Review: “Stealing Home” by Carrie Aarons

Series: Callahan Family, #2

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Trigger/Content Warnings: Mentions of and on-page domestic abuse, on-page substance and alcohol abuse

Release Date: January 22nd, 2021

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Walker Callahan has loved from afar for as long as he can remember.

The golden boy of the Callahan baseball dynasty, he’s the only player to ever secure a top spot on a roster controlled by his own flesh and blood. The pressure, duty and plans laid out for him since birth loom large, causing things like love and a family to fall by the wayside.

Or maybe that’s because the woman he loves is already married with children.

When they met, she was already promised to someone else. For over six years, he resigned himself to being her friend. Until one night, when her marriage and the ugly secrets it keeps unravels for the world to see. She’s burned, scared and needs someone who will put her needs above everything else.

Can Walker risk his own future and show her how to trust again? Or will the feelings he’s kept hidden for years throw him out of the game before he can even attempt to play?

Hannah Giraldi never wants to fall in love again.

All it brings is pain, misery and her life falling to shambles. After a very public scandal, her abusive husband takes everything, leaving her to raise two daughters on nothing but charity from others, a hope, and a prayer.

New to the job market, single motherhood, and with two court cases on her plate, the last thing she needs are the butterflies that Walker ignites in her stomach every time he comes around. But with his soothing words, supportive shoulder to lean on, and undeniable gorgeousness, he’s pretty hard to ignore.

Just when it feels like she might be standing on her own two feet, the world comes crumbling down around her. And the man she’s finally allowed into her heart abandons her, once again leaving her to pick up the pieces.

Is there a way to heal all of the broken parts, or will Hannah go down swinging while attempting one more shot at a happily ever after?

 

“If I did give in to this spark, at a time like this, I might truly lose myself forever.”

From the moment we met Walker in Warning Track, I was ready for his book. He was such a brilliant character in that, so to have an entire book dedicated to him? I was so here for that. And add in Hannah Giraldi and I knew that I was going to love this book. I’ve read a few Carrie Aarons books the last 18 months and I have to say, this is the most intense one of them all. It’s heart-wrenching and it digs into your soul. Stealing Home is a book that will make you cry, make you fall in love all over again and make you hurt everywhere. And that’s what makes it such a special book.

Hannah and Walker have known each other for years thanks to her being married to his teammate, but Walker’s held onto the hope that one day he and Hannah could be more. Except, he’s a decent guy who isn’t going to make moves on a married woman. And if you’ve read Warning Track you know how everything suddenly shifts. That change is difficult to process in the book, but also so powerful to witness in Stealing Home.

“I want all of her nights, all her meaningful mornings. I want to make a family with her, protect her, have her look at me the way I know I always look at her.”

As a single mother with an abusive ex, Hannah is obviously keeping a low profile and trying to make sense of everything in her life. And the last thing she needs is Walker Callahan walking in and making her question everything. I loved their relationship and how it graduated from a quiet and simple friendship into so much more. Obviously Walker’s feelings for Hannah are far more powerful than either of them expected and that means, but despite those feelings, he gives her the space and the time and waits for her.

Carrie Aarons goes really deep into telling the story of a woman who has suffered six years of pain and tears at the hand of the man who promised to love and cherish her. Hannah’s pain and suffering is raw and it’s sometimes hard to stomach. But her love for her little girls and her desire to be better and do better is what drives the story. It’s a love story, yes, but it’s also a story about overcoming everything ugly and bad in your life to give yourself something good. Because at the end of the day, Hannah isn’t only doing this for herself, it’s also for her girls.

“The two waves of need, both for her heart and to protect her, crash within me in tidal-like motions.”

I love how much of the divorce and hearing process we get to see, but what I loved even more was that even through this turmoil that Hannah is dealing with, she gets to have a strong and powerful love with Walker. And because of his long lasting love for Hannah, Walker isn’t going to keep it simple. He’s going to go out of his way to prove to her that she is everything.

But on the other side, as an heir to the Callahan empire Walker has so much riding on his shoulders and it’s all going to come crashing down just when he least expects it. To see him balance his relationship with Hannah and his familial obligations is quite interesting. When it comes to sports romances, I always feel like we either get too much of the sport or not enough, but here, we got a good balance and it felt really good. We’ve already seen so much of the Callahan family business through Colleen’s story, but we see another side through Walker and that’s pretty damn special. Even more so because we’re getting Sinclair’s book next and it’s going to be an absolute riot!

Brace yourself for all the emotions and feels when you pick up Stealing Home, but it’s going to be absolutely worth it. 

Thanks to Carrie Aarons for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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