By: Collette West
The moment Grey Kelleher locks eyes with All-Star shortstop Chase Whitfield, she's a goner. For years, she's watched him play on TV, and now she's gazing at his hard, lean body across a bar in her hometown.
Grey's crush on Chase goes all the way back to his rookie season. So when she approaches him for an autograph, she's startled by what a jerk he can be.
Chase is no mood to humor his fans, even one as alluring as Grey. He's in the last year of his contract and stuck having to prove himself on a minor league team. He's only there to rehab an injury, nothing more.
But when Grey tells him off, Chase realizes her fiery spirit may be just the distraction he needs to take his mind off not being in the majors. His heart is safe. No one's going to break his streak as baseball's most eligible bachelor. Not even someone as irresistible as Grey.
Why jerks deserve a place in romantic fiction
The hero of my sports romance is a jerk. He really is. I make no apologies for his egregious behavior. He can be a flat out douche at times. He changes girlfriends like he changes socks. He's terrified of true love so he has a lot of meaningless sex instead. He uses women as an escape rather than striving for a relationship that's real.
Who is this guy?
Chase Whitfield, star shortstop of the New York Kings and the leading man of my novel, NIGHT GAMES.
Is he worth reading about? I think so. Be prepared. He's no Prince Charming, more like a work in progress. He's someone who wants to change but doesn't know how. For years, he's been pushing people away because he doesn't want to subject them to the level of scrutiny he's under. He's the most famous baseball player in America. Every word he says is analyzed. Every move he makes is put under the microscope. It's a lot of pressure living up to the hype surrounding his name. And he just doesn't want to pretend anymore.
Why? Because he's finally met the girl of his dreams. And he nearly screws it up. Grey Kelleher is the small-town girl who sees right through his big ego. Chase can't hide who he really is from her, and he doesn't want to. But he doesn't know how to open himself up to her, either. Being emotionally intimate is a challenge for him. Yeah, he makes a lot of mistakes along the way, but Grey sticks with him. She believes in the good guy beneath the cocky exterior. Even when he falters, Grey never gives up on him. She helps him become the man he's always wanted to be.
And when it comes to a romance novel, the transforming power of love is such a beautiful thing.
Collette West grew up as somewhat of a jock-nerd hybrid. Entering the world three weeks premature, her dad nearly missed her birth because he had seats behind the dugout for a sold-out, highly-anticipated match-up between two of baseball's biggest rivals. Not to be outdone, her book-loving mom taught her how to read by the time she was three. A love of the game coupled with an appreciation for the written word were instilled in Collette's impressionable brain from a young age. No wonder her characters believe in the philosophy: sports + romance = a little slice of heaven.
Splitting her time between the Pocono Mountains and Manhattan, Collette indulges her inner fangirl by going to as many games as she can from hockey to baseball and downloading every sports romance novel in existence onto her iPad. When she's not clicking away on her laptop, she enjoys walking her dog in Central Park, satisfying her caffeine craving at the Starbucks on Broadway and keeping an eye out for Mr. Right. But above all, she loves dishing with her readers. Email her at email@example.com.
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