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 another great novel from A.M. Madden. Quint and Annie were simply irresistible and their book took me on a rollercoaster of emotions. Their story was heartbreaking, frustrating, and altogether sweet, keeping me completely consumed by the chaos of their journey. Quint and Annie are childhood sweethearts, which lends itself to a ton of angst. Their solid beginning and long history makes everything in The Shortstop feel ten times more intense. I get really anxious when characters have a long history because it has a tendency to lead to devastating heartbreak. A.M. Madden had me tied up in knots while I waited for events to unfold in The Shortstop. Of course when things began to change, A.M. succeeded in ripping my heart out. This story played with my emotions, signifying the depth of my attachment to A.M.’s characters, who are so clearly at a major crossroads in life, something I could very much relate to.
“They used the analogy that tomorrow a tornado will suddenly appear in my life, and instead of running away I’ll be stepping into the storm. The only difference between a real tornado and what I’m about to experience is a real one ends within minutes. This one will go on and on.”
I really enjoyed Quint and Annie. As far as characters go, they were both well developed, showing significant growth as their story progressed. As things change between Annie and Quint and the future she’s envisioned is forced to shift, Annie goes through some serious self-reflection that challenges her to establish herself as an individual. A.M. Madden made Annie’s singular journey one of strength and unconditional love that moved me and made me feel deeply. Quint on the other hand, does his growing as some of life’s harsher realities force him down an unexpected path. His personal journey hurt me in a way that was very much visceral. The challenges and detours he is met with in this book were devastating and his struggle to adapt was heart wrenching. Daphne and Billy caught me by surprise. As far as secondary characters go, they had a pretty significant role in this book and they were just as successful at stomping on my heart.
“I hope the game treats him well, with as much respect and admiration that he’s give the sport. He’s really just a guy, with a dream and a huge heart. If anyone hurts him, I’ll kill them myself.”
I’m pretty sure A.M. Madden is a little bit evil, enjoying her ability to torture readers with her words. Quint and Annie’s story lulled me into a false sense of contentment for the first half only to veer off in a new direction, turning all of my emotions inside-out. Having known each other since childhood, their story spanned many years, and A.M. Madden did a great job at sharing essential pieces of their pasts in order to ground their connection in the present. The relationship between Quint and Annie is refreshing in it’s stability and deeply planted roots. Even as they move forward in life, they seem to hold onto that feeling of young love that makes you just want to let out a giant happy sigh. The chemistry between this couple happens to be pretty hot, which gives them that slight wicked edge that serves as a source of unapologetic flirtation, naughty innuendos, and some seriously dirty talk. A.M. Madden has written another fantastic love story with The Shortstop, delivering heat, heart, and humor to her readers in the form of this yummy baseball book boyfriend!
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Amazon Best Selling Author
A.M. Madden’s debut novel is Back-up, the first in The Back-Up Series. The series includes Back-Up, Front & Center, Encore, Backstage, and The Devil’s Lair Novella.
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.