Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sexy Athlete Alert: Football and Romance

 by Joanne Rock

After writing baseball players, hockey players and even a Formula One race car driver, I guess I’ve developed a passion for sports heroes in my romances.

So I was really thrilled to sell a series to Harlequin Desire where the heroes are football players or guys otherwise attached to the sport—an owner, a coach, a couple of competing QBs. Meet the Bayou Billionaires this winter when my good friend Catherine Mann and I kick off our first joint series for Harlequin Desire.

For me, the sports arena recreates the medieval battlefield that I love so much. Athletes are a new breed of warrior, their battles a different kind of fierce. But I admire the heart and soul that go into the competition.

The desire to win fuels alpha males from all walks of life—from the boardroom to the playing field to the battlefield. In the Bayou Billionaires series, Cathy and I get to explore that hunger to win from a variety of perspectives. Her first hero, the owner of our fictional NFL team, is a former athlete who channels his knowledge of the game into strategy that helps him acquire the right weaponry to win. It’s up to Gervais Reynaud to combine the best personnel to get the job done in Catherine Mann’s His Pregnant Princess Bride.

Set in the Big Easy, the Bayou Billionaires books are all available for pre-order… perfect timing for that Amazon gift card you got for Christmas, right? I hope you’ll consider checking them out and seeing what kind of series Cathy and I created. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite athlete heroes—real and fictional!

Bobby Tom Denton- if you haven’t read Heaven, Texas by Susan Elizabeth Phillips…. go grab it right now.

Cal Bonner- I’ll never forget that Lucky Charms scene in Nobody’s Baby But Mine—also by the phenomenal Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Wade O’Riley – Jill Shalvis can’t write a bad hero and her baseball guys are no different… check out Slow Heat in her Pacific Heat series.

Tyson Reed- I didn’t know how much I’d love MMA until I read Jennifer Snow’s new Beyond the Cage series, and in particular, Tyson’s book- Fighting the Fall. This is a new author to watch!

Harley Handleman- Lori Foster made me a fan with her Buckhorn Brothers and I haven’t stopped reading her since. Check out her SBC Fighters series, especially Hard to Handle.

Luc Martineau – See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson shows a hockey player in all his sexy glory.

Other favorites- Dierdre Martin, Elle Kennedy, Jaci Burton, Tracy Solheim and Kat Latham…. All must-reads for me!

What about you? What books are you looking for with your Christmas gift card? Share with me on the blog today and I’ll give one random poster a BONUS Amazon gift card for $5 so you can snag yourself an extra book!


Karen H said...

I enjoyed reading your post today. I have a list of books-to-buy that is so long, some of them won't even be out until the end of 2016. That said, there are a couple of books by 2 of my favorite authors (Shana Galen & Sabrina Jeffries) that will be hitting the shelves in the first quarter of the year. I will be buying those book probably on pre-order.

Laney4 said...

I want to read Carl Reiner's "I Remember Me" memoir. I have several romances in my TBR pile, but I'd like to read about his real-life romance with his wife, Estelle, too.

Christy said...

Hmm. I read the first book in Jennifer Snow's MMA series, so I guess I need to add Fighting the Fall. I love a good sports hero, but right now I'm reading Dark Places by Gillian Flynn (a Christmas gift). I'm betting I'll be ready for a romance after this twisted tale!

Jo said...

I been wanting to read Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan and King by T.M. Frazier.

Unknown said...

Now that I have read th I blog, I am looking forward to these books! Anything you and Cathy write I know will be great. I live in a sports "world" with my niece and nephews so I love reading about sports heroes. I am also looking forward to getting the newest editions of the Mid-Wives series from Harlequin Medical line, love that series. Hope you have a Happy New Year!

Kathleen O said...

Rachel Gibson wrote a series about a fictional Hockey players set in Seattle. Live those Men with Sticks heroes.

Kathleen O said...

Rachel Gibson wrote a series about a fictional Hockey players set in Seattle. Live those Men with Sticks heroes.

Anonymous said...

Well, JoAnne, for me ... my youngest daughter set me up to receive two on my kindle. They are Cathy Mann's and your Run Away series! Also, she got the one I needed to complete Jennifer Lewis's online read.All I have to do now is sit down and read them!! Pam Jones-Hamblin

Moosehog83 said...

Love this interview with one of my favs for years wonderful Author and just as terrific in real life Joanne is fabulous.

Beverly s said...

I got the kindle fire this christmas...No gift cards to use at this time. Going to drag me into the technology age.

dstoutholcomb said...

Have so many books on the kindle, but there's always room for one more.


Mary Preston said...

I'm trying to build up my Terry Pratchett collection.

Anne said...

I have so many books on my wishlist, it would be hard to choose.

bn100 said...

too many to name

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Laurie G said...

I'd also recommend Kate Angell and her Richmond Rogues team of baseball players!

Anna Sugden's NJ Ice Cats (hockey)

Stefanie London's soccer player, ONLY THE BRAVE TRY BALLET.

I'd buy Jill Shalvis' SLOW HEAT. I enjoyed her pitcher Pace in Double Play.

uniquecus said...

Did not receive any gift cards.

Joanne Rock said...

How could I have left out Anna Sugden's Ice Cats?! Thank you, Laurie, for adding them to our list of Musts!

Thank you all so much for visiting with me during your holidays! I've got Beverly S as the thread winner. I will message your privately, Beverly, but you can also get in touch with me at with your preferred email addy, and I'll get your gift card out ASAP!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and blessed 2016!! xo