Monday, November 9, 2009

Book Review: "The Ball's In Her Court" by Heather Justesen

By Nichole Giles

I have a confession. I read Heather’s books out of order. “What?” you say, “Heather Justesen only has one book on store shelves at the moment.” True. Very true. However, Heather just happens to be in my critique group. At the time we started our fab group, she’d already finished The Ball’s In Her Court. Suffice it to say, the first real taste I ever had of Heather’s incredible, romantic writing style was on the sequel to The Ball’s In Her Court. Don’t worry, though. No spoilers here!

The downside to reading books out of order, is that you often know the outcome of the first book—or at least which characters survive or end up together—before you start reading it. So, when I first opened the cover of The Ball’s In Her Court, it was with a preconceived notion of who these characters were. Boy was I ever wrong. This book had me biting my lip and clutching the edge of my seat the whole time. I had no idea all this angst and drama had come before book two! (Thanks for holding out on me, Heather.) Okay, so it’s not really a suspense, but sometimes in romance, the suspense of what will happen next is liable to destroy a woman. You romance fans probably know what I mean.

Here’s the blurb:

She's got a great job, a loving group of family and friends and basketball skills like you wouldn't believe, but Denise DeWalt's life is far from perfect, and she's about to come face-to-face with a past she hoped to leave behind forever.

Twenty-six-year-old Denise thinks she's come to terms with her childhood in the foster care system, but when her old nightmares return, Denise realizes that she must deal with her past once and for all if she ever wants to move on to a brighter future with Rich, the only man who can see past her former life. As Denise's search leads her closer and closer to the one person she hoped she'd never have to face again, she begins to realize that her future depends on just one person--herself.

This emotional and inspirational love story proves that life is full of unexpected twists and turns--especially when it comes to facing your demons, fighting for love, and finding happiness for the future.

My take:

Make sure you have a tissue handy, because when Denise DeWalt faces her demons, they’re the big, scary, ugly types that actually bite. Well, okay, so not literally in this book, but you know what I mean. This poor woman has a lot of serious issues to get through and Heather has done a fantastic job of injecting the emotional heartache and physical pain that come from a troubled childhood. Her experience in working with the foster care system in her home state shines through, and combines with her profound understanding of the angst neglected children often face to give the rest of us a small glimpse into the heart of human nature, and shows us what it takes for a young person to overcome obstacles of such massive proportion.

Not to mention her technical knowledge of the mechanics of writing is stellar.

Don’t worry, though, my romance reader friends, as I’ve previously mentioned—a few times—I would never deem to call a love story with a sad ending a romance. And this book is definitely a romance.

In fact, thanks to Heather’s innate ability to write love scenes, our critique group women have a poll going as to which love interest—in all her many books—is a better kisser. (I’m not going to tell you who is winning, though. You’re going to have to read all her books to find out!) However, in case you’re worried, all of Heather’s books are designated “Sweet Romances” meaning you there are no blush-creating scenes, or love scenes that make you want to skip a page or two. They’re completely clean, and thoroughly romantic.

Also, another bit of good news for you author addicts. Heather has another book—yes, kids, the sequel to this one, currently titled, Rebound—being released this summer. She’s on a role, I tell ya!

This book is a must read for the romance lover in your life—including and especially you. Also, keep it in mind as a wonderful holiday gift idea. Let’s face it; you can’t go wrong by giving the person you love a little touch of romance.
To order an autographed copy of The Ball’s In Her Court, limited time only, click here.

To read the first chapter of The Ball's In Her Court click here. 

To learn more about the author click here or here.

Also, be sure to check Heather's blog on or around November 11th to find out about some fun giveaways she'll be sponsoring. 

Oh, I almost forgot. In case you aren’t already sold on this book, take a look at the book trailer.

**The author of this review did, in fact, receive a free, signed copy of this book. However, it was personally handed to me by the author, not because I promised a review, but rather because she would’ve given me one anyway—just as I will give her a free copy of mine when it’s released. That’s what friends do. However, as mentioned in previous book reviews, neither my friendship with the author, nor the free book, had anything to do with the overall outcome of my review. I’ve promised my readers that I will never lie to them and give a glowing review to a book that doesn’t deserve it. And I intend to keep that promise.


David J. West said...

I have to admit that this is not my kind of book or story-not that theres anything wrong with that-but this has to be one of the better book trailers I have seen.

I have been pondering for a while now that our book trailers ought to be a bit more like movie trailers than the static (frankly boring) cover/blurb/cover trailers, so bravo Heather.

Heather Justesen said...

Thanks Nichole, can I say that you're awesome? (Oh wait, I just did, and have done regularly, so I guess I can).

David, I'm glad you like the trailer. I tried to create one slide-show style, but it just wouldn't come. When I switched to a movie-style script it just flowed however. I was really pleased with how this turned out!

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm hearing lots about this book and I'm eager to read it. I saw Heather a while ago sign a copy for a friend and I was itching to steal it.
Don't worry. I resisted the urge.