LGBTQ* Sports Romances: Avon Gale's Reading List

http://amzn.to/2sJ194OAs we close out Pride Month, we're so happy that author Avon Gale is here to talk sports romances. Avon is the author of the Scoring Chances series about minor league hockey, and her latest, Coach's Challenge, is out this week. Let's play ball, Avon! (We know nothing about sports but we do love a pun.) 

I love writing queer sports romance for a lot of reasons, one of which is the found family narrative. One thing I try and focus on in my books is creating a group of characters who gather together to support and encourage the main protagonists, and I especially want to craft those kinds of relationships for queer characters. Having a support network is vital, and as a part of the queer community I’ve always noticed that we tend to “find our people.” 

I want my characters to find this same support group from within their sport. Because no matter what sport you’re writing about — baseball, hockey, diving, cheerleading, you name it — it’s going to play an important role in the story, practically becoming its own character. I want them to have a sense of community, acceptance and support from their fellow athletes, too.

Here are some sports romances that I absolutely love, where the teammate/found family aspect really shines:

Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell

I was fortunate enough to read an advanced copy of this book, and it immediately became one of my favorites. It features a bisexual football player under house arrest, so you’d think it might be difficult to work in the team aspect that I love so much in sports romances. Not so! Gavin might be restricted to his domicile, but the scenes with his teammates who support him are wonderfully done. You really get the sense that the Barons who have Gavin’s back are more than just teammates — they’re family, too. Not only that, but they’re there for Gavin at an incredibly difficult period in his personal life and his career. Add in Noah’s friends and family who become an integral part of the plot and the characters’ lives, some great bisexual rep and a fantastic opposites-attract romance … what more could you want? 

Get it: Amazon | BN.com | Kobo | iTunes | GooglePlay

Playing to Win, Glasgow Lads, by Avery Cockburn

I have to admit that I know absolutely nothing about soccer, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying every single word of this series. It’s about a group of LGBTQA soccer players in Glasgow, and features a different couple for each book, each in some way related to the team. My absolute favorite in the series is Playing to Win, which tackles subjects like class differences, Scottish independence and politics – among others! I love how the characters in these books support each other, on and off the field.

Get it: Amazon 

The Foxhole Court Series by Nora Sakavic

These books are a bit different in that they focus on a sport that doesn’t exist, Exy, which seems (to me, anyway) to be a cross between lacrosse, hockey and racquetball. These are some of the most unique books I’ve read, and while the romance is incredibly slow building throughout all three books, the payoff at the end is wonderful, believable and satisfying. This is also one of my favorite examples of a supportive network system, as the main character, Neil, has more than his fair share of obstacles to overcome — and does so thanks to the unwavering support of his teammates and coach. The Foxes, Neil’s team, don’t immediately start out as besties but by the end, they’re family in a way that makes you think they share each other’s blood. 

Get it: Amazon | BN.com | Kobo | iTunes

You can grab Avon's latest Scoring Chances novel, Coaches Challenge, right here: Amazon | BN.com | Kobo | GooglePlay | iTunes. And for more contemporary romance to love, check out our Everything Romance page. 

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