Blog Book Tour | “A League of Her Own” by Karen Rock a #Contemporary #Romance centered around baseball!

Posted Saturday, 13 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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A League of Her Own by Karen Rock

Published By: Harlequin Heartwarming (#HarlequinHeartwarming)
(an imprint of) Harlequin Books (@HarlequinBooks) which is now a part of HarperCollins!

Available Formats: Paperback and Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #ALeagueOfHerOwn & #KarenRock

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Acquired Book By: A few months ago, I was visiting the blogs I love to read via my Bloglovin feeds, as I have found Bloglovin to be the best way to keep track of all the beautiful bookish blogs and/or author blogs I regularly visit! Especially after I self-hosted my blog as I only kept a few linked to my landing page ( and the rest are happily organised into folders on Bloglovin! Truly the best part of it! It was whilst I was visiting a fellow book blogger, I took notice of the badge “Lola’s Blog Tours”. I had three blog tours which perked an interest in me, two of which were science fiction and then there was this Contemporary Romance set around baseball! I had previously interviewed Ms. Alexander on behalf of her novel “Dare to Kiss”; one of my December reads for #IndieWriterMonth! Therefore, finding a second baseball themed romance was a bit happenstance, don’t you think?

I was selected to be a tour stop on the “A League of Her Own” virtual book tour through Lola’s BlogTours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Karen Rock, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read:

With all the mergers happening in the book publishing industry, I must confess as a reader who is now a book blogger it is becoming to be quite daunting to keep everything organised and in line! I like to show the imprints of publishers as much as give credit per book for each post I am inspired to share with my readers (irregardless if I am hosting a blog tour, a non-tour book review or borrowing a book from my library, etc). Part of my heart fell a bit when I realised my beloved novella INSPY series Heartsong Presents might be capsizing so to speak as it was almost not bought out in time until Harlequin took it over! Then, within a year of that merger I learnt Harlequin was merged into HarperCollins! Oy vie. I nearly feel there needs to be a ‘road map’ of a guide to which imprints fall under which ‘main publishing house’ and thereby a bit less of a puzzle to riddle out for those of us who do attempt to give proper acknowledgement when it’s due.

Having said this, I was always attracted to what I refer to as ‘non-traditional Harlequin’ stories, wherein I sought out the romances centered on the ‘relationship’ and had nothing to do with the ‘bodice’ at all! Laughs. I cannot remember all of the lovely imprints and special edition series I read or attempted to read over the years, but one of my favourite imprints happened to be Mira. Mira has published a lot of Contemporary Romance authors I have come to enjoy reading including Debbie MacComber and Sherryl Woods! If you seek out a particular type of story, you just might be surprised that even a publisher like Harlequin can give you exactly what you are looking to read!

Heartsong Presents I believe is ‘safe’ once more as it was meant to be an anchor and compliment to Harlequin’s own (former competitive imprint) Love Inspired. As 2015 marches into focus, I’ll be reading quite a heap of the beauties on my bookshelf whose patience for me to pick up their sleeves and dig into their stories has been remarkably kind! I have quite a nice selection of Mira authors, so this is only the first of many more Harlequin books to be spotlighted on Jorie Loves A Story! You’ll find each time as I highlight another story full of relationship-based romance that Harlequin isn’t quite what your expecting it to be!

In combination for my previous love of a particular ‘Harlequin’ story and my forementioned love of baseball, “A League of Her Own” felt like a good fit to me! Not withstanding the fact “A League of Their Own” is one of my top favourite motion pictures and that had a lot to do with Rosie O’ Donnell and Geena Davis!

Blog Book Tour | “A League of Her Own” by Karen Rock a #Contemporary #Romance centered around baseball!A League of Her Own
by Karen Rock
Source: Author via Lola's Blog Tours

He was attractive, talented…and way off limits.

Heather Gadway may have been a world-class college pitcher and a top university coach, but she's a rank amateur when it comes to managing the Falcons, her father's struggling minor league team. And when it comes to managing her aggravating attraction to Garrett Wolf, their talented new pitcher. It's going to be difficult enough to make it as the first female manager in the league and prove to her overly critical father she's worthy. No distractions. No missteps. And certainly no romances with players. Everything stands between them—including their troubled pasts—even as Heather's world falls apart and Garrett's the one who's there to catch her…

I read the Large Print edition yet it felt quite regular to me!

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: Author Interview (Christmas at Cade Ranch) Karen Rock, A Cowboy's Pride (Spotlight w/ Notes), A Cowboy's Pride, Christmas at Cade Ranch, Winning the Cowboy's Heart, A Rancher to Remember

Published by Harlequin Heartwarming

on 1st December, 2014

Format: Paperback

Pages: 312

Enclosed Extras: I was quite delighted by my book parcel I had received from Ms. Rock, as she not only sent me a paperback copy of the novel, but she enclosed such wicked awesome bookmarks! I used the “Camp Boyfrield” marker for my reading pleasure! I look forward to using the other ones as I read more of her novels and other Contemporary Romances and/or Fiction selections! It is always quite joyful indeed when I find an author and/or a publisher has tucked in something to be opened as a true surprise in the receiver! Her author card was a nice touch as well! One of the bookmarks shows the entire Camp series of covers with the synopsises on the reverse side! Lovely! The third marker is for “Camp Payback”! I love seeing these lovelies as they help me discover new books as well as become acquainted with author’s works! Such as why I gave my shout-out to Kensington just the other day!

About Karen Rock

Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer. Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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A note on the Author’s Letter to readers:

First of all, I have loved seeing Editor’s Notes or Letters to ARC readers (a random joy of mine) but originally I used to read a lot of novels which included a letter from the author! A one page or two page author to reader conversation ending with either a postal mailing address or email address (in the 21st Century!) to contact them further after the book has been read! I must admit, I never quite was able to get the courage to contact the authors I loved reading back then, as most might find this hard to believe but yes, even an extrovert like Jorie can be ‘shy’! Laughs. We all go through seasons in our lives, and it was definitely the season of where I wanted to say something but simply couldn’t find the confidence to do it. When I entered my thirties, let’s just say I was no longer shy to talk to authors, film-makers, musicians, or actors!

I enjoyed reading about how Ms. Rock grew up as a tomboy, as this is a thread of commonality we share as I was never (as she puts it) a ‘girlie girl’ either! Give me a sturdy tree to climb (or a Mayan pyramid!), a borrowed BMX bike (from one of my neighbourhood friends) to use to ‘jump’ off bike ramps (yes, I would have raced BMX if my county hadn’t blocked the track from being built! I made the first cut to be on the team!), or any which way to Sunday you can think of a girl being adventurous whilst being out of doors, I was that kind of girl! I have dreams of being in a harness and going through a suspended obstacle course as much as a zipline! I want to learn to drive a dogsled as much as I want to learn to snowshoe so I can see Snowshoe Hares! And, I do have baseball in my past – I played a wicked thirdbaseman! I sported my own leftie glove and getting out to play those pick up games during PE or recess (depending on the grade year) was the best joy of my childhood! Who knew they have amateur baseball leagues for adults? I’d be just as happy in the future to find a pick up game that is either co-ed or I’m the only girl! I mean, baseball is *baseball!* Half the joy is the art of the game itself!

Ms. Rock ended her letter by enquiring which teams are our favourites to support and my quickfire response is: RED SOX NATION! I’m a Red Sox girl tride and true! Love the team and the more I learn about the team (from history or the current line-ups) the more I appreciate the Sox. I believe Moneyball changed how I understood the ‘science’ behind the ball but it was the World Series in 2004 which inspired a life-long attachment! The film Fever Pitch is one way to walk back into the euphoric joy of what happened during the series! Not to mention the fact, I went to the theater at least 3x whilst it was screening locally just to drink it in on the silver screen! For winter sports, I’ve been a long-time champion of the Winter Olympics and in recent years have become attached to the Summer Games as well. The X-Games charmed me with skateboarding competitions but it is the snocross (for snow mobiles) and the competitive snowboard rounds which truly get my attention outside of BMX! Motocross is a heap of fun to watch as well unless those stunts get a bit too epic and the falls happen a bit too frequently!

I appreciated what she said about the sporty romance girls getting a novel for them to celebrate every facet which makes us individually unique! I love this attitude and I applaud her foresight to write sporty romances for the 21st Centurion who doesn’t want to compromise who she is but wants to celebrate it to the max!

My Review of A League of Her Own:

We start off by visiting Heather at a college softball tune-up session with the (future) star pitcher who is a first year student at the college, a player with a heap of potential of whom can be moulded. Heather has a nagging feeling her father isn’t quite as open to the idea of her taking a breathier from answering his consistent phone calls, as she’s a twenty-something (nearly thirty-something!) who respects his concern but would like him to trust her ability to stay out of communication. I felt for her on this as I personally have expired any joy I once felt for cell phones, as they have this urgency of ‘now’ attached to them when to be frank, they were only meant to be used when a public phone was not handy or you were outside of an area where help could be obtained. They’ve become this appendage to a person’s daily life and with it the pitfalls of attempting to have a bit of independence outside the sphere of text messaging, online accounts, and daily phone-ins with family. I think a bit of distance is healthy and I do believe cells should go back to being for emergencies and not a ‘go to’ accessory of the 21st Century.

In this instance, her cell was instigating an emergency call to reach her when her Dad had fallen ill out of state, which caused Heather to re-route her schedule and board a plane home. Meanwhile, Garrett the pitcher on her father’s minor league team is trying to assert his right not to drink whilst his teammates whoop it up in a pub after a game. I appreciated getting to know his background as he grew up in foster care, had a hard road to walk, faltered a bit as an adult, but found a buoyant beacon of hope in playing ball. No matter what we face in life, having that vehicle of hope kept straight in front of you is a powerful light of grace to keep yourself heading towards. Garrett has a heart full of anxiety and a mind that cannot stop thinking about the repercussions of losing a manager and potentially an owner of the team he has hoped would re-launch his career. Second chances are never easy, but in Garrett’s head this one is turning out to be more than he can bear.

Heather’s father is old school honest with his expectations on behalf of his daughter as much as he wants to give her a bit of freedom to coach the team back into a recovery of wins, he simply cannot relinquish the control. He’s old school because he doesn’t quite believe in the woman’s place on a baseball team in the management department anymore than he will admit he felt coerced into letting her coach. Her father can only see a straight line, no alternative routes and no second guesses on how the outcome will be once you get to the end. Heather on the other hand learnt long ago how you have to dig deep to prove to yourself; with a strong dose of moxie to succeed in life. She has everything stacked against her in an unfair world of men, yet she doesn’t use that to her disadvantage. Instead what I applauded Rock for sharing is with a bit of grit and determined confidence, you can turn things around.

A League of Her Own pays homage to fathers and daughters whose relationships are a bit rocky at times but whose love and strength of bond to each other can shine through the uncertainty. What makes the story unique is how Heather’s greatest inheritance was her father’s love of baseball and of giving her the insight she needed not only to play softball herself but to guide her observational skills which turnt into bonefide life skills lateron. The title is very aper pone to the story’s central arc of climax, but what staid with me the most is how the team players started to change their indifferent viewpoints on her due to the influence of the least likely source of support: Garrett! There is a slow burning romance inside but for me the crust of the story is centered on one daughter finding her wings after believing they had been clipped. You will enjoy soaking inside this story because it truly lives up to the imprint on being ‘heartwarmingly cosy’!

On the contemporary romance writing style of Karen Rock:

Rock infuses her Contemporary Romance with a quick off-set of narrative and dialogue, which keeps you positioned in the moment whether your with the players or Heather. She has infused just enough baseball terminology to rope in the fans who understand the logistics of the game but hasn’t overloaded it to where a regular Sox girl like me cannot follow the patterns of what is technically being described. Similar to writing, where grammar would always trip me up a bit, when it came to sports, I played intuitively whilst learning the basics of the games themselves. I could change how I threw a ball if I were pitching based on where it had to go over the base, but as far as the technique I used specifically to switch-up a pitch? I have no clue! I think it goes back to knowing if you play by reading music or by ear – somewhere in that thread of thought I am halfway between two disciplines!

Rock keeps your interest in the story by giving her characters a humble center and a flawed personality where they admit what they consider are their strengths as much as their weaknesses. It is a lighter read than most I typically share as I have focused on a lot of harder hitting stories this past year, but what I appreciated is how encompassing A League of Her Own became through Heather’s pursuit to prove her worth to her father.

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This book review is courtesy of:

A League of Her Own Blog Tour via Lola's Blog Tours

**Please Note: This is a non-giveaway stop on the blog tour. I do not host giveaways or bookaways of any kind on Jorie Loves A Story (as you can read in my Review Policy).  I agreed only to host a review stop whilst the tour was in-progress. Therefore, I do encourage you to leave me a comment but it will not be counted as an entry in the tour’s giveaway. Thank you for understanding!**

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I look forward to 2015 as I will be hosting more blog tours via:

Lola's Blog ToursBe sure to follow my Bookish Events for (2014)  + esp (2015)

to follow my bookish journey!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “A League of Her Own”, Author Biography, Author Photograph of Karen Rock, Book Synopsis, Blog Tour badge & Host badge were provided by Lola’s Blog Tours and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Blog Tour badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Tweets on behalf of “A League of Her Own”:

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 13 December, 2014 by jorielov in 21st Century, Baseball, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Bookmark slipped inside a Review Book, California, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Humour Therein, Family Life, Fathers and Daughters, Foster Care, Lola's Blog Tours, Modern Day, Postal Mail | Letters & Correspondence, Romance Fiction, Singletons & Commitment, Small Towne USA, Softball, Sports

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2 responses to “Blog Book Tour | “A League of Her Own” by Karen Rock a #Contemporary #Romance centered around baseball!

  1. Thank you very much, Jorie, for you wonderful review and for hosting me on your blog! I enjoyed reading it- especially getting to hear about your own childhood and how, like me, you always wanted to do what the boys were doing and more. This book was especially important to me because I wanted to get a romance heroine in the game, not just cheering or falling for a hot player… Wishing you Happy Holidays :)

  2. Great review Jorie! You really managed to write a long and elaborate review of this book! I myself never was really a girlie girl, but I wasn’t an outdoorsy person either. I prefered staying at home with a good book.
    I knew almost nothing about baseball before I started this book and I am glad to have learned a bit more about this sport thanks to this book. Just like you I loved the slow burning romance, but it’s really about Heather finding her wings, well worded!

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