Under Pressure Cover

Under Pressure
(Love and Football, Book 1)
by Lauren Ashley

Series: Love and Football
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 8, 2019
Length (Print & Ebook): 50,000 approx.

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance; LGBT romance, sports romance
Warnings: Brief mentions of religious upbringing/unsupportive parents, past sibling death from a car accident.

Book links:
Amazon US | Universal Link | Goodreads


Rookie quarterback, Drew Carmichael, is under pressure like never before.

When Drew abruptly and unexpectedly comes out of the closet, his life is upended. The media is hounding him. Fans and haters are scrutinizing him nonstop. Worst of all, team management is wary of him, unsure if he’s worth all the hassle.

He’ll do anything to stay on his homestate’s NFL team, including pretending to be in a serious and committed relationship. The only problem is his fake boyfriend is Scott Hunter-the irresistible pop-country music star and his secret teenage crush.

Scott Hunter is used to being under pressure. He’s dealt with it his whole life, handling it all with grace and an unwavering smile on his face.

When his manager presents him with the long-awaited opportunity to come out of the closet, he jumps on it, no questions asked. Pretending to be Drew Carmichael’s boyfriend should be easy. Simple. Fun.

He never expected or wanted to start caring about the golden boy of football. That’s definitely not part of the plan. Neither is fooling around with him on a football field…



Exclusive Excerpt 

Scott’s P.O.V.

“I was your first kiss?” I ask Drew, unable to keep the shock from bleeding into my voice. We’ve been talking nonstop for over an hour now, the awkwardness from Monday long gone, but only now is he dropping this bomb on me.
We’re sitting on pillows on his living room floor. On a tray in front of us are the quickly dwindling pack of Oreos, the bottle of Cristal that I brought as a housewarming gift, and the red Solo cups we’re drinking out of. The sun is just starting to set and it gives the room a dim glow.
Drew rolls his eyes at my question. “Not my very first kiss, that ship sailed a long time ago, nine years ago to be exact.”
“But I was your first gay kiss?”
He’s silent for a beat. Two. Three. It looks like he’s struggling with an answer, weighing the pros and cons.
“You were,” he finally admits, a blush coloring his cheeks beautifully.
My thoughts scramble to make sense of this revelation.
“How is that even possible? You were so good at it,” I say before I can stop myself.
This time, Drew is the one smirking. I like that almost as much as I like seeing him blush for me.
“Guess I’m just a natural,” he says with a nonchalant shrug of his broad shoulders.
“It could just be beginner’s luck,” I tease. “You never know.”
“Could be,” he says with an amused lilt in his voice, playing along with me. “Mind helping me figure it out?”
Do I mind?
Who in their right mind would?
“I wouldn’t mind at all,” I say, already moving forward.
He starts to move forward too and before I know it, our lips are sealed together. Unlike our first kiss, this one is slow, sweet, and all-consuming. We kiss as if we have all the time in the world to explore each other.




Throughout the whole book I was waiting for the other shoe to drop but I got nothing. Nada. This is a no angst, pretty straightforward and short read.

Drew and Scott have a very sweet love story. But there’s no character development. I just couldn’t feel it. This book had a lot of potential, especially with fake relationship, football and country singer? It should’ve been perfect. But I was just left wanting more. There’s basically no conflict. Also there’s a lot of telling but no showing.

I liked Drew’s siblings. Enjoyed those moments. The last chapter just came out of nowhere and I think it’s a set up for the next book. Even the epilogue felt sudden.

*ARC provided by the author via A Novel Take PR in exchange for an honest and unbiased review


Mini Spotlight with Lauren Ashley:

How long have you been writing?
LA: I’ve been writing and brainstorming story ideas since elementary school!

How do you handle writer’s block?
LA: Writer’s block is something that I still struggle with. I try not to let it discourage me and remind myself that even the best, most successful authors get writer’s block.

What are the tools of the trade?
LA: WiFi/Internet, Vellum (lifesaver!), pen and paper, iPhone notes section

What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
LA: Under Pressure is the first book in a trilogy. While the second book will feature a different couple, Drew and Scott will definitely make appearances!

If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
LA: Drew – Tyler Hoechlin, Scott – Garrett Hedlund

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?
LA: Way too many to count! I don’t have much of a plot worked out yet, but it involves bodyguards and politicians.

What is your favorite book when you were a kid?
LA: Harry Potter! It’s still my favorite book now as an adult.

Five fun facts about you.

  • I still have two baby teeth
  • I used to be trilingual when I was a kid,
  • I collect Harry Potter books (I have 9 different copies of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone),
  • I went abroad for the first time when I was 26 years old,
  • When I was a kid I collected all six of the Gold-Plated Cards from Burger King (I still have them!)

What is your social media poison of choice?
LA: Without a doubt Instagram! Such a great source of inspiration for pretty much all things (writing, photography, fashion, travel, etc.)

For a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or 1 of 3 e-copies of Under Pressure.
Enter Here:

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About Lauren Ashley:

Lauren Ashley discovered her love for books at an early age. She is a hopeless romantic at heart and believes that everyone deserves their happily ever after. An East Coast native hailing from the Tri-State area, Lauren hates the cold weather, but loves her chunky sweaters and cups of coffee. When she’s not writing, she can be found traveling, binge-watching TV, spending time with loved ones, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Connect With Lauren:

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