Ivy, Apr 2003, 6.99, 352 pp.
Superbowl MVP quarterback Bobby McIntyre returns home to El Paso to recover from a bad knee injury and a concussion suffered in a professional football game to learn that his sister Beth fired his friend as manager of Bobby's Place. She also hired Lacey Wright to run the establishment that is losing money because they give away a fortune in alcohol for free. Bobby plans to fire her until he learns she is a single mother. Because of his mother's desertion he cannot sack her until she at least screws up.
A week has passed and Bobby remains very aware of Lacey though he is not sure why as prim and proper is not his normal type of woman and he knows she thinks he is a dumb jock. He admires her for staying with Robin but knows she is bad for a bar as she behaves like everyone's mom. As they get to know each other, Bobby and Lacey fall in love, but though she begins to loosen up, he believes that she will leave him like everyone else in his life except his sister who has stood by him.
This sports romance stars two characters that carry baggage from their youth into relationships so that they never make it out of the first quarter before calling time out. The engaging story line focuses on love breaking down psychological barriers though the individual troubles of the lead couple seem too repetitive. Still Lacey and Bobby are a fine couple and the support cast, mainly his sister, her daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend make for a novel that scores plenty of touchdowns.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner