• Heart of the Game

  • By: Rachel Spangler
  • Narrated by: AJ Ferraro
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (117 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Sometimes baseball is just a metaphor for life, and sometimes it works the other way around.

All Sarah Duke ever cared about was baseball, and she's finally earned her shot as a full-time sports writer. She loves the work, she loves being one of the few women to ever gain access to a man's world, but most of all, she loves the game. When Duke meets Molly Grettano and her two sons at the ballpark, she instantly connects with the young family, but Molly isn't sure Duke's ready for something more. Molly wants someone softer, more feminine, and more importantly, someone steady. She and her boys have been abandoned before, and she's vowed to never to put them in that position again. If she were ever to trust anyone, it would have to be someone fully dedicated to her and her children. Duke has a lot of heart, but neither woman is sure there's enough room left in it for anything other than baseball.

©2015 Rachel Spangler (P)2017 Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

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What listeners say about Heart of the Game

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Love the metaphors.

I loved the interweaving of baseball euphemism and metaphors throughout this story. A well crafted romance. Definitely recommend.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent audio!

I loved the Heart of the Game. Excellent story and excellent narration by AJ Ferraro. You certainly get a good feel of one person having a time consuming job, and how hard the choices are to make. Loved the inside look at major league baseball.

2 people found this helpful

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I loved this book!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! Not only was the story great but the narration brought more feeling and emotion to it. The characters were very interesting and had great chemistry. I found myself rooting for them to make it through their challenges. I'm not a baseball fan in the least but I found the metaphors insightful and actually refreshing to see life principles looked at from a different lens. Overall great book, I highly recommend it!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Baseball and Love

Duke is a female baseball writer with daddy issues, and oh by the way she's a lesbian. Molly Granotto is a single mother with two sons, who is finally coming to terms with own same sex desires; so, not breaking much new ground here. Which is why I give thanks to the author for the baseball and for Molly's 9 year old son Joe. I say this even though the strong beginning of Joe as a supporting character was wasted as the book went on. On the other hand the younger son Charley's role got more defined as the story progressed; but despite these problems this saga achieved a strong 4 star rating. The reason was baseball.
In most romance novels dealing with sports, the sports portion of the book is usually rather abysmal; this book is the exception. The baseball section, with the exception of a couple of minor points is spot on. Duke's aforementioned daddy issues are front and center for the first half of the book before she begins to move on at least incrementally with the help of Molly and her boys.
When a card player wins the game but doesn't play it as well as they could have it's said that they left money on the table. This book, though pretty good could have been more than a little bit better; Miss Spangler definitely left money on the table.

1 person found this helpful

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Duke's Job

Great story! I only wish I knew how Duke's job ended up. It was the only burning question left unanswered. Again great story.

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Baseball and Love is an unbeatable combination.

This story gripped my heart ❤ and made me 😢 cry. It is well written and the characters are captivating. My favorite character is the place where many have experienced baseball at its finest and not so finest. Busch Stadium is the heart of the Cardinal Nation. The author captured the essence of being a fan. If you love baseball and romance this is a story you will love.

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Great story and love the narrator

one of my favorite narrators reading about one of my favorite things. twists and turns galore but it made it worthwhile

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I love love love

For the love of baseball, some of my best memories are baseball. My brother taking me to angels games when I was a kid. Taking my mom to her very first baseball game at age 60, taking my wife to her first baseball game at age 41, and taking my late partner to her last baseball game before she succumbed to lung cancer. Baseball is the heart of every child. Every child young or old has baseball in their heart. Loved it

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I love baseball

I love baseball. This book has some very well researched terms and back ground for the true fan, yet interesting and endearing explanations for the true non-athletes!

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    3 out of 5 stars

Not a light hearted romance with baseball.

Give this one a 4.5 if you love baseball. I found some of the life lessons and sayings very intuitive. The story plot was great and both women had major issues to contend with. I think the name Duke was super memorable but once the romance kicked in Molly called her Sarah it took me out of the story a bit. The kids were great, as usual. Molly was a mess but very realistic, with her concerns. The character development was not as smooth as some other books I've read by Rachel but really...baseball. So run with it.
I loved the cliches that were explained as metaphors and the chapter titles that developed the book and progressed the plot, step by step. Rachel should do that more often. It was really fun and engaging to see what the title held for the chapter to follow. Great audible for the car ride i take every weekend, back and forth for 3 hours. AJ Fererro does a wonderful job separating the voices and really delivering everyone as a separate entity. Thanks. SPOILERS from here out:

The heartbreak was horrible, so I guess Rachel did her job. I've read worse but this one caught me sideways in that I didn't quite understand what was causing the breakup. Duke seemed so mature and stable and I didn't understand why Molly was half-crazed about this totally great woman being a flake. Of course, Rachel guided us around the bases and found a reason to say Duke was not fully committed or she was spreading herself too thin not giving 100%. That didn't ring true to me b/c her job was important and I still don't really see why she had to give it up. Perhaps I should reread it but I'm just flipping my coin toss here. Do they do coin tosses in baseball....uh oh, mixing my metaphors? I also don't recall Duke ever dealing with her daddy issues except to say something like "she would never do that to Molly's kids" and that was it. I would have thought she would have spoken to her father about the unfair treatment she received growing up as a girl in her family. At first, I thought Molly was involved in a relationship with the Mafia or something. The grandfather issue was a moot point since he died. OK, I'm done ripping out Rachel's guts. Sorry. This could have been so much more. It was good but...

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  • FC51
  • 01-09-22

Change the audio speed to make the narrative good

I'm English and don't know anything about baseball therefore I can't tell if the book is factually correct. However, the analogies between a sports team and life ring true and create an interesting and moving story.
There seems to be something wrong with the production values of this recording because found I had to adjust the speed of the audio on Audible, making it faster, otherwise the narrator was horrible to listen to.