Monday, April 25, 2016

Review - Love of the Game by Lori Wilde @LoriWilde @avonbooks

Love of the Game by Lori Wilde
Series: Stardust, Texas #3
Harper Collins - Avon Books
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
Date Read: April 25, 2016
Source: Publisher

Lori Wilde’s returns to the beloved town of Stardust, Texas with Love of the Game.

In the third addition to the Stardust series, Lori Wilde introduces Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond. Axel was living the good life but even the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But when he needs physical therapy after a shoulder injury, he’s stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas. Even though Stardust has a reputation for love, this pitcher seems to be striking out with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle can’t strike out on her new job as the physical therapist for the Dallas Gunslingers. She has one week to get Axel Richmond back in action or she can kiss her job and her chance to seek custody of the orphaned sister she never knew existed goodbye. Even with his major league good looks, Kasha must find a way to resist his charm.

But as his injury heals, Kasha realizes his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing. It may require all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy movies in extra innings for them to find love.

Love of the Game is a wonderfully charming read that will capture the readers and have them rooting for more!

My Review

I really liked this romantic story.   This is the third book in the Stardust, Texas series but I think it would read perfectly fine as a stand alone novel.  I did read and enjoy the first book in the series so I knew that I was in for a treat when I picked up this newest installment.  I was not disappointed.  The characters were interesting and the romance was really sweet with a lot of chemistry.   It was a really nice romance to get lost in for a little while.

Kasha was a really interesting character.  She has had a troubled past until she joined the Carlyle family.  She is very cautious about how she approaches things and has a strong need to always be in control of her emotions.  She has just started working for the Gunslingers as a physical therapist and is trying to stay under the radar during her probationary period.  Everything changes when she gives her honest opinion about Axel's recovery plan.

Axel is the star pitcher for the Gunslingers.  He is working really hard to get his shoulder healed so that he can start playing again.  Axel is the type of player who pushes himself and he has a very hard time getting used to the idea that what his shoulder may actually need is a bit of rest.  He is very goal focused with dreams of eventually playing for the Yankees in the World Series never far from his mind.

I liked Axel and Kasha together.  There is a lot of chemistry between the pair from the very beginning.  They don't actually act on any of their feelings for a long time in the story and I think the build up made everything sweeter when things really started to happen.  They were both so thoughtful of each other and really took each other's needs into consideration.  They both have dealt with major issues in their past that have shaped their outlook in life.  I thought that they were really good for each other.

The only thing that drove me a bit crazy was the way that Kasha's sister, Emma, was constantly compared to a child.  She is not a child.  She is an adult with Down's Syndrome which is a very different thing.  I spent a lot of years working individuals with developmental disabilities and this is one thing that always drives me crazy.  Kasha does learn a lot about his sister during the story and by the end of the book she does adjust her thinking by the end of the story.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.   This story doesn't really have a strong sports theme even though one of the main characters plays a sport.  I have read and enjoyed several other books by Lori Wilde.  I do plan to read more from this very talented author including other books from this series.  I really want to know what else is in that hope chest!

I received a review copy of this book from Harper Collins Publishers - Avon for the purpose of providing an honest review.
The Series - Stardust, Texas
Book #1 - Back in the Game - My Review
Book #2 - Rules of the Game
Book #3 - Love of the Game
About the Author

New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Texas Christian University and a certificate in forensic nursing from Kaplan University. She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

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. Her books have been translated into 27 languages and excerpted in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Complete Woman, and Quick and Simple magazines. She lives in Texas with her husband, Bill, and her two New American Shepherds.


  1. I love sports-themed romance! Though I'm not a huge fan of baseball, I still like seeing these athletes out of to speak. ;)

    1. There really wasn't a lot of baseball in this one even thought you would think there would be. There is something wonderful about a baseball player though.

  2. This looks good! I love sports themed stories and I love baseball AND I've been wanting to read Lori Wilde for ages so this book and this series in general look like something I'd enjoy. I can definitely see where the attitudes about Emma would be annoying but I am glad it sounds like Kasha begins to understand a bit better by the end so that always helps.

    1. I am liking this series. I haven't read a lot of Lori Wilde but have enjoyed the books that I have read. I do wish that Emma would have been dealt with just a little be differently.

  3. I really need to get on the stick and read this series. You describe a book that I want to read. Love baseball heroes and settings.
    Nice review, Carole!

    1. Thanks, Sophia Rose! I really need to go back and read book 2 very soon. I hate it when I jump around like this.

  4. Great review Carole this book really looks and sounds absolutely amazing and right up my alley. Now I am very intrigued to check out this book after reading your review! Thank you for your awesome post Carole.

    1. Thanks, Katiria! I hope you get a chance to read this one.

  5. Aw sounds great. Hmm, I totally get your frustration about the sister. That would probably bug me too.

    1. I really tried not to let it bother me but it is a major pet peeve of mine. Adults should never be treated like children regardless of disability.


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