~ About the Book ~
Life has proven more complicated than she expected, juggling being a mother with her career and baseball travel. Add to that near-constant public scrutiny, and Camdyn Taylor finds herself overthinking her every move. But when her most outspoken critic becomes more brazen than ever, she’ll find herself questioning things she’s never second-guessed before.
Meanwhile, struggles at the plate begin to plague Cole Parker, causing him to fight even harder to keep his position on the team. The search for a successful formula haunts him, and when he finally thinks he’s stumbled onto the answer, it’s one he can’t control. The drive to prove himself in the sport soon threatens to compromise every other area of his life.
Happy ever after is a long-distant fantasy, but are they wrapped too tightly in stress and secrets to find their way back to a happy right now? The beloved characters from The Camdyn Series return in a fight to save everything they’ve built together.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Series: #1 The Parker Tales
Release date: 8 October 2018
~ Excerpt ~
Steeling myself for the worst, I pushed the button on his phone, bring a picture of Camdyn to life. Her hair fell over one shoulder, hiding part of her rosy pink-colored dress. They’d caught her mid-step, one of her black high heels on the sidewalk and one about to light in front of her. The sight of her made the corners of my lips inch up. My wife had absolutely no trouble catching my eye. She was as beautiful to me as the day we’d met.
And on the arm of another man.
“Lex Fairmont,” I stated, turning my attention to Purcell. “He’s her publisher. Book stuff.”
“Yeah, of course,” he muttered, still not giving me any eye contact. That alone was enough to send my gaze back to the phone.
Parker Slumps While Wife Does New York
A choice four-letter word slipped out as I leaned my side against the wood frame beside me, reading down through the story. My horrible stats were front and center, followed by the actions of my wife in the past few days. Camdyn isn’t worried about her husband’s lack of results, instead getting a little cozier with her publisher. More innuendo, stupid accusations. A general conclusion that somehow my wife’s actions were causing my inaction at the plate.
“Twitter?” I guessed, assuming that’s where the story had been shared with Purcell. Or Rojas. Or their brother’s fourth cousin twice removed. These things always had a way of sneaking in unexpectedly.
“Don’t go there,” Purcell said, glancing at the other guys who still remained in the room.
It was easy to think I’d evolved past high school insecurities most of the time, but knowing someone was talking about me and not looking at it was something I hadn’t mastered. Knowing someone was talking about my wife . . . even worse.
It only took a second to hit the back button and link up with the Twitter feed that brought the story to Purcell in the first place. Found the source of Parker’s ugly OBP. Right—because my wife meeting with her publishing company somehow prohibited me from getting on base. It was nuts, and my only thought was the flickering hope that she hadn’t seen it.
A random woman beneath the post had commented with some crying faces, declaring that I deserved a real woman. I knew better than to scroll down.
But I did anyway.
~ Review ~
When I first saw the title of this book, it didn’t just release butterflies in my stomach; it released bats. Big, black, hairy kamikaze ones. I absolutely fell in love with Cole and Camdyn in the Camdyn series (the precursor to this series), so when I found out Christina Coryell was returning to these characters I was soooooooo excited. And then she revealed the title. And I thought, “Uh-oh. That does not sound good.”
You see, I don’t just read Christina Coryell’s stories; I live them. She has one of the most natural and engaging writing styles I’ve ever read, and I tend to become more than a little emotionally invested in the story. Was I really ready for all this story would entail?
Well, that was a moot question once I’d read the first word. Sucked me right in like a black hole. Except this was so much better than a black hole. Cole and Camdyn are still the endearing characters I fell in love with, but living life mostly apart AND in the spotlight takes a toll on any marriage, especially when the pressure to perform is piled on top—or the pressure of an anonymous critic who’s becoming more like a stalker.
So yes, there was tension and unraveling—in fact, when a friend mentioned she’d had a difficult day with some tension at home, I almost said I had too, until I remembered that was the characters not me. Ahem . . . But Christina Coryell knows exactly when to ease the valve on the tension, and she writes her characters with such authenticity and maturity (in spite of their weaknesses) that I wanted to walk through their struggles with them and support them. (Did I mention I tend to get a little involved in her stories?)
She also deals with sensitive topics . . . well, sensitively, but without diminishing impact on the reader. I came through this story feeling as though I’d grown with these characters and believing in them more than ever. And I can’t wait to keep growing with them—even if the next title releases a flurry of pterodactyls in my stomach!
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ The Camdyn Series ~
~ About the Author ~
USA Today bestselling author Christina Coryell was born and raised in southwest Missouri, where she lives with her husband and children. She had plenty of people tell her that her degree in English with an emphasis on Creative Writing would be useless. They were probably right. Added to her dual major in History, she became the least likely candidate for nearly every career on the planet, save being a writer. That suits her just fine.
Christina has written from the back hatch of an SUV, in a lawn chair while at soccer practice, in the front seat of her car, with kids climbing on her, and often with extremely loud noise in the background. At least half of her books have been written during baseball games.
She believes great fiction mirrors life, and great life contains a little humor, so it’s difficult not to sprinkle a little funny business throughout her work. Oh…and character is everything.