I don’t know how many of you reading this are football fans but I certainly lead the pack. Several years ago, Joe Theismann who at that time was quarterback for the NFL Washington Redskin, suffered a devastating injury during a game. It finished his career, although he went on to a new career in broadcasting. But it got me to thinking. These men go out there every week and play a tough game as hard as they can. The threat of devastating injury always hovers right at the horizon.
What happens if such a tragedy befalls a player at the height of his career? What does he do with himself? Has he made contingency plans or is football so critical to his life that he can’t see beyond it? And how does an injury affect his relationships if it ends his career as he’s known it?
I did a lot of research on this before I even sat down to put the story together. My pet sitter’s husband is a former Minnesota Viking and he was a great resource. I also established a great relationship with a sports reporter for The Chicago Tribune who answered my endless questions and referred me to several other sources. This research was equal parts of fun and work. And of course, every weekend, there I was in front of my split screen television, watching the games and taking notes.
I also learned that football layers—actually athletes in general—are extreme philanthropic. Most of them do it quietly, their satisfaction coming from seeing the results of their giving. One of these days I’m going to model a hero after J. J. Watt, who is I think the third highest paid player in the NFL and who gives endlessly to many causes, especially those dealing with children and young people.
So here I was, noodling a plot around in my brain, thinking it out in the shower (which is often where I do my best thinking) and I could not help wondering about this. The dean of sportswriters, the late revered Grantland Rice, described the hoopla surrounding football as “the tumult and the shouting.” What would happen, I wondered, to a player whose entire identity was wrapped up in football, if he suffered a Joe Theismann-type injury? How would he deal with it? What demons would he battle and how would he hold together the threads of his personal life?
Writing Line of Scrimmage was for me a journey through that minefield. It gave me a new appreciation of the men who play “The Game.”
Line of Scrimmage
Sometimes it’s not about winning…
One bad tackle. That’s all it took to put wide receiver Jake Russell in a cast for the rest of the NFL season. From being a high school all-star to getting drafted by the Austin Mustangs, football has been Jake’s life for as long as he can remember. It’s what defines him—because he has a secret he never shares. But now that he’s laid up in bed with a nurse displaying a lot of distracting bedside manners, he’s discovering life on the sidelines might have its perks. . .
One last paycheck. That’s all Erin Bass has left to her name when the resort she works at shuts down. Desperate, she agrees to be a caregiver to hardass jock Jake Russell, who also happens to be a memorable one-night stand. Before long, caring leads to daring new ways to catch up in bed, especially with Jake still in a cast. But with football on the sidelines, this time the game is serious. . .
Available at: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/31921
Desiree Holt has produced more than two hundred titles in nearly every subgenre of romance fiction. She is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, an Authors after Dark Author of the Year and of the Holt Medallion. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The London Daily Mail and numerous other national and international publications. She enjoys football and reading and her three cats, who are her constant writing companions.
“Get out the ice water and fan…Desiree Holt delivers smoking hot alpha heroes and red hot romances.” Lea Franczak, USA Today Happy Ever After blog
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