[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Jeff Adams guest posting on the site today. He’s talking M/M hockey romance. Take it away, Jeff!]
Hockey fans like myself should be watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs right now. The yearly competition to award the historic cup typically begins in April and runs until early June. Just because there’s no hockey on the ice this spring doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some hunky players in the pages of a romance novel though.
I’ve been reading m/m hockey romances for many years. There’s something about a guy who plays a fast and rough sport getting his HEA, whether it’s with another athlete or someone who might be his opposite. As you might imagine, I’ve got a list of favorites too. Here are some recommendations to help you get through the sports drought.
Any list of hockey romances I ever make starts with The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen. Not only is this my all-time favorite hockey romance, this book sits on my list of all-time favorite books of any genre. Graham and Rikker had a secret relationship in high school until Graham betrayed Rikker. Years later when Rikker shows up at Harkness College, walking on to the hockey team at midseason, Graham doesn’t know what to do. This second chance, former friends to lovers romance checks all the boxes for me. True story: I was so engrossed in this story, I ended up reading it at a couple of college hockey games during the intermissions. Also true story: there’s a scene that just thinking about it (like writing this paragraph) can invoke goosebumps even though it’s been years since I first read it. This book is the third in Sarina’s Ivy Years series, but it can be read standalone with no problem.
Another great hockey couple are Jamie and Wes from Him and Us by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. This is another former friends to lovers/second chance romance. Wes and Jamie had a night of drunken exploration at hockey camp and it’s something Wes feels terrible about coaxing Jamie into. Except Jamie might not have minded. As they rekindle their relationship, in more ways than one, while coaching at a camp they discover what they missed out on for years. When the story picks up in Us, Wes is playing in the pros but hiding the fact Jamie is his boyfriend. And it gets more difficult to hide when Wes’s loud and obnoxious teammate Blake moves into the same building. These books go deep on Wes and Jamie’s relationship as they navigate so many obstacles—both internal and external. A third installment, called Epic, recently came out and it is high on my TBR. And if you like Blake, he’s got his own book too with Good Boy in which he spectacularly gets together with Jamie’s sister.
Victor Kilinski and Dan Arou are a helluva combination in the Point Shot Trilogy by V.L. Locey. Victor and Dan are complete opposites and it’s glorious. Vic’s sent down into the minor leagues because of his way too aggressive behavior. It doesn’t matter how skilled he is, no one really wants to play with him. That’s true on his new team too. However, alternate captain Dan see the man Victor could be—and the man he wants in his life too—so he sets about to get Vic on the right track. Of course, it’s not smooth sailing, Dan’s in the closet and Vic may have a baby from a long-ago one-night stand. This trilogy is romantic and snark filled—and I love it. V.L. also writes many wonderful hockey romances with R.J. Scott, such as the Harrisburg Railers series, that you should also check out.
The Hat Trick series by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn contains one of my top books from 2019 with Goalie Interference, the second in the series. This enemies to sort of friends to lovers / workplace romance rocked my world. Ryu Mori is set to become the new starting goalie for the Atlanta Venom, but that plan is turned upside down when Emmitt Armstrong is brought up to Atlanta after a stellar season. The guys are told they’ll compete for the starter position and Ryu is furious. It doesn’t help that Emmitt is an attention loving smart mouth. The competition is intense and so is the interplay between these guys. Not only does the competition make them better, but they find sparks flying between them. Watching their hate sex turn into true feels was romance perfection. Off the Ice, the first book in the series, was a great one about a hockey player taking college classes and the teacher he falls for. The third book, Trade Deadline, is due in August. Also, Avon Gale has the five book Scoring Chances series which is also outstanding.
That’s more than a dozen books full of hockey players to put on your TBR—or perhaps to re-read if you’ve already enjoyed them. I’ve also got some titles if you’re looking for something brand new.
In addition to reading hockey romances, I also write them. I joined together with four other authors to create the Hockey Allies Bachelor Bid Romances. This shared universe revolves around a charity bachelor auction taking place in Chicago during All-Star Weekend. Each of the books features a different player getting his HEA. The books are standalone and can be read in any order and there are fun character crossovers between the books too.
Guarding Garrett By RJ Scott is a bodyguard story about a player who needs protection from a stalker. Loving Layne by V.L. Locey features an older player who uncovers a past he didn’t know about thanks to a young journalist. Keeping Kyle by Jeff Adams has a workaholic tech entrepreneur taking the leap to bid on a player he’s had a crush on since high school. Scoring Slater by Susan Scott Shelley looks at what happens when best friends, roommates and teammates admit they’re in love with each other. Absolving Ash by Chantal Mer tells a story of forgiveness and redemption between two players involved in a career-ending on-ice accident.
So, if you’re missing your favorite teams right now (and by the way, mine are the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins) or if you’re only a hockey fan in books, hopefully these titles will add some romantic action to your reading time.
Keeping Kyle by Jeff Adams, out now!
An NHL All-Star
A workaholic entrepreneur
One irresistibly tempting opportunity
I can’t believe I let my best friend talk me into being auctioned off for charity. But when I get a look at the guy who placed the winning bid, I feel like I’m the one who snagged the top prize.
I didn’t get to where I am by letting opportunities slip through my fingers. When I learn that Kyle Pressgrove will be part of the bachelor auction taking place during All-Star weekend, that’s the kind of chance that you grab ahold of, and I have no intention of letting go.
With my career on the line and the possibility of Kyle being traded to a team half-way across the country, things between us might be over before they’ve even begun. I’d give anything to keep Kyle in my life, but everything might not be enough.