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Merissa, Debbie, Amy, Angi, & Helen :)
Football, hockey, and everything in between! Things are about to heat up on the ice and between the sheets. Each book is a fully fledged stand alone novel about forbidden love. What happens when you get your dream job and temptation is your ex-hockey star boss? Or when the league’s top wide receiver has his eyes on you and he’s supposed to be just a client? Perhaps you find yourself in enemy territory because the woman you love is your best friend’s sister?
Find out all the dirt in Block & Tackle!
Offsides by Elise Faber
Job title: Executive Assistant for CEO of Prestige Media Group
Job description: (1) Deal with a massive amount of emails. (2) Schedule conference calls and meetings with top athletes and other hugely important people. (3) Pick up dry cleaning and food, consult on tie selection, make dinner reservations, and book flights . . . basically act as a wife-on-steroids. (4) THE IMPORTANT ONE: Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with Devon Scott—demanding boss, former NHL player, and all-around gorgeous specimen of the male persuasion.
Job performance: Failing. Absolutely failing at number four.
Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet
Life couldn’t be better for Charlie Woodruff.
After a year of holding out, she’s finally landed the job she’s always wanted in the city of her dreams. An apartment she can afford and new friends at work make the transition easy. When she meets a gorgeous stranger who makes her laugh and steals her breath, it seems like the icing on the cake…
Until Charlie discovers he’s a client.
Hutch Barlow — newly drafted wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders — looks like an avenging angel, hangs on her every word, and is completely off-limits. The trouble is he also refuses to take “no” for an answer.
And if she’s being honest, Charlie doesn’t want him to.
But seeing him means she could lose everything — including her heart.
Off Limits by Kristin Vayden
Everything about Ava screams off limits. To want her is to invite disaster. To pursue her is to risk my job. To kiss her might cost me my best friend. But all those risks seem small in light of the first problem. She hates me.
To her I’m a sell out, choosing to advance my career rather than protect my biggest client. Her brother. And my best friend. She hasn’t spoken to me in over a year, but that ends now. Because I’m done with holding back. To hell with the consequences. Wish me luck . . .
Block & Tackle is a collection of three sports romance stories, all connected to Prestige Media Group. I have only read Elise Faber before, so I had no idea what to expect with the others. I will give my review as an overall, rather than split it up.
This is a wonderful set of stories, two full length and one short, but ALL of them provide enough information that you are fully aware of what is going on, and what is at stake for each of them. Each story is very well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow. They have action and a steady pace, throwing intricacies into a 'jock' situation so that all the characters are well-rounded. Full of sass and wit, I can guarantee that this collection will have you smiling.
I know have two more authors to check out, as well as Elise Faber, so that means that I can definitely recommend this book!
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
What made you want to write this anthology?
Elise: Well, it’s selfish really! Stephanie and Kristin are fantastic writers and I wanted the opportunity to work with them! Also, I love sports but wanted to do something that was a bit different than my Gold Hockey books. We decided to focus on the management side, which has been a blast to write!
Stephanie: When Elise Faber approached me and Kristen Vayden about doing the collection, I was definitely nervous because I’d never written a sports romance, and I haven’t written anything shorter than a full length novel in a long time. But it was because I was nervous that I knew I had to do it. When you push yourself out of your comfort zone, all kinds of cool, magical things happen.
Kristin: I wish I could take credit for such a great idea, but I can’t! It was a concept developed by our publisher and spear headed by Elise Faber—sexy librarian extrodianare( and Bad ass Hockey player!)
What is this anthology about? Are the stories related/interconnected?
Elise: Hot alpha athletes, inter-office complications, forbidden love. We’ve got a taste of it all! The stories all take place within the largest athlete management firm in the states, Prestige Media Group.
Stephanie: The anthology is made up of three, sexy sports romances. Characters from each story work at Prestige Media Group, a west coast sports agency with offices in Seattle and San Francisco. In all three stories, love is off limits because of either professional boundaries or personal ties.
Kristin: Love! Wait, you meant more specific. Got it. It’s about guys who are on top of their game in life, and how love tackles them, and the women that dominate these alpha males by winning their hearts. All these guys work in the same agency or are with the same agency.
Did you guys write the stories independently? Or discuss them with each other?
Elise: We discussed theme and our story basics before writing, then off we went. I can say that I LOVED the way Kristin and Stephanie’s stories turned out! They’re awesome!
Stephanie: After we hashed out the particulars about Prestige, we each chose a basic plot premises for our stories, and we got to work. Early on, we shared our initial chapters to make sure we all felt like our stories would work together, and then we went from there.
Kristin: We correlated on specific themes, but each story is very original and different from the others. We all have different voices, and I think the great part about anthologies is that you can hear that difference in voice as you read.
How different was it for you to write a sports romance? What do you typically write?
Elise: I write hockey romance (Blocked and Backhand Gold Hockey #1 and #2, out and releasing 4/4/17, respectively) but those are more team based. It was fun to focus on the business side! And I’ve always wanted to write a hot boss-secretary romance (my story in this is Offsides). Kristin and Stephanie threw me a bone and let me explore that!
Stephanie: For me, writing a sports romance was completely new territory. All of my other novels are contemporary or new adult, standalone romances that are set in the Saint Streets, a quirky neighborhood in my hometown of Lafayette, Louisiana. My heroes run the gamut from angsty college professors (Fall Semester), to lovesick landscapers (Butterfly Ginger), to drop-dead gorgeous doctors (Leave a Mark). But just like Hutch, they are sweet to the core and will do anything to capture the hearts of the women they love. Writing a sports romance meant that I had to do some research about sports agencies, the football draft process, summer training camps, and the like, but I learned a lot and it was fun!
Kristin: It was a different genre for me, but not a stretch. I write both contemporary romance ( The ONE) and historical romance ( What the Duke Wants). Writing a sports anthology was fun, and I really enjoyed it! I plan on writing more in this genre later—right now I’m finishing up a story about a sexy cowboy. Life’s hard
What is your favorite sport/team? Did you ever play sports growing up? Do you play now?
Elise: HOCKEY! (sense the enthusiasm there?) San Jose Sharks! I played a ton of sports growing (soccer, basketball, volleyball, hockey) and I still play hockey. It’s a blast!
Stephanie: Personally, I’m not very sporty. My theory is that Super Bowl Sunday is a great day to go to the movies because nobody is there. If I had to pick a favorite sport, it would be running because I am a runner. I definitely tune in to the track and long distance events during the summer Olympics, so I guess I’d have to say my favorite team is Team USA.
Kristin: My favorite sport — Cheerleading and Yes. IT IS A SPORT! Team — Seahawks 12th MAN! Did I play — Yes! Though my hubby teases me about not being coordinated enough to play! While there is some truth to that—ok a lot of truth to that—I did play softball and I cheered both in high school and college. Love cheerleading!
What genre/trope can you currently not stay away from?
Elise: I’m devouring contemporary and historical romance! I love it so much!
Kristin: Right now I’m reading Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken. Dear Lord. Anything contemporary is my poison at the moment.
What is YOUR story about?
Elise: My story follows Becca and Devon. Becca is Devon’s executive assistant on a short-term contract while his normal assistant is on maternity leave. They’re both attracted to each other but can’t risk acting on anything, not when it breaks all the HR rules out there. Unfortunately, or really fortunately for them, the heart (and body) sometimes don’t listen to the best intentions of your brain!
Stephanie:Off Guard is about Charlie Woodruff, who has just landed the PR job of her dreams at Prestige Media Group in San Francisco. She’s found a decent apartment and made friends at work, so when she meets a gorgeous stranger who makes her laugh and steals her breath, it seems like icing on the cake — until Charlie discovers he’s a client. Hutch Barlow Hutch Barlow — newly drafted wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders — looks like an avenging angel, hangs on her every word, and is completely off-limits. The trouble is he also refuses to take “no” for an answer. And if she’s being honest, Charlie doesn’t want him to. But seeing him means she could lose everything — including her heart.
Kristin: Markus is fully aware that Ava is off limits. Not only is she his best friend, and biggest client’s twin sister. But she also hates him—ever since her brother, Bryce, chose to play football again after his injury. Ava blames Markus, going as far as calling him a sell out to all his colleagues. But that doesn’t stop him from kissing her, even when it might cost him his best friend. It doesn’t’ stop him from pursuing her, even when it might cost his career. And it certainly doesn’t stop him from stopping at nothing to win her over, because life’s all about risks, And she’s the biggest risk he’ll ever take.
Stephanie: While music features pretty heavily in most of my work, I write in silence because I’m easily distracted. My current WIP is about a rising rock star and super-shy bookworm, and I listen to songs that crop up in the novel in between writing scenes, like while I drive to work or cook dinner. That playlist is going to be a doozy!
Kristin: Both. I have little ones that tend to flit in and out of my work space needing juice, snacks, etc so I tend to have more than enough noise to keep me busy, but when I have a block that’s just my time to write, I like to have a spotify play list on, especially if its in a particularly emotional, or steamy part of the book.
Aside from writing romance, Elise’s passions are chocolate, Star Wars, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team — the Sharks! — are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise is the mom to two exuberant boys and is thoroughly addicted to Dancing With the Stars. Connect with her on facebook (facebook.com/elisefaberauthor), twitter (@faberelise), instagram (@elisefaber) or http://www.elisefaber.com.
Stephanie Fournet, author of five novels including Leave a Mark and You First, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana — not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and sometimes their daughter Hannah even comes home from college to visit them. When she isn’t writing romance novels, Stephanie is usually helping students get into college or running. She loves hearing from fans, so look for her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and stephaniefournet.com.
Kristin’s inspiration for the romance she writes comes from her tall, dark and handsome husband with killer blue eyes. With five children to chase, she is never at a loss for someone to kiss, something to cook or some mess to clean but she loves every moment of it! Life is full — of blessings and adventure! Needless to say she’s a big fan of coffee and wine… and living in Washington she’s within walking distance of both! Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kristinvaydenauthor) And Instagram @kristinkatjoyce and Twitter @KristinVayden! You can also sign up for her newsletter at http://www.subscribepage.com/e8v9l4.