For the Love of the Game
When I fell in love with the romance genre I was a runty, asthmatic, bookish pre-teen who was so good at finding excuses to skip gym that at one point my attendance was so infrequent I got an ‘incomplete’ for the semester. I hated the competition, I hated the spherical objects flying at my head, and if you’d told me I would one day write a romance novel focused on sports, I would’ve laughed you out of the room.
Fast-forward a couple of decades, and guess what? On Monday, I celebrated the release of my debut, The Striker’s Chance – a contemporary sports romance.
It took me a decade and a half, but eventually I learned that romance and sports are a lot closer than they seem. I’d always had a passing interest in soccer, but when I moved to London in 2007 I saw the game like I never had before – through the eyes of hardcore British fans, including my soon-to-be husband. Have you ever watched a grown man go from excited chanting to furious swearing to joyful tears in the space of ninety minutes? At first I couldn’t understand why someone would enjoy what seemed like such a stressful experience – but then it occurred to me that it was not so different from investing hours into the fraught, burgeoning relationship between two fictional characters. I know the hero and heroine will get together, just like the sports fan knows that eventually the clock will count down to victory for someone – but it’s the journey that keeps us interested.
Now I understand how romance and sports go hand-in-hand. Whether it’s on the pitch or on the page, both are riddled with emotional highs and lows, both pivot on high-octane drama, and both are fuelled by a single, underpinning emotion: passion.
Are you a sports fan as well as a romance reader? Which sports are your favorites – and which do you avoid at all costs?
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In The Striker’s Chance romance and sports collide with scintillating results when Holly Taylor lands the PR contract for North Carolina’s new soccer team, an assignment with the potential to take her career to the next level. Her task? Make Kepler “Killer” de Klerk, an athlete with a party-hard reputation, a star. But revamping the sexy footballer’s image while battling her unwanted attraction to him is easier said than done. She finds herself falling for the real man behind the tabloid persona, but when she’s offered her dream job for a price, she’s torn between the career she’s spent years building and the man she doesn’t want to give up.
Rebecca Crowley inherited her love of romance from her mom, who taught her to at least partially judge a book by the steaminess of its cover. She writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense with smart heroines and swoon-worthy heroes, and never tires of the happily ever-after. Having pulled up her Kansas roots to live in New York City and London, Rebecca recently relocated to Johannesburg, South Africa.
Her debut contemporary sports romance, The Striker’s Chance, is available now from Carina Press.