Title: Devon Drake, Cornerback
Author: Jean C Joachim
Series: First & Ten #4
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: August 24, 2015
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Cover Artist: Dawne DominiqueSummary:
Devon Drake, star cornerback, has it all: hot super model girlfriend and pro football career, or does he? A childhood friend wanders back into his life, upsetting his ideal existence. Is it finally time to tell her the truth about what happened fifteen years ago?
Stormy Gregory is on the run from an abusive man. Her best friend offers her a safe place at the shelter for abused women and children. Grateful to be out of harm’s way, Stormy helps with a charitable event, not expecting to run into Devon Drake, her friend’s brother. Will she run again rather than face rejection?
Cracks in his perfect world threaten the cornerback’s starting lineup status. An unwelcome surprise short-circuits Stormy’s attempt to build a new life. Can they pull together or will the secret that separates the former friends keep them on a downward spiral?
But the last thing Stormy wanted was to hang around Devon Drake any longer than necessary. He had filled out since high school with pure muscle. Like Chutes and Ladders, Devon Drake had taken the big ladder from handsome to gorgeous. Hanging around might mean the revival of old feelings, leaving her vulnerable to rejection again. It was destined to happen, since he had a hot, high-powered girlfriend. Stormy needed to watch her step. He wasn’t available, but nobody had told her heart that.
He sat up, his gaze glued to her. She hummed the tune “The Stripper” as she unzipped and peeled off her jacket. The man slid his chair closer to the window. She began to dance slowly. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see people on the sidewalk had stopped moving. She took a deep breath and eased her sweater up as slowly as possible.
Now, the man in the headphones was gesturing and talking. The others in the room turned to stare. Stormy kept humming and dancing. She was getting into it. Ignoring the cold, she pulled her sweater over her head, twirled it around, and flung it at a man standing nearby. He caught it and applauded.
With hard work and determination, Devon became a star. Always the fastest runner on any team, he chose to become a cornerback. His huge high school success led to an offer, after college, from the pro team, the St. Louis Sidewinders.
In St. Louis, he earned the reputation as a “shut down cornerback” – the guy who could out run, out-perform any wide receiver.
He opted to join The Connecticut Kings. At a charity event, he met Jackie Lawrence, a super model. They dated, much to Devon’s surprise. A humble young man, he never quite saw what she saw in him. But super models don’t achieve success hanging on the arm of attractive football players. So Devon had to content himself with a long distance relationship.
Fifteen years after his last encounter with Stormy Gregory, they meet again. Devon knows his behavior to her at their last meeting had been atrocious. Maybe now he could make amends.
His former childhood friend had turned into a beautiful young woman who was fleeing an abusive man. Devon’s heart was touched. Could he make it up to her for the bad way he had behaved? Devon Drake discovers that old feelings don’t die. Can he convince Stormy he’s sincere? And what about Jackie? Read Devon Drake, Cornerback, book 4 in the First & Ten series and find out.
Stormy Gregory - Life hadn’t been easy for Stormy Gregory. The fighting between her parents drove her to seek the friendship of the two kids down the block, Samantha and Devon Drake.
Stormy continued her friendship with Devon and became Samantha’s shadow in high school. Until he broke her heart. They went their separate ways.
After getting her degree in nutrition, Stormy found a job far from home in Bolton, Illinois. She worked part-time in two senior centers, planning meals. She found success and friendship there with the older crowd, and a little romance with the director.
An old acquaintance from high school looked her up, seeking help finding a job and a new start. She did what she could, but resisted his advances. He became hostile, then violent, forcing her to flee.
Not knowing where to turn, Stormy contacted her old friend, Samantha Drake. Sam made space for her friend in the shelter where she volunteered. During an event, she bumped into Devon Drake.
Stormy hadn’t expected the encounter. It had been fifteen years since she’d seen him. Instead of hating him for past hurts, warm feelings resurfaced. Stormy pushed them down, figuring she couldn’t compete with a super model. Simply being near Devon Drake made her pulse jump. She needed to get away, but the man who had hit her showed up at her door. She had nowhere to go, or did she?
Here are my top ten sports movies of all time, and a few words about each.
1)MIRACLE – This has to be number one because it’s about our amazing ice hockey team that won the gold medal for the U.S. for the first time. And they were a bunch of amateurs (I think) playing against international professionals. If ever there was an inspirational film, this is it. And the HEA is right up my alley.
2) REMEMBER THE TITANS – this is another inspirational film that comes from reality. This is based on a true story of how football bridged the gap between the races and paved the way for new understanding and acceptance. I love the way sports cuts across racial lines and makes friends out of enemies. Something about playing for the same team that negates hatred and promotes team spirit. Loved this movie!
3)RUDY/BRIAN’S SONG (TIE) – two tear jerkers, for different reasons. Rudy is the story of a small guy who refuses to give up his dream of playing football for Notre Dame. Brian’s Song is about the friendship developed on the playing field of two men of different races and how that relationship is tested when one of them comes down with a terminal illness. Break out the tissues for these two.
4) FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS – Another football movie giving us insight into the players’ lives. We see how football can affect them for good or for bad. Great movie that doesn’t pull punches when it shows what pressure is put on players when the whole town takes football seriously.
5) HOOSIERS – okay, a basketball movie. Again, this movie is taken from a true story about an inspirational coach and a basketball team that needed work. Gene Hackman is great and you’ll find yourself cheering for the team.
6) INVINCIBLE – Based on a true story, Mark Wahlberg plays an older guy who is convinced he has a shot at making starting lineup for the Philadelphia Eagles. Football when you’re not quite so young can be tough on the body. But Wahlberg’s character is steadfast in his quest. Quite inspirational with a nice love story, too.
7)PRIDE OF THE YANKEES – This is a classic baseball movie with Gary Cooper playing Lou Gehrig, one of the stars of the Yankees. Gehrig had a long, illustrious career until he got sick. This is a moving tribute to a true hero, courageous on the baseball field and facing a battle for his life.
8) THE ROOKIE – This inspirational baseball story has a favorite of mine, Dennis Quaid, playing an older player desperate to make the major leagues. Loved it. You root for him all the way.
9)INVICTUS - – Another movie that mixes racial problems with sports. Rugby comes to South Africa. Brilliantly written, acted and shot, this movie will keep you riveted and leave you with a good feeling inside when it’s over.
10) THE LONGEST YARD – This was just a fun movie with the gorgeous, young, sexy Burt Reynolds creating a football team in prison that has to play against the guards. It’s fun, gritty and sexy.
Jean Joachim is a best-selling romance fiction author, with books hitting the Amazon Top 100 list since 2012. The Renovated Heart won Best Novel of the Year from Love Romances Café. Lovers & Liars was a RomCon finalist in 2013. And The Marriage List tied for third place as Best Contemporary Romance from the Gulf Coast RWA. She was chosen Author of the Year in 2012 by the New York City chapter of Romance Writers of America.
Married and the mother of two sons, Jean lives in New York City. Early in the morning, you’ll find her at her computer, writing, with a cup of tea, her rescued put, Homer, by her side and a secret stash of black licorice.
Devon Drake, Cornerback #4
Griff Montgomery, Quarterback #1
Buddy Carruthers, Wide Receiver #2
Pete Sebastian, Coach #3