How completely appropriate, two days before the World Cup final (Go, Germany!) to have Lily Harlem here to talk about her football-themed erotic romance, Scored. I’ve got my strip on and I’m lining up to mumble the national anthem in a massive field in her honour. Welcome, Lily!
Scored by Lily Harlem
Thanks so much for inviting me over today, Justine, it’s great to be here. I’m so excited about the FIFA 2014 World Cup because along with hockey and tennis, football (soccer to you US guys) is one of my favourite sports to watch – though on occasion I have been known to roll up my sleeves, show off my ball handling skills and get involved in the odd tackle! LOL
My erotic romance Scored isn’t about the World Cup, though, but the European Cup, specifically the 2012 European Cup hosted by Ukraine. I watched it avidly and was so inspired by all those sexy athletes shooting up and down the pitch that I created an England captain all of my own – enter Lewis Tate. Yum! He’s the perfect combination of alpha male, considerate English gent and single-minded sportsman.
The heroine in Scored, Nicky, is a sports journalist, and a serious one at that. She isn’t interested in the gossip and the scandal surrounding the players, she wants to get the lowdown on the formation, the starting line up and the on-pitch skills. Yes, of course she does, she also can’t help having a major crush on Lewis, and despite some of her Bridget Jones’ ways, it seems he kinda likes her too!
I took inspiration for one particular aspect of the plot from a former England manager who actually put a ban on sex for the England players during a major tournament. The wives and girlfriends (WAGS) were left behind, or made to stay in a different hotel from the players. I think the media really hyped it up and in reality he only insisted on celibacy the night before a match. In other words he sent the players to bed early to get their beauty sleep uninterrupted by their pretty ladies wanton demands.
It makes for a fun concept, however, and as an author I took it a little further and in Scored the manager, Fellows, really isn’t a very nice sort and not at all happy that one of the sports journalists – our lovely heroine – is a pretty female who’s caught the eye of the captain. She also has to stay in the same hotel as the players because of a room mix-up, and the players are not supposed to be having any contact with the opposite sex. Add in an embarrassing elevator moment with a vibrator, a white bikini that Nicky really should have checked for transparency issues before wearing it, and it’s a lot of fun watching her and Lewis grow their attraction for one another. In fact it’s just boy meets girl!
Oh, but combined with the element of risk when liaisons have to be planned and carried out in secret, and the tension is off the charts and the final coming together(s) all the more delicious! Not least because Lewis Tate is a man who demands perfection and off-the-scale results not just on the pitch, but also in the bedroom!
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.
Here’s a snippet from Scored
A knock at the door caught my attention.
Trying to suppress a bubble of excitement that it might be the one person I wanted to see but had been forbidden to, I looked through the spy hole.
A deep blue eye stared back at me, unblinking.
I started a little, pressed my hand to my chest and tugged the door open.
“I saw Fellows talking to you and I just wanted to check you were okay,”
Lewis said then glanced toward the elevator. “Yes. I think so.”
He frowned. “Can I come in?”
“Do you think you should?” Wouldn’t that just be aggravating the situation further? The more time I spent with Lewis the more time I wanted to spend with him, and that would end badly for everyone, especially my heart. Guys like Lewis Tate dated super-models, glamour girls, Hollywood starlets not sports journalists. This was just a glitch in my fate. Soon everything would get back to boring normality.
“If I think so is the answer to my question of are you okay then yes, I do think I should come in.” He didn’t wait for my response, just pushed into the room.
I stepped away, Fellows’ words ringing in my ears—do not make yourself available for conversations with the England team. Well, I wasn’t. Lewis had sought me out for the second time. He was making himself available for conversations with me.
Lewis shut the door and walked across the room.
I retreated toward the end of the bed. Half turned away from him. He was just too tempting. Too damn gorgeous, and the impulse to fling myself at him, strip him naked and lick every inch of his body was almost overwhelming.
“Nicky,” he said with a frown.
“You shouldn’t be here.”
“According to Fellows no, I shouldn’t, but let’s get this straight. I don’t give a fuck what he says. He’s my manager when it comes to the game but he’s not in charge of me when I’m off the pitch. In case you hadn’t noticed I’m a grown man. I can decide for myself what I do and don’t want to do.”
The sharp tone of his voice rang around the walls and I turned, surprised at his vehement declaration.
He folded his arms. “I go along with his no-wives-or-girlfriends rule when we’re playing big tournaments for the sake of the younger players. Taylor, for example, is fresh from leaving home. Give him free rein in a place like this, a wallet full of cash and stardom gone to his head and he wouldn’t be able to think of anything but getting laid, and we need him out there on the pitch. We need his mind to be focused on one thing only—defending.”
I hesitated for a moment. “And is that what you’re thinking about?”
“What do you mean?”
He cocked his head and gave an irritated huff. “Give me some credit.”
I glanced down at my dress, plucked a tiny bit of fluff from my abdomen. “I’m just trying to understand what you’re doing in my room again, Lewis.” Maybe he was a sadist and enjoyed seeing women fall for him then tossed them aside and watched the carnage.
“You really want to know why I’m here?” His voice was low and serious.
He moved over to me, did that thing again where he filled my vision and flooded all of my senses. He cupped my cheek in his palm and his gaze latched onto mine, soft but somehow burning with intensity. “I’m just a guy who likes a girl, Nicky. That’s why I’m here.”
He’s just a guy who likes a girl and that girl is me?
Warmth from his hand seeped right through me and settled in places that begged for attention. My heart swelled with the words he’d just said. I was a girl who liked a guy too. But there was so much in our way. Was here and now even vaguely professional for either of us?
“We can’t do this.”
“We’re not doing anything,” he murmured, sliding his other arm around my waist and pulling me close.
I rested my hands on his chest, felt the small hard points of his nipples beneath my palms. “I think we are doing something,” I said, struggling to keep a shake from my voice. The feel of his body, solid and defined, was sending my hormones into a tail-spin. I tried desperately to think rationally. “Fellows said if England lost he would point the finger at me.”
Lewis’ jaw tightened and the beautiful softness left his eyes. “He’s out of line saying something like that to you.”
“Well I know, but…”
“He seemed pretty confident when he said he’d make sure the whole country was after my blood if England lost.” I gave a small shudder. “Not a nice thought to go to sleep on, actually.”
He was quiet for a moment, his lips a flat line. “I won’t let that happen.” He slid his hand from my cheek and took a lock of my hair between his thumb and index finger, rubbing it gently so the strands fanned out. “No one will hurt you because of me. I promise.”
“That’s a big promise to make.”
“It simply makes us equal.”
His heavenly scent and the low murmur of his voice was settling my nerves.
“Yeah, you’ve promised to only use my name in your reports when writing about football. Nothing else that is said or happens between us will be in the public domain.”
“Of course, that is the ethic I work by and—”
“And, I promise not to let Fellows harm you personally or professionally.” He stopped fiddling with my hair and rested his hand on my shoulder. A flash of uncertainly crossed his face. “Of course, it all depends on one thing.”
I swallowed tightly. “And that is?”
“Do you like me, Nicky?”
There was a vulnerability about him in that instant, and if I wasn’t falling for him already with all the grace of super-sized tornado, I certainly would be now. “You’re one of my favorite players. I’ve admired you from afar for many years. But as a guy, who you are off the pitch, I…” I struggled to put my thoughts into words.
He swept his tongue over his bottom lip. “Go on.”
“Off the pitch I don’t know you very well, though what I do know, yes…” I smiled up at him. “I like you very much.”
I felt him relax. “In that case we’ll figure this out.”
He pulled me closer.
I slid my hands upward, over his collarbones, and linked my fingers at his nape. The ends of his hair tickled my wrists, and my breasts pressed just below his pecs. Once again an image of us naked, writhing on the bed and giving in to carnal desires flooded my thoughts. I’d never wanted a man as much as I wanted Lewis Tate. There was just something about him that set me on fire.
“Dance with me,” he said onto my lips. “Forget about all of the craziness. It’s just us in here, no one else. Nothing else.”
He began to sway and I became aware of the violin music on the TV. It was a lovely gentle tune that wrapped around us, became part of us, and my body moved instinctually in time with it, in time with Lewis.
“You even smell pretty,” he whispered.
“Thank you. So do you, well…” I giggled. “Not pretty, manly I suppose.”
“I’m glad you clarified that.”
For a few moments we just held each other and moved slowly to the music. I was hyperaware of every section of my body that was touching his, from my chest right down to our toes that knocked occasionally.
“I was worried,” he said, pulling back slightly. “After I kissed you in the elevator.”
“That you’d be angry with me.”
“Erm, no. Actually, I liked it, very much.”
“Me too.” His mouth twitched into a half smile. “But I hadn’t asked you. I just did it. I don’t know what came over me. It was like you’d put a spell on me or something.”
I grinned. “I’m glad whatever spell was cast worked.”
His face was so close our breaths were mingling.
“Does that mean I can do it again?” he asked.
“I think we just established that you don’t need to ask.”
He stopped our gentle dance, paused for a second, then rested his lips over mine. His mouth was barely parted and his damp tongue just warmed the center of my bottom lip.
I pressed myself to him. Touched the tip of my tongue to his and allowed myself to get lost in the deliciousness of his flavor and the way he was squeezing me tight. His arms were solid around me and I could feel the power harnessed within his muscles. He was so strong yet so gentle. It was an intoxicating combination that hit all the right buttons in me.
Quickly the kiss intensified, not so that it became fast and frantic, just deep and soul-searching. I adored how he played with my tongue and explored my mouth. I gave as good as I got, drinking him up, catching my breaths when I could.
Tangling my fingers in his hair, I pulled him closer. Delighted in the sudden zap of sensation that seared up my spine when he ran his hands down my back and cupped my buttocks. I had no choice but to give in to the heat and longing building within me. My pussy was damp and my skin greedy for every caress. Sex was taking over all my thoughts.
He lifted me by my bum cheeks, onto my toes and trapped me tight against his body.
I gasped into his mouth as the steely length of his erection prodded my abdomen.
“Ah, honey, you’re driving me nuts,” he murmured, then kissed me again— eagerly, hungrily, as though he might never stop.
Oh, lucky Nicky! Lewis is just so perfect for her. Here are a few reviews of Scored which also won the Golden Nib Award from industry review site Miz Love Loves Books…
“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.”
“Explosive, and oh my god wow, that’s all I can say. I could not put the book (Scored) down till I was finished. A must read!”
“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!”
“An amazing story.”
“This is a must read. 123 pages of yummy goodness.”
And if you like Pinterest this might be right up your street… http://www.pinterest.com/lilyharlem/sexy-soccer-scored/
Scored is available from all good ebook retailers including
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scored-Sexy-Sporting-Romance-Harlem-ebook/dp/B0085MQSA6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1401693751&sr=1-1&keywords=Scored+%28Sexy+Sporting+Romance%29
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/scored-lily-harlem/1119140373?ean=2940149314478&itm=1&usri=2940149314478
Find out more about me and my work on my website http://www.lilyharlem.com follow my blog for daily musings http://www.lilyharlem.blogspot.co.uk and subscribe to my newsletter for information on new releases, freebies and contests http://www.lilyharlem.com/newsletter-subscription.html
Thank you for inviting me over to play J