Posted:  March 12, 2014

Strike Out by Cheryl Douglas  When professional baseball player, Zach Foster, agreed to go into business with five of his best friends, he didn’t expect their little sports bar to evolve into a national chain, spanning fifty states, but it did. The business helps to fill the void in Zach’s life during the off-season, but when he closes his eyes at night, he still can’t forget the girl who left that gaping hole in his heart when she left him standing at the altar. 
Lauren ‘Rennie’ Alexander would do anything to fulfill a sick child’s wish. Not only is it her job, as director of the Sky’s the Limit Foundation, but it’s her passion. So when her assistant brings her a letter scribbled in crayon, complete with an application from the little boy’s loving parents, Rennie is ready to make another dream come true. Until she realizes that sick little boy’s dream is her worst nightmare. He wants to meet his hero, baseball player, Zach Foster. The same lying jerk who broke Rennie’s heart. It’s seems she has no choice but to take one for the team.

Neighborhood friends turned high school and college sweethearts.  Lauren “Rennie Baldwin” Alexander and Zach Foster had an intense romance from day one.  Rennie was intensely in love with Zach and she thought he was with her too.  To the point where they had sex like rabbits, talked endlessly about their futures and about Zach hopes of being signed to a pro baseball team. 
     When Zach was signed he asked Rennie to marry him.  Of course she said yes their lives were going according to their hopes and dreams.  As well as their parents who were best of friends too. 
     Up until the night before the wedding and Rennie’s world came crashing down all around her.  You see Zach was out having drinks with his brother Kevin and Zach “butt dialed” Rennie on his phone without knowing it.  Rennie expecting to talk to Zach hears Kevin’s voice asking basically, if Zach was ready for the marriage thing and Zach says, “Yeah basically I guess.”  Then, Kevin says something like, “What do you mean, yeah you guess? You want to get married don’t you?”  Zach pauses for a long time then says something like, “Well, you know Rennie she gets what she wants when she wants it.”
     Rennie gasp at that thinks, “Did I force him into this?  Does he not want this?”
     “What are you going to do when she wants kids?” Kevin asks.
      Zach says, “Oh, No!  No kids for us!  At least not until after I win the World Series or closer till the end of my career.”
     “What if she just stops taking the pill one or two days?” Kevin says.
     “Oh, Hell no!  I don’t leave that up to her I always wear protection she can’t take the pill.” Zach says.
     “You know that’s not full proof?” Kevin says.
     “Don’t worry, got it covered.”  Sounding angry.
     Rennie is feeling ill on their honeymoon she planned on surprising Zach with the news that she was pregnant.  Now what?  What should she do?
     “Zach?  Do you Love Rennie?”
     There was a very long pause I am sure it was maybe only 30 seconds but it seemed longer.  He finally answers, “Yes, I love her!  I have loved her for as long as I can remember.  I just wish we could slow everything down.”
     At that Rennie disconnected.  She sees her life pass before her and it is not pretty.  Was their whole relationship a lie?  Want to know what happens?  You’ll have to read the book you won’t be sorry…
     I really enjoyed this story.  There were a lot of issues posed in this storyline that could have been real downers but were handled nicely.  The characters were believable and down to earth.  I liked how Rennie stood up for herself, can’t say how I agreed with her original decision but once it was made up she stood up and did what needed doing.  I just felt bad for Nathan, like he was used, but he knew what he was getting into, too.  I also like that Zach took half of the blame for Rennie’s original decision because he didn’t man up.  Very good story 5 stars.  Provided by net galley.  Find us at: 

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