Sophia’s Top Five Sports Romance Finalists
These are the ones that made me love fall sports romance and got me reaching for more. They usually have a strong romance while also devoting a goodly amount of page time to the sports element. I like sports and happily played a few competitively in high school and college then for fun in my twenties and thirties so if a book claims to be a sports romance, I want to see something of the sport even if it’s just the athlete character living the lifestyle and doing the training needed while out on an injury.
So, without further ado, let me get these books down the red carpet and up on the stage for their trophies…
Alex by Sawyer Bennet
#1 Cold Fury Hockey
This was one of my first sports-centered romances and had a good balance of emotions and growth in it.
Here’s a little of what I said about it back then: “This story is amazing for many reasons. It is told with each character taking the narration in alternating chapters in first person perspective so I had the opportunity to get to know them well. I enjoyed both as narrators and in the beginning when Alex was being just awful, it was good to know what was going on in his head. I loved just how deeply flawed Alex was and how far he came in this story.”
Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole
#2 Sweet Home/#1 Carillo Brothers
I’m not usually a fan of New Adult, but this whole series was just that special for me.
See what I said at the time about my emotional response: “this one really gut-checked me. It’s that sort of story. Not easy and most definitely not fluffy. I’m not one for too much angst, but this one felt organic in the way it was written. No more and no less than it needed to be. It was raw and honest. But just so you know, it was also triumphant.”
Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy,
This was playful, fun, and was a charmer as one learns he’s in love with his best friend just when the best friend figures out he’s into guys. Hockey is their first shared love.
“Yes, this was a hat trick read for me from the characters, to the development of the romance, the plot, the setting, and just that extra something special I can’t put a name to. I enjoyed the present and the past twined together to make sense of things for this pair. Jamie and Ryan both have star power in their own ways.”
Let Me by Cecy Robson
#2 O’Brien Family
This was a series that wasn’t necessarily sports romance, but several of the characters who got their own books were into and competed in Mixed Martial Arts and ran a gym so I figure it counts. Besides, I can’t help splashing my love for this book about.
“Each new release in this series brings me the blend of humor, family, heartache, and romance that I have come to expect and crave from this author. Finn and Sol’s story broke my heart and made it whole again.”
Until You by Jeannie Moon, standalone
While the hero is a pro hockey player and his sport is prevalent, I loved that the heroine is an older, middle-aged gal who is coming into her own and decides to triumphantly tug on her figure skates once again.
“Having read this author once before, I remembered how deep and emotional her writing was and that was not lacking in this story, either. The romance is only one of the elements and this read more like women’s fiction at times. David and others share the narration, but this really is Kate’s story. It was hard to read the first half of this book because she’s not in good shape and neither is her life, but then she finds strength and grows. David is a part of that, but its really all on her to complete the process of healing and finding happiness. It was a beautiful story in the end and left me sitting there processing Kate’s journey and the lovely life she made in the end.”
I have a couple honorable mentions: Kate Willoughby’s In the Zone series, Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series, Kristen Callihan’s Game On series, Michele Mannon’s Worth the Fight series.
So, what is your favorite Sports Romance? Do Tell!