Love of the Game (Stardust, Texas Series #3)

Love of the Game (Stardust, Texas Series #3)

by Lori Wilde

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A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde.

With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas . . . striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel’s guarded heart also needs healing . . . requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.

Praise for Lori Wilde’s Stardust, Texas Series and Love Of The Game

“Amusing, passionate, and rampant with sexual tension, this magic dusted escapade is just plain fun and a wonderful harbinger of things to come. Wilde is an expert at developing endearing Texas communities and here gives fans another one to savor.”—Library Journal

“[A] sweet and sexy story of first love, small towns, and family.”—Booklist

“Wilde brings readers to Stardust, Texas, where baseball and romance are the name of the game . . . Wilde has another winner.”—RT Book Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062311443
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/26/2016
Series: Stardust, Texas Series , #3
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 67,759
File size: 715 KB

About the Author

Lori Wilde is the New York TimesUSA Today and Publishers’ Weekly bestselling author of 87 works of romantic fiction. She’s a three-time Romance Writers’ of America RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Readers’ Choice Award. She has won numerous other awards as well. Her books have been translated into 26 languages, with more than four million copies of her books sold worldwide. Her breakout novel, The First Love Cookie Club, has been optioned for a TV movie.

Lori is a registered nurse with a BSN from Texas Christian University. She holds a certificate in forensics and is also a certified yoga instructor.

A fifth-generation Texan, Lori lives with her husband, Bill, in the Cutting Horse Capital of the World; where they run Epiphany Orchards, a writing/creativity retreat for the care and enrichment of the artistic soul.

Customer Reviews

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Love of the Game 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story. Great romance between Kasha & Axel. Loved the way Lori dealt with the problems & joys of a child with special needs.
julieford More than 1 year ago
Love of the Game is the third installment in the Stardust, Texas series. This book will make you laugh, cry and cheer for the hero and heroine. Axel Richmond is an injured pro baseball player. Kasha Carlyle is a physical therapist who gives Axel an alternative to surgery. Both are struggling with past tragedies that create trust issues. Both have reasons for wanting the physical therapy to work. As they work together, they butt heads and fight attraction.
TobiForgetHousework More than 1 year ago
Format: Galley Copy Love of the Game is a great romance that had me reading the story from beginning to end within a day. Kasha is loving and compassionate yet a bit obstinate. She lets the past control her to the point of aggravation for me. Axel's love is baseball. He has a goal to make it to the Yankees and doesn't need distractions. I love though that he knows that Kasha is the one for him and he's determined to make it work for him and Kasha even if she hasn't come around yet. Though this story may be listed as a sports romance, it's not that sporty. Love of the Game is a book about love and a couple helping each other heal from wounds of their pasts.
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
A Great Book Contemporary Romance Stardust, Texas Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond has both major league good looks and talent and was living the good life. When he lost his young son even the roar of the crowd could never distract him from that loss. Axel is now stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas with an injured shoulder and his career on the line he is only striking out with this gorgeous physical therapist. Kasha Carlyle only has a week to get Axel back in action or she will be kissing her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. She will also be saying goodbye to any chance to seek the custody of her orphaned half-sister that she never knew she had. Kasha learns quickly enough that Axel’s guarded heart also needs to be healed. It also requires all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings. This book just adds to the series and makes for a wonderful read and a chance for readers to revisit Stardust and see what is going on with the other occupants of the town. It will also have readers wishing they could really visit Stardust and meet all the wonderful people that live there. While this book can be read as a standalone the reader would enjoy the story much more if they read the other books in the series first. It will also have readers eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. The author manages to write some memorable characters and towns and will have readers that haven’t already read her other series eagerly checking them out.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
On the surface, Kasha and Axel have nothing in common except for a crazy instant attraction. Axel is larger than life while Kasha tends to stay inside herself. They are both dealing with loss and traumatic events from their past. I loved seeing Kasha's change as their relationship progressed and she opened herself up to Axel, her family and her disabled sister. This is an emotionally heavy romance, but their is also some humor and of course, the mystery of the hope chest and the wish Kasha makes. I love this series and can't wait for Suki's story! 4.5 stars I received an ARC via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you've enjoyed the previous books in the Stardust, Texas series you will enjoy Kasha's story. If you haven't read the previous books, Kasha and Axel's story works as a standalone. Personally, I'm a little torn about this book. I had a hard time connecting with the heroine, so even though I liked the story, I was never really pulled into it. I never truly connected with her, so I had a hard time following the story and rooting for her happy ending. Axel, on the other hand, was amazing and the reason for the extra star, when I was torn between 3 or 4 stars. At first I thought, "Here we go: just another cocky ball player," but the more pages I read, the deeper my respect and my liking for him grew. I liked the sort of insta-attraction between them, the way Axel teased Kasha bringing her to the point she'd rather lose her job than cross a line she wasn't supposed to cross. I liked watching Axel slowly fall in love and opening up, and I liked the way he managed to reach down into Kasha's soul and pull out the ugly secrets of her past, helping her heal. The build up made things more interesting and really nice when they finally surrendered to their feelings. Despite my personal issue with the heroine, if you like sports romance and heroes with a broken heart waiting to be healed, you will enjoy Kasha and Axel's story. ***I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review***
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
Sweet and magical story about love, life, family, and living to the fullest. Kasha and Axel communicate more with one long look, than most people during an hour long conversation. The connection is palpable between them, the passion ardent, and every moment they spent together, draws them closer to each other. Even the magical hope chest seems to agree with their destiny. But Kasha has wounds from her childhood, deep issues with emotions. She does all she can, to keep them under control, to hold on to that restraint, and not let her feelings free. That causes her to come off as distant, controlling, and remote, making it hard to connect with her, and relate to her. Axel has the patience to take the time, and make the effort, to get to know her. In the process, they learn to trust each other, and share their painful secrets with each other, as they grow, and heal from the deep wounds of their past. The story has subplots with Emma, Kasha's sister, and Dylan, Axel's son. I felt that both of these issues got a rushed solution, as the story, the journey Axel and Kasha were on, moved on. I was conflicted as I finished the book, surprised by some of the solutions, taken back by some of the decisions, the turns the plot took. But such is life, even in tales, it doesn't always go the road you would have chosen. Kasha and Axel both carry bags from their past, that they haven't fully processed, and let go. As they work on Axel's physical healing, they embark a journey, where they visit the past, trek through the difficult emotions and events, hike over the mountains of hindrance to move on, and Kasha conquer the fears of deep feelings, emotions felt freely, and let passion to guide her life ~ Three Spoons and a teaspoon on the side
LynnB888 More than 1 year ago
A sweet & sexy story about finding a connection just when you need it most! Kasha Carlyle has just started her knew job with the Dallas Gunslingers when she meets the team's relief pitcher, Axel Richmond. She's known the feeling of desire before, but there's nothing to describe the raw attraction and deep seeded need she feels when she sets her eyes on him. Try as she may, he's a hard man to ignore! Axel will do anything to get back into the game after a shoulder injury, but when talk of a new procedure is thrown out there, he's hesitant, and after prodding help out of her, he gets Kasha assigned to his physical therapy for a week! Kasha is intent on getting custody of the orphaned half-sister that she only recently learned of. She's not wanting to rock the boat of this knew job too much, but this draw to Axel is really hard to ignore! Will she be able to help him heal and get back to living his dream? And when along the way, they realize she needs some healing too, will she be able to overcome her past and live only for the future?
NicoleUlery More than 1 year ago
Kasha and Axel's story was so much fun to read. Stardust, Texas is becoming one of my favorite towns. Kasha takes a wild chance when offering to rehabilitate Axel's shoulder. What possesses him to trust her judgment is a huge leap of faith in the pretty girl. This author has a way of connecting you to her characters and falling in love with the story. I loved seeing their vulnerable sides. Humor, steaminess, and ball players: What's not to love about this series? Kasha was raised by a foster family, and when her real mother passes, she finds out that she has a sister. Her sister lives in a home for people with disabilities, and not far from Kasha's hometown. She takes this job with Stardust's baseball team so she would have health insurance and a good income so she can try to get custody of her sister. She is a bit secretive about everything, but you can kind of relate to what she's going through. I loved how the author portrayed the struggles that Kasha and her sister had to go through, because they were so accurate. It was like you were right there with them. Axel is just something of perfection, I can't even put accurately into words. He has a patience and strength that is really to be admired. The leap of faith he takes with Kasha's rehab plan is just awe inspiring. The men on this baseball team are so wonderful, it can really ruin your expectations of men in real life. If you know where these men exist, please, email me and let me know... I'd highly recommend this to any contemporary romance fan. This is an author that writes stories that I want to revisit over and over. I received a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
Nicolerko More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars I so love this series and the magic surrounding the hope chest. This is the third book in the series. This is another winner in the series and I fell in love with the characters right away. I will say I did have some tears in my eyes while reading this one. It packs a lot of emotion especially for Kasha and Axel. My heart really goes out to Kasha what she had to go through as a little girl and the pain she endured because of it. It's really something special to see the woman she has become with such a giving heart. Axel had a tragic even in his life as well that would break anyone. I had tears in my eyes when he's talking about it. Right away you can feel the instant spark between Axel and Kasha. Things just escalate from there, but can they act on it when she's Axel's physical therapist? One of the beautiful things for me in this book was how Axel and Kasha help each other find their way through the hurt and pain from the inside. This book also has it's moments of humor. The best ones are when Axel's teasing Kasha. Great book start to finish. One of the things that drew me to this book besides the author is that Axel is a baseball player. That will grab me right away.
bhillson83 More than 1 year ago
I love sports romance novels and when I say I love them - I mean I LOVE them. I thrive on reading them and whenever I have the opportunity to do so, I jump on it. So when I had the chance to read "Love of the Game" by Lori Wilde, I knew it was something that was right up my alley. Lori Wilde definitely did not disappoint in her newest novel in the Stardust Series. When readers are introduced to Axel Richmond the hot, sexy baseball player of the Dallas Gunslingers, you cannot help but swoon over the sexiness that oozes from the pages. Wilde has the ability to create characters with whom readers instantly feel a connection with and Axel is definitely one of them. She also introduces us to one of the sweetest characters with whom has ever graced a page of a novel, Kasha Carlyle, who is working for the Gunslingers for one reason - to gain custody of her special needs sister. When the Axel and Kasha's worlds collide, be prepared for fireworks and heat. Who knew that America's favorite past time could get so heated and sexy? Wilde does. Lori Wilde's ability to create a storyline that her readers can instantly connect with and want to delve further into, is an artwork. Wilde has a knack for creating characters with whom her audience wants to root for, and storylines that are written so perfectly, you can see it playing right in front of you. "Love of the Game" is a definite must addition to your To-Be-Read-Shelf, as Wilde has knocked one out of the park, with her latest release from the Stardust Series!
jennifer315 More than 1 year ago
I loved the first 2 books in the Stardust series and once I read the blurb for the third book "Love of the Game," I knew the wait for release would be hard. Not only was it worth the wait, but it has become my fav in the series. I loved Axel the pro baseball player with a passion for the game and Kasha the physical therapist who avoided passion like the plague. Both characters experienced tragedies in their past but they dealt with them so differently. Axel was dealing with the loss of his little boy and Kasha was dealing with the fall out from her biological parents actions. Kasha becomes his physical therapist to help him rehab his shoulder injury. The progression of their relationship from patient/therapist to friends to lovers was so well done. You get to see the characters develop and get to know them gradually instead of just throwing them into a romance right away. I loved their first scenes together where she was having him do a yoga session. It was priceless. I found myself not being able to put the book down till I got my HEA. I can't end this review without recommending you read this series in order. It is totally worth it. Not only are they good reads but the characters reappear throughout each book. Plus, you will understand the purpose of the hope chest.
RNA__40 More than 1 year ago
Love of the Game is a good read. Baseball pitcher Axel Richmond is out with a shoulder injury and physical therapist Kasha Carlyle is just the answer to help him recover. Kasha believes that Axel doesn't need surgery to fix his shoulder but relaxation. Axel moves to Stardust, TX to learn how to relax. Kasha has just found out she has a half sister with down syndrome. While Axel and Kasha both fight their attraction for each other they will also have to fight their past in order to have a future. This is a sweet small town romance.
tiggeruoSO More than 1 year ago
Axel was doing what he loved playing baseball and living the life. When an injury left him with a choice of surgery he noticed Kasha and wanted her opinion, when she said relax he knew he had to take the chance and relax. He was dealing with the loss of his son and he knows that he needs to add that to the healing process. But will he be able to heal and keep his promise to his son and he's dream alive? Kasha knows what its like to live in hell. When she discovers she has a half sister who has a disability she sets out to become her legal guardian and the includes getting the job at Gunslingers as a physical therapist, but when she opens her mouth and gives her opinion she puts everything on the line including protecting her heart. But will she be able to have it all and will she let Axel in to break down the walls she has had since she lost her parents or will the secret be to much and will she loose it all. I really, really enjoyed this book. There is passion, there is love, there is heartbreak, there is fun and there is joy and hurt but it all makes for a wonderful book. It was a real pager turner leaving you wanting more with each chapter. I really felt like I was catching up with friends in the book and not reading a story of fiction. The author does and amazing job in telling a story where it brings awareness to Down syndrome. There really is not anything I did not like about this book. While there are some adult scenes in this book I would not recommend to just anyone. You really can not go wrong with this sweet love story of healing, hope and finding who you are.
ytcruz More than 1 year ago
I always await anxiously for a novel by Ms Wilde. And this one exceeded my expectations. The story centers around Axel Richmond, a talented major league baseball pitcher whose shoulder injury is threatening to end his career. Kasha Carlyle is physical therapist that has just started to work with the Dallas Gunslingers (with whom Axel plays) and is on probation. She has taken this better paying job to help her get guardianship of the half sister she did just found out she has. Suffice is to say, that much to everyone’s surprise , Kasha ends up helping Axel improve his chances of recovery. I will let others tell you more about the story. This is really a story about how our past deeply affects us. One of them has been scarred by the loss of a child, the other one had a childhood that not even an adult should have experience. We as individuals, create walls to guard ourselves of further hurt, and these two are no different. Both are set free, but not without a great deal of tenacity on both their parts. Each one wants the other to open their wings and be relieved of the pain. So, if you want a romance novel that has a heartfelt message, this is the one for you. Ms Wilde made me want to hug these two and give them my absolute support. Once again, thank you Lori Wilde for a “trip” well worth of my time.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Kasha Carlyle may just have bitten off more than she can chew, but she is bound and determined not to fail, and lose the job she just worked so hard to get. Taking a job with the Dallas Gunslingers came with it's own set of challenges, the main one being, finding a way to resist the charms of all the handsome ball players, but she is certain she can keep things strictly business... that is until she lays eyes on their relief pitcher Axel Richmond. Axel is on the mend from a shoulder injury, and possibly looking at needing surgery, but he's hesitant about going under the knife. So, after some discussion it is decided that Kasha will put her therapy skills to good use and try and heal the injured pitcher in a week, and if she can't she'll be handed her walking papers. Which seems easy enough... as long as she can resist the heated advances from the charming pitcher! Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond loves what he does, and he's itching to get back on the field, but his injured shoulder isn't healing quite fast enough. He isn't real receptive to surgery, so he decides to take a different approach, one that maybe even more challenging than he originally anticipated... Spending the next week, alone with his thoughts, on a secluded ranch away from the bustling city doesn't sound all that appealing, but he's willing to give it a try, especially since he'll be spending the next week with the Gunslingers gorgeous new therapist... This charming little read captured my attention right from the start, and had me flying through the pages in search of what I hoped to be a happily ever after brimming with feeling and lots of heart, and I am happy to report I found that and so much more!! I loved reading Axel and Kasha's story, their relationship felt very real, their intentions were sincere, and the passion they shared was palpable. I love reading small town romances and this one definitely hit the mark, it warmed my heart, left me smiling and looking forward to more! I think it's safe to say Ms. Wilde has another bestseller on her hands with this one!!