Have you all been watching the Olympics?
I admit I want all the ice dancers to be “real” couples and, as I do every four years, I remind my husband of how much I loved Torvill & Dean’s Bolero (yeah, Virtue and Moir were amazing, but nothing beats this ice dancing golden performance for me!—though to be fair, they don’t seem to have any twizzles in there…) and Grinkov & Gordeeva, the most beautiful pairs skaters ever, and of course the main characters of one of the most tragic real-life love stories of all time.
So I’m looking for a few happy endings! In between all the Olympics, I’m taking some time to curl up with a cozy throw and a nice, good book.
There are some great winter sports and Olympic-themed books out there to choose from, should you be so inclined.
Sarina Bowen rose into auto-buy status for a lot of romance readers in practically a blink of an eye, due to her fabulous characters, scorching sexual tension and engaging storylines that deliver every time.
Possibly her best-known book is The Year We Fell Down, which deals with a female hockey player who is sidelined thanks to a serious accident and falls in love with her also-injured neighbor across the hall.
Lesser known perhaps, but just as wonderful is Falling From the Sky, featuring former snowboarder Hank Lazarus and Callie Anders, the doctor coordinating his physical therapy and rehab after an injury lands him in a wheelchair, unable to walk.
Callie met the sexy bad boy right before his accident and was immediately attracted to him but since he doesn’t remember her, it takes her a long time to tell him. However, when the two admit they have growing feelings, they have to navigate professional ethics issues as well as past lovers in order to find their happy-ever-after.
I loved this book, and I’m grateful that the wonderful Tanya Eby took it on for audio, not just as the female narrator but also as the producer through her growing company, Blunder Woman Productions. Eby and male narrator Aiden Snow did a phenomenal job with these characters, and both the story and the audio interpretation made for a great romance experience.
Highly recommend the book and the audiobook.
Jaci Burton writes some awesome sports-themed romances with her Play-by-Play series, and the newest title, Shot On Gold, which released February 13th, focuses on two Olympians, a male hockey player and a female figure skater. I haven’t had the chance to read this one, but I’ve yet to meet a Play-by-Play title I haven’t loved. And really? A hockey player and a figure skater? How sexy is that?!
Elizabeth Harmon has a full series of highly regarded figure skater romances, her Red Hot Russians series, and her most recent release, Shining Through (Sep. ’17), pairs America’s sweetheart and Russia’s bad boy champion, who are both chasing Olympic gold in figure skating. They’re falling in love in secret, but will the glare of the spotlight crush their romance? Or possibly their dreams?
From Dec. ’17 to Mar ’18, erotic romance author Tamsen Parker released five (you read that right, five!) winter sports-themed books with her Snow & Ice Games titles. Notably featuring gay skiers and a lesbian romance that matches a Canadian figure skater with an American short track star, the titles round out with a luger who hooks up with a rock star; a female hockey star who finally sheds her obnoxious boyfriend and discovers she’s attracted to her coach; and a figure’s pair who notice each other for the first time when they’re forced to share a room.
Don’t those sound amazing?
I absolutely loved The Wall of Winnipeg by indie phenom Mariana Zapata, and she released From Lukov With Love, another figure skating themed book, on Feb. 1—just in time for the Winter Games.
We’re also doing a big giveaway on the Romance of Reading FB page on Sunday, when the Olympics end—thanks to Elizabeth Harmon for pulling this together!—which includes the following Olympic-themed titles (don't they all sound terrific?!):
Shot on Gold, Falling From the Sky and Pairing Off by Elizabeth Harmon;
Bailing Out by Carrie Quest (bad boy snowboarder & wounded figure skater);
Cold As Ice by Piper Rayne (snowboarders);
His Last Race by Megan Mattthews (snowboarder and his disenchanted girlfriend);
The Magic Broom by Teegan Loy (M/M curling and a sports journalist)
and So Over You by Kate Meader (former female hockey star)
I’ll definitely be picking up a few of these titles! Any great winter sports or Olympics-themed romances or other fiction you’ve loved? Do share!