The Dugout (2023)

About the Book

BookThe Dugout

SeriesThe Vegas Kings #3

Author: Emily Childs

Release Date: January 19, 2023

He’s my brother’s ex-best friend…and the guy who left my heart in pieces.

Ryder Huntington was my first and only broken heart. After he disappeared from our college campus and my life years ago, I promised no one would tear me up like his sweet words and broken promises ever again.

Until I finally score my first high-paying interior design job and who shows up? The heartbreaker himself, screaming words like breaking and entering.

I always imagined the day we met again would involve more groveling on Ryder’s part and fewer cops, handcuffs, and sexy professional baseball players.

Now he wants to make up for the misunderstanding. Well, that ship has sailed. I think.

I should detest Ryder out of sheer loyalty to my brother and my heart, but the longer we’re together, the harder he is to hate. Because under that steely exterior he hides pain he doesn’t let anyone see. Part of me wants to heal his broken pieces…but falling for my brother’s enemy again just might break me in the process.

Click HERE to purchase a copy!

My Thoughts

I went into The Dugout by Emily C. Childs knowing that people are either loving it or hating it. The odd buzz I’ve been hearing about this book made me very curious and my desire to read it intensified. Childs’s novels are consistently beloved, so what did she do so differently with this book? I devoured this book in about 24 hours. Personally, I loved every minute of this well-written story, and cannot agree with the Negative Nancys who’ve given poor ratings. In fact, I am convinced that many of them didn’t actually read the entire book. As with all of Childs’s previous novels, The Dugout is not mere fluff. There are some heavy topics dealt with in this story, and I feel Childs dealt with each of them respectfully and realistically. In this story, Childs tackles adoption, teen pregnancy, miscarriage, cancer, autism, bullies, and forgiveness. She also takes a look at how child trauma causes problems that can affect people into their teen and adult years. What some readers are struggling with is how Ryder, at 18 (and based on the information he was and was not given) made a decision that impacted the female lead character during a really sad, scary time in her life. I, personally, did NOT struggle with an 18-year old boy acting like a severely hurt 18-year old boy. Teens are teens. They are not adults. When adult-level stuff is thrown at teens, I will never, ever fault a teen for reacting as a kid instead of as an adult. It’s foolish to expect a teen to act like an adult. It blows my mind that some of the reviewers are negatively reviewing this book because teens acted like teens. This book has a lot of heavy stuff in it, and I feel like each character dealt with their individual stuff very realistically. My heart hurt for each character; and, I cheered for each one as they navigated through their pain and back to one another. I loved their journeys to truth and understanding and forgiveness and healing and love. This is an excellent Second-Chance Romance, and I highly, highly recommend it.

The Dugout is another home run by Emily Childs! This is a story that will stick with me long after having read the final page. If you are a fan of well-written Contemporary Romance then I highly recommend checking out this book today. It is not a story to be missed!

I purchased a copy of this novel in eBook form from on January 18, 2023, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

4 thoughts on “The Dugout (2023)

Leave a Reply to Cindy Davis Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.