I come from a family of devoted Chicago Cubs fans.
As a boy, my grandfather roller-skated inside the Wrigley Field construction site. Even after decades of disappointment, my father-in-law remained true Cubbie blue. In the late 1980s, I lived blocks from Wrigley and remember the first night game—the star-studded one which was rained out in the second inning, and the real one the next night, after all the celebrities were gone.
So when it came time to write a sports romance, it was only natural for me to write about…figure skating.
I’ve loved it since I was a kid. The Cutting Edge is one of my favorite movies. I even take lessons and a few years ago, checked off a bucket list item when I skated in our rink’s ice show. I fell once, but still….
Yet many people know nothing about it. Check out this Twitter post on Ten Misconceptions About Figure Skating.
Trust me, you can’t go to a pond and learn triple axels. The sport only seems easy because its top athletes make it look that way. Off camera, there’s training and conditioning as rigorous as what you’d find in sports played with a ball or puck.
As for the “aren’t all male figure skaters gay” question? Since I write m/f romance, I hear this one often. True, one of the sport’s most visible faces, Johnny Weir, is proudly out. So is Canadian pair skater Eric Radford. There are more openly gay figure skaters than say, openly gay football players.
But it’s only part of the story. There are plenty of straight guys on the ice, too. Americans Grant Hochstein, Chris Knierim and Charlie White, are either soon-to-be or recently married. There’s a long tradition of married couples in Russian pair skating, the latest includes 2014 gold medalists Tatyana Voloshozar and Maxim Trankov.
There’s also plenty of international hotness, on and off the ice. Check out 2016 U.S. Men’s Silver Medalist Max Aaron.
Russian pair skater Alexander Smirnov
Russian pair skater (and drummer) Alexei Roganov
Or smoldering French ice dancer Guillaume Cizeron.
With its breathtaking athleticism, and hot men, there’s lots to love about figure skating…and male figure skaters.
Intrigued? Check out my Red Hot Russians series, and meet Anton, Vladimir, and Mikhail, three sworn-worthy figure skaters who know how to heat up the coldest nights. Book one in the series, “Pairing Off” is a 2016 Rita Finalist. Getting It Back, the latest in the series, came out this month.
In this second-chance romance, a former top men’s figure skating champion is willing to risk everything for a comeback–except a new start with his long lost love.
An unexpected phone call from the man who broke her heart offers Amy Shepherd an opportunity to return to the work she loves, training elite figure skaters. Except it’s just one figure skater: Him. Can she finally forgive and forget?
Figure skater Mikhail “Misha” Zaikov once had it all: medals, money and the adoration of millions. But a devastating injury put an end to his career and his romance, leaving him with nothing but regret over what could have been. His last chance to re-join the world’s top skaters is now. And there’s only one person who can help him: Her.
On Russia’s unyielding ice, Misha must reclaim what he’s lost while facing off against a talented young rival and risking further injury. But Amy soon discovers Misha’s much bigger challenges lurk off the ice. And she’s determined to keep Misha whole and healthy, even if doing so ends his shot at the gold.