There’s something about hockey players that captures the imagination of romance readers. Maybe it’s their rugged good looks, their tough-guy demeanor, or their undeniable athleticism. Whatever it is, hockey players have become a popular staple of the romance genre, with dozens of novels featuring them as the leading men.
The Appeal of Hockey Players in Romance Novels
At their core, romance novels are about fantasy. They’re about creating an idealized version of love and desire, where the obstacles are overcome, and the happy ending is guaranteed. Hockey players, with their chiseled physiques and rough-and-tumble attitudes, fit perfectly into this fantasy.
Many romance readers are drawn to hockey players because of their perceived masculinity. They’re seen as strong and tough, but also sensitive and caring. In many novels, the hero is a hockey player who is tough on the ice but gentle with his love interest. This combination of strength and tenderness is a powerful draw for readers.
Hockey players also offer a unique setting for romance. Many hockey romance novels are set in small towns or close-knit communities, where the hockey rink is the center of social life. The sport provides a backdrop for the story, with tense on-ice moments and locker room camaraderie adding to the drama.
The Rise of Hockey Romance Novels
While hockey players have been featured in romance novels for decades, the genre has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. This is in part due to the success of popular television shows like “Friday Night Lights” and “One Tree Hill,” which featured storylines centered around high school and college sports teams.
Another factor is the growing number of women who are interested in hockey. As the sport becomes more popular and accessible, more women are becoming fans and seeking out hockey-related content. Romance novels featuring hockey players are a natural extension of this trend.
Notable Hockey Romance Novels
“The Score” by Elle Kennedy
This steamy novel follows a college hockey player who falls for a fellow student. The two navigate the ups and downs of their relationship while dealing with the pressures of college and the intense world of college hockey.
“Power Play” by Maria Luis
This novel features a hockey star who is forced to retire due to injury. He falls for a physical therapist who helps him heal both his body and his heart.
“Him” by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
This novel follows two college hockey players who were childhood friends and are reunited as roommates. As they train and play together, their friendship evolves into something more.