Romancing The Kicker by Catherine Lane is set in the male dominated sport of professional football. While Lane does focus on the prospect of the first female athlete to play the sport, her story goes so much deeper. She shows us how important it is to write our own stories and to not relinquish our power to anyone.
Parker Sherbourne has a talent for sports. When the Las Vegas professional football team, the High Rollers, chase after her to be their point-after specialist, she jumps at the chance. Sure, the position is only a publicity stunt, but she has always been able to turn any situation to her advantage. Her plan is to get in, make a statement, and have some fun along the way. Everything seems to be going Parker’s way, until she meets the alluring new assistant athletic trainer.
Carly Bartlett joins the High Rollers as the only other female on the payroll. She’s not looking to make a statement. She just wants to build a better life for herself and her family. This dream job could bring the financial security they desperately need. Her boss has only one warning: don’t get involved with a player. Not a problem. She doesn’t go for guys. When she discovers that the new kicker is not only female but also gorgeous, Carly starts to worry that her new position maybe in jeopardy before she even gets started.
The eyes of the football world are on both women. Most are betting they’ll fail, so they can’t take any chances, especially with their hearts. Will both women be able to curb their desires? Or will they be able to beat the odds and win it all?
I’ll admit I was a worried I wouldn’t like Parker because she is aggressive in her pursuits. She has a swagger I would expect from an athlete. She’s very confident both on and off the field, especially when it comes to women. When she meets Carly, we quickly see a change in Parker for the better. She is not the arrogant athlete I expected. In reality, she is a young woman who wants to be valued by her coaches, her teammates, and most importantly her family.
Like Parker, Carly is also looking for appreciation. She wants to do well with the High Rollers and prove her worth. Yet, she doesn’t want to rock the boat and put her position in jeopardy. So she appears timid and willing to put up with intimidation from the players and the coaches. When she meets Parker, the confidence she exudes is intoxicating. Soon Carly is no longer complacent with the status quo. She is standing up for herself, paving her own way in the High Roller organization and taking back her power.
Both women seek validation that they belong in the world of professional football. Together, they show they are strong, capable women who have earned every right to be where they are now.
The Writing Style
Lane does a wonderful job of showing the adversity and chauvinistic mindset the world of professional football continues to have. In contrast, she also shows the unwavering encouragement provided by male staff members to illustrate the progress women continue to make by changing minds and hearts. Both the blatant harassment and the unconditional support are essential to Parker and Carly’s professional and personal relationship. They are what allow Carly and Parker to trust each other, defend each other, and draw strength from each other to overcome their most difficult obstacles.
Lane did a really good job of grasping exactly what the position of a kicker is like on a professional football team. It’s a very solitary existence because you have one job, and you have very little interaction with other members of the team. In addition, Lane is able to connect the feelings of an NFL kicker to Parker’s previous position as a goal keeper on a professional soccer team. Connecting the two sports through two varying positions is not an easy task, yet Lane does it seamlessly.
This story was perfect. The only thing I now wish to happen would be to create a child-friendly version. I love Lane’s message of empowerment and standing up for yourself. It’s a message that women of all ages should read and have access to. So, if there’s a chance to make a version for little girls, I’m all for it.
This is not only a story about a woman playing in professional football. It’s an important story that highlights just how strong women are and need to be, especially in a male-dominated world. If you’re looking romance with powerful, important messages about pushing against and overcoming gender barriers, please pick up this book today.
Excerpt from Romancing The Kicker by Catherine Lane
“She’s a female?” Carly blurted out and then clamped a hand over her mouth.
No. That was a bad assumption. Long, blond hair meant nothing these days. It was so shiny and lovely, and the sun was hitting it just right as it spread out over his or her back. The tiniest tingle fluttered beneath Carly’s stomach.
“Oh, that’s right. I didn’t get a chance to tell you.” Allen laughed. “You thought we’d race out here for any kicker?”
Carly blew out a long breath. Of course, she could see it now: the curve at the kicker’s hips. The uniform had been just baggy enough to reinforce all of Carly’s prejudices about what gender the kicker had been. Her bad.
“You’re not the only experiment on this team.” Allen nodded at her.
As usual, Carly said nothing and let the situation play out around her. Frankly, she didn’t know how to react. Sure, she felt a little stupid that she had made the assumption that the kicker was male. Especially since the flutters in her stomach had been telling her the truth from the beginning. Guys had never made her quiver like this. She pressed a palm to her chest. She still liked women.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9783963241291
- Publisher: Ylva Publishing
- Catherine Lane Online www.catherinelanefiction.wordpress.com
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