Let’s face it, few things are more enticing than an athlete in their prime. They are passionate, dedicated, and singularly focused on what they want, both on and off the field, court, or rink. If ever you’ve wondered what it would be like to experience that passion firsthand, then sports romance books similar to The Wall of Winnipeg and Me might be the genre for you.
Many fantasize about athletes and see them as unattainable professionals who exhibit strength, power, and skill in all that they do. Authors like Mariana Zapata have tapped into that desire, placing everyday women in a position to fall in love with and be pursued by heartthrob, hyper-masculine athletes.
Maybe you’ve found yourself inadvertently swooning for and wondering what these herculean specimens are like behind closed doors. So why not live vicariously through the characters in one of many sports romance books available today?
Read on to discover 20 romance books about sports and athletes that will leave your senses tingling.
The Captain by Josie Blake
For lovers of the fake relationship trope, The Captain by Josie Blake is the book for you.
Hannah is a college girl who came from a rough home life. She is a talented musician working full-time to provide for herself and is determined to get into a prestigious graduate program for music. Because of that, her college social life suffers until Cord enters the picture.
Cord, the star hockey player, gives Hannah an offer she can’t refuse – to be his fake girlfriend until playoffs are over. This “relationship” is a win-win for both Hannah and Cord. Hannah gets to experience the fun college lifestyle she never got to have, and Cord gets to focus on his game without his cheating ex-girlfriend trying to distract him. But when feelings get involved, everything becomes much more complicated.
Buzzer Beater by Brittney Mulliner
Coincidence or fate? That is the premise Brittney Mulliner’s romance novel, Buzzer Beater, explores.
College sweethearts Colin, a heartbreaker hockey player, and Lucy, a play-it-safe tech developer, have a chance encounter while on vacation in Mexico five years after their breakup. Colin sees this as a sign they should rekindle their relationship, but can he convince Lucy?
Icebreaker by Hannah Grace
For fans of enemies or friends to lovers, Icebreaker by Hannah Grace is for you.
Anastasia is a type A, driven, and detail-oriented figure skater. After an unforeseen turn of events, Stassie begrudgingly has to share her practice time at the ice rink with the men’s hockey team, where she meets hockey team captain Nate. Nate, a laidback goofball, makes it his mission to win over Stassi’s hard-earned affection. Sometimes opposites do attract.
See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
An unlikely pairing leads to a steamy romance in See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson.
Jane is a struggling journalist fed up with the single life. The stars seem to be aligning when she gets a shot at a full-time assignment, the only catch is the job is a traveling sports reporter for the Seattle Chinooks hockey team, a sport she knows nothing about. The team and especially the goalie Luc, resent Jane’s presence until Luc deems her to be the team’s lucky charm. As Jane and Luc’s professional relationship grows, so does their off-the-record relationship, and the lines become blurred.
Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
New York Times bestselling author Susan Elizabeth Phillips delivers another page-turning romantic comedy with Nobody’s Baby But Mine.
Dr. Jane Darlington is a physics professor whose professional life has delayed her number one goal of becoming a mother. Jane sets out on a mission to find a man to give her a baby, no strings attached. She thinks she has found the perfect candidate when she comes across Cal Bonner, legendary quarterback for the Chicago Stars. What appears to be a flawless plan becomes much more complicated when Cal discovers Jane’s ulterior motives.
The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton
Jaci Burton delivers an exciting ride for a single mom and star athlete in The Perfect Play.
Tara is an event planner and single mother who has worked hard to create a stable life for her and her son. She is happy with the life she created until a chance romantic encounter with jet-setting professional football player Mick Riley. Due to her painful past, Tara does not want to pursue Mick for fear of getting hurt again. But Mick is relentless in his pursuit. Can he convince Tara he’s more than what meets the eye?
The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Bestselling author Elle Kennedy delivers a hockey romance with a fake relationship that turns into something more in The Deal.
Hannah is an intelligent, quick-witted student at the top of her class. She is pining for a guy on the football team who pays her no mind, so when Garrett, the star hockey player, offers to fake a relationship with her to make her crush jealous in return for tutoring services, she sees it as an offer she can’t refuse. This book will keep you guessing will they or won’t they?
Taking Shots by Toni Aleo
Taking Shots is another hockey heartthrob from bestselling author Toni Aleo that will leave you wanting more.
Elleanor is insecure about everything, from her looks to her job. Her ex-boyfriend brought her to such a low place she never thought she would recover. But, that all changes when she meets Shea, a star hockey player for the Nashville Assassins who is ready to change his fast-living ways. Can he convince Elli he’s worth the risk?
Double Play by Jill Shalvis
Prolific author Jill Shalvis delivers an emotional journey with a baseball love story in Double Play.
Pace is the star pitcher for the Pacific Heat who is dealing with what could be a career-ending injury to his rotator cuff. Holly is a no-nonsense reporter tasked with conducting a series of interviews with Pace and uncovering the truth behind America’s pastime. As Pace deals with his harsh new reality, he is forced to re-evaluate his priorities and finds there is something missing that Holly could fill.
Daddy’s Game by Normandie Alleman
USA Today bestselling author Normandie Alleman excites readers again with the athlete romance novel Daddy’s Game.
The novel follows Carmen, an up-and-coming artist, and Natron, a star football player, as the two enter into a steamy romance after they meet at Carmen’s first gallery opening. Natron thinks he might have finally found the woman of his dreams but starts questioning everything after he suffers a devastating injury.
Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force
Readers are raving about Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force. This story has heart, humor, and a healthy dose of hope readers will root for the couple until the final page.
Ryan, an NFL quarterback, has ten days to convince his wife, Susannah, to give him another chance before their divorce is final. Ryan must pull out all the stops to win Susannah back from her high school boyfriend before it’s too late. Will this couple be able to reunite and rediscover the love that brought them together in the first place?
Game for Anything by Bella Andre
Bella Andre delivers another tantalizing romance for readers in her novel, Game for Anything.
Super Bowl hero and quarterback Ty Calhoun has a bad boy reputation, known for his womanizing ways. However, when he reunites with his former high school fling Julie Spencer, who also happens to be the country’s top image consultant hired to clean up his image, he realizes he would give up everything to experience her once again and will stop at nothing to prove it.
Binding Arbitration by Elizabeth Marx
Elizabeth Marx’s sports romance novel, Binding Arbitration, is a heart-wrenching emotional journey with a hint of spice.
The story follows the story of defense attorney Libby and professional baseball player Aidan seven years after their one-night stand, which resulted in a pregnancy. Aidan left the picture soon after while Libby raised their son by herself. This arrangement was working up until her son’s cancer diagnosis. Now she must ask Aidan to sacrifice his career and live up to his biological duty.
Squeeze Play by Kate Angell
Squeeze Play is the first book in Kate Angell’s hot and heavy baseball romance series.
Risk, World Series-winning baseball team captain, and Jacy, his eccentric high school crush, have always been friends with a secret desire for one another. While the two have always found a way to remain in each other’s lives, they have never taken that next step. But Risk is determined to change that and plans to ask Jacy to marry him while they are both home for a charity benefit. Will Risk be able to convince Jacy she has always been the one?
Game. Set. Match. Jennifer Iacopelli
Jennifer Iacopelli offers a new take on the sports romance genre with tennis-centered drama in Game. Set. Match.
The novel follows three girls, Penny, Jasmine, and Indiana at the ultra-competitive Outer Banks Tennis Academy. The girls must navigate through relationships, friendships, and their desire to win at all costs and will shed blood, sweat, and tears in the process.
Oh, Henry by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
New York Times bestselling author Mimi Jean Pamfiloff delivers another entertaining romance with book two in her OHellNO series Oh, Henry.
Unlikely couple Henry, a defensive end in the NFL college draft, and Elle, a brilliant and beautiful bookworm, have recently broken up, and Henry is unhappy about it. He is in a slump and desperate to win her back after she dumped him. Can Henry convince Elle to put aside their differences and realize she is his lucky charm?
Fair Play by Deirdre Martin
Fair Play is Deirdre Martin’s second foray into the world of hockey romance. Readers are calling the story fun and witty with emotional depth.
Theresa is a PR professional who has sworn off Italians and athletes after suffering through traumatic experiences. But Michael, who is both Italian and a professional athlete, is determined to change her mind while relentlessly pursuing her. Can Michael gain Theresa’s trust and prove to her he is different from the rest?
Real by Katy Evans
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans delights readers yet again with her gritty sports romance novel, Real.
Underground fighter Remington has a raw, bad-boy image and it sends women into a wild craze. But when Brooke, a young sports rehab specialist, is assigned to keep Remy’s body in top athletic form, he can’t stop thinking about her. The two grow a mutual infatuation for one another, but all of that is in jeopardy when secrets from Remy’s past come to light, and Brooke must prioritize her family. Can these two overcome a mounting list of obstacles to be together?
Keeping Mr. Right Now by Robin Bielman
Author Robin Bielman switches things up in the sports romance genre with her exciting surf love story, Keeping Mr. Right Now.
Zane is a womanizing surfer who needs to clean up his act to land a new lucrative sponsorship deal. He sees a perfect opportunity when he meets Sophie, a good girl event planner who is his total opposite. The pair enter into a fictional relationship to help further Zane’s career, but things quickly become complicated when Zane sees that Sophie just might be worth reforming his bad-boy ways for.
The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan
The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan is the third sultry installment in the sports romance series Game On.
The story follows NFL star Ethan and his budding interest in bubbly Fiona, his best friend’s sister-in-law. Fi is a bit intimidated by Ethan’s tough and tattooed exterior, but once she experiences his passion for her she is convinced there is more than what meets the eye. While she wants to turn her back and ignore her feelings, Ethan won’t have that and works overtime to convince Fiona she is the one for him.
What is sports romance?
Sports romance novels can be standalone or in a series. Often these stories follow an athlete or a group of teammates who engage in relationships and support each other throughout the story. Often these books involve an athlete falling for an everyday woman who is their opposite in every way.
What is a fast-burn romance book?
A fast-burn romance book often wastes no time before the two main characters meet and initiate romantic relationships. This often leads to conflicts or chance encounters that thicken the plot and add interest to the reader.
What is MC romance?
MC stands for Motorcycle Club. An MC romance is a romance sub-genre that follows the goings-on within a motorcycle club.
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