The Shortstop by A.M. Madden

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The Shortstop by A.M. Madden

Here’s the truth BXTCHES: When I first came across The Shortstop , I was super excited. I read the reviews, I downloaded the sample, then I didn’t buy. Here was my dilemma. I knew once I started this book, a couple of things were going to happen. #1: This book was going to tear at my heart and drag me through some serious agony BEFORE it gave me what I wanted. #2: I knew once I started this book, there was no just “putting it down” (isn’t it crazy when people tell you things like that?), I bought this book on a Tuesday evening, I was finished by around 12:30 midnight (same evening). Sleep, what in the hell is that when you’re cuddled up with a really good read? 

The Shortstop will be told through both Annie and Quint’s POV’s.

Annie Weber and Quint Lawson has known one another most of their lives. They grew up next door to each other, their parents are best friends, so it only stood to reason that when the time came, they would fall in love. And they did. 

Next to having Annie as his wife, Quint’s only dream in life is to play shortstop in the majors. They are both set to graduate and Quint’s prospects at making his dream come true is looking more and more like a reality. In fact, he just received news that he’s been picked up to play for the minor league team of the Baltimore Orioles. The only thing left to do now, is to make the girl he’s been in love with more years than not, his wife. They are actually headed to Disney to celebrate graduation from college and Quint has the perfect proposal set up. The girl of his dreams has said YES, the job of his dreams is within reach, what in the world could go wrong? **this is not a spoiler, it actually happens in chapter 4, which is about 10% into the book.

Let’s backtrack just a bit. Annie’s BFF is Daphne. She is almost the opposite to what Annie is. She’s more carefree, more spontaneous, can’t really commit to her current boyfriend Billy, which happens to be Quint’s best bud. Billy is in love with Daphne, Daphne isn’t too sure how she feels, she knows she likes him a bunch, just not sure of the “L” word. Daphne and Billy’s problems seem to always involve Annie and Quint in one way or another. Annie is really just trying to play matchmaker, even though Quint insists that she stay out of it and Quint just does what any guy would do, he’s there if Billy needs him, otherwise he keeps out of it. Even though Daphne is Annie’s BFF, she is going to cause problems for Annie and Quint down the road and add to an already broken situation.

Even though Annie is standing by her man and even though she realizes that all of his dreams are coming true, she can’t help but wonder, where she will fit in, what about her dreams. Her dream of being a teacher may have to be put on hold, so Quint can live his. Annie does eventually come to the conclusion that everything that happens is for a reason and her love for Quint is much stronger and bigger than her wanting to teach, so she makes the decision to stand by him, so he can have everything he’s ever wanted.

When Quint gets the call that the Yankees are interested, that’s it, everything he has ever wanted is starting to come into focus. They buy out his contract with the Orioles and before he knows it, he is on the field at Yankee Stadium. He has his girl, he has his dream of playing for the Yankees, everything is right within his grasp, that is until is torn from his hands. 

When Quint get injured, the type of injury that is almost impossible to come back from, his whole world goes dark. Unfortunately, Annie is starting to wonder if baseball was the only thing that made him happy. Quint is beginning to realize that he is not able to be the man that he needs to be for Annie and it would be best for her to walk away. Now, he knows that she isn’t going to take that walk voluntarily, so he becomes the biggest of assholes, in the hopes of pushing her away.

This is where The Shortstop is going to start the agonizing process of ripping your heart out, just to put it back together. The author does a really good job here in making it to where you have some sympathy for Quint, even though you want to BXTCH slap him in the process, and you have a little pride for Annie when she finally stands up for herself and decides not to be anyone’s punching bag anymore, even if it means that Quint can’t be hers. Quint and Annie are going to have to endure a lot of pain and drama, which includes the Daphne situation I mentioned earlier, in order to get to the other side and the conclusion that they are truly each other’s soul mate. This is one of the first times I’ve read a book and was unsure of the outcome. Even though going in I was pretty certain of a HEA, as the end of The Shortstop started coming into focus, I really thought that maybe this author was going throw the reader for a loop and not allow the couple to get their fairy tale. I also must say, that the baseball storyline didn’t play out as I thought it would. This isn’t a good thing or a bad thing, it was just my own prediction didn’t come to fruition.

The Shortstop has a terrific secondary cast of characters. There isn’t a lot of them, but they pack a very powerful punch. Dare I say it? You may cuss me out after I proclaim this next statement, but here goes. . .even after what Daphne puts them through (which I’m sure you can guess), I kind of felt bad for her. Usually in that type of storyline, I’m all about calling a bitch a bitch, but in this case, my heart hurt for her. Although, I do think with the Daphne and Billy storyline, she was a bitch, though we find out why later in the book. The Shortstop was that book that needed these characters to really tie together the whole story. I don’t say that because I think that something is lacking here, I say it because that’s how in depth this book is.

Is there lots of sex here? Yes. What did I think about it? Well, I thought is was well written and I thought that some of it was steamy enough, I just didn’t get all crazy about it. The author said the right things and made both Quint and Annie sexy enough for the scenes, it just felt like a panty-ripping element was missing. That’s just my opinion, you may read it and feel the need to drop your jaw and curl your toes, more power to you girl.

All in all, The Shortstop was a fantastic book. I happen to love agonizing, tortuous books like this. Usually it takes me more than a minute to finish the book, I think I was so quick here because I was holding onto it for such a long time, that when the time came to actually read it, it was impossible to put down. It takes some talent to write a character that you know at some point during the book, the reader is going to have contempt for, but then be able to turn around and really force the reader to open up their hearts and find love for them. That’s what happens here with Quint, you will realize very quickly that there is a really thin line between love and hate and the definition isn’t always so crystal clear. 

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