Sunday, 6 July 2014

Ball Handling Skills #SoccerMomSunday

Football, or ‘soccer’ as one nation calls it, is a sport that I love, it grips the UK like no other and pretty much everyone I know has a team they support and follow. The fab thing is this team you support doesn’t have to be where you live or were born, you can just pick the best one and go with them. Though there does seem to be an unspoken rule that once you have a team you don’t switch. So be careful, you might go for Manchester City and be top dog for a while but things change -managers come and go, players leave or are injured and fortunes change.

I once dumped a boyfriend because his football obsession was just too much and I couldn’t understand it. We used to have to plan dates around matches he was playing at or wanted to watch. His mood was dependent on the outcome of a ball hitting or not hitting the back of a net and I just zoned out when Match of the Day came on in the evening. But now, older and wiser, I’ve come to the conclusion of if you can’t beat `em, join `em!

Which is what I’ve done, big time!

With five brothers and brothers-in-law, a host of nephews not to mention Mr H and his mates, football is a serious topic of conversation in our household. Not only that it takes up a considerable amount of time, whether it’s playing for fun, competitively (I have a few nephews who are showing some serious talent) or watching it on TV or going to matches. Football takes over Saturday afternoons, though I quite enjoy going to one of the big pubs in town and having a pint and shouting on my team with the boys. Not that I’m the only female in the crowd, plenty of girls enjoy a good football match, they can appreciate excellent ball handling skills and love to celebrate when their team wins.

Which is why I was drawn to write an erotic romance about football. I wrote it back in 2012 when the European Cup was being held in Ukraine, in fact it’s set in Donetsk which has been on the news a lot this year with the troubles there. I hope that settles peacefully.

I played with the idea that more and more women are becoming involved in the football industry. Indeed the British female football teams are some of the best in the world, but also in other roles girls are joining in. Some of the leading TV presenters for football are female in the UK the same goes for some of the reporters. This gave me the idea for Nicky’s character, a female sports journalist covering the Cup games in Donetsk. I wanted her to be football focused and obsessed and not in the industry for gossip about the hot players but for the love of the beautiful game.

Which brings us to the subject of hot players – swoon – because seriously, have you seen these guys? Some of them are just heart-stoppingly gorgeous and so damn fit too. They have to have dedication, stamina and skill to be where they are and as they run around the pitch during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, I just know I’ll be inspired to write another footballing story.

Lewis Tate was inspired by a certain English footballer – you’ll have to read the book and see if you can guess who – and I loved his down-to-earth approach to life on and off the pitch and his commitment to being a team-player. Throw him together with Nicky, my sport reporter and things soon get down and dirty steamy, though there are a few embarrassing moments along the way involving a white see-through bikini and a Rampant Rabbit that has a life of it’s own!

I hope you’ll check out Scored it was a blast to write and I especially liked composing the football scenes, they were a fun contrast to the getting naked and going for it scenes. Oh, and if you think I made the rule about the players having no sex while the cup was on, I didn’t. One England manager actually imposed that ban (though it’s impossible to know if he was successful or not!) on the England team several years ago! Seriously?

Here’s the info on Scored and I hope your team does you proud in the 2014 World Cup.

Lily Harlem x


Okay, so I eat, sleep and breathe football and reporting the beautiful game is my dream career. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have time for a major crush on the England captain, Lewis Tate. The bloke is sex on legs, hot with a capital H. Add in his awe-inspiring talent, his brooding good looks and what’s not to lust after?

So my excitement is sky-high as I set off with the official press team to cover England’s battle for the European Cup. But when a series of unfortunate, or as it turns out fortunate events, attracts Tate’s attention my way, who am I to say no?

Add in a misogynistic manager, an over-zealous colleague, two blue silk ties and some incredible ball-handling skills and it becomes clear the road to victory, for me, will be an intensely erotic journey. Determined to savor every moment, I hang onto my sanity as best I can while living the fantasy and wondering if it can ever become reality. Because once Lewis Tate has taken me to heaven and back, its clear no one else will ever compare.

Reader Reviews

“Lily Harlem's story of a famous footballer and a hardcore sports writer is one of the best happily ever after erotica novels I've read.”

“Their love affair is dangerous and delicious. The smexytimes? Scorching. No doubt having a pro soccer player adds to the endurance and flexibility factor. Being a Yank, I loved the British slang and speech. It was super fun.”

“From strangers to friendship to lovers, Nicky and Lewis were amazing. It felt like real life and I could picture all the events taking place. This is a must read!”

“A great love story wrapped around football (yes, people, this is real football) as  in a player, a reporter and a tournament.”

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