Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Age Group: Adult
Publication Date: February 25th 2014
Series: Keller Family #7
Source: Provided by author for review
In one moment Christian Keller's life was changed. Now as he picks up the pieces he wonders if he can possibly recoup what he lost. Victoria Lincoln had a promising future with Christian until an accident took the life of her sister and left her as guardian to her two small children. Their lives have gone in different directions, but Christian and Victoria's paths will cross again. It will take a lot of change to pick up where they left off-if either of them can.
Christian Keller has been an enigma to me since I first met him in book 2 of the series, A Second Chance. His little family had been going through a lot with his mother battling breast cancer and his father about to remarry. As a young boy he was quiet and reserved. I knew when everyone was shaving their heads in solidarity for his mother and he refused that he was going to present a challenge in character growth. Christian has had his share of wonderful life moments along the way. A promising baseball career and a loving girlfriend turned fiance, Victoria, and the Keller's seem to be happier than ever. Going into this I had known about Chris and Vicky for the past few books. I didn't know much about her as a person or them as a couple and for some reason I didn't think their relationship was long term. Even when they got engaged. I guess because most of the other characters had found their significant others by chance and weren't established like Chris and Victoria, I just assumed he would be paired with someone else. I was happy to discover this book was about them but sad to find it was about their struggle to overcome a tragedy.
Christian may have been a quiet boy but when he got into pro ball he opened up and became a little bit more easy going and cocky. He was a teensy bit of a ladies man until he met Victoria. I wasn't sure how they had met from previous books but apparently they were introduced on a blind date by Victoria's sister who was married to Christians best friend and the two hit it off from there. When Home Run opens it's to a picture of despair you know won't be easy after a drunk driver crashes into the car they are all in. A wreck that resulted in the loss of Victoria's sister and Chris' best friend leaving Chris with a career ending knee injury and Victoria with two small children to raise. Christian wasn't ready to be a "Just add water" dad and in a cowardly move breaks up with Victoria leaving her not only injured but alone with her sisters kids to raise.
I was very surprised by Christians behavior in this book. I knew he had his selfish moments but leaving a woman he loved enough to want to marry her was harsh. I understood how he felt with the weight of losing his dream to play pro ball but his actions were so UN-Keller like it stunned me.They're the kind of family that runs to a problem, not from. It's not just losing his career that stings but losing his best friend and knowing he couldn't do anything to save him. My heart broke into tiny pieces for this broken man. Even though I was mad at him I still loved him and wanted to see him overcome his demons. He's always gotten what he wants whether it be women or his career so he wasn't used to losing. I found him to be very self centered and looking back it was apparent that he's always sort of been that way. He doesn't know how to handle difficult problems because he's made a habit of running from them. Starting with his mother's cancer battle and the head shaving incident. Christian had to do a lot of growing within this book so I was really stoked to be able to witness that.
Victoria was another surprise for me because I found myself falling in love with her character Little by little. She's been dealt the blow of all blows after losing her sister but she handled her situation with poise and a grace only a strong woman can. She could have laid down and let her grief of losing her sister and the love of her life all at once overtake her but she kept struggling to survive. She worked, she took care of her niece and nephew and she did it all with a smile on her face. She didn't even have time to grieve the losses of her loved ones but she still managed to keep it together. After being away from Chris for almost eight months she's ready to move on and start dating again. There were moments that i didn't agree with her actions especially when it came to Christian but matters of the heart are never easy. She made bonehead mistakes that caused some pain but I liked that she human and flawed.
At the wedding of his brother Eduardo and sister in law Darcy, Christian drinks a little too much and ropes Victoria into a night of passion that ends up making their lives a little more interesting. Normally I'd put on my morality vest, hat and whistle then bitch and moan about the cheating aspect but in certain circumstances I get it. If I want one couple to be together and they are with other people I always root for them. I don't approve of stringing the other people along when they obviously want to be together but it's just a matter of how I'm connected to the characters. In the case of Chris and Victoria I wanted them together badly. I was invested in them by the time they slipped up and slept together even though I felt bad for Scott, the guy she was seeing. In her defense though she wasn't serious with Scott and they had yet to take it to a more intimate level so it wasn't as bad. You just can't get between a couple that has so much history. Sure the circumstances were a little convoluted but it is what it is ya know?
The Keller family has grown TREMENDOUSLY throughout the series and each addition has been great so naturally I loved seeing them all rally around Victoria when she needed people to help. Even though she wasn't with Christian anymore they still treated her like family and did whatever they could to make her burden lighter to carry. I think one of the main reasons why I enjoy this series so much is because my family is broken and not very lovable so the fact that this group is so in tune with each other and so loving it makes me feel like I am a part of it. I really get a sense of what it would be like to have a big diverse family that love each other and cared enough to be there and help. There's no back biting, they don't lord their affection and help over each others heads and they do everything from their hearts with no complaints. Of course they are still written to be human and make mistakes but the love they have is bigger than their strife and that makes these books so real and enjoyable.
I've read every book in this series and have loved each one on a different level and for different reasons. My favorite has changed with each new book but I really think Home Run has taken the top spot so far. I say so far because there is still Tyler's book to come and something about him intrigues me. His parents were the darlings of the series being the first couple so I think I have a bias for him. Either way you can't do wrong with any of the books in the series. Marie draws you into her gigantic and ever growing family and makes you a part of their lives with every chapter. Christian and Victoria were amazing together and seeing them finally happy after all they lost and suffered through was very rewarding. This one left me a little more misty eyed than the rest of the books because out of them all I think this one got a little bit more dramatic. Everyone has had to face hard times but this couple had a lions share and I really loved the way Christian stepped up. I could ramble all day about my love for this series, this author and her characters but I encourage you to find out just how wonderful they are for yourselves.
~ He produced a card key from his pocket. "Here." He pulled back just far enough to look her in the eyes. "One night. Just one night with me. Please." eARC 33%
~ He wasn't the same man she'd fallen in love with years ago. This man was broken. eARC 61%
~ "I don't want to do this without you anymore."
"You don't have to."
"Are you scared?"
"More than you can imagine."
He raised his hand and tucked her hair behind her ear.
"But that's what it's all about, right? Each day is an adventure and you never know what will happen." eARC 73%
~ He could argue with her, but he wasn't going to. This was the moment he needed to know what it was to be a man and accept life in all of it's ugliest forms. eARC 91%
About The Author:
Notebooks and pens have been my obsession since childhood. Later it became books and stories others weaved into the perfect escape. The day I received my first typewriter was the day the passion for spinning a tale hit me – and it hit hard. I was thirteen when I first sat down to write the great-American love story. I didn’t have much to say at thirteen. But over the years I did fall in love, get married, have children, and an array of amazing adventures happened along the way. And the passion for writing stayed with me. That first book took me twenty-two years to write the way I really liked it. When I was done, I boxed it up, put it away, and went to write twelve more books that next year and a half. In December of 2009, I signed my first contract and the published author was born. I enjoy writing about close-knit families, the bond of friendship, and of course falling in love. Happy endings are a must and characters that my readers can associate with keep me typing into the wee hours of morning. Contemporary Romance is the genre I call home for now, but in the future be assured that you will see a Paranormal Romance or a Historical and who knows – maybe someday you'll see a Romantic Suspense. I enjoy writing for those whose guilty pleasure is the happily ever after. I hope you’ll come along for the ride!
5 PRINCE PUBLISHING
Book one in the Keller Family Series: The Executive's Decision is FREE on Amazon!
Book one in the Keller Family Series: The Executive's Decision is FREE on Amazon!