Monday, February 19, 2007

Mamma Warned Me There'd Be Days Like This

It's the middle of winter here in the Midwest and that can only mean two things: cold, and WCFDS.

Yes, I and many other women who love Italian men pouting in locker room shots are suffering World Cup Soccer Deficiency Syndrome. The signs? Crankiness, the predilection for yelling "Gooooooooal" in the throes of Ian Kerner-esque fantasy-induced passion, and the incessant need to surf the Inet for shots of our favorite Azzuri players when they were much, much younger and naughtier.

So today, while it's -- shawkah -- freezing here in Minnie, and

I'm begging for your help with
a pressing dilemma as

I guest blog today, Mon., Feb 19 at
Romancing the Blog

please enjoy two nice Italian boys, the kinds my mother used to warn me about: Alberto Gilardino*, and, my very own -- yes, the flame still burns -- Fabio Cannavaro. Ah, but they warm the cockles of this nice Italian girl's, um, you know, heart.
Do you miss those heady days of our crushing on (my forcing you to oogle) WC footballers? Or have you moved on to new athletic hotties? Which athletes are warming your heart this winter?
Will you please join me in wishing my Dave buon compleanno?!
Encore! Grazie, grazie mille Karen Hawkins for spending the weekend with us! After your GuestBlog, we feel good, we feel focused -- we feel like eating some chocolate and strapping on a gorgeous new pair of shoes and taking on the world (and/or the laundry). Thanks for the motivation, and come back soon, Bella!

Encore due! mona, you've won the copy of Karen's "How to Abduct a Highland Lord!" Send me your snail mail at!

Encore tre! Great new contest for RBtheBookClub members! Check out for details, and join to win if you're not an RBtheBookClubber already!

Encore quattro! Susan Elizabeth Phillips was on tour when she GuestBlogged here, but she's back and left a message for you at her 02.07.07 post!

*Grazie, Anny, for pointing out my "nice Italian Catholic boy who ain't Canna" is Alberto Gilardino (see July: RWA week).


Kati said...

Mornin' Bellas! Ah Michelle, I know what you mean about cabin fever! It's been darn cold here in DC too! But it's supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow, so we're hoping some of the snow will melt off!

I can relate to what you're saying Michelle, because I get heartbroken when it's not football season. So, no, I don't miss the soccer, but I love ogling the fine, fine specimens you share with us!

What did everyone read this weekend? Anything good? I read CHASING STANLEY by Deirdre Martin which I didn't enjoy very much (and that's a bummer because I loved her first two novels) and THE DREAM HUNTER by Sherrilyn Kenyon, which I really enjoyed.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

I love the WC! I was in England this summer when it was going on and found many new "favorite" players beyond David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg: Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, Cristiano Ronaldo... Everyone there seemed to be obsessed with all things WC, like the whole country was united around their TV screens to watch England play. It was neat to see the St. George's cross flying everywhere I went.

ev said...

I am not a big sports fan, so it doesn't bother me.

But I did get to see Ghost Rider before it hit the theaters (trade secret), and get my Sam Elliot fix. There is something about that voice. sigh. Even scruffy for the movie, he is still high on my list of yummy men. Then I got to catch him in the hulk, all cleaned up. double sigh.

I didn't get much reading done. Now that hubby is home, I was trying to catch up on sleep and tv. #3 son brought a b'day dinner over last night and we watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

But I did buy 3 pairs of shoes!!!! I love Sketchers. I can't wear heels much anymore (no need to either) but Sketchers has some really great, off the wall shoes, that I love. One pair has rhinestone skull and crossbones in purple.

I have become known for my off beat footwear. you should see the ones with the dragons on them.

Anonymous said...

I am not into soccer but I will say that I enjoy looking at some athlete's. LOL! Hmmm, Tom Brady comes to mind.

Marykate, I read Chasing Stanley too. I loved it though. Bummer you didn't enjoy it. I also read Sizzling by Susan Mallary. That was a good read too. Currently I am finishing up Heather Graham's The Island that I borrowed from my sister.

Has anyone got any sports -themed romances to recommend? I have read Deirdre Martin's, Carly Phillips & Linda Francis Lee had a couple too.

Kelly F.

Kati said...

Kelly - If you haven't read Susan Elizabeth Phillips' Chicago Stars series, it shouldn't be missed. Also, Rachel Gibson writes some DANDY hockey players.

ev said...

Has anyone gone over to where michelle is guest whining, I mean, blogging, today????

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Oh. Nice, ev. This from the woman who's all, "oh, I just bought so many new pairs of shoes I don't know which to wear first!"

I'm interested in your Deirdre Martin story MK, cause I've had the book for a while and really liked her others. What disappointed you? My fave is still the initial Blades hero and the pr chick.

I've been on a total Lisa Kleypas comfort binge, but I'm bumming cause I think I loaned out my copy of Devil in Winter.

I liked Sizzling a lot, too, Kelly. Ditto on the SEP Chicago Stars series. You can read an excerpt from her newest, Natural Born Charmer, at

Pack! You lucky, you. Becks is hawt. It must have been so cool to be there for the WC.

Stacy~ said...

Morning bellas. Yep Ev, I was just there, giving my 2 cents.

It's supposed to be 38 degrees today - hopefully it'll melt all the snow. I have today off (President's Day) and took tomorrow off too. I see reading and shopping in my future LOL.

I'm re-reading Kleypas' Wallflower series. I adored Matthew Swift in "Scandal In Spring". I know it's not a favorite of the series, but I adored it.

MK, I love me some hockey players. Love Gibson's "See Jane Score". That horseshoe tattoo...yum-my.

Rach said...

Mornin' Bellas! It's President's Day and I'm off off off!!!

Michelle, bummer about the cold and I feel ya on missing the yummy soccer boys. ;o)

MK, I'll have to read the DM book and see what I think--I loved the first two as well.

I've been rereading the BDB series. I'm at the end of Z's and jonesin' to get back to it.

Kati said...

OH Rach- That is a HILARIOUS picture! Love it! That's a blue tongue!

OK, why the Deirdre Martin didn't work for me:
1- The heroine - She's socially awkward, which I usually like in a heroine, but it's kind of hit or miss here. She'll be fine, and then all of a sudden freak out. She makes a huge scene out of something that, while I agreed with her, I felt like anyone over the age of 11 would have known it wasn't an appropriate time to cause a scene.
2- The hero - He's selfish. He wants everything his way, and tends to be unsympathetic to the heroine's concerns. He says things like, "I understand that you hate being in public situations, but you have to make an exception for this. Come on, if you try it, you'll like it."
3- No sexual tension. The couple meets and pretty much hits it off immediately. There wasn't any perceptible build up of tension. They kind of jump in the sack, and then go on.
4- Guy speak. I realize that I am spoiled by multiple authors who really really do guy speak well, but it felt very forced to me here. It just didn't ring true to me. Especially because she was dealing with twins, who really, even if they didn't always like each other, would have a particular way of talking. I don't know, it just didn't work, IMO.

Believe me, I love Deirdre Martin. I adore Michael Dante as a hero, and would have gladly taken him on, if Teresa wouldn't. I also liked Ty and Janna. Her last one didn't work as well for me because I found it hard to like the hero. But this one I found myself rolling my eyes and heaving that deep frustrated sigh over and over again. I finished it, but immediately put it in my donation bag. And that bums me out, because there aren't that many authors out there who write athletes.

Stacy~ said...

Oh happy b-day to Queen Bella's own "sports" hero, dh Dave! Do I dare ask what's on the agenda for today???

Rach said...

LOL, thanks MK :o). It was a mighty blue lollipop ;o).

You know, even though you listed all those reasons above, I'm still a glutton for punishment and will have to read the book for myself. I guess I'm just hardheaded...

Kati said...

Rach - You should read the book! I was just sharing my reasons. I'd be really interested to see what you thought. This isn't a book that I'd say, "Save your money" on, mileage definitely varies on books. I'd never yuck your yum!

I'm so glad you're here today! Why can't every day be a holiday for you?!?

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Rach! So glad to hear from you on your day off! Hmmmm, what is the origin of the blue? Jelly beans? Ice pop? Magic marker?

Not too long to wait for Butch, Bella, and JR Ward's here March 7th! Please say you'll try to come hang a bit. :)

Thanks for your thoughts, MK. I know everyone appreciates how thoughtfully you described your opinions. Yeah, I dug Michael Dante, too, but who can forget Janna and Ty's UATF scene? (Up against the fridge, don't you know. And she's,like, a mess and wearing big scrunchy socks). I thought Martin did a great job with T and Dante, too, especially with the road she had to lead them along to align with T's horrible experience with the Russian goofball on the Blades.

I just finished Matthew Swift Sat, Stace. And I loved how he was so crazy about Daisy for years. I mean, how flattering would that be? I also read Lisa's first novel, a reissue. It's wild to see how great she started, yet how much further her books have grown.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Well, Stace, not too exciting, cause the kids are home. I just made him a delectable breakfast of sausage,egg,cheese on a bagel. He'll follow that with lunch of his choice to be prepared by moi( God, I hope it's PBJ). We'll be taking the kids bowling this afternoon, because Dave really enjoys the whole "family" thing, which is fine because it's his b/day. Tonight, he wants to go to a Mexican place for dinner, and I think I know one in Minneapolis, so we'll go there. I still have to get him a gift, so I'll head out this afternoon. He's a pain to buy for cause he's one of those, "oh, don't get me anything, I don't need anything" guys. And he's already got the new SI swimsuit edition, so that's crossed off my list...

Rach said...

The blue was a lollipop, although I wouldn't put marker past her...

I'm dying, DYING for Butch's story!!! I'll try to come when Ward is here, but with those Cellies, well, there's no telling how out of hand things will be by the time I get home...they sure no how to party ;o).

Kati said...

Ladies - I don't know if any of you read Bam (Dionne Galace) but she's done an INDEPTH review of LR. Fair warning, she's snarky and uses some pretty profane language, but I generally find her hilarious. In thesame way I find the Bitchery hilarious, if intimidating. Anyway, there are definite BIG spoilers in the review, but she offers what for her is a very positive overall review of the story. It satiated at least some of my jones. I'm still hoping that Books-A-Million will follow their usual practice and shelve early and I can spend the first weekend in March grunting at those around me while devouring some Butch. Followed immediately by the new Singh, followed immediately by the new Vaughan, followed immediately by the new Kleypas...big sigh. I'm gonna have to take out a loan!

Michelle - Thanks for saying that. I never want to denigrate the hard work I'm sure she put into the book, and really do very much appreciate her work.

Rach said...

MK, thanks for the head's-up! Oh, and I appreciate your thoughts on the DM book. I was just feeling kinda silly for wanting to read it when I'm guessing I probably won't enjoy it as much as her others.

Stacy~ said...

MK, Bam cracks me up too. She just says it all, you know? Her comments on the various covers are hilarious.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Here's the thing, Rach: Sometimes I notice that a book I passed over is being called the best book of the year by someone else. It just means we all have differing opinions. I like to make clear that I make suggestions, rather than state my opinions as definitive. Could be, you'll find the new DM book is the best in the series. Who knows?

Anonymous said...

Mary Kate, I agree with you on all fronts actually. I think there could have been more sexual tension in the book too. And there were times I was like "Okay, get over the fear of crowds thing." LOL! You know when people aren't willing to help themselves after a while you get a little irritated. But overall I thought it was very enjoyable. And I did love the way the hero stood up for her when a certain teammate had a probelm with her because of her religion.

Kelly F.

Playground Monitor said...

I hope Dave's PBJ sandwich didn't include the Peter Pan that's been recalled for salmonella. I had a jar of that in my pantry. ACK! We'd only eaten a little and so far so good.

I don't follow sports very much so I don't know any hot sports guys except the ones y'all post here.

I'm reading REMEMBER THE ALIMONY by Bethany True. What fun!!!


Julie in Ohio said...

Afternoon, Bellas!!

I haven't read anything new since "Slave to Sensation", I think. I'm loving the old favorites. Just finished SEP "Ain't She Sweet". Sugar Beth is my fav heroine.

As for the World Cup, all I can say on that front is that Michelle gives us enough Snaxers to ogle, I can't say I miss it that much. Ogling is the whole purpose of the WC, right?

LizbethSelvig said...

Good afternoon Bellas
Hello Michelle and Happy B'day Dave!

It's freezin' cold here in AK, too, after a relatively warmish spell (in the 30s), so we're whining in the north. No such thing as a sport where the men wear shorts and jerseys here at the moment!

In fact, we're gearing up for a sport that's the (pardon me) Polar Opposite of soccer - and that's sled dog racing. The Iditarod starts in two weeks up here and it's, as usual, talk of the state. I must admit there aren't a ton of hotties in this sport of lunacy - but there are a few. I tried to find pics for Michelle last year, but most of the photos are of scuzzed-out finishers with nine-days' growth of beard and icicles hanging from their mustaches. Still there are a couple cuties (Cim Smythe and Ramey Brooks) and I'll keep searching for their photos to share.

Whatever, the thought of mushing away with a guy who knows how to keep you warm and treats his dogs right ain't all bad!

As for sports-reading: am just working on SEP's "Match Me If You Can" - one of the Chicago Stars series. She's such a delightful writer - whatever the subject!

Have a great day Bellas. Stay warm!

Anonymous said...

HI Bellas,

It's so nice to be back! Did someone say the WARDen is here March 7? YAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! *must breathe slowly...must breathe slowly*

OK, as to the question...and please no throwing things....but I prefer rugby players. I did spend 5 years living in the UK, so I do have an appreciation of the skills required by soccer (sorry) football players, however, there is nothing like a rugby game! Plus it's the World Cup this year. For all of you who are feeling deprived, watch the Rugby World Cup - specifically the All Blacks (that's the NZ team).

orannia *who wasn't trying to plug anything but has a feeling she did anyway*

Rach said...

Mmmmm, Orannia, rugby. *drool* I played rugby in college and just let me say, it's a killer! Oh, and the male ruggers, OMG! Thanks for the good memories! Speaking of which, have you seen the French rugby team's yearly calendar? *drool some more*

Stacy~ said...

A little off-topic, but a new study shows that a special formulated type of cocoa may boost brain function and delay decline in people as they age. Flavanols is the key word here, people. Now this is my kinda study. Very useful *g*

Oh and has anyone tried the new Cacao Reserve by Hersheys? Sooooo good!

ev said...

Now i have to redo what I wrote because it went poof! I hate these verification things- arrrggghhhh...

Play- where were you when hubby went to the ER on V'day thanks to Peter Pan, we think, and came home on my B'day? He owes me big time!! I still need to contact the CDC.

Michelle- neener, neener, neener!! ;}

Rach said...

Stace, chocolate is *ALWAYS* a good reason for getting off-topic. Yummo! I'll have to check out the cacao reserve, sounds divine :o).

Unknown said...

Don't forget the European Cup which is half way between the World Cups and FSC shows the English premier league sometimes!
I have a bit of a crush on the Ferdinand brothers...not a fan of Christian Ronaldo because of the Rooney WC incident.

Unknown said...

stacy - I asked Hubba Bubba for the Cacoa Reserve for Valentines, but when he couldn't find it he got me...Hershey's Sticks. Like that's even close to the same thing!

Sorry. Mini-rant over.

michelle - Loved the Romancing The Blog today. What DO you do with all the books? I had this image of Trading Spaces coming in and making them into wall art.

This weekend I read The Millionaire's Seductive Revenge by Maxine Sullivan. It's her first book and wonderfully sensual without being overtly sexual. Desire needs to work on that title though. I mean...I don't think there was a revenge plot. Maybe I missed it?

Also read Kelly Hunter's Modern Extra, Priceless. Great story of a road trip through Australia hunting for gemstones. I wish the line came out in the US. International shipping is killing me!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that's Alberto Gilardino, not Filippo Inzaghi, nice picture of Cannavaro.

Michelle Buonfiglio said...

Anny! You're so right! I can't believe I made the error, cause I slavered over him way back in July! Oh, the mortification of it all. I really thought I knew my nice Italian Catholic boys.

Jenna, maybe the seduction was the revenge? I love those stories, especially (why do I totally keep writing eXpecially all the time?) the Italian Husbands, which KILL me.

Kate, you're a girl after my own heart. :)