Review: On the Line by Liz Lincoln

May Contain Spoilers

I love me my sports romances, so when I saw On the Line, I added it to my TBR, which is a towering mountain of terror. I have to stop adding titles to it, but gosh darn it! There are so many awesome looking books that hit the shelves every month that I am absolutely drowning in books I want to read.

Anyway, I picked this up because the only thing holding my interest lately are shonen fighting comics, and I started getting into a rut. When I can’t concentrate on any particular book, I always reach for a contemporary romance. They are quick, full of drama, and usually get me out of a reading rut.

On the Line features a smokin’ hot defensive linesman and a cosplaying geek. I have to admit, the cosplay is what got me pick this up sooner rather than later. I love comics and comic conventions, and even better that the heroine has a knack for dressing up as Poison Ivy. Not my favorite super hero universe, but I can still hang with it.

This book features another of my favorite tropes – the harried single dad, struggling to make a happy home for his child. In Seth’s case, it’s his daughter, Madison, who is giving him grief. She’s 12, he’s dragged her to a new town because he was traded, and he just can’t seem to do anything right. Seth meets Carrie at the grocery store, and when a stressed Carrie realizes that she left her wallet at home, he gallantly steps in and pays it forward. When Carrie returns the favor after learning that Seth is purchasing hygiene products for his daughter, she gives him the lowdown on what he should buy. I loved that they could stand in the middle of the feminine hygiene aisle and discuss pads vs tampons, like two actual adults. Hooray for Seth!

Carrie is currently unemployed and has been looking fruitlessly for another teaching position. When her brother, who works for the Dragons football team, informs her that his college buddy is looking for a live-in nanny, she decides that beggars can’t be choosers. And of course her brother’s friend is the hot guy she meet at the grocery store. Ugh. She can’t entertain thoughts of having a wild fling with him if he’s her boss.

Parts of this story worked better for me that others. The constant tease of will they or won’t they give in to their attraction started to drive me nuts. The forbidden moments that they managed to sneak in were a little too contrived for my liking. Once they started their affair, the dreaded keeping their relationship a secret trope raised its ugly head. Predictably, things fell apart once their deception was discovered, which led to my biggest disappointment with Seth. He abruptly ends things, with no thoughts about Carrie’s feelings, because his little girl suddenly hated her. Madison is a spoiled brat, and I had a hard time forgiving her for almost destroying both her father’s and Carrie’s happiness because – boohoo – her feelings got hurt because they were keeping a secret from her. I don’t feel that this storyline was ever resolved, either.

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Is this man: A) a super-hot NFL player, B) the guy you’re sexting, or C) your new boss?
If you’re Carrie Herron, the answer is: D) all of the above. First, Carrie starts exchanging steamy text messages with the sexy single dad she meets in line at the grocery store. Then she lands a job as the live-in nanny for the daughter of the Milwaukee Dragons’ newest star. With any luck, she’ll be back on her financial feet before the next cosplay convention rolls around. But when Carrie shows up for work and realizes that her new boss is the guilty pleasure in her phone, she has no choice but to try to keep things professional. Oh, how would Poison Ivy handle a temptation like Seth Chamberlain?
After getting traded from Houston to Milwaukee, Seth’s having a tough time keeping his head in the game, let alone making sure that his daughter is fitting in. So if the only nanny that Madison will tolerate is a grown woman who likes comic books even more than she does . . . well, so be it. Too bad the nanny is also the gorgeous redhead Seth’s been flirting with all this time. But with Carrie’s knowing glances and kissable lips driving him wild, Seth must decide whether he’s ready to put everything on the line.