Back in my youth I spent nearly every evening of my teenage years in a chalky gym training to be an elite gymnast. It was hard work and I learned a lot about perseverance and determination. And like any “career” there were perks.
We had all of a hand full of hot male gymnasts in our province - and I mean they were all hot but literally a hand full - I had the pleasure of travelling with them when we all went to Nationals or Western Canadians.
As a fourteen or fifteen year old girl, it was always exciting to get that wink from an older "man", even though you knew darn well who the nineteen year old player was sleeping with, and that he was only messing with you anyway. It gave me and my gym buddies something to talk about at our monthly sleepovers. Oh, the nights we'd stay up all night discussing this guy or that guy, and who liked who. It was always a bit of a letdown when one of your friends was a "flavor of the month" because at that age, and at that time, those guys had their pick!
But it didn't matter. Whenever the men's team would train at our all girls facility, let's say training went to a whole other level. We were all hyper-aware of their presence, and wanted to be on our game so they'd take note of us. Of course, they feigned nonchalance, and all of us would find some bloody excuse or another to "walk by" their training apparatus just to say hello, or to get a close up view of them without their shirt on. (Male gymnasts always train without their shirts on because "it's too damn uncomfortable to train in a T-shirt.") Right. Having every female in the vicinity gawking at you, doesn't seem to hurt either.
Then there was the time in university that a male friend and I (we were both ex-gymnasts by this point) ended up wrestling on a mat. He managed to land on top of me (yeah, I wasn't really upset about it). I really did try to pin him. Honest. However, I ended up underneath him, and I'll never forget my thought at the time: "This is kinda nice.” I wasn’t really in a hurry to get up. Oh, what could have happened if we hadn't both been so shy at the time? What gym romance memory could I have had if only one of us early twenty-somethings could have worked up the courage to say something? Perhaps some friendships shouldn't be ruined by romance. But I still have a memory - a vivid one.
Often we drool over the package, but as I know well, most of these guys have good hearts on the inside.
And who knows? One day, somewhere I might be signing a book and some guy will walk up to my table and say, "Remember me?" Maybe I will, maybe I won't. Regardless, I think there's a story there somewhere.... Off to write!
An award-winning choreographer must face the only man she's ever loved then lost when they are teamed up to work together at a gymnastics camp for Olympic hopefuls.
Claire LeMay is at the top of her game - she's head of a prominent gymnastics facility with her gymnasts winning awards for her outstanding choreography. Now her biggest challenge is to coach alongside the man she's avoided for three years after he demanded she live in his shadow instead of forging her own path.
After sinking every penny of his inheritance into his state-of-the-art gymnastics facility, Justin Black has achieved his dream. But even with hundreds of members and well-trained coaches, when Claire's presence invades his space, he reluctantly admits she's the one thing missing in his life. As their old passion tumbles out faster than a gymnast sprinting down the vault runway, Justin knows he can’t let her walk out of his life this time.
Are they destined to repeat the same old routine or will they be able to choreograph a new one?
“We’re adults. We can share a bed to sleep. No big deal.”
She glanced away, hoping he couldn’t see her cheeks blush. “Exactly.”
He tugged on the other end of her blanket to get her attention. When her eyes met his, he asked, “Unless you’re chicken?”
Her eyes narrowed to slits. “That only works once.”
He stared her down. “I dare you to share a bed with me for the night.”
She sat heavily on the edge of the bed and slipped off her sandals. “That is a stupid dare.”
“No stupider than it was for me to fall for you and your little anxiety attack over performing the full-in this morning.”
She crossed her arms in front of her chest and blinked at him. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Her lips twitched as she fought a smile.
“Don’t play innocent with me.” Justin grabbed his pillow and smacked her in the face with it.
She squawked in surprise.
“You knew I’d take the bait,” he said. “I never could resist helping you.”
She took up her own pillow, kneeled on the bed, and hit him back. “Then you shouldn’t have been spying on me.”
He smashed his pillow into her ribs, nearly knocking her over.
She righted herself and took a swing at him, hitting him square on the side of his head, causing him to give it a vigorous shake.
The next thing she knew they were in the midst of an all-out pillow war. On their knees on the bed, they took turns whacking each other over and over. It felt good to take her frustration out on him.
Finally, he wrenched the pillow from her hands, took hold of her wrists, and yanked her up against his chest. Her nipples hardened on contact, and she inched back, hoping he wouldn’t notice.
His eyes flicked downward and then up. A slight move, but she saw it. She bumped her pelvis lightly into his and felt his bulging erection. Good. She wasn’t the only one affected by their physical proximity.
She wrenched free of his grasp. “That’s not fair, using your size against me.”
He shrugged. “All’s fair in l– war.”
Interesting slip up, buddy. She thought back to the days when they had wrestled with one another and he had used his strength to win. If memory served, she’d come up with some pretty creative ways of gaining the upper hand. He was in for a big surprise if he thought she’d give up so easily tonight. Even after all this time, she still had a few tricks up her sleeve.
She hopped to her feet and kicked one leg out, her shin connecting with the side of his
ribcage. Caught off guard, he toppled sideways, ending up on his back with her on top, her knees on either side of his torso, her hands pinning his arms to the bed.
Surprise registered on his face, but it wouldn't last long, and she knew it. She sprang off the mattress, flipped over his head, and landed on her feet on the floor. Quickly, she turned, and twisted his arms together in her grasp.
“Shit,” he muttered. “I’d forgotten how quick you are.”
Fresh out of ideas, she let go of him, having no desire to put herself in a more vulnerable position. But, she failed to step away fast enough. He reached above his head, grabbed her at the hips, and sat up while flipping her forward.
The Perfect Score
The new head coach has barely gotten her beams in alignment when she's threatened with a lawsuit by a father for refusing to train his brat of a daughter.
Shelley Longstaff finally has her chance to be in charge only to rue the day when she is asked to train the dreaded Anna Fortier, a gymnast who has no sense of sportsmanship and makes everyone in her vicinity miserable. When Shelley refuses, she's threatened with a lawsuit by her father. To make things worse, Shelley has an inexplicable attraction to the arrogant rich lawyer!
Since his wife's death five years ago, Jacques (Jack) Fortier does whatever it takes to protect what is his. Shelley's club is his last resort to keep his daughter in the sport, but threatening to sue her isn't exactly his smartest move. When she grudgingly agrees to give Anna a chance, he finds himself attracted to the spritely gymnastics coach - the first woman he's had any feelings for since his wife passed away.
As Shelley and Jack leap over the line in their parent-coach relationship, Shelley worries over falling in love with a man who admittedly still loves his late wife. But when a crisis of teenage proportions threatens their relationship, will they risk everything for the chance to achieve The Perfect Score?