Friday, July 24, 2015

Review - The Final Quarter by Anne Lange

The Final Quarter
by Anne Lange
Series: A New League, #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: June 14, 2015

A quarterback facing the end of his career must come to peace with his past, and accept his present, before he can move on with his future.

Mitch Ryland accomplished what his father said he never would—he made something of himself.
When his wife suggests she’d like to start a family, Mitch is thrown for a loop. He’s never told her about his life before he ended up with his foster parents or his plans never to become a father. So when he’s taken out of the game, his failings from the past come back to haunt him, and Mitch blames his injury on his loss of focus. He’s unprepared for his career as a professional quarterback to be over. Nor is he ready to tell his wife about why football is so important to him. He’d rather put emotional and physical distance between them and focus on getting back in the game.

Serena Ryland has dreamed of becoming a mother. But when she mentions the idea to her husband, he freezes her out and she has no idea why. She’s worried that if they don’t start talking soon, she’ll lose him forever. When he refuses to come home to mend from an injury, she takes matters into her own hands, determined to spend more time with him, hoping to reignite the romance in their relationship. But she’s unprepared for the things she learns on this trip. Her husband has been carrying a few secrets that just might change the outlook of their future.

Reader Advisory: This book contains oral sex in a public environment and light bondage.
Publisher's note: This book is part of a series but can be read as a standalone title.

Unlike most sports romance stories, The Final Quarter focused on the emotional side of an athlete who is faced with a decision that may end his career and the toll it takes on his marriage. This was an emotional read that had me tearing up and then smiling, loving how Serena takes control of her life and pulls out all the stops to ensure that her marriage survives.

Serena was so relatable. She loves her husband and knows that his actions are a result of the pressure he feels as the quarterback of his football team, but she also knows that she can’t continue in a marriage that has her doubting herself and unhappy. I love that although she will do whatever it takes to try and fix her marriage, she also realizes that she also needs to do things for herself, in this case taking a freelance photography job, something she has a passion for but has put to the side to be there to support Mitch.

My heart went out to Mitch, especially as the story of his childhood unfolds and we learn more about why he is the way he is. He doesn’t know anything but football, but he’s also savvy enough to realize that there may be options for him if and when his career is over. As he is faced with an injury that could be career ending, instead of leaning on his wife for support, he pulls away, which of course causes issues in his marriage. I did get frustrated with him trying to deal with things on his own, but again, understanding some of his issues made some of his actions understandable.

Watching Serena remind Mitch of what they have together was wonderful. It was sexy and steamy, and it was also satisfying to see just how much Mitch meant to her and what she was willing to do. And did I mention it was sexy and steamy? Yeah, definitely sexy and steamy!

This was a quick read and although it was short (about 145 pages) it left me feeling satisfied with the story that was told. The pacing was good, especially how the characters and romance develops over the course of the story, and the ending played out perfectly. A nice choice for any romance lover!

I received a copy of the book from the author for an honest review.

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