Combining Baseball and Home Improvement: A Reality TV Homerun

By Elley Arden, author of Save My SoulCrashing the Congressman’s Wedding, and Change My Mind

Change My MindChange My Mind is the second book in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series in which Grey Kemmons is a standout centerfielder for the Nashville Argonauts. When his story starts, it’s the “off season” and he’s swinging a sledgehammer instead of a baseball bat, because he has two months to renovate the garish house he inherited from his father.

Baseball and home improvement are two of my favorite things. When I’m not at the ballpark or watching an away game on television, I’m watching HGTV. If I were Grey’s agent, I’d push him into hosting a home improvement show once his baseball career ended. (Sorry, Jordon. Maybe you had other plans for him. [Jordon Kemmons is a baseball super-agent and the hero of Save My Soul: Book One in the Kemmons Brothers Baseball Series. He’s also Grey’s brother.]) As a professional athlete in a romance novel, Grey certainly has the—ahem—physical attributes necessary to carry off hosting duties, and after renovating a gaudy million-dollar mansion into a tasteful showplace, he has the know-how, too.

Can you imagine the television show that could come out of a man with this unique skillset? I’d call it “Major League Renovator,” and each episode would follow Grey as he rehabbed a fellow athlete’s home. If his heroine, Nel, who is a real estate agent, signed on to the project, she could help athletes-turned-home-buyers as they navigate the market in unfamiliar cities. Their purchases would then be handed over to Grey so he could turn them into dream homes. It would be a cross between HGTV’s Property Brothers and MTV’s Cribs, and it sounds like a reality TV homerun to me.

Alas, there’s no such mash-up currently on television, so I’ll have to continue to piece together my favorite things, switching back and forth between ESPN and HGTV, dreaming of the day when Jonathan Scott from Property Brothers announces he’s been drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays or Robinson Cano, New York Yankees infielder, announces he’s become a licensed contractor and his star power has landed him a television gig.

It could happen. *grins*

Until then, I have Grey, and now you have Grey, too. He’s available in e-book format from major online retailers.

Here’s an excerpt:

Grey dragged his gaze from the pet-shop-in-a-trunk to level narrow eyes on the blonde spitfire beside him. “How do you know my name and that this is my house?”

“Allegheny County tax assessments.”

He grunted, a feeling of unease hardening his muscles. “What else do you know about me?”

“That once this baseball season starts, you’ll be too busy to be tied to a home like this.”

Great. He roughed a palm over his face until his fingers tucked beneath his stocking cap, and he pushed the hat back on his head to release some steam.

It was always the same. People knowing every little detail about him before he knew anything significant about them. Yeah, yeah, he’d heard it all, how it was a fair trade for the money he made and the envious game he played, but as the years went by, he wasn’t so sure.

“Listen, I don’t want anyone to know I’m here or what I’m doing,” he warned. “It’s nobody’s business but mine.”

“And your realtor’s.” She grinned. “I’ll be completely discreet. Nobody will know this house is getting ready for listing until the sign post is driven into the front yard.”

He tugged his cap back in place, wishing he could pull it over his eyes and make her go away. But by the gleam in her eyes and the set of her jaw, he could tell she wasn’t going anywhere. She was a realtor; sniffing around his property. And here he thought she was a baseball groupie, sniffing around him.

Huh. He’d been bamboozled by a pixie in a wool suit with a trunkful of marrow bones.

“You need me, Mr. Kemmons.” She pressed her pouty lips together and nodded, making her sunny curls dance.

A spark ignited his belly, and he fidgeted against the burning, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“I know houses, and I know this market,” she continued. “If it’s a quick sale you want,
I’ll make it happen. If it’s top-dollar you need, I’ll make that happen, too.”

What if he wanted to find her naked in his bed? Could she arrange that, too?

He slammed shut his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose out of pure disgust. This wasn’t the time or place to be making decisions with his dick, but he was overworked and under the gun, and she was apparently an easy distraction.

This whole thing had trouble written all over it.