Polo & Romance Secrets Finally Exposed
Wow… These could be worth a read. A birds eye view into the life of a sexy polo player…
International heartthrob Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras already has won over 50 polo championships and has modeled for Ralph Lauren for more than a decade. Now, he’s adding author to his resume. His new romance series, “The Polo Season,” follows a glamorous Argentine family living, playing and courting in the moneyed polo haven of Wellington, Fla. The first novel, “Nacho Figueras Presents: High Season,” will be released May 31, with two others to follow in June and July.
They’re steamy. They’re romantic. And they’re not really written by Mr. Figueras. Ghostwriter Jessica Whitman—the pseudonym for an anonymous writing team based in New York’s Hudson Valley—interviewed and observed Mr. Figueras and his wife, Delfina Blaquier, in the barn, on the field and around the social world of polo. The writers collected details about what Mr. Figueras emphasizes not as sport but as lifestyle. The couple said they reviewed many drafts of the manuscripts, editing the Spanish language phrases to reflect their Argentine dialect and refining descriptions of how the players care for their horses and the places they spend their time.
“High Season” features Alejandro Del Campo, the grieving widower captain of the polo team La Victoria. When sweet, sheltered veterinarian Georgia Fellowes arrives in Wellington from New York, a fresh face in a sea of coiffed society types, Jandro is instantly entranced. The unlikely pair is plagued by missed opportunities, secret yearnings and unexpected interference from would-be lovers. In other words, it’s a prototypical romance—set to a soundtrack of beating hoofs.
In the novel, Alejandro is sponsored by Veuve Clicquot and is an enthusiast of Polo Red fragrance by Ralph Lauren—brands with whom Mr. Figueras has had long-standing partnerships (all parties say there is no financial arrangement related to the novels). He’s also strikingly handsome, a leader on the field and devoted to his family. He is not, however, based on Mr. Figueras, the couple insists. Ms. Blaquier suggested to the writers that Alejandro be given blue eyes—“That’s my fantasy, maybe,” she says—so readers wouldn’t confuse the character with the brown-eyed man on the book covers.
While Mr. Figueras, who describes himself as a “voracious reader,” often opts for autobiographies, histories and other fiction, Ms. Blaquier has long been a fan of romance novels. She likes to read stories of heroines who can change or save the men in their lives. “That is very empowering for a woman,” she says.
“The Polo Season” series is first and foremost a way to deliver the sport to new audiences, says Mr. Figueras. “Obviously with the salt and pepper that a romance novel might have, and the sexiness,” he adds. Mr. Figueras and his “High Season” characters often say that polo is a “passport to the world,” borrowing from Winston Churchill. The players are tough and virile, the parties glam. But the sexiest part of the game is the sensual, unspoken bond between man and horse. “It’s skin-to-skin conversation,” says Ms. Blaquier.