Sunday, June 28, 2015

Summer reading: All of Me

All of Me
Jennifer Bernard

I’ll admit: I’m a convert. From firemen to baseball players, I’ll follow Jennifer Barnard with her new series, and thankfully she doesn’t disappoint.

Book 1 in this new series features the minor leagues, but the story lives up to major potential. Caleb Hart is a first-rate pitcher who’s lost his mojo. Inspiration comes in the form of Sadie Merritt, who after a bad break-up with a nasty ex, only wants to focus on work and definitely stay away from boys, especially hunky bad boys.

What brings Bernard’s stories to life are the relatable and likeable characters. We get into the psyche of Hart, and he’s a good guy:

“Caleb nodded, and handed him the ball. It felt like handing over a piece of his heart.”

For Sadie, staying away doesn’t come too easy when her job throws her together with Caleb for a PR campaign to “Save the Slugs,” and reform the image of the partying baseball team, Kilby Catfish.

“The last thing she wanted was to run into that ballplayer again. That half-naked hunk of a ballplayer. Annoyingly, he hadn’t even smelled bad, despite his sweaty state. He’d smelled like sun-heated flesh and oiled leather. He’d radiated furious energy, a kind of restless power, as if he wanted to shake up the world and put it back the way he wanted.”

Bernard takes readers on an emotional whirlwind as fast as Caleb’s 90 mph fastball. In a scene toward the end – no spoilers – I went from out-loud giggling to tears like that *snaps fingers*. It doesn’t matter that we know it’ll all work out. It’s the process that’s magical.

All of Me sets up the Love Between the Bases series. Next up, I’m hoping to find out more about her best friend Donna and player Mike. But you know how these authors are; she may make us wait a while for that story!

For more information, visit Jen’s webpage.

Until next time,

Louisa Bacio

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