Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Number's Game by Tracy Solheim

Title: A Number's Game 
Author: Tracy Solheim
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Out of Bounds #2.5
Main Characters: Merrit and Heath
Release Date: April 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Love is worth more than the sum of its hearts…

CPA Merrit Callahan learned early not to let passion unravel her orderly life. Back in college she fell hard for a football player, only to be devastated when she discovered he’d been duping her all along—dared by his teammates to score with his bookish tutor. Now, after her back-stabbing fiancé breaks off their engagement, Merrit flees to Baltimore to escape the fallout.

After eight years in the pros, a series of concussions have forced Heath Gibson out of the NFL. The transition from player to coach for the Baltimore Blaze hasn’t been smooth, but finding himself face-to-face with Merrit Callahan makes the ride even rockier. He’s been filled with regret ever since a stupid team prank caused Merrit to run away from him a decade earlier.

Merrit’s stunned to reconnect with Heath. And despite the authenticity of his reignited feelings this time around, Merrit’s got her mind set on payback. She’ll give Heath a night he won’t forget and then walk away. But Heath’s hold on her heart—and the rest of her body—is difficult to break…

My Review:
Aww, I really liked the backstory on this one. Merrit and Heath dated while they were in college. He was her first lover and she thought they meant everything to one another, but that all ended when she found out about a humiliating bet among the jocks. She was shattered by the revelation and took off never giving Heath a chance to explain. 

For Heath, she was the one who got away. For Merrit, he was a humiliating awful memory that she wishes she could forget. So when they run across one another 10 years later, there is a lot to get past and work through. Heath has a marriage and divorce under his belt. Merrit is fresh off another humiliating experience...the betrayal by her fiance. Heath sees this as a second chance, but Merrit sees this as a way to prove to herself that she's not the cold fish that her fiance said she was. She could never trust him again.

The emotion to this story felt very real. My heart hurt for Heath because it sounds like he did everything he could to fix the original hurt, but she had left the country and her family was over-protective. On the other hand, I also could completely understand Merrit's complete humiliation. It was one thing when it was just a vague bet, but when the details of what all was on the list came out, I could most definitely see her point. It's a no-win for both of them...until they talk. And that's all I'm gonna say because it's a story worth reading and exploring yourself. 

I did really, really enjoy it. I read it out of place in the series order, but that didn't affect my enjoyment of it one bit. It's certainly part of the Out of Bounds series, but it absolutely works completely and totally as a stand alone. In fact, if you've never read Tracy Solheim, this would be a good "feeler" novel to see if you like her style (hint: I think you will.) AND...I still need to know who the blogger is and wonder if we'll ever find out.

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