I Dare You:  Fall Sports Romance

Posted November 20, 2019 by Sophia Rose in I Dare You Event / 6 Comments


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,
#1 Him

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!


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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1 year ago

I did read the RObson one and I have Alex at home so I’ll read it one day

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

Oh cool! I love Cecy’s books. Hope you end up liking Alex, too, Melliane.

1 year ago

I think I bought Alex after I read your review but only got the ebook. I loved Him. So much. I have Us on audio to listen to. My favorite sports romance is The Year We Fell Down by Sarina Bowen. The whole Ivy Years series is good and I think They loosely connect to Him also. I think I remember that right.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lorna

Oh cool! Hope you end up loving Alex, Lorna. It was one of the first sports romances I read and one of the first Sawyer Bennet’s. I’ll have to try The Year We Fell Down. I do love Sarina’s writing so no worries even if its not connected. 🙂

1 year ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

I think it’s the same college they go to and the college team the guy from Him plays for. He might be in it or in one of the other books in the series, I can’t remember that far back! Have you read The Wall of Winnepeg by Mariana Zapata? It’s from a series and each book is loosely attached. But it is sports although not every one of them are. She’s another favorite author of mine.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Lorna

Oh, I see! Still, that is a fun little easter egg crossover.