Saturday, July 4, 2020

ARC Review: Hometown Hero by Liza Kendall

Hometown Hero
Author: Liza Kendall
Series: A Silverlake Ranch Novel (Book 3)
Publication: Berkley (July 7, 2020)

Description: A charming new contemporary romance set in Silverlake, Texas, where love throws old rivals a curveball. . . . 

Andrew “Ace” Braddock is a player in every sense of the word. The center fielder for the Austin Lone Stars, he’s also been at the center of numerous sports scandals involving beer, bars, and baseball bunnies. But when he takes the fall for a teammate, Ace wakes up in the hospital, injured and in serious trouble. He’s sent to lie low and recover at his family ranch in Silverlake, Texas, where he’s saddled with his worst nightmare: his high school nemesis—a beautiful nurse who refuses to play doctor with him.

Mia Adams has no time to fool around. The daughter of Silverlake’s high school baseball coach has three jobs and a pile of debt left behind by her missing ex. The very last thing she wants is to spend her time indulging hometown hero Easy Ace Braddock. If she didn’t need the money, she’d have nothing to do with the guy from her past who stole her dad’s time, attention, and love away from her before leaving for the major leagues.

As Mia does her best to corral the irrepressible Ace, keep a sense of humor, and fight her unwelcome attraction to him, he charms, sidesteps, and outmaneuvers her. Will the onetime enemies find love at home base, right in the town where they grew up?

My Thoughts: This romance is between two very complex people. Mia Adams is very busy. Her husband left her holding all sorts of debts when he abandoned her and left the country. She is trying to keep her problems secret from those people in town who would be very likely to help her. Meanwhile, she's working three jobs. When she gets a new job as the "sober companion" for a MLB star who was apparently driving drunk, she can't turn it down even though Easy Ace Braddock is not a favorite of hers.

Ace Braddock stole her father's attention from her when she was already abandoned by her mother who was always off traveling to take care of the less fortunate. Ace needed her father's attention as his baseball coach after his parents died in a head-on car crash. Ace comes across as an arrogant ass who feels entitled to all the adulation a popular and attractive athlete gathers. But inside, he is still trying to get over the guilt he feels for the death of his parents. He believes that they wouldn't have been out on the road if he hadn't manipulated them into taking him to a baseball game.

I liked the banter between the two characters as they gradually come to fall in love. Of course, there are lots of problems along the way as Ace does things that seem to be designed to take away Mia's agency and control. I didn't like how little Ace thought about how his actions would affect Mia and how readily Mia forgave him.

The story also concerned itself with family relationships as Ace has to deal with his three brothers and his sister who he more or less abandoned for his baseball career. And Mia's relationship with her father is also an important component of the story.

Fans of romances with depth will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
It was bad enough tht he'd stolen her father from her, but at least, it had better mean something. To toss away his incredible opportunities - the ones her father had gifted to him - that was the cherry on top of the cow-patty sundae.

She was also extremely angry at herself for finding him hot.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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