I was scanning through my Twitter timeline and apparently there was this thing called the Super Bowl happening yesterday?
Ha. Just kidding.
No, seriously, I know what the Super Bowl is (just don’t ask me to explain it), but know very little about American football. Though the tweets made me laugh. I gather there was some drama at the end.
You could probably swap “American football” in the paragraph above with practically any other sport (apart from tennis! I love tennis! I can talk about tennis for days!), and it would still be true. Which makes my love of sports romances all the more puzzling.
I’m not sure why – I think it’s that competitive spirit, coupled with the fact that if an author loves a sport, that passion comes through in the details and this whole new world springs to life in my mind.
So I’m always on the lookout for good sports romances and there were a lot of recs in this Dear Bitches, Smart Authors podcast (with transcript if you’re like me and can’t listen to podcasts at all – I’m missing the audiobook gene). I was doing my best to refrain from one-clicking every single book mentioned.
As for sports romances I’ve read:
- I’m a big fan of Miranda Kenneally‘s Hundred Oaks YA romance books (it’s a loosely-connected series, most of them centre around a different sport)
- Erin McCarthy‘s steamy contemporary Fast Track books (stock car racing, or NASCAR under a different name?) started off really well, and then dipped for me – I just read the last book and liked it a lot though
- I enjoy Sarina Bowen‘s voice and her (just re-launched with new covers!) Gravity series have winter sports (skiing and snowboarding IIRC) as a background
- And you may recall I adored Julie Cross‘s YA romance LETTERS TO NOWHERE (gymnastics), and her more recent WHATEVER LIFE THROWS AT YOU (baseball) was a good one – sweet but non-saccharine YA romance
I think that’s it – do you have any sports romance recs? I’d love to hear.
Speaking of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, they’re celebrating their 10th(!) anniversary and Kate Elliott wrote a lovely post about discovering the SBTB blog and what it meant to her and what it meant to her. She also mentioned this experience:
I well recall the time I was on a panel at an sff convention (on what subject I can’t recall) and a certain male writer of hard sf (whose name I will not share), in answer to a question, suggested that he and the other man beside him at *that* end of the table wrote real sf as opposed to us two women at the other end (he waved contemptuously toward us) who wrote material tainted by romance.
I was flicking through my Feedly on my way home, and may have choked out loud on the bus when I read that sentence (no one looked at me though – it’s not the done thing on London public transport to admit your fellow commuters actually exist). I’d love to believe that kind of attitude doesn’t exist nowadays, but…
Anyway, Kate Elliott’s post got me thinking about my early days exploring online reading websites – SBTB was one of the first romance blogs I read, and I also kept tabs on the All About Romance and (the now-defunct) Suzanne Brockmann message boards. I was very much a lurker, but I read all the reviews, made obsessive lists of everyone’s recommendations, and nervously posted the very occasional comment.
We’ve come a long way since then. The book blogging world has exploded (I feel like I stumble across a new-to-me one every other day), but I’m glad that we have places on the internet – that we have a community – where we can share and celebrate genre, and for me, SBTB was one of the pioneering blogs.
And last but not least, here’s an interview with Robin McKinley @ SF Signal.
I don’t click with all the McKinleys I’ve read (*hides*), but loved THE BLUE SWORD and THE HERO AND THE CROWN, and she talks about winning the Newbery Award for the latter here, amongst other topics. It’s a fantastic interview – really thoughtful questions and equally thoughtful answers.