This week, I’m helping Entangled Publishing celebrate the heroes of Embrace & New Adult Romance!
Today we’re celebrating athletes!
Foolproof by Jennifer Blackwood
It’s been a rough semester and Jules Carmichael needs to get her life together. Pronto. Unfortunately, the only available work is at Office Jax, home of horrid 90s music and the biggest jerk on this side of the galaxy. Then Ryan DeShane discovers the “6 Ultimate Steps to the Perfect Summer Fling”—and Jules is his target. But the “steps” work a little too well, because he and Jules are definitely, uh, flinging. And it’s only a matter of time before Ryan’s foolproof plan starts to seriously unravel…
The Rule Maker by Jennifer Blackwood
Rule Breakers #2
Ten Steps to Surviving a New Job: 1. Don’t sleep with the client. It’ll get you fired. (Sounds easy enough.) 2. Don’t blink when new client turns out to be former one-night stand. 3. Don’t call same client a jerk for never texting you back. 6. Ignore accelerated heartbeat every time sexy client walks into room. 8. Don’t let client’s charm wear you down. Be strong. 9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the client. You’ll lose more than your job—maybe even your heart.
Wilder by Rebecca Yarros
The Renegades #1
He’s Paxton Wilder, five-time X Games medalist and smoking-hot leader of the Renegades. The world is his playground, and for the next nine months Leah Baxter is stuck as his tutor on the Study at Sea program. If she can’t get him to take his academics seriously, she’ll lose her scholarship…if she doesn’t lose her heart first.
Nova by Rebecca Yarros
The Renegades #2
He’s Landon Rhodes, four-time X Games medalist and full-time heartbreaker. This tatted-up adrenaline junkie has earned his nickname Casanova, going through girls in an attempt to forget the one who got away. But now she’s back and determined not to let him destroy her again. The problem is, he will stop at nothing to prove to her that they are meant to be together.
Fearless by Shae Ross
Pretty Smart Girls #2
Devi Dalton won’t let anyone hold her back. With a shiny new job in Manhattan, she’s finally taking control of her life. Her only obstacle? Ben Winslow, the sexy cage fighter she’s desperately trying to resist, who isn’t about to let her push him away again. They’re more than friends—always have been. But every fighter has a weakness. Ben’s is Devi. And this time, not even Devi’s favorite “ Fearless Red” lipstick will be able to protect her heart..
Rush by Shae Ross
Priscilla Winslow has a mouth that spits fiery sarcasm faster than I can throw a touchdown. But I’ve wanted her ever since I saw her in that Bo Peep outfit on Halloween. Yep, I’m a sheep who will follow that little hottie anywhere. There’s one problem…she hates me. Just because we ended up in jail and quite possibly ruined both our futures…
Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Madsen
Taking Shots #1
Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. So she creates a “College Bucket List”―with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex…But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend. With every item she ticks off, Hockey player Beck Davenport finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he’s not careful, he’ll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7…
Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen
Taking Shots #2
Whitney Porter is done with men. She’s focusing on her first assignment at the college newspaper: Posing as a sports writer for an exposé on the extra perks jocks receive. But Hudson Decker, the bad boy of the hockey team, is about to test her no-sex rule. With his life spiraling out of control, Hudson is looking for a distraction. When his teammates bet him that he can’t land the gorgeous but prickly new reporter, he accepts, boasting he’ll have her in bed by the end of the semester. But Whitney is so much more than Hudson expected, and soon enough, he’s in too deep.
Crazy Pucking Love by Cindi Madsen
Taking Shots #3
I just met the girl of my dreams. Megan Davenport is funny and smart, and she’s as much of an insomniac as I am. She’s also my team captain’s little sister, which I only found out after our passionate kiss. Megan is completely off-limits—her brother makes that very clear—and I know better than to think I can keep a relationship going during hockey season anyway. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be late-night friends, right?
Lessons in Gravity by Megan Westfield
Falling for the star of a rock climbing documentary is not a good idea, especially if you’re the filmmaking intern who will be dangling from the side of a three thousand foot cliff with a camera while he climbs Yosemite’s most treacherous spire without a rope.
Falling for the Player by Jessica Lee
Bad boy and former NFL running back Patrick Guinness is tired of meaningless sex. Ever since his scorching hot one-night stand three years ago, no one has interested him. So when Max Segreti wanders into his mechanic shop—and his life again—Patrick can’t stop thinking about the totally-out-of-his-league law grad and the possibility of getting him out of his system once and for all…
Unfixable by Tessa Bailey
Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes. Shane Claymore is only in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. Meeting a sarcastic American girl makes him question everything, but will their pasts destroy any hope of a future together?
Here’s what Embrace authors have to say about their athletic heroes.
Are any of your athlete characters inspired by real life people? If so, who?
Tessa Bailey (author of Unfixable): Shane from Unfixable is a bartender from Dublin (in addition to being a Formula One driver). In real life, I married a bartender from Dublin. He doesn’t race cars, but there is some definite similarities.
Cindi Madsen (author of the Taking Shots series): Beck Davenport was modeled after Gabe Landeskog, Hudson Decker came about after staring at a lot of pictures of Tyler Seguin, & my inspiration for Dane was Chris Letang. Ryder “Ox” Maddox was tricky, & he’s actually more modeled off actor Robbie Amell.
Shae Ross (author of Rush & Fearless): The heroine athletes in RUSH were partially inspired by my nieces, Samantha and Sydney. Sam played soccer for Florida Gulf Coast and Syd plays for the University of Toledo, Rockets. Some of the scenes in RUSH parallel their experiences as female athletes on and off the soccer field.
Megan Westfield (author of Lessons in Gravity): I was watching a short rock climbing film when I initially had the idea for Lessons in Gravity. The climber in that film was Dean Potter who was one of the greatest rock climbers of this generation. Like Dean Potter, the pro rock climber in Lessons in Gravity, sometimes climbs without a rope—also called free soloing. (Sadly, Dean Potter died two years ago B.A.S.E. jumping in Yosemite National Park.) The most well-known free-solo rock climber is Alex Honnold who is practically a household name after appearing on 60 Minutes, in nationwide TV commercials, and on the cover of National Geographic, to name a few.
Jessica Lee (author of Falling for the Player): No!
Besides athletes, about what kind of heroes do you like to read?
Tessa: Blue collar men have always been my favorite. I love men who get dirty and work with their hands. Mechanics, law enforcement, construction workers. They can’t solve problems with money, so they have to be more creative and that’s what I love most.
Cindi: Really I’m a fan of all heroes. I just want to see a guy fall head over heels over the heroine. If they’re funny, bonus points.
Jennifer: Men who like to work with their hands, who don’t mind getting dirty. Maybe a mechanic? Or a cowboy?
Shae: I like to read about heroes in the working world. There’s something oh so appealing about a successful man in a business suit. Don’t you think?
Megan: Aside from heroes that are athletes, I’m currently smitten with rock star heroes like Berkeley from In Bloom by Katie Delahanty and Jack from Mean Girl Apologizes by Stephanie Monahan.
Jessica: I also adore a hero with a tortured soul. A man whose been to hell and back. And the heroine is the only person who can see who he really is behind the pain. She’s the person who can finally help him heal.
What sport do you think has the hottest athletes? Why?
Tessa: I have to go with hockey players. It’s not just the fact that they’re massive, muscular, sweaty gods—they fist fight. Normally, I would eye roll two men in a physical fight, but I’ll allow it in the name of sports glory.
Cindi: Well, I have to go with hockey, because I don’t want my hockey players mad at me. LOL. But football would be a close second.
Jennifer: Soccer. The abs. Need I explain more?
Shae: MMA–Mixed Martial Arts.
Megan: Outdoor adventure athletes are the very hottest! I define adventure sports as non-motorized sports out in the wild somewhere. Backcountry skiing, rock climbing, surfing, mountaineering, rafting, mountain biking, etc. These sports are the sexiest because they take athletic ability far beyond what you see in a city-sport, plus the stakes are way higher because chances of rescue are very slim if the athlete gets hurt.
Jessica: Soccer or football. Why? Have you seen those shorts and those tight pants? lol