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Writing Outside My Comfort Zone: Guest Post from Ros Clarke, Author of An Unsuitable Husband (Unexpected Love Tour–with a Giveaway)

Entangled’s Indulgence line is celebrating two new releases right now! Read all about Ros Clarke’s new book below, and find out about Avery Flynn’s latest here.

First, please help me to welcome author Ros Clarke!

An Unsuitable Husband - Betting the Billionaire Banner

Hi, Becky!  Thanks for having me here on the blog today.  I love your quilts, by the way.  I do quite a lot of sewing, but lately it’s been more dressmaking than quilting.

There is no sewing of any kind in An Unsuitable Husband. Instead I went way outside my comfort zone and ended up writing a book about a world that I knew almost nothing about – professional soccer (or football, as we call it here in the UK).  It sort of happened by accident. I had my heroine in mind first, a super-talented, hardworking corporate lawyer with no time for a serious relationship. Unfortunately for Theresa, she also has a mother who is desperate to see her settle down with a suitable husband.  So what she’s looking for is the least suitable man she can find. Someone who’ll shock her mother so hard that she gives up on her matchmaking schemes for good.

Enter Emile Renaud: rich, famous, and built like a Greek god.  Sounds perfect, but as Theresa says, “Those are not my mother’s criteria.”

If you’re looking for shock value, Premiership footballers are a good place to start. Not all of them, of course, but if you give a group of young men wealth beyond their imagining and a celebrity status, well, you can imagine the results. There’s a long list of players known at least as much for their behaviour off the pitch as on it.  Of course, you can’t believe everything you read in the papers and Emile’s past isn’t nearly as shocking as the tabloids like to portray it. But when it comes to a brawl on the pitch – with one of his own team-mates, no less – well, then it turns serious.

I was well into writing the book when I reached a point I realised I was wholly unprepared for. Theresa had to attend one of Emile’s matches. Now, I had never been to a football game. Watching on TV isn’t the same thing at all, and I don’t even do that very often, so I had no idea what it would be like. So I did what all good writers do. I asked Twitter.

Several friends replied with helpful comments about their experiences, mostly pointing out how cold it gets. One friend went the extra mile and volunteered her partner’s season ticket. So twenty-four hours later, I’d put on a pair of thick woolly socks, got the train to London and met up with the guy who had very kindly agreed to go with me and answer all my inane questions. He was great, actually, and I got a ton of useful background details. Apparently at one club, the manager had recently instituted a series of player fines for things like missing training, wearing outdoor shoes in the locker room, answering phone calls when they weren’t supposed to, and so on. It seems like professional footballers need to be treated like naughty schoolboys sometimes!

The match itself was, um, okay? To be fair, I don’t think even the real fans thought it was a great game. One team was clearly better than the other, but missed several chances. There was some EXTREMELY colourful language from the guy sitting behind me, who was particularly fond of pointing out the deficiencies in every refereeing decision. And when they scored, it was very easy to get caught up in all the excitement and cheering, so that’s how I wrote the scene for Theresa. She doesn’t like to admit it, but by the end of the book, she’s come to enjoy the beautiful game more than she ever dreamed she could.

And me? Well, I’m not sure I’ll ever be a true footie fan. But I’ll be paying a lot more attention to the World Cup this summer. And maybe in honour of Emile, I’ll even be cheering for France.

I’d love to know what sports you all enjoy watching and reading about. Have you ever found yourself enjoying something you thought you wouldn’t?


Author Bio:ros2

Ros is a writer, a church worker, a crafter, a blogger, a twitterer, a lazy gardener, and an appalling housekeeper. She lives in a sixteenth century shed in England and is very glad that it has twenty-first century plumbing. She is interested in almost everything except cricket and football (US and UK) and mostly she likes happy endings in fiction and in real life. Ros has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, never dreaming that other people would be interested in reading them. A few years ago, she discovered a writing forum on the internet, and has never looked back. Her head, and her hard drive,are full of ideas for fresh, fun, contemporary romances that she hopes you’ll love as much as she does.

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About the book:

An Unsuitable Husband is a fun, sexy contemporary romance from Entangled Publishing’s Indulgence line.

Marriage is just a piece of paper. Love demands a piece of his heart.

Theresa Chartley has no time for marriage, and no room for disappointment–especially with French soccer player Emile Renaud. Sure, he’s gorgeous, but he’s wrong for a career woman like Theresa. If only her mother would stop pressuring her to get married and let her live her own life. Finding a very unsuitable husband to shock her parents into silence and put an end to the marriage campaign is the only answer. Emile will do just fine.

Theresa’s outrageous proposal is the answer to Emile’s problem. They’re complete opposites living in different worlds, but a fake marriage will let him ditch his clingy ex once and for all. Then he’ll be free of commitment and free to live his life the way he wants to.

A contract. Twelve months. And they walk away scot-free.  But a year of marriage tests them both in unimaginable ways. Maybe Emile isn’t unsuitable after all, but how can Theresa let herself love him when she signed a contract to let him go?

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  1. Julie Duffy Julie Duffy

    I liked the excerpt very much, I really would like to read this novel.

  2. Kim M Kim M

    Hi Ros!

    You are definitely on my list of authors to read. I can’t wait to read this book. I’m from the US and I love football. I don’t get into all the stats, I just watch for the love of the game.

    I went to a hockey game once as I actually enjoyed it. But I haven’t been back since. Occasionally, I will watch it on tv.

  3. Amber Hughes Amber Hughes

    The sport I love to watch (and go to a game at least once a season) is Hockey! It’s playoff time right now too! GO Sharks! (Sorry, I had to say that. Lol!) Fans do get very passionate watching sports, don’t they. It’s crazy!

    I haven’t gotten a chance to read your book yet, but it is on my e-reader to read soon! 🙂

  4. A fellow hockey fan–excellent! Though my team didn’t make the playoffs…again 🙁

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