then. His teammates had nicknamed him “Bobble” because, with a helmet on, his head looked so big, he resembled a bobble-head doll.
He’d been intimidated at first. But his mother bucked him up. She and his dad worked with him after school. It wasn’t long before he was hitting doubles and outrunning the other team. He caught more fly balls than anyone else. After the first month, no one was calling him that atrocious name anymore. At the end of the season, the little kid from Sycamore Lane was a shoo-in for the most valuable player award. These kids were probably scared and unsure of themselves. He’d offer them a friendly, welcoming greeting, so they’d feel important.
There were twenty kids: ten per team, mixed, boys and girls, though there were only four girls. He’d make sure they got the same workout as the boys, but gentler. He remembered how he’d recruited his sister to work out and practice with him. This would be a cinch.
The packet contained directions to the stadium. He glanced at the wall clock. It was only eight. The kids weren’t coming until nine. Might as well get an early start. He pushed up from the table, fished the car keys out of his pocket, and headed for the door. Blam! A little kid wearing a miniature Nighthawks’ uniform slammed into him, almost knocking him down.
He narrowed his eyes. “Mickey? Mickey Rice?” The kid looked adorable.
“Hey, mister, how come you know my name?” The boy shot a suspicious look at Will.
“I’m Will Grant. Center fielder for the Nighthawks,” he said, offering his hand.
“Oh boy! You’re Will Grant! Mom! Mom!” the boy said, looking for his mother.
Huffing and puffing, an attractive blonde woman ran up behind the boy.
“This is Will Grant, Mom. He plays center field,” Mickey said.
“Did you apologize, Mickey? You almost knocked him down.”
“Oh, yeah. Sorry, sorry.”
“No problem.”
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Grant,” Jackie said, offering her hand.
He took it. Her hand was small but strong. Taken by surprise by her beauty, he stared. Words jumbled on his tongue like a seventh grader. She was gorgeous. Sucking in air, he forced himself to focus.
“Ms. Rice. Nice to meet you,” Will said, trying not to drown in her blue eyes. Then he turned his attention to the boy. “And, you, too, Mickey.” Jackie glanced at her watch, then fastened her hand on her son’s shoulder and pointed him toward the dining room. Will took the opportunity to glance down at her left hand. No wedding or engagement ring.
“We’ve got to eat, Mickey, if we’re going to be on time.”
“See you at the stadium,” Will said, making eye contact with the pretty blonde.
She lifted her hand in a casual wave, gave him the once-over, and turned toward the dining room. Mickey waved, then let his mother lead him through the door.
Will smiled. What a fine woman, slim, but not skinny, with juicy curves in all the right places. She had checked him out, too, but he couldn’t tell if she liked what she saw. He knew one thing, though she might have a year or two on him, she was one hot baseball mama. Grinning, he headed for the parking lot. A little zing shot up his spine. Looked like this gig might have hidden benefits.
He had to be careful. Will didn’t want to make a play for a woman, only to get shot down and have her complain to management. That’s all he needed—a sexual harassment allegation. Just the idea made him sweat. He’d worked too hard to get to the Nighthawks to let his dick short-circuit his career.