From the Sideline (Wake Up Call, #2)
by Amy Avanzino
After losing her marriage, life savings, and waistline, Autumn Kovac is terrified of being hit by more heartache. So when her only child decides to try out for the football team, the overprotective, sports-illiterate mom has a near phobic reaction. But Zachary hasn’t smiled since his father left, and she’s desperate to make him happy (and doing nothing and hoping for the best hasn’t been working). She reluctantly enters a new world of youth competitive sports, full of overzealous coaches with Vince Lombardi dreams and fanatical parents trying to achieve vicarious glory.
Unexpectedly, Autumn begins transforming within this strangely addictive new culture, finding her voice, facing her past, tackling her fears…and uncovering the secret that’s been keeping her from her son. After meeting her ideal catch, she finds herself back in the dating game and discovers some fierce competition of her own. Will Autumn make it off the sideline? Can the underdog finally win?
Autumn Kovac isn’t your typical kind of mom. While many of us would want the best for our sons, supporting them in their hobbies and attention to sports, Autumn wasn’t as encouraging. She thought she knew her son’s capacity, the fact that both of them were on the heavy side and weren’t really into anything that required toiling, difficult tasks. So when she learned that her son Zachary wanted to join the football team, she had apprehensions. But as a mom, she went to her tryouts, secretly wishing he won’t make the team.
I had a hard time liking Autumn. Well, I understand where she was coming from, having been married to an abusive man and left her to fend for her son, I wasn’t particularly into her parenting skills. I thought she was lazy and overreacting. She was also over protective of Zachary, I felt bad for the little kid. (okay, he wasn’t little, he was quite big!)
And then she transformed and started dating again. Thanks so much Joaquin, for coming into their lives. But the problem was… Was Joaquin willing to stay?
In the end, I came to love Autumn, Zachary even more. There was progression with the characters, there was laughter and drama and action in the story, making From the Sideline a very appealing read. I am happy to have read something that shows the values of a woman, especially a mom, her hard work and endeavor, fears and weaknesses, and most of all, her love for her family. Amy Avanzino clearly hit the home run with this book!
I stand there staring at him, as if I’m seeing him clearly for the first time. I speak without filter. The words come from my heart and not my head.
“We don’t need you Joaquin, but we want you in our life. You’re the only man who has proven to deserve Zachary’s adoration. You’re the only man I’ve ever truly trusted with my son. You’re the only man who has been the example I want for him, except Matt Damon,” I admit to him and myself.
“I’m sorry for not believing in you, for not understanding you, for being scared to trust you, but most of all, for trying to make you break your promise to Zachary. I wish I realized it sooner.”
His eyes never leave mine. I’ve never felt so heard.
Joaquin narrows the distance between us. He looks even more handsome up close. “You’re worth the wait,” he says. He drops his head down. His mouth is so close to mine; I can feel the hear from his lips. I shut my eyes. I pucker. I wait for it.
I’m still waiting for it….