Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review of 'Running Interference (Cleveland Clash #1)' by Elley Arden

Contemporary Romance
Date Published
: January 19, 2015


As an offensive linewoman for the Cleveland Clash, Tanya Martin is tough inside and out. The 5'9" beauty can take a hit and keep on going. But when the man she was best friends with - and secretly in love with - in high school comes home the same day she learns her father's gym is in financial trouble, she's unexpectedly blindsided.

Super Bowl MVP Cam Simmons is only back in town to convince his mom to move out of her failing neighborhood and live in luxury with him in Boston. But running into Tanya stirs up plenty of old feelings he never resolved. He was happy to leave his old life behind him when he hit the NFL, but walking away from their friendship was a mistake he wants to rectify.

As they work together to help save her dad's gym, Cam and Tanya's easy camaraderie and undeniable chemistry resurface. But can she open up enough to trust him with her heart a second time around?

Read an excerpt:
“I was thinking, what about a celebrity boxing match?” Tanya asked.

“Uh, no.” Hell, he couldn’t even keep up with her in the ring.

“Back her into the corner!” some guy yelled.

What? Cam took his eyes off her for only a split second.

She popped him again and smiled. “Yeah, that’s probably a terrible idea. I mean who wants to pay to see you get your ass kicked?”

She danced around him, eyes blazing. Focus, man.

He managed a jab to her gut before she moved away.

“Thatta way!” the guy cheered.

She approached again. Cam swung. At the last minute, she spun, and his fist hung in midair. More dancing. Little hops. And a rush of laughter. He loved when she had fun. There was nothing more beautiful in the whole world.

She popped him again. Right in the flank.

The guy booed. Cam may have, too, because this didn’t seem fair.

“You know, it’s okay to hit a girl in here,” she said. “I don’t want you getting hung up on political correctness and looking like a fool in front of your … ” she glanced at the guy who was watching them, “fan. Singular.”

Smart ass. He lunged, and she dodged.

“Come on,” she said. “Show me what you’ve got, superstar.”

Oh, he’d show her all right. Just not in here. Later, they were going to finish what they started. He would find someplace where they wouldn’t be interrupted by roommates or family members, someplace where they could …

She bounced to the left and clobbered him. His brain rattled.

The guy gave a disgusted sound, and then walked away.

His one fan had bailed.

Time to stop the insanity. “Okay!” His louder than normal voice halted Tanya in her tracks, but a second later, she was bouncing again.

“What was that?” she asked.

“Just me announcing that the match can finally begin. I think you’re good and warmed up.” He grinned. “In fact,” he bobbed his brows, “you’re looking super-hot to me.”

Her feet slowed, and her eyes narrowed. “How ‘bout from now on you keep your thoughts to yourself? This is a boxing ring, not group therapy.”

Yep, he’d unnerved her, and he was just getting started.

“I’m being courteous,” he said, shuffling closer and lowering his voice. “I like to let my opponents get a feel for my size before we really get down and dirty.” He bit into his cheek to keep from laughing.

“You wish,” she said, but she was smiling too.

He advanced. She backpedaled, and then she hit the rope.

“Trapped,” he mouthed.

“Never,” she whispered.

**My thoughts**

I was first introduced to Elley Arden in her Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series. I am a sucker for sports romances. I loved the interactions between her characters, her strong women, and of course the hot leading men. In the third book, we are introduced to a women's professional football team, called the Cleveland Clash. MJ is the quarterback, who starts a love affair with a sports doctor. In that book, we meet her friends, one of whom is Tanya Martin. This is a spinoff series, featuring Tanya as the leading woman.

Tanya is another strong woman. She is physically strong, taking out the opposition on the field as an offensive lineman. She is family strong, one of five children, and has a very close relationship with her father, known as Pop. She has strong bonds with her friends and teammates. She also has strong convictions about love, or so she thinks.

Her past with Cam is her Achilles heel. The two of them were best friends in high school, who shares just about everything. When he became a pro football player, and a good one at that, they eventually lost touch. That hurt her deeply and she has never quite gotten over it. When he suddenly returns to town, that vulnerable side comes back out again. Her growth comes in the form of learning how to trust and to love again.

Cam is riding a high, having just been named the Super Bowl MVP. His career with the Patriots continues to soar. He has also never quite gotten over that girl from his past, but doesn't quite realize how much until he sees her again. Tanya is one chink in his armor. His mother is his other. Despite being such a force of nature on the field and in life, he has a softer side when it comes to his women. He claims to hate his Cleveland town and can't imagine why anyone would stay there. Cam's journey helps him to remember why home is where the heart is, even if you have moved on.

The two of them have an undeniable chemistry from the very moment they meet again. They go through their ups and downs, as all romances should. Their story is another good one, that helped me pass the time on a snowy afternoon. My appetite has been whet for this new series. I recommend it.

Buy links

Elley Arden

Elley Arden is a born and bred Pennsylvanian who has lived as far west as Utah and as far north as Wisconsin. She drinks wine like it’s water (a slight exaggeration), prefers a night at the ballpark to a night on the town, and believes almond English toffee is the key to happiness.

Charming characters. Emotional stories. Sexy romance.



Twitter: @elleywrites

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  1. Great excerpt, finding out what happens with the friendship is what intrugues me the most. Entering under the name of Virginia

  2. A woman football player caught my attention. It is football right?


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