Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Blog Tour: Back in the Game by Lori Wilde

Lori Wilde's new Stardust, Texas series begins with the books-and-baseball themed Back in the Game. This sweet contemporary romance published by Avon features a young woman spreading her wings and a pitcher trying to regain his footing after being knocked on his butt (literally and figuratively). I can't think of a better way to kick-off the baseball season than with this book! 

For other stops on the tour, check out Tasty Book Tours.
The Book

New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde welcomes you to Stardust, Texas . . . where dreams come true and love is always right around the corner

Wanted: ghostwriter. Must be female, a baseball fan, and have a great pair of legs.

Ex-pitcher Rowdy Blanton never saw a woman he couldn't conquer or a team he couldn't beat. And now that he's off the field he's ready to tell all about when he played the field. So he chooses Breeanne Carlyle to do the job-she's got the requirements, but more important, there's something about her that makes him want to be a better man.

Convinced there's more to Rowdy than a good fastball, a wicked smile, and a tight pair of pants, Breeanne can't help but be tempted. After all, it's boring always being the good girl, and Rowdy dares her to be just a little bad. The stakes are high, but win or lose, this time Breeanne's breaking all the rules playing the game of love.

Back in the Game is available now!


            Breeanne Carlyle disliked estate sales.
            The forlorn belongings of the recently departed, cataloged and arranged for easy browsing, gave her chill bumps in the same way as the turkey buzzards that nested in the Loblolly pine outside her bedroom window. Each year the vultures raised a new set of voracious young to patrol the two-lane, farm-to-market road extending from Stardust, Texas north to Jefferson, keen-eyed for the misfortune of others.
            It was not what Breeanne wanted to do with her life, this picking through of things left behind.
            But here she was, doing it all the same.
            How could she tell her parents that she had dreams beyond Timeless Treasures? While she loved the family business that was part antique store, part bookstore, part tearoom, and the undisputed hub of Stardust for the last twenty-five years, she burned for a real writing career.
            She’d enjoyed a tiny bit of literary success, just enough to stoke the flickering candle of her hunger to a raging blaze. She’d written a book about her great-aunt Polly, who played centerfield in the Women’s Professional Baseball League during WWII. She’d gotten an agent, sold to a regional press for a modest advance, and they had contracted her to write a follow up book about the history of baseball in Texas.
            Foolishly, stupidly, she believed she was on her way.
            Then her publisher went out of business. No one else wanted the second book. Her agent quit taking her calls. Doggedly determined to make it as a writer, she self-published her second book.
            And promptly fell down the well of Internet obscurity.
            The book had been available online for six months, and despite extensive promotional efforts that plowed through her savings, she’d sold the grand total of eighty-seven copies, and as far as she could tell, every single one of those to family and friends.
            “That means you have eighty-seven people who love you enough to buy your book,” her mother said at Breeanne’s disappointment. “You are rich beyond words.”
            “You’re working too hard,” Dad had said. “Take a break.”
            Her father’s comment splashed over her like gasoline on a campfire. “No,” she declared, shocked by the powerful punch of anger pushing out of her. “You’re wrong. I haven’t been working hard enough!”
            Unaccustomed to opinionated outbursts from their most easy-going daughter, her parents had both taken a step back, and exchanged wary glances.
            “You’re becoming obsessed with this writing thing,” her mother said. “It’s not healthy. You need to relax. Go swing in the hammock. Get some sunshine.”
            Dad smiled a gentle smile. “You know, Angel, it’s next to impossible to make a living as a writer. The Rangers are playing the Cardinals on TV at two, what say you come watch the game with your old man?”
                        Because she did love her father and baseball, Breeanne backed down, and instead of going to her room to write, she went to watch the game with him. But the entire time, she couldn’t stop thinking, he doesn’t believe in me, they don’t believe in me, no one believes in me.

My Review

Lori Wilde's Back in the Game is a sweet contemporary romance that would make for some great weekend fluff reading. 

The book touches on one of my sweet spots - main character Breeanne is an author, having published two books and aspiring to more. Back in the Game capitalizes on this moment in her life when she not only yearns to break free of her understandably protective family but also to launch herself wholeheartedly into her writing career. Her family drove me nuts in that way that families can. They're so overprotective of her, and their expectations are so low that I was cheering everytime Breeanne stands up for what she wants. Not sure how I'll feel coming back to the series assuming her sisters feature in them, but for *this* book, they worked.

Rowdy was fantastic, tortured by his situation, by the professional distance between him and Breeanne. There's also a great relationship between him and his bodyguard/friend that really gave some colour to the character. 

I love that Breeanne and Rowdy have the time to get to know each other. They may experience insta-lust but this book doesn't have that insta-love issue that so many seem to these days. There's a thoughtful progression in theri relationship that I enjoyed.

Though there are some pretty potentially heavy issues in this book, it skates a bit superficially across them. Even Rowdy's physio situation seems to fall by the wayside as work on the book proceeds. This was okay with me - yes, Back in the Game could have become quite heavy and emotional, but instead it stays on the lighter side of things without becoming frivolous. 

There is an odd little superstitious/paranormal/magic type component that felt really unnecessary to me. The romance was strong enough on its own without needing a magic device to aid it. 

The Bottom Line:

Back in the Game satisfies my romantic sweet tooth. I loved the main characters and I enjoyed their journey together (and was pleased that they actually had one). I'd recommend this to fans of romance.

4.5 stars
For fans of baseball, writers, contemporary romance

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.
Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award. She's won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.

Find her on the web:


Avon is hosting a TOUR WIDE Rafflecopter Giveaway for a Print Book Bundle including BACK IN THE GAME and Books 1-5 of the Twilight Texas Series.

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  1. I have never read a Lori Wilde book. I really need to change that!

    1. You must Felicia S... because you are definitely missing out on some great reading time . Lori Wilde's books are fantastic.... check out her facebook and her website too. ... awesome author and lady !


  2. Hi, thanks so much for featuring me today!