Review – The Changeup by Rhonda Shaw

The ChangeupPublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: January 6th
How I got this book: NetGalley

After nine years of striking out in the dating department, Maddie Hamlin is throwing in the towel. But just as this mom resolves to remain single, she meets sweet and sexy pitching phenom Chase Patton at a family dinner. He’s perfect for her–aside from the fact he’s only twenty-two.

Chase knows he should be focusing on his rookie year with the Detroit Rockets, but he can’t stop thinking about Maddie. He doesn’t care that the beautiful school counselor is twelve years older, and he’s already lost his heart to her adorable daughter. When an incredible date leads to an incredible night of passion, he knows he never wants to let her go.

But dating in the media spotlight is a whole new ball game. Maddie quickly discovers that not everyone accepts their unconventional relationship and that finding love may mean losing everything else.
*Blurb from Goodreads*

I love my sports romance books, but I have to admit that I’ve never really been a fan of the older female, younger male books.

Chase is in the middle of his rookie year with the Detroit Rockets, and all his focus needs to be on baseball. But after meeting Maddie, there is something about the woman and her daughter that Chase can’t get out of his mind. The only obstacle to a potential relationship is Maddie’s reluctance to date a man significantly younger than her.

Maddie isn’t looking for love, especially since she can’t seem to find someone worth her time. Meeting Chase has changed all that though. He is attentive to her daughter, he genuinely cares about her needs and feelings, and he is everything she’s wanted in a man. Too bad he is almost 12 years younger than her. Maddie isn’t sure that she is ready to date someone that much younger than her, especially since Chase works in such a high-profile job.

I have to admit that the way Maddie and Chase met was a little off putting for me throughout the entire book. At the start of the book, Maddie is at her sister’s house for family dinner, and Chase attends as Maddie’s niece’s date. It was more than a little awkward to read, even after Chase admits that they were never really dating. I’m sure this little weird meetup won’t bother all readers, but for me it just made reading their romance a bit uncomfortable.

That being said, once I was able to kind of forget about the way they met, I was able to enjoy their romance. I loved the way that Chase took as much time getting to know Maddie’s daughter, Bree, as he did Maddie. The times when they played catch together, and just spent time with one another were so sweet and made me fall for Chase harder than I expected. I thought he was a fabulous hero. He was so determined to win Maddie over, even though she pushed back at every turn.

As much as I adored Chase, Maddie didn’t work for me as well. I thought she over analysed everything in regards to their age difference. She was so in her head about what other people would think, that I felt as if she didn’t always give their relationship and romance the chance it deserved. Plus, given the way she refused to let Chase help when her life seemed to come crumbling down around her seemed a lot more immature than her age suggested.

Other than the internal conflict with Maddie and the age difference, the external conflict of Maddie’s life taking a drastic turn for the worse, and who was behind it all really annoyed me. I could see why it all worked out the way it did, but I always struggle with that kind of conflict used in romance books.

All in all there were aspects I really enjoyed about this book, and others I didn’t. Chase was a wonderful and fabulous hero, and the baseball portions were extremely well done. I struggled with Maddie’s view of their romance and the way she handled their issues, but enjoyed the few romantic moments they had.
I give The Changeup a B-

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