Book Review: Homestands by Sally Bradley

October 8, 2016 Christian, contemporary, mystery/suspense, romance, Sally Bradley 7

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about the book

When baseball star Mike Connor stumbles across his ex-wife six years after their divorce, he’s stunned to find that she’s the mother of a kindergartner who wears his jersey. And shares his last name.

The last thing Meg Connor wants is to be around Mike. After all, he was the one who hurt and abandoned her. But she can’t deny him—or their son—time together to build a relationship, which means Mike is around too often, reminding her of why she fell in love with him so long ago. If only she could forget their past… The painful and the good.

Between their guilt and closely held hurts, Meg and Mike struggle against each other, their feelings, and God as they fight their own desires for the future, a future that might never happen when the past that tore them apart collides with their present.

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SERIES: Chicago Wind #1
GENRE: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
PUBLISHER: Salena House Publishers
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2016
PAGES: 338

“…beneath the smile and the jokes lay the truth that the life he longed for, the life he’d once lived, lay torn apart.”

homestands-book-reviewHomestands is a story of forgiveness and healing and even courage. It’s also romantic and suspenseful and heartbreaking and funny and sweet and incredibly touching.

In the characters of Meg and Mike, Sally Bradley gives us a look at a marriage that fell apart and what it will take to bring restoration. This isn’t your typical second chance romance though. I found the dynamic between Meg and Mike to be really intriguing, particularly as it relates to a) who they are six years later and b) how I thought it was going to play out. Bradley’s story set my expectations on end and presents us instead with a story rich in depth and meaning.

Both Meg and Mike have made a lot of mistakes, not the least of which are some pretty big secrets they’ve each kept from the other all this time. It’s going to take some supernatural strength for them even to be in the same room together… and supernatural Strength happens to be in the wings. The healing in Homestands isn’t easy or simple or the “pat answer” kind that puts a band-aid on real pain. This healing goes deep down to where the pain is the sharpest and where the darkness is the heaviest and it sits down in the pit with these authentic characters.

It’s not all so serious, though. There’s an adorable little boy whose Daddy is absolutely adorable with him. As healing begins to weave through their story, some flirting lightens the air a bit too.  Additionally, a suspense subplot keeps you on the edge of your seat and wondering how it’s going to affect everything else.

Bottom Line:  Homestands combines romance as well as the truest Love with “real” characters who struggle and react and fail… and succeed. Bradley’s writing evokes emotion even as it soothes and engages readers from the very beginning. There are moments when you’ll smile, moments when you’ll laugh, moments when you’ll hold your breath, moments when you’ll cry, and moments when you’ll feel your stomach sink with dread. This may be fiction but it’s also life at its rawest. Faith at its realest. Hope at its most beautiful. Love at its truest. If you enjoy reading Katie Ganshert, Varina Denman, Tammy L. Gray then you need to check out Homestands too!

( I received this book for free from the author. No review was required, favorable or otherwise, and all views expressed are my own.)

My Rating: 4 stars / Loved it!

KissingBook Level: 3 / May forget to breathe on occasion

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about the author

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Sally Bradley writes big-city fiction with real issues and real hope.

A Chicagoan since age five, Sally has been fascinated by all things Chicago (except for the crime, politics, and traffic) for almost as long. She now lives in the Kansas City area with her family, but they get back to Chicago from time to time for important things, like good pizza and a White Sox game.

A freelance fiction editor and former president of her local writing chapter, Sally has won a handful of awards for Kept and another work-in-progress.

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Other Books by Sally Bradley

What about you? I’ve reviewed a couple of basebally books lately – Homestands & The Thirteenth Chance – are you a baseball fan? Or do you just show up for the snacks? 🙂

Carrie

7 Responses to “Book Review: Homestands by Sally Bradley”

  1. Michelle Krimaschewicz

    I love watching baseball. It’s the only professional sport I really understand most of the rules. This sounds like a book I’d really enjoy. Thanks for the great review. I’m adding it to my ever growing to-read list.

    • Carrie

      Have you read Sit Stay Love (Dana Mentink) or The Thirteenth Chance (Amy Matayo) yet? Those are baseball books too 🙂

  2. Sally Bradley

    Thank you so much for this, Carrie! I’m so happy you enjoyed Meg and Mike’s story.

    And I did not know that Sit Stay Love is a baseball story! Will have to get that one.

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