I Dare You Throw Down- Fall Sports Romance

Posted November 18, 2019 by Sophia Rose in I Dare You Event / 9 Comments

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Howdy, Delighted Readers!

In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader

Thank you for joining us on our third mini blog event, the I Dare You Throw Down, which will go from November 18th– 24th.  We are jazzed to take up this challenge that will get us exploring some of each other’s favorite romance elements and inviting you to do the same.  We have daily fun in store so come by each day to enjoy: reviews, book tag, lists, discussions, and a game.

“I dare Shari to read a fall sports romance (or two) with me.”

So, sporty romances…

Sophia’s Thoughts:

This is a great dare for me because as much as I enjoy sports, I haven’t read that many sports romances.  It wasn’t a matter of disliking them so much as preferring other genres and never getting around to them.

But, get around to them I did.  I even know when I read my first- thank you, Goodreads.  

I’ll list my first football romance, A Little Bit of Déjà vu by Laurie Kellogg that got read in the spring of 2012.

I had a few great ones, a few disappointments, but mostly there was a sea of blah ones.  The ones that really pulled me in and I wanted to read more from the author was when the author devoted significant time to the character involved in his/her sport and the sport played a strong role in the story while the romance wasn’t stinted on and was allowed to develop beyond the ‘hot athlete’ thing.  

There are some definite sports romance tropes that I’ve noticed even in my limited perusal of this sub-genre.  The bad boy athlete who needs to clean up his image (those can be fun), the obnoxious ‘anything for a story’ female sports journalist (these usually don’t click with me), the athlete’s secret baby (and I do hate this one with the fire of a thousand suns), the second chance romance after the athlete works out that he was stupid to have left behind love in pursuit of his sports dreams (oh, I do love this one), and, related to the second chance is the never take the time for romance b/c sports is everything romance.  

My favorite sports romance authors are Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, Rhonda Shaw, Kate Willoughby, Kat Latham, Michele Mannon, Jaci Burton, Jeanette Murray, Cecy Robson, and Tillie Cole.

But that’s just me.  Let’s hear from Shari now.  

Shari’s thoughts:Hot As Puck by Lili Valente

While I never played any sports growing up, my brother was a big basketball player. We often traveled to other cities for tournaments, so I have an great appreciation for them, it just wasn’t something I was into.

Basketball is big in Indiana, hence the Hoosier’s movie. For years my husband and I had a rivalry with his Chicago Bulls and my Indiana Pacers. We started falling away from it when seasons went on for so long there were over a hundred games and we had children that took more time from us. We fell away.

Then in 2007 the Colts football team made it to the Superbowl and we have been fans since. Around when I started blogging I was introduced to the world of sports romances. I can’t say they are at the fore front of my reading, but they are something I enjoy.

Jaci Burton’s Play by Play series got me going, but I have enjoyed Lili Valenti’s Bad Motherpucker’s or Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers, both hockey romances. What I have found most in my sports reading is that I am drawing to mostly hockey romances, but I have read baseball, football, tennis, boxing and more, but just not in the same number as hockey romances.

So let’s take a look at sports romances to see what they all have to offer!

And, now…. What books did we pick for my I Dare You Throw Down?


  1. Saving Grace by Katie Graykowski
  2. Verite by Rachel Blaufield
  3. In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader
  4. Whichever one wins the TBR vote: The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan or Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Puck Me Baby by Lili Valente


  1. Puck Me, Baby by Lili Valente
  2. Hot as Puck by Lili Valente
  3. Sexy Motherpucker by Lili Valente
  4. Pucked Off by Helena Hunting

Are you joining us for I Dare You Throw Down: Thriller edition?  What do you like/loathe about thrillers? Got a favorite author? Got a romantic thriller or suspense picked out?  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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2 years ago

I’ve never heard of these writers that you’ve mentioned, but I do remember reading lots of books by Lori Foster Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson back in the day with a few from Jaci Burton. They each had a knack for roping me in with their sports stories.

2 years ago
Reply to  RO P

I have read several of Lori Fosters boxing books that are good. Jaci Burton’s Play by Play was a good one, but I fell out with the series lately. Haven’t ready the other two you mentioned, but there are a ton I am wanting to try out.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  RO P

Great picks, Ro! I’ve not read the Lori Fost or Susan Elizabeth Phillips series, but I have them on the list. I’ve still got to keep reading the Rachel Gibson series.

2 years ago

oh I haven’t read these

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Glad to introduce you to some new ones, Melliane!

Jenea's Book Obsession

I don’t get the chance to read a lot of sports reads but it sounds like I need to pick a few of these and soon!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

How fun! You’re a rookie, Jenea. Yes, we must get you going on some sports romance. 🙂

2 years ago

I’ve read most of the Brooklyn Bruiser books and really liked them. I recently got the most recent one and hope to read it soon. After reading two hockey romances with the best friend’s little sister in the same couple of weeks, I’m not interested in another. I shouldn’t have read them that close together.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Lorna

It’s a sensational series. LOL, yeah, any element that gets read too often can get to me even in books I would normally love.