Making a Comeback
More than a Game # 3
By: Kristina Mathews
Releasing July 7th, 2015
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…
Nathan Cooper is trying to revive his own career. Once a top left-handed relief pitcher, he tried to get over a hidden injury with the aid of banned substances. Not only was he caught and suspended, he was traded and missed out on winning the championship. Now he’s a free agent without a contract, and that means life is ready to play ball…
Today was a good day. A glorious day. Sitting at the stoplight in the Southern California sunshine, Annabelle Jones did a drum solo on the steering wheel of her convertible Mercedes. She didn’t care if people stared at her singing along to “Don’t Stop Believing.” She hadn’t stopped believing, and look at her now, fresh off her first modeling job since filing for divorce. So it wasn’t the cover of Sports Illustrated, still, it was a job. Something she could be proud of. Her daughters could be proud of her.
It wasn’t about the money. The income she earned from this modeling job was more about pride. Having something to offer the world, even if it was just her face.
Annabelle wanted to show her daughters that a woman didn’t need a man to take care of her. She could stand on her own two feet, and return to the career she’d given up when she married Clayton Barry. She might not fly off to exotic locations or work with the world’s most famous photographers, but she was working.
She lifted her face to the sun, soaking in its warmth. It was as if the fog of the last few years had finally lifted. Nothing but blue skies ahead for her and her six-year-old twin daughters.
Today’s shoot was just the beginning. Her agent had two more jobs lined up for her before the end of the month. He’d also scheduled her to attend the televised celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She hadn’t been able to make the photo shoot last fall in New York for the magazine, but he thought making an appearance on the live show would give her plenty of exposure.
Hopefully, she’d be able to juggle it all. Part of what appealed to her about today’s job was that it was close enough that she’d be able to shoot for a few hours and still get home in time to meet her daughters when they got off the school bus.
Annabelle glanced at the clock. If the light didn’t change soon, she wasn’t going to make it to the bus stop in time.
The song ended and Annabelle turned down the volume. She’d started listening to Journey during the Goliaths’ World Series run. So the song was five years older than she was, the message still rang true. It was about hope. Starting over. Believing.
The traffic light turned green, and she pulled into the intersection. A flash of yellow appeared out of the corner of her eye. She turned in time to see an SUV blow through the stoplight. Before she could react, the vehicle struck her Mercedes just behind the driver’s side door.
Her head slammed into the side window. Glass shattered and she looked down at the blood on her blouse. A thousand black pixels danced before her eyes.
And then nothing.
Now this is the perfect balance of just about everything I love in a contemporary romance story. Wonderful writing that flows easily and keeps my attention from start to finish, well developed characters who you can easily become invested in, and a storyline that's believable, interesting and entertaining.
Right from the opening scene, I was pulled into the story and if it wasn't for the fact that I have to actually sleep, I would have finished this off in a single sitting. The dialogue between the characters is witty and engaging, and with a plot that could be taken straight from the real world, this story is relevant and relatable.
I loved the characters. Cooper is your textbook athlete hero-hot and sexy, strong and protective-with one teeny tiny flaw. Okay, maybe not so tiny but the regret and remorse he demonstrates shows his understanding of the impact of what he did, and endeared him even more to me the more I read. And Annabelle is an amazing woman and role model for her little girls. A strong, independent woman and an excellent example for a leading female character.
But honestly, Annabelle's twin daughters, Sophie and Olivia, really steal the show. Absolutely adorable and quite precocious, they complement each other perfectly and the story would just not be the same without their charming banter. The way they take to Cooper is so sweet-and between Annabelle, Cooper and the girls, everything just...clicks.
The only thing holding me back a bit was the tiny frustration I felt when the characters would make assumptions or not express their true feelings.
A story of redemption, finding love, and creating family, Making A Comeback was a truly enjoyable read, and I would definitely recommend it to both contemporary romance and sports romance fans. 4.5 sweet stars, recommended for 18+ due to adult sexual scenes.
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.
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