Title: Making a Comeback
Series: More Than A Game, Book 3
Author: Kristina Mathews
Publisher: Kensington Publishing: Lyrical Press
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Genre: Contemporary, Sports, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours
With a divorce in the works, Annabelle Jones heads out to Southern California, the land of sun and starting over. She wants to prove to herself and her young daughters that she still has what it takes to turn heads as a swimsuit model—that she doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Until an accident forces her to rely on the hunky, yet mysterious man next door…
Other books in this series
There was an incredible sweetness to this very slow paced romance that made it worth reading. It wasn't about the accident that ended Annabelle's modeling career. It wasn't about the choice Cooper made that ended his baseball career. It was about seeing your worth beyond your career and believing you are more than a pretty face or a great baseball player.
Now, I love children in adult romances, especially when they are catalysts that propel the lead characters into a future together, but Annabelle's twin daughters, Sophie and Olivia, weren't the it factor for me at all. The "it" was Cooper and the overwhelming guilt and shame he carried on his shoulders.
His decision to take banned substances to hid an injury was stupid. In hindsight, even he saw that. And while he acknowledged his mistake, he still lost his career. Baseball was everything to him and now... Now, he didn't know what he had. Oh, wait! Yes he did. He had guilt and shame. They reminded him of what he'd done, that he wasn't worthy of being anyone's hero, whether that was a fan, the woman next door, or her adorable daughters.
You know, having those two things constantly weighing on you can do a number a person and the effects showed in Cooper, particularly in regards to Annabelle. He didn't think he was worthy and kept his true identity hidden. He was just Cooper, the guy next door who liked her, adored her daughters, and was willing and happy to help her out while she recovered. He didn't want her to know the real Nathan Cooper, the guy who got busted for using an illegal substance, the guy who was traded and missed playing in the championship with his former team, the guy who was now a free agent without a contract in sight.
Except that wasn't the real Nathan Cooper. The guy Annabelle and her girls saw everyday was the real Nathan Cooper, and knowing that guy blew knowing his public persona out of the water.
I'm not a huge baseball fan and I loved that this story was more about Cooper and Annabelle than the game. From acquaintances to friends to lovers, their story isn't just about finding love or love finding them. It's about seeing your worth through someone else's eyes, believing you are more than your image, and accepting the unconditional and unyielding support of someone who truly loves you no matter what secrets you might try to hide. A definite read for anyone who enjoys friends-to-lovers romances, sports romances, or just wants something a little bit slower paced yet immensely satisfying.
Kristina Mathews doesn't remember a time when she didn't have a book in her hand. Or in her head. But it wasn't until she turned forty that she confessed the reason the laundry never made it out of the dryer was because she was busy writing.
While she resigned from teaching with the arrival of her second son, she's remained an educator in some form. As a volunteer, parent club member or para educator, she finds the most satisfaction working with emergent and developing readers, helping foster confidence and a lifelong love of books.
Kristina lives in Northern California with her husband of more than twenty years, two sons and a black lab. A veteran road tripper, amateur renovator and sports fanatic. She hopes to one day travel all 3,073 miles of Highway 50 from Sacramento, CA to Ocean City, MD, replace her carpet with hardwood floors and serve as a “Ball Dudette” for the San Francisco Giants.