“The Bachelor Auction” by Rachel Van Dyken (Eagle); Forever ($7.99)
Jane isn’t entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn’t she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and — yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes — or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire — maybe do exist.
Except Brock Wellington isn’t anyone’s dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk — even if it was just a facade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it’s karmic retribution that he’s tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can’t have. But while they can’t have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy ...
“Lost Lakers” by Bob Evancho (Boise); Bootleg Books ($14.95)
With sports serving as its background, “Lost Lakers: Grosse Pointe to Grand Valley — Cake Eater Meets Convict” is a memoir by Detroit native Bob Evancho, a tale that brings him full circle from his early years in the Motor City to his current home in Idaho and back to a Michigan state prison where he reunites with former college football teammate Reginald “Hook” Johnson.
Born in the Motor City in 1952 and raised in nearby St. Clair Shores until he was 14, the author recalls his early love of baseball, his family’s move from the suburbs back to Detroit’s east side on the heels of the 1967 race riots, and his beloved Tigers’ epic World Series triumph the following year.
With humor and candor, he writes about his aversion to the outdoors, his general ineptitude in most things related to sports, and his largely misguided efforts to play football at Grosse Pointe St. Paul High and Grand Valley State College — schools that shared not only the same nickname but also a distinct lack of gridiron cachet at that time.
It was at Grand Valley in 1972 that Evancho and Johnson (aka Amin Abdullah Mu’min), a two-time ex-con from Ecorse, first met. With Johnson’s help, the author tells an intriguing and compelling story of how two divergent lives came crashing together — literally — on a football field, went in starkly opposite directions and reconnected more than 40 years later.
“A Season for the Blessed” by Samuel Cronin (Kuna); CreateSpace ($12.95)
Jimmy Tample is determined to make it to the PGA. For the last sixteen years he’s been punished for trying, by way of Q School. Four stages. Multiple rounds. One terrifying hole after another. It’s so grueling that former PGA players who have been forced to requalify through it fizzle out. This year, his seventeenth, Jimmy has made it all the way to the last round of the final stage. In a moment, he will earn his Tour card and a few bucks as well, to help pay off a heap of debt. He’s in good hands. His caddy happens to be his wife. She knows his game better than anyone. But something unsettling is happening — something Jimmy hadn’t thought over. His caddy is in some kind of trouble. She’s a little pale. A little distressed. It’s affecting his stroke. And now on this last hole, as they approach the green, do he and his wife have what it takes to finish strong, or is this a moment of crisis that will alter their lives, their game and their marriage in ways they could never have foreseen?