New from Laura Chapman, the third installment of her fantasy football romantic comedy Queen of the League series . . .
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After rushing to the altar and moving across the country, Harper Duquaine (or is it MacLaughlin, now?) is in uncharted territory. What once seemed like a promising opportunity to advance her husband’s career while giving her some much-needed independence and adventure has proven to be a bust. By the time fall rolls around again, she’s back in a boring job by day and overstocking her inventory of crocheted scarves by night. Not even the prospect of a new football season holds much excitement.
At least that’s what she thought. Harper suddenly finds herself the manager of not one but two fantasy football teams—each with its own set of drama. Between the added pressure of her new marriage, an unexpected career prospect, and the hiccups created by people from her past and present worlds, Harper quickly finds herself going from bored to overwhelmed.
Can she hold up under the pressure, or will Harper learn the hard way that the turf isn’t always greener on the other field?
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Read an Excerpt from Three & Out
Ding. I’m up. Time to draft the first player for my team. Who you select first is an important decision if you want your fantasy football team to thrive. My first year I picked the person my brother told me to take. The next—last season—I spent weeks researching and analyzing who would be the biggest difference maker for my team. Both were highly rated and came with full accolades.
And both of them ended up screwing me over at one point or another.
After two seasons of coming so close to championship gold only to have it ripped away from me in the end, I’ve learned a valuable lesson: none of it matters. The first pick. The draft itself. Not even fantasy football. It’s all made up and there’s no real point. Bragging rights and cash pool aside, who gives a crap?
That’s why I have a new goal this year. I’m going to have fun, starting right now. Click.
Round 1: Team Harper takes Richard Maddox (WR).
Brook’s head pokes up over his laptop. He raises an eyebrow but says nothing. I left my husband in the dark about this year’s fantasy football game plan. He would’ve tried to talk me out of it. He’d do it for my best interests, or so he’d say. He loves football with his whole being—though he claims to love me more—and it’s not just a pastime for him. It’s his life, but it’s not mine.
Ding. My turn again. Without hesitating, I select my next player.
Round 2: Team Harper takes Andrew Dix (RB).
Brook clears his throat, and I pretend not to notice. Instead, I add more players to my wish list when I come across someone who fits my plan. I doubt most of these guys will even be on my opponents’ radars this early in the draft, but I want to be prepared. Ding. Click.
Round 3: Team Harper takes Bruce Johnson (QB).
This time Brook reaches across the desk and covers my hand. “I know we promised J.J. we wouldn’t talk strategy amongst ourselves, but what the hell are you doing?”
“What do you mean? I’m just drafting the players I want.”
His eyes narrow, and I choke on a laugh. I can’t tell him. Not yet. He’s a smart enough man. He’ll probably figure it out for himself soon enough.
This year, Team Harper—I’m sticking with the default name this year, because again, who cares?—will consist entirely of dicks. Only players with names that double as euphemisms for male anatomy—Richard (Dick), Dix, Johnson—and reputed boners will be drafted.
Drafting players based on skill and prowess hasn’t worked for me yet, but maybe this game plan will. If it doesn’t, I’ll be too busy laughing my way through every lineup to care.
Round 4: Team Harper takes Erik Richards (WR).
Before I’m forced to come up with another deflection for Brook, my phone rings. I check the display and put the call on speaker.
“It’s our commissioner. Talk to us, J.J.”
“Are you out of your mind?”
This time I can’t fight the laugh, and it comes out full-bellied. My eyes fill with tears while J.J. and Brook are left sputtering in equal parts outrage and disbelief.
“What’s going on here?” Brook asks.
“What are you trying to prove?” J.J. yells.
“Are you upset about something? Is this about me being late for dinner last night? I’m sorry. I should have told you practice was going late.”
“This is really childish. I didn’t expect something like this from you.”
“It’s so random.”
“Actually . . .” J.J. clears his throat. “She isn’t being random at all. Are you, Harper?”
Brook’s eyes fly to mine, his face bemused. Under his stare, my resolve slips along with the humor. He looks . . . upset—really upset—and about nothing. It’s just a joke.
“It’s not random.” I roll my fingertips over the desktop, clicking the scratched wood with my fingernails. “I’m . . . drafting on a theme.”
“What kind of a theme?”
Now J.J. snickers. “She’s drafting a team of schlongs, man.”
Ooh, schlong. Another name for a penis I hadn’t considered. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s anyone playing in the NFL with the first or last name of Schlong, but there could be a sound-a-like or two out there. I should Google “penis euphemisms” right now in case there are any others I forgot when building my dream draft.
*** BARGAIN ALERT *** To celebrate the new release, for a limited time, you can pick up the first two stories in the series for only 99 cents each. EBooks First & Goal and Going for Two are available for only 99 cents each. ***
In Laura Chapman’s Queen of the League series, Harper Duquaine joins a fantasy football league to prove she can hang with the guys. Only problem: she doesn’t know a sleeper from a keeper (or any of the other lingo thrown her way). Her competitive streak soon emerges, and she catches the interest of her top two competitors. With a slew of conflicting advice in her real and fantasy worlds, Harper must figure out how to play the game and come out a winner.
Laura Chapman is the author of First & Goal, Going for Two, Three & Out, and The Marrying Type. Her holiday novellas Making Christmas and What Happens at Midnight will be released on November 8, and are now available for pre-order. A native Nebraskan, she loves football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Connect with her online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube and on her website at www.laurachapmanbooks.com.