The Final Quarter

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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.

Blurb

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.

Praise for The Final Quarter

Awards

2015 First Place Erotic Romance

Reviews

"Every now and then, I like to read short erotica, and having sports mixed in with it is even better. In this 145 page short and sexy read, “The Final Quarter” was HOT! Not only was the sex written very well, I loved that I really felt a connection between Mitch and Serena, and that they truly loved each other. While Mitch had his issues, I loved how Serena didn’t give up on him, and tried to help him through a dark period.

If you’re looking for a quick, sexy erotica, then this is definitely a book for you. This was my first book by Anne Lange, and it won’t be my last!"

5star Read full review from Chick Lit Goddess

"The beginning of the story leaves wondering how this book will end. By the end of the first chapter, I excited to see how this book will turn out. The author did a good job of drawing the reader into the world she created. The world is very realistic and the author established a sense of time and location to help the reader created a picture of what the world would look like. The pace of the story was a bit slow at some points and fast is others. The main characters and the secondary characters were fascinating and believable. I loved that no matter how tough things got Serena stood by Mitch. While Mitch has many faults he handled them in a realistic and believable way.

The point of view alternated between Serena and Mitch, giving the reader a glimpse inside both characters. The changing point of view was done with care so the reader did not get lost or repeat story lines. The main conflict of the story is Mitch dealing with losing his job while dealing with the demons of his past and moving forward. The characters seemed to fit the overall storyline. The level of conflict is perfect, anymore and it would have detracted from the overall storyline. The dialogue between the characters was sincere and distinct. The characters voice seemed to match not only the setting but seemed to fit their overall personality. The ending was a bit predictable but this book is more about the journey to the end than the end itself. I hope we get to see these characters again in the future. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series." 4.5 stars

5star Read full review from Night Owl Reviews

"After exchanging vows, a couple is expected to live happily ever after. In THE FINAL QUARTER by Anne Lange, the second book in A New League Series, focuses on what happens when communication gets lost in a marriage. Mitch is a professional quarterback who knows his time as an athlete is limited. Haunted by his past, his focus is his career--which causes a division in his marriage to Serena.
Serena is ready to start a family, yet with her husband on the road, quality time is limited. As his focus narrows down on his career, Serena has to resort to some creative solutions to get his attention.

Although I wanted to jump right into a resolution for the couple, as a reader I knew I was in for some angst. That's where the title comes into play. It's the final quarter of their marriage and the clock is counting down. The heat level provides a solid addition to the storyline, giving the couple just the right amount of intensity.

4star Read full review from The Romance Reviews

"The Final Quarter by Anne Lange was not only unbelievably sexy it was also very sweet. Serena and Mitch have been married for seven years and when he gets hurt as a Quarterback, he starts to emotionally shut down. He is worried he is going to lose his career and that he will be considered a failure. Serena notices him shutting down and takes matters into her own hands. Creating sexy and exciting dates for the two of them, the flame in their marriage is rekindled.

Anne Lange changed the playing field a bit by focusing on a married couple, and I LOVED that! Not having to read through all the angst and awkward dating scenes was nice and refreshing. Lange did a wonderful job creating chemistry between her two characters and you can feel it as you read. While, I do enjoy a short, sexy read every now and again, I wish that there had been a little more to their story. Regardless, it was an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more from her."

5star Read full review from Katelyn- Book Hangover Page

Excerpt

A shiver of anticipation vibrated through her. I can do this.

Rising once more, she picked up her drink and held the glass out to him. “Can you hold this for a moment, please?”

“Sure.” His deep rumble set her on fire. That was his sex voice. Each time she heard it, awareness skittered along her nerve endings. Her senses sharpened. And it had been a while since he’d used it, so the fact that he did now thrilled her and urged her on.

Serena placed the papers on her chair, then turned and dipped back into her briefcase. A low growl came from behind her this time. With an added wiggle, she retrieved a linen tablecloth from her bag and twirled around. His gaze shifted to her hands. “I don’t want to get the papers wet,” she explained. “Excuse me, please.”

She nudged his arms out of the way, careful not to jostle him too much so he wouldn’t spill their drinks, while she draped the white tablecloth over the round table. It puddled on the floor. “Perfect.” She flashed him another smile, set her papers atop the table again, and reached for her water, though she set it down without taking a drink. Her stomach was a pile of nerves.

“All set to get down to business.”

“And are you going to tell me what the business is?”

Her husband clearly remained leery. She couldn’t fault him for that. This was so out of character for her. He was typically the aggressor in their relationship. She’d always preferred to let others take the lead, even as a child. Maybe because her mother simply rolled right over everyone in her way, a trait of her legal position. Serena had simply found it easier to stay out of her path.

But whatever was going on with her husband was affecting their marriage, and that she wouldn’t stand by and watch while it withered away. She loved him too much to let him go that easily.

Which meant she needed to step up her game if her husband wasn’t prepared to. But maybe it was more than that. Maybe this was about her suggestion a few weeks ago. Didn’t he want a family? She needed to convince him she loved him more than anything, perhaps even more than fulfilling one of her own dreams.

“It’s like I said, Mr. Ryland, we need to discuss a few things.”

“What’s with this Mr. Ryland shit? What game are you playing, Serena?”

“I know you’ve always enjoyed game nights,” she said instead.

He shifted in his seat and looked down at his drink. His clenched the glass in his hand.

“The rush of the game, the physical and mental challenge, the excitement of a win. The devastation of a loss.” She felt bad that they’d lost tonight and almost regretted her words. “I bet the endorphins are flying through your system, even right now.” She cocked her head. “Is it like sex?”

He coughed, very nearly spitting out the mouthful of tea he’d just taken. “Excuse me?”

She put on what she hoped to be an innocent face and mentally prepared herself to forge forward. “Well, I think the high of the game must be like foreplay, then the party afterwards, like an orgasm. So game nights are like having sex.” At least she hoped, because she needed all the help should could get tonight. And she felt utterly foolish saying this crap. But how else was she supposed to lead up to her plan for the evening?

“Ah…”

Serena almost let loose with another giggle, watching Mitch trying to figure out where the hell she was going with this ridiculous conversation “You know,” she purred, “I’m well aware that you couldn’t actually play tonight.” She toyed with the papers. Spun her glass around a little.

“No.”

And her poor baby was pissed and hurting about that. Well, he needed to learn that she had his back. That when shit like this happened, he needed to talk to her. Knowing her husband, he was probably worrying himself sick that he was letting his coach down, his team down, the fans down. And he probably thought he was letting her down too.

The fact that he wouldn’t meet her gaze confirmed it. So she’d just have to help him forget for a while and remember the benefits that went with having somebody who cared for him. Somebody who loved him and was willing to fly across multiple states, plan some pretty special and erotic nights for him to take his mind off his troubles. If he wasn’t going to come home to her, then she would damn well to come to him.

“I have a something that might take your mind off your current situation.” Serena pulled her gaze from the man across from her and scanned the bar. Nobody paid them a bit of attention. She slipped off the stool, dropped to her knees and scurried under the table, letting the cloth provide the cover she needed.

“Serena.” Mitch’s harsh whisper reached her ears, but she chose to ignore him, instead she tucked her hands beneath his pants and ran her hands up his legs.

He jumped. “What the fuck?”

 

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