My Secret Weapon
By Vanessa Kelly
Anyone who knows me knows I like pro sports about as much as I like my annual visit to the gynecologist. I come by my dislike pretty honestly. As an overweight, uncoordinated child I loathed gym and organized sports. There was nothing more terrifying to me than a brutal dodge ball game or facing the uneven parallel bars or the pommel horse. In fact, I was pathetically grateful in my senior year of high school when I broke three of my toes and couldn’t play any sports for my last semester.
And yet, here I am, writing sports romance under the pen name of VK Sykes. Why in God’s name would I do this? There’s one reason I can think of—athletes are pretty damn sexy, especially in their cute uniforms that stretch so nice and tight across…but I digress. You’ve got to admit, though, smoking hot guys in fantastic shape who also tend to be alpha males make great romance heroes.
The sports world is also an interesting setting with lots of opportunities for conflict and competition, and some classic clashes between the sexes—plenty of fodder for challenging both my heroes and heroines.
But I keep stumbling across my little problem—I don’t really like sports. So how do I manage to research and write the darn things without wanting to stab my eye out with a pencil? I have a secret weapon and his name is Randy.
That’s right—I write sexy sports romances with my husband, who at this very moment is working on the draft of our next book. You see, Randy loves sports, especially baseball. For a good part of the year he pretty much lives and breathes it, belonging to a fantasy league and watching games on TV with a true fan’s devotion. And as steeped as he is in not just the facts and figures but in the personalities and history of the game, he’s able to come up with wonderful plots and interesting characters that serve as the foundation for our bestselling series, The Philadelphia Patriots.
So what do I bring to the partnership? The sex, for one thing. Randy hates writing sex scenes. When I’m revising one of our manuscripts, it’s not unusual to come across this notation: insert hot sex scene here.
Well, okay then! I’m also the emotion gal—I love adding layers of emotion to the bare bones structure of the first draft—and I’m the clothing consultant, too. Randy’s good at outfitting our baseball heroes correctly, but he’s a disaster when it comes to dressing our heroines. But that’s okay because I like that sort of stuff. We’ve developed a collaboration that draws on our strengths and pretty much cancels out the weaknesses.
And don’t tell Randy, but I’m kind of getting into baseball, too. When we last visited family in Pennsylvania, we went on a guided tour of the Philadelphia Phillies ballpark. I have to say, it was pretty cool. Almost as cool as getting a close up look at all those hot guys in their cute uniforms getting ready for the game.
I’m giving away two copies of our latest sexy sports romance, CURVEBALL. Just tell me what’s your favorite sports, or if you’re like me and you’d rather curl up and read a good book, instead!
Vanessa and Randy write USA Today Bestselling contemporary romances as VK Sykes. The latest book in their award-winning Philadelphia Patriots series, CURVEBALL, is now available at major retailers. Vanessa also writes award-winning historical romance under her own name. You can find her on the web at www.vksykes.com or www.vanessakellyauthor.com
Book Four in the USA Today Bestselling Philadelphia Patriots Series
Taylor Page has never wanted anything but a career in major league baseball. Through talent and guts, she’s finally landed a position as Assistant General Manager of the Philadelphia Patriots. The only problem is that most men in baseball still don’t take a woman exec seriously, especially a thirty-year old blonde with no on-field experience. She needs to do something big to convince her bosses she has what it takes to run a team.
Veteran Pittsburgh outfielder Ryan Locke’s career is in jeopardy when a suddenly unreliable throwing arm comes on top of rehab from a major injury. A single parent with a troubled daughter and an alcoholic mother to provide for, retirement is out of the question. Ryan’s best hope is for a trade to an American League team as a designated hitter, allowing him several more years of play.
When Taylor needs a replacement for an injured first baseman, she comes up with an innovative but risky idea: convince her boss to make a trade for Ryan Locke, and then convince the still talented slugger to play first base for the Patriots. With Ryan dead-set against that plan and both their careers on the line, neither Taylor nor Ryan can afford the explosive physical attraction between them. But despite Taylor’s best efforts to resist Ryan’s campaign of seduction, she’s not sure she’s got the willpower to keep from playing along.