Romance novels involving athletes have become extremely popular in the past several years. Thanks to authors like Susan Elizabeth Phillips and her Chicago Stars, Deirdre Martin and her New York Blades and Jill Shalvis and the Santa Barbara Heat, readers have been culling the shelves for more sports romances.
Why? Because sports romances are inherently sexy. For starters, they feature athletes with ripped bodies, nimble fingers, and lots of stamina. These guys are the ultimate Alpha hero because jocks live their lives playing a game. Not only that, but they get paid well to do it. Most of them are extremely self-confident and driven to win at all costs. In a word, they’re egocentric. Oh yeah, successful, athletic men are very sexy.
A good sports romance will give the reader a peek at the more vulnerable side of athletes, too. These men harbor fears of not making the play or being injured or worse, cut from the team. Some even have quirks or superstitious idiosyncrasies that make them endearing. (Although, I’m not so sure a scruffy beard is sexy, Boston!) A glimpse at the more human aspect of life as a professional athlete adds to the sexiness.
But, the best part of a sports romance is watching these alpha heroes have their whole world turned upside down when they meet the one woman they can’t live without. Athletes approach relationships much like they do a game and they don’t like to lose. So when they meet a woman that changes the game on them, it makes the sparks fly off the pages.
In my latest release, Foolish Games, Baltimore Blaze linebacker, Will “William the Conqueror” Connelly is a cerebral, intense, behemoth man who takes care of business on the playing field while keeping to himself off the gridiron. When he’s blindsided with the news he’s a father, Will believes he can orchestrate the lives of both his son and the baby’s mother much the same way he executes defensive plays during a game. Of course, his game plan doesn’t work out exactly how he expected—what would be the fun in that?
What do you find sexy about a sports romance? What are some of your favorites that you’ve read?
If you follow author Jill Shalvis’ Facebook page, you’ll know she asks that question at least once a week. It always makes me feel inferior. I mean the woman is a PROLIFIC writer. A rock star! She publishes at least four books a year. What’s she doing reading?
Forgive me, I’m just cranky because I’m in the middle of a manuscript and I don’t have time to read the bock of a box of cereal. Apparently, my productivity pales in comparison to Ms. Shalvis’. Or, perhaps, she’s just torturing herself contemplating all the books she hasn’t read—just like me. We’re like two chocoholics sniffing the wrapper of a Milky Way bar.
I’ve read only two books so far this year, both were book club picks. The first was Sharon Draper’s Out OF My Mind. This book was a light easy read, beautiful in its message. It’s written in the first person, the story told by eleven-year-old Melody who has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. She’s by far the smartest kid in her whole school, only no one knows it. Melody, you see, has cerebral palsy. The story deals with her struggle to communicate with her family and to “fit in” with the other kids at school. The overall message is one we all should embrace: tolerance and inclusion. I’m so glad I took the time to read this book.
I read the February book club selection because I kind of had to: it was my month to host and I chose the book: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. I’m going to say it right now, I loved this book. If my manuscript is late, I consider it well worth it to have been able to sift through the prose of Ben Fountain’s debut novel, already a finalist for the National Book Award. It’s the story of nineteen-year-old Army Specialist Billy Lynn, and the eight surviving members of the celebrated Bravo Squad. They are on leave from Iraq for an eight-day victory tour across the U.S. after surviving a harrowing firefight caught on film by none other than Fox News. The book takes place over Bravo Company’s last twenty-four-hours stateside: Thanksgiving Day at a Dallas Cowboy’s football game, complete with Destiny’s Child as the half-time performers!
Mr. Fountain’s writing is brilliant; his descriptions very visceral. The men of Bravo Company are depicted eloquently both as the teenage boys that they still are and the men they’ve become as soldiers. The book also contains some wonderful commentary on society as a whole, complete with some unforgettable one-liners. My favorite: when he describes the trophy wives in the owner’s box as having “the pinched look of angry vegans.” I. Love. That. Line!
So my TBR pile grows on my Kindle and beside my bed (including this month’s book club selection) as I trudge through the last half of a manuscript due the week after my first book comes out—I have to remind myself I wished for this. So you see, I have serious reader envy. But I’m going to ask anyway.
Go ahead. Torture me. Whatcha reading?
Okay, so I am totally in summer mode: I forgot about my blog this week! Actually, I’ve been doing a lot of writing and got caught up in my current WIP. Such a great feeling. 🙂 I’ve been carting my laptop or my AlphaSmart to the barn each day. While my daughter works out with Curious George, I write.
Most of the time. Except when the other horses are calling me from the pasture to come over and pet them or give them a treat. Or, when the barn cat isn’t demanding I pet her. Or, when the rooster isn’t crowing and making me think of heading off to the nearest fried chicken place for a snack. Yep, I’m being productive. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be finished by the time school starts again. (Notice I didn’t say which year.)
It’s been a little easier to write this one out of the office. That’s probably because when I’m working outside the house, I don’t have the stack of books in the corner of the room calling to me each time I sit down at my desk. Actually my “to be read” pile is more like a tower than a stack and, right now, it’s roaring at me to open a book. If there was a chance of chocolate hidden in that pile, I’d be sorely tempted.
Kristin Higgin’s new book, Somebody to Love, is sitting smugly next to the stack because, I must confess, I deviated from my work to sneak that one in. Hey, she sent me an autographed copy of her previous book so I felt compelled to read this one right away. So glad I did!
Congratulations to Kristin, by the way, for making the RWA Hall of Fame with this book. To Jill Shalvis, too, whose latest Lucky Harbor release put her in the Hall of Fame also. Another, waiting to be read.
Then there are those wonderful historical books I love to read by the pool. Sarah Mclean’s A Rogue By Any Other Name and Julie Anne Long’s How the Marquess Was Won keep staring me down. Seriously, I am actually hoping for a little writer’s block to get one of them read.
So what’s on your “to be read list”? See if you can tempt me!
Ahh, finally I’ve caught up to my children and am now the proud owner of a smart phone. Santa was generous and brought me an iPhone for Christmas. It looks really sleek and relevant in its purple, plastic case. Now I can read my email messages wherever I am because, you know, my emails are of such an urgent nature that I need them in real time. (Not!) I can also update my Facebook page with annoying—I mean entertaining—vignettes about my day. With pictures, too, because my phone has an amazing camera. Thanks to the Emoji app, I can decorate all my text messages with a variety of cute pictures because why shouldn’t my texts look like they we written by a teenage girl?
And that’s about it because, truth be told, I got a smart phone that’s smarter than me. Seriously, it talks back. What do I need that for? I have teenagers!
I’ve loaded some apps on it, but not many. When I enter the App Store (how funny does that sound?) I get a little overwhelmed with all the crazy and amazing things I can put at my fingertips. I have dipped my toes in, picking up a few of the thousands of apps available. My first one? The Flashlight. Now, if I have to change a flat tire in the dark, I have a light right there on my phone to do it by. Of course, a better use of my phone might be to call AAA, but a gal’s gotta have options, right?
Since it was the New Year, the second app I loaded on my phone was the Weight Watcher’s app. Yep, I live and die by the points. Now that I think about it, though, a better app might be one that yells at me to “put down that chocolate!” Is there an app for that?
Music is very important to my everyday existence, so I’ve had a lot of fun with iTunes and Slacker Radio. My task for this week is to figure out how to load one of my existing songs to use as a ringtone. Not as easy as it sounds. If I’m lucky, my fourteen-year-old will take pity on her out-of-touch mother and help.
I haven’t loaded any games, yet. No Angry Birds or Words With Friends or—the favorite in the Solheim house—Temple Run. Okay, I did load Magic8Ball, but that was because Jill Shalvis makes mention of it in her latest release Head Over Heels. It sounded fun, just like the book.
My son is addicted to FourSquare and I’ll probably load that one, too, if only to ensure he doesn’t become the mayor of our neighborhood! I do like ShopSavvy, though. How cool is it that you can compare prices of anything from you phone?
I’m sure there are a million things I can do with this wonderful little gadget. I need a copy of iPhones for Dummies because a mother can only bear so many exasperated sighs and eye rolls from her children when asking for help. With time, I’m sure I’ll be a pro. But you know what the best thing about my iPhone is? The one reason I consented that Santa could go over budget and get me one? FaceTime. Because when your child is lying in a hospital room three hours away, all you want to do is see his face. Hopefully I’ll never have to use it for that, but just knowing I can makes me sleep better. Isn’t technology great?
What are some of your favorite apps?