Next week sees the release of my eight Christian hockey romance title, The Love Penalty. This is the second book in my new hockey series Northwest Ice, and follows the success of the Original Six series, which was based on the cities where pro hockey was first played in North America.
In the past year or so I’ve noticed that hockey romance, that is, contemporary romance books featuring hockey players, has become a Thing. Whether it’s thanks to TikTok, or some ‘clean’ romance authors jumping on the hockey romance train, suddenly something that traditional publishers only a few years ago told me wasn’t viable is producing a lot more books and gaining a lot more readers. Maybe it’s the appeal of handsome, strong, athletic heroes, or the romance of a successful guy (in a manner not dissimilar to what you find in a royalty or billionaire book) who falls for a (usually) more ordinary girl. Whatever the reason, as a writer of Christian hockey romance I think it’s great for the genre. And because I see a lot of Christian bloggers and Instagrammers who seem to love hockey books, I’m hoping this results in a few more readers heading my way. ;)
So why do I love writing Christian hockey romance?
- Because hockey is exciting! I know sports romance isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like some action with your romance, and don’t want the dead bodies you might find in a suspense novel, then sports romance is fun to read. I have to admit that there are numbers of hockey authors who don’t put much of the game in their books, which is a shame as it’s one of the most adrenaline-laden sports to watch. The players have to skate so fast, then stop, pivot, hit and be prepared to be hit, even drop the gloves and fight sometimes. Hockey is not a wussy sport! I’ve been lucky enough to see a few games, and it’s incredible how the players even see the puck let alone have enough nous to know where to hit it.
- Because sports amplifies our own issues. Whether it’s concerns with finances, fear for our future, comparison, rejection, the challenges of family or relationships, it’s magnified when there is a degree of perceived celebrity attached to it, which lends itself to all kinds of speculation and gossip. And for a Christian pro sports player to have to contend with such things makes the story even juicier. How do you contend with fame and stay humble? How do you balance a multi-million dollar contract with giving to the poor – but also not being a doormat and ensuring you’re paid what you’re worth? How do you have a God-honoring relationship when your teammates aren’t saved? Lots of fun aspects of life to consider…
- Because hockey is real! As an avid hockey fan (go the Jets!) I’m reading all kinds of real life stories from real players and some of the things they’re facing. Things like OCD, repercussions of concussion or career-altering injuries, cancer in loved ones. The realness means it can be relatable, and allows for some realism among the romance. And the fact there are *some* Christian hockey players means I have licence to explore some of these scenarios.
- Because hockey players are fun! Like with many sports, good teammates make for good teasing and banter, pranks and humor. A number of hockey books market themselves as rom coms because of this, and while I don’t consider mine as rom coms per se, there is a healthy amount of humor and banter, between the guys in the Bible study, and between the players and the women they fall for. And while there are serious themes in some of my books, having the side of humor helps to balance that and make it even more enjoyable.
- Because Christian hockey players are out there! The premise for the Original Six series began as I came across an online Bible study for Boston Bruins players run by a sports chaplain. I loved watching their interactions, and figured this would be a great set up for my series, but with players from various clubs, allowing for focus on different teams / scenarios each book. One of the more famous Christian hockey players was Mike Fisher, who just so happened to marry a certain country singer named Carrie Underwood – so there are plenty of good stories out there!
I really enjoy writing books that feature realistic characters facing relatable scenarios mixed with faith, romance, humor, and a little bit of adrenaline, so if you haven’t had a chance to read then check them out today. The Breakup Project is on sale this weekend, so that’s a great place to start – think friends-to-more, misunderstandings, missions, sweet romance, and more!
And if you’re ready for something new, then The Love Penalty comes out next week. Here’s a bit more about the story:
Sometimes there’s a heavy price to pay when two opposites attract…
With her fondness for tattoos and spider jewelry Sylvie Miles is used to being pre-judged and misunderstood. She has friends and connections but she still feels alone, and works several jobs while daydreaming about finding a guy who sees further than skin deep and won’t shy away from her battered heart. So when a hot pro hockey player with a smile as vast as his skills takes a shine to her what’s a poor girl to do but fall in love?
Ryan Guillemette sure wasn’t looking for romance in a bookstore in his hometown but quickly becomes intrigued by the sassy Goth-like assistant with a snarky way with words. When an accidental kiss proves dangerously addictive she soon becomes embedded in his heart. But even as the romance heats up he’s torn as she’s not following God. Can these two opposites make a match or should he call a permanent time out?
These two are about to learn that those who play with fire get burned, and there’s a hefty price to pay for forbidden attraction. The Love Penalty is the second book in the Northwest Ice Christian hockey romance series, and can be read as a standalone, and is perfect for fans of Becky Wade, Courtney Walsh, and Susan May Warren.
Now let’s chat:
Have you read any sports or hockey romance? What did you enjoy about it? What aspects of sports would you like to read about in a book? What sport would you like to read about?
One commentator will receive an ebook copy of their choice of a published Original Six or Northwest Ice book (The Breakup Project, Love on Ice, Checked Impressions, Hearts and Goals, Big Apple Atonement, Muskoka Blue, or Fire and Ice). Giveaway closes January 23 5pm EST.