by Rhonda Shaw
Playing for keeps
After nine years of striking out in the dating department, Maddie Hamlin is throwing in the towel. But just as this mom resolves to remain single, she meets sweet and sexy pitching phenom Chase Patton at a family dinner. He’s perfect for her and aside from the fact he’s only twenty-two.
Chase knows he should be focusing on his rookie year with the Detroit Rockets, but he can’t stop thinking about Maddie. He doesn’t care that the beautiful school counselor is twelve years older, and he’s already lost his heart to her adorable daughter. When an incredible date leads to an incredible night of passion, he knows he never wants to let her go.
But dating in the media spotlight is a whole new ball game. Maddie quickly discovers that not everyone accepts their unconventional relationship and that finding love may mean losing everything else…
It turned out not to be that long after all. For the first two innings, Chase worked past his issues and succeeded in striking out three batters while the others had managed to fly out or groundout. He started to fall apart, however, when he faced the first batter in the bottom of the third inning and ended up walking him on four straight pitches. Rather than shaking it off, he felt himself tighten up and his restraint started to falter. Nothing he did helped to relax him. He paced the mound too many times, rolled his shoulders too much and the crowd noise crawled under his skin. Chase knew he should remove himself from the game, make up some injury, before he cost them the win, but he would not claim defeat, stubbornly refusing to give up. When he stepped back on the mound and faced the next batter, setting himself to throw a fastball, he knew he was going to make a huge mistake if he kept going. He wasn’t mentally prepared or in control. His emotions were controlling him and that was not his game.
He shouldn’t have thrown the pitch. As he watched the ball sail through the air, gaining height and speed as it approached the plate, he wasn’t surprised when it cut to the left and nailed the batter smack in between his shoulder blades. What happened next did surprise him, however.
Maddie Hamlin, a 34-year old divorcee of a rough marriage, has a tough time trusting in relationships. She is raising her daughter, Bree, alone. She has, after many failed attempts, given up on dating.
Chase Patton is very mature and settled for a 22-year old and he is a newly famous pitcher for the professional baseball team, "The Detroit Rockets." The two meet at Maddie's sister, Lenore's, house when Chase comes as a guest of Maddie's college student niece, Sandy. Chase and Maddie find themselves in the tough position of a budding May-December romance. Despite Chase's attempts to reassure Maddie, she has a problem overcoming their age difference.
Readers of "The Changeup" will understand Maddie's attraction to the very tall, handsome, virile Chase. They will revel in Chase's desire for the intelligent, naturally beautiful, single mother, Maddie. They will enjoy the growing friendship between Chase and Bree and will pull for the couple to make the three a family. ~reviewed by JoEllen
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
After writing one mind numbing technical document after another, Rhonda Shaw decided to combine her love of writing with her love of reading romance. Born in California, but transplanted to the Midwest, Rhonda is a warm weather girl to the bone. She works in the software development industry and was a lifelong dancer until her body told her it was time to come down off her toes. For more information about Rhonda and her books, please visit her website at http://www.rhondashaw.com.
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