Ryan leaves his beautiful fiancee, Stephanie, behind. The three were inseperable growing up. Patrick has had a crush on her since the first day she transferred into their school. Now as they both console each other, sharing the grief over the loss of Ryan, they find themselves in a new phase of their lives, in each other's arms.
In the stories, I'm going to chronicle how Patrick decides to become a SEAL, giving up his very lucrative soccer career for one with long days, hard work and little pay. Stephanie must deal with the loss of first one, and hopefully not the second love of her life. Book 2 will go into detail how Patrick makes the grade, from BUD/S training to his first deployment.
In the last book, there will be the hard happily ever after everyone expects.
Having raised a son who wanted at one time to be a professional goalkeeper and who played on some nationally ranked teams, some of this hits a little close to home. But, the soccer world is every bit as colorful as that of the SEAL community, so I thought this would make a great addition to Bella's already excellent series.
Here's an excerpt from The Beautiful Game: SEAL's Goal:
Like some tragic Shakespearean actress walking across the stage, Stephanie was feeling heavy, infected with a kind of sadness pox. If it was a funeral for someone else, she’d be invisible, and how she wished she could be invisible now. She wasn’t a bride or a widow. She was the tragic fiancée of a man who had given his life and had left behind, incomplete, all their hopes and dreams. It just wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. He was too good a man to be lost to the world forever.
Her own parents had moved to Florida after she entered college. They would fly out next week, but wouldn’t be in time for the funeral, and Stephanie understood this, although she so wished she had someone in her corner. Ryan had always been that someone. Ryan would have known exactly what to do to calm her down. She told herself yesterday she’d be okay, but now she wasn’t sure. It was so unfair.
She continued searching as more guests arrived. A small roar developed when a new person arrived in the foyer. Someone very tall, whose head poked up above the large philodendron in the front room. A man with dark brown hair, not gray. Her heart fluttered a bit, almost faltering, reaching for the connection to a kindred spirit, for someone who might understand her. Someone who knew her, who spoke her language. She set her wine glass down, resisting the urge to run, to fling herself into his arms, to bury her face in his chest, and have a good cry.
He was just stepping back from his embrace with Mrs., and her friends were standing around, giving him appreciative glances, with nodding faces, hands clasped together, and the titter of nervous laughter. As he uncoiled from the respectful bear hug, and his eyes lifted, she could see the blue-green hue she used to dream about when she wondered as a young girl if it was possible to marry two men and still be a good girl. Later, they’d all talked about it, laughed about it. Ryan had gotten quiet afterward several times, and, when she’d agreed to marry him, questioned her about her feelings, her decision to marry him after so many refusals. Ryan was right about one thing. A tiny piece of her had never stopped loving Patrick.
“Hey Sis,” he said, bringing up his favorite nickname for her.
“Hey Bro,” she answered back. It was as close to the secret handshake as any two long-term friends could have.
“I didn’t know Stephanie was your sister, Patrick,” one of Mrs. Rosen’s friends said.
Patrick apprised her respectfully and then said in that proud way only he could do, “In every way but blood, Cici.” He tore his eyes off Stephanie to make the point to the older woman, but soon he was scanning Stephanie’s face again, intensely. She felt the unaltered attraction there in her belly again, just like she used to do as a young girl, when they played co-ed soccer and he’d tackle her and then help her up and ask carefully if she’d been hurt.
“You can’t hurt me, Patrick,” she’d always said, to prove how tough she was, kicking a lump of muddy grass from her cleats. He would look at her and grin, just like he was doing right now.
I'm feeling a little giddy with the recent successes my SEALs have given me. For five commenters on this blog today, if you leave your coded email address in your comment, you'll get a free copy of SEAL's Goal. Guess what position Stephanie played on her soccer teams as a youngster for a chance to win the book.
And leave the message "I love Sharon Hamilton's audio books" with your coded email and you might win an audio book from the SEAL Brotherhood series. I'll be selecting two winners and yes, you can double dip.
Enjoy and thanks for your loyal readership!!
New York Times bestselling author
Life is one fool thing after another.
Love is two fool things after each other.