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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
In Numbers Game, a sizzling romance novel by Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe, 37-year-old Olivia “Liv” Grant is starting over as a sports reporter. She has generated a documentary project about 42-year-old Duncan “Hatch” Hatcher, a ruggedly handsome ex-pro football player hired as head coach of Division 1 Lakeview University in Michigan, the town where he grew up and starred on the university’s gridiron. Mutual heatwaves erupt upon their first interview. But both are under pressure to keep their heads on straight to meet the duties of their new jobs. Remaining composed and professional, however, will, of course, be impossible. Will the dessert of a working dinner together turn out to be more than chocolate cake?
The question will not be whether the dynamic couple ends up sharing a life but, with all the obstacles before them, how. Olivia has been brutalized and controlled by her egomaniacal ex-husband Daniel, who continues to interfere in every area of her life and who happens to be a giant in sports media. And Hatch is battling a serious gambling problem that ended his career in pro football and caused his divorce. Also, there’s a slimy reporter digging around for both their dirt. And if that’s not enough, there’s a destructive rivalry between Hatch and his older brother. Thus, as the authors’ prose breezes us along, there’s plenty of coitus interruptus, so to speak, to add tension to the plot. Numbers Game by Desiree Holt and Liz Crowe, dedicated incidentally to the Harbaugh brothers of football fame, kept me turning the pages with its well-knit twists and turns, not to mention its other steamy virtues.