posted on August 21, 2014 by Joanne Rock

Game On

by Joanne Rock

Game On Box SetI was really excited to see one of my Blazes that takes place in the world of hockey is part of a boxed set called Game On this month. The set is headlined by the awesome Jill Shalvis, and I get more great company from Elle Kennedy and Nancy Warren. Just to share some shelf time with those ladies would be fun enough. But I’m even happier to see sports romances get a little extra visibility because I really love athlete heroes.

I’ll admit, I’m biased. For the first ten years of our marriage, my husband worked in sports journalism and shared his love of sports with me. We went to professional, college and high school games where the level of competition may vary, but not the passion for the game. I really enjoyed seeing the single-minded pursuit of excellence that the best athletes develop. At their best, athletes embody the qualities that readers often look for in a romantic hero. They are focused, motivated and possess a will to win. They have the physical power and strength we sigh over.

hockey-90900_150Athletes are the modern equivalent of medieval warriors (which—if you peek at my backlist, you’ll realize I love!). While knights swung swords, modern athletes swing bats and hockey sticks. Both protected their home front (goalie!) and made great sacrifices to their sport/knighthood so that they would be in top condition to dominate the field when their battle came.

I guess I love athletes for keeping that mentality alive. While our soldiers are the more obvious modern warriors, I’d rather see my heroes battling it out on a gridiron or a hockey rink than in life and death combat. Sports are an outlet for male aggression in a forum we can safely enjoy while admiring flexing muscle and steely will.

Undercover FestivitiesIf you haven’t tried a sports-themed romance, Rachel Gibson and Susan Elizabeth Phillips wrote some of my favorites. I’ve done a couple of baseball books—Double Play and Sliding Into Home. Or you can always give Game On a try… it’s a steal for four books!

What’s your game of choice? Croquet in the backyard? A day at the ballpark? Visit with me today on the boards and I’ll choose one random poster to win a gift pack of my upcoming releases including Promises Under the Peach Tree and Undercover Festivities, a 2-in-1 featuring books by Tawny Weber and me!



Joanne Rock

Joanne Rock

Three-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over seventy books currently writes sexy contemporary stories for Harlequin Desire and small town romance for Harlequin Superromance. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly—love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with fellow author and friend Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.

Joanne Rock Contest

Joanne Rock is giving away a signed copy of NIGHTS UNDER THE TENNESSEE STARS, plus a “My Happy Place” sign and a notebook for jotting your thoughts and daydreams!

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8 thoughts on “Game On”

  1. bettymccance says:

    Love all sports stories but hockey and football are the best!

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hi Betty! I’d love to see more football stories in romance… I adored Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ football guys :-).

  2. Suzette F. says:

    Not a huge sports fan but if I’m going to read a book with one then it doesnt matter as long as the story is great. Read a few with Ice hockey and some baseball and enjoyed both.

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Thank you for stopping by the blog, Suzette! Those are the kinds of written so far– hockey and baseball. But I wouldn’t mind exploring some other sports too. Or writing a longer series for a whole team like Rachel Gibson.

  3. I’m not really a sport fanatic but if I have to choose what sports I prefer, it’ll be Tennis. My love for tennis started when I watched an anime that was connected to tennis and until now, I still love seeing people playing tennis. I personally don’t know how to play it. I prefer to be a spectator rather than the player. Hahaha.

    alyssallanes [at] yahoo [dot] com

    1. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

      Hi Alyssa! My son played tennis his senior year in high school and discovered he really liked it. It was fun for me following a new and different sport too!

  4. Joanne Rock Joanne Rock says:

    Winner!! Betty, you’re my winner for the thread prize! I’m emailing you privately, but all you need to do to claim your book is email me at with a mailing address and I’ll send it right out! Thank you so much for visiting on the blog :-).

    1. bettymccance says:

      Thanks Joanne- just emailed the address and looking forward to your new stories. Thanks so much!

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