Some might say she is obsessed.
But you gotta have a sport, right? Truth be told I love pretty much all sports, “Football” (European style) being number one, followed closely by basketball and then American football (or “hand egg” as I’ve heard it described by hard core footie fans.)
I love the extreme beauty of a man on the pitch, at a dead run intent on scoring or protecting his team’s goal. Love. It.
These dudes are bloody fit too, not like the ass scratchers on a baseball diamond.
I have a couple of new stories bouncing around in my brain pan (Hans the Muse is working overtime this holiday season it seems) and plan to come up with a fun new 1Night Stand focusing on a hot male player whose only failing at least in his own mind is that he loves men. Ah, yes.
In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to Ramon Castillo, one-time super stud of the pitch and the boudoir (if rumors are to be believed) whose career has been leveled by a Dutch player with a grudge in the finals of the World Cup. He’s shattered in more ways than one, and hiding out thanks to the generosity of his cousin, Jackson (yes, “that Jackson”) at the casino resort, playing too much black jack and trying not to throw up at the thought of playing soccer ever again.
Imagine it: you spend your entire life playing a sport, you are the best of the best and then suddenly you can’t play at the top level ever again. Will playing down or coaching ever really satisfy? It can, if Madame Eve has anything to do with it.
Enter Gillian Winter, one of my fav heroine’s I’ve ever created. She’s a former women’s soccer star who fell in love with her coach, got pregnant and left the game to marry him only to be widowed thanks to his rare, undiagnosed heart condition. She has a pretty huge chip on her shoulder. Male stars can play and play beyond college and make a ton of money at it. Women still cannot even thought U.S. Women’s national team has gone farther with more gold medals in world cup and Olympic level play than the men’s team.
Her young son has one dream: to meet his hero, Ramon Castillo.
“Caught Offside” is a love story. How a mutual love for a game, and an understanding between two people about that love can take them to a new level, and help them heal together.
Gillian’s hands were on fire. But she had no complaints. The vision of Ramon Castillo, kicking a soccer ball around with her son, the beauty of his rippling muscles as they took turns hitting it toward her took her breath away. She never wanted it to stop.
He’s leaving in two days, remember? Jesus, woman, get a grip.
But finally, she had to hold up one stinging hand and take a break. She’d made some amazing saves; she knew it and the admiration in the man’s mesmerizing dark eyes kept growing. They officially had a crowd and Harrison played it up like only he could. The kid had the attitude of a soccer stud—self-confident to a fault. And he showed signs of talent to match. She walked off toward the bathrooms to grab an ice pack from the first aid station, leaving the former star and her son in passing drills.
Taking a minute to catch her breath, visions of Joe passed through her brain, as they always did when around their favorite game. She’d avoided any sort of serious soccer since his death. The two were so entwined, she couldn’t imagine enjoying it ever again without him. Watching Harrison’s games were hard enough. But today seemed like a turning point. She’d been in her element, in goal, her natural competitive nature winning out. She smiled, thinking of Jackson’s declaration about mutual healing.
Ice packs clutched between aching palms, she turned and nearly plowed straight into him. He was so close she could smell him, feel the heat from his skin. He grabbed her arm to keep her upright.
“Oh, um, sorry.” He pointed to the ice. “You okay?”
“Yeah, sure. Don’t get cocky though. I just needed gloves. I can still stop you. You project you know, I can see it in your eyes every time you pull your leg back. And your favorite spot is upper right corner. I got it every time, if I’m not mistaken.” She smiled, trying like hell to be calm.
He shrugged and grinned. Her heart leapt at the sight. The silky-looking brown skin, raven’s-wing black hair and chocolate-colored eyes, and a boyish look of self-deprecation completely unlike his public persona nearly undid her. The man fucked supermodels—apparently two or three at a time, she’d read. And she believed it now that she’d been this close to him. He oozed sexuality and confidence in spite of himself—not hard to do if you were a millionaire twice over thanks to endorsements. She let resentment creep back in as a defensive mechanism. He ran a hand through his sweaty hair and shot her a sheepish look.
“Well, apparently, we have ourselves a game and you and I are coaching.”
She stared at him. What the hell? He jerked a thumb over his shoulder. She saw about twenty kids ranging in age from ten to teenagers, all watching them. She grinned.
“Okay, but my team is gonna kick your ass.”
To her utter shock, he stepped into her personal space, his lips mere centimeters from hers. His arm wrapped around her waist. She sucked in a breath.
“Big talk, but I’ll take that challenge.” He still held her, one arm curled around the small of her back. When his lips touched hers, it felt like coming home.
Microbrewery owner, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great middle west, in a Major College Town. Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry) has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. When she isn't sweating beer inventory, sales figures or promotional efforts for her latest publication, doing pounds of laundry for her sweaty athletic children, watching La Liga on the Fox Soccer Channel, or trying to figure out what to order in for dinner, she can be found walking her standard poodles or doing Bikram Yoga. Liz loves her Foo Fighters Pandora station, and watching reruns of Deadwood, when there isn't any decent European football on the telly. If you want a beer education follow her: www.a2beerwench.com. For writing related stuff, including her backlist, go to: www.brewingpassion.com.
And the photo is of Yours Truly with her own soccer lads, imports from England who love to come and watch Premiere League on the tellies in her Tap Room (because she springs for all the soccer channels!)