Friday 17 July 2015

Review - The Shortstop by A.M. Madden

Title: The Shortstop
Author: A.M. Madden
Release Date: July 13, 2015

“Quint and Annie sitting in a tree…K.I.S.S.I.N.G.” 

Quint Lawson and Annie Weber heard that childhood song over and over and it never bothered them. Even though Quint was only five, Annie wasn’t just his neighbor. She would become his best friend and the love of his life. Annie wasn’t interested in dolls, or girly things when growing up. A tomboy at heart, having a boy as a best friend suited her just fine. That same boy captured her heart.

Quint had two passions, his girl and baseball. From kindergarten to college, Quint tore up every baseball diamond he played on. His position was shortstop. His talent was undeniable. Professional ball was most definitely in his future, and he was ready for it. Annie would be right by his side. 

When everything in life is perfect, it’s hard to imagine heartbreak in any form. Quint wasn’t immune to its power. This shortstop had no idea what any form of heartbreak could do to his perfect world. When it hit, there were many casualties left in its wake…the most important one was Annie. 

Can a person be prepared for, understand, or even endure a misfortune if they’ve never experienced one before? In Quint Lawson’s case the answer is no.

The Shortstop is a contemporary romance stand alone novel meant for readers who are 18+ due to mature content.

Holy hell, this book… Ms. Madden RIPPED my heart out and put it back together piece by tiny piece…

Quint Lawson knows two things: he loves baseball and Annie Lawson. Baseball and Annie go together, both are equally important, both are integral to his life and happiness. He lived and breathed for baseball and Annie.

Annie Weber has been in love with Quint since they were just five years old. Neighbors, best friends, boyfriend and girlfriend, lovers. Annie can’t imagine living her life without Quint at its epicenter.

But what happens when the unspeakable happens? What happens when your world as you know it is ripped out from under you? What happens when you lose everything?

Oh. My. God. This book… I say I “cringe” read it. I flipped pages because I HAD TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN but I CRINGED with every page turn. To the point where I may have threatened to hunt down Ms. Madden if this didn’t end in the HEA I wanted. I kid—a little…

I FLOVED Quint and Annie. Their love, angst, anger, sadness, happiness, uncertainty, hope, faith, friendship—basically everything about each of them, I LOVED. Even at their worst moments, I LOVED them… Well, I wanted to hit them up-side the head a couple times, but I still loved them. 

Add in their parents and friends, and I couldn’t get enough of them. I loved everything about this book from start to finish. 10 stars if I could… 
~ Review by Missy

Good grief...this book took me through a tornado of emotions, not knowing if Quint and Annie would get their HEA. The closer I got to end, the more nervous I got.

Ahhh, dreamy Quint Lawson had his future set at a young age. His love for baseball was always his first love, that is, until he started growing up and noticing his best friend, Annie. They have been inseparable since they were 5 years old, always being there for one another. 

As Quint and Annie continue to face the future together, out of nowhere comes out an event that has Quint questioning if he can really offer Annie happiness. My goodness, their story had me going crazy, often yelling at my tablet, ‘Are you f*cking kidding me? What the hell, Quint?!’ And then, when I thought it could not get any worse, I was proven wrong and my heart broke along with Annie's.... 

One thing is for sure, this story really is as realistic as it comes, because these players (and their loved ones) can and do suffer with what Quint and Annie went through. 

Be prepared to sigh, laugh, cry, cuss, love and feel like you've been put through a ringer.... Be prepared to not be interrupted because once you start, you won't want to put it down until you know how their story ends. 
~ Review by Kara

Quint and Annie have known each other since they were five years old, and they’ve been in a relationship with each other for almost that long. They’re best friends and lovers, and the only future they can see is in each other. Then – life happens and the world goes topsy turvy , forever altering the course of their lives and their relationship. 

This book was a slow starter for me. I spent almost the entire first half wondering why anyone liked these people. None of them seemed very likeable. Quint seemed single-minded and self-centered. Annie seemed weak and wishy washy. Things were supposedly good in Annie and Quint’s world, but all I felt was meh.

And then - the (literal) game-changer. 

Quint’s accident didn’t do anything to change my opinion of him. I’m of a “suck it up, buttercup” mentality and so had little patience for the way Quint completely shut down, and the way he hurt every single person in his life. The terrible, awful, destructive decisions he made. None of these things touched my heart. Sure, Quint had to give up a dream – but there are always other dreams. 

My feelings towards Annie, however, did change. The way she picked herself up by her bootstraps and made an effort to deal with the curveballs life threw at her. The backbone that had been missing the entire first half seemed to settle in and solidify. I warmed towards her and recognized in her a very basic humanity. She’s every woman, trying to cope with the unexpected challenges that shake us at our foundation.

Then, something wondrous happened. As Quint evolved and worked through his baggage, my feelings toward him took the same turn as my feelings toward Annie. It was then I realized what A.M. Madden had done. Ms. Madden has created multi-faceted, complicated characters with such depth that, without even realizing it was happening, I found myself fully invested and crying happy tears as the story reached its happy ending. 

This book – represents real life. Sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes it’s messy and hurts like a son of a bitch. Sometimes love feels like hate. And sometimes, if we’re lucky, we love someone enough to make it work anyway. And - if we’re really lucky, it works even better than it did at the start. 

In the end, Quint and Annie’s story is heartbreaking, beautiful, redemptive and realistic. My heart is happy. 
~ Review by Shelly

A.M. Madden is a wife, a mother, an avid reader of romance novels and now an author. In Back-up she aspired to create a fun, sexy, realistic romantic story. She wanted to create characters that the reader could relate to and feel as if they knew personally. A self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, she loves getting lost in a good book. She also uses every free moment of her time writing, while raising teenage boys.

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