I love a good sports romance. I love the single minded intensity of professional athletes, and adore when a woman perhaps takes them off their game. So, I decided to make a list of some of my favorites. I’m hoping this list might induce other readers to tell me their favorites, as I’m always looking for romances featuring pro sports of almost any type.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy
I read this book at the behest of Jane, who seriously was more OMGSQUEE than I’ve ever seen her about this book. This book features a college aged hockey player who is failing his philosophy class and the girl in his class who is getting an A. He cajoles and goads her into tutoring him, and while she’s busy resenting him and his high handed ways, they become friends. Here’s what I love about this book: the characters talk like college kids, they behave like college kids, and their relationship begins on a strong foundation of friendship. There is attraction, but mostly these two are friends long before they begin a romantic relationship. And the reasons for this are all excellent. It’s a superbly written book, and one of my favorites of the year.
I beta read for Katy Evans. However, this book was published prior to my beta reading relationship with her.
I’m a big fan of MMA fighter romances. In fact, this book is the one that kicked off my glom of the trope. What I love about this book is the stupendous chemistry that Evans infuses between the hero and heroine. I admired how she raised the stakes with each interaction between the couple. Plus, the hero, Remy, is bipolar. It was a fascinating tact to take with a hero. As I stated in my review, I’m not knowledgeable enough about the condition to know if it was portrayed accurately, but it felt very credible to me. The story moves quickly and is highly entertaining. It’s my favorite of the MMA hero romances that I’ve read, and one that I recommend over and over again.
This is THAT book, with THAT cover. You remember it. The one that you audibly gasped at when you saw it. And the cover IS awesome. But what’s even better is what’s between the covers, which is a lovely, erotic and sweet romance between a busy single mother and a pro football player. What makes this book one of my favorites? First, Jaci Burton understands football. Too many authors write books with professional athletes in them and they have absolutely no understanding of the sport or anything to do with it. The football is portrayed soundly. Second, the romance is extremely credible. The couple acts like grown-ups through out the story, and the tension between them is real, not contrived. I’ve said before that I think Jaci Burton publishes among the best sports themed romances today, and this novel is a perfect example as to why.
Flat Out Sexy has one of my favorite openings ever, where the heroine has just had super hot sex with the hero, who she now realizes is significantly younger than her. Her horrified reaction is hilarious. The story itself is an incredibly fun, sexy romp with a hero who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and a heroine who is way too busy with real life to play around with what she thinks is a playboy superstar athlete. If you’ll forgive the pun, it’s a really fun ride, one that is well researched about the sport of NASCAR and one that I love introducing readers to.
This was my favorite book from last year. I’ve recommended it dozens of times, and have even gifted copies of it to multiple friends. What I love best about it is the “hero in hot pursuit” trope, which is my very favorite. From the moment the hero lays eyes on the heroine, he is in love. He pursues her relentlessly (but not in a creepy way), and given that he’s the star quarterback and past Heisman trophy winner, he’s even more fascinated by the fact that she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Both characters are eminently likable, and more than that, the romance is rich, adventurous, and so remarkably fulfilling. This is a book that I definitely heaved “the big sigh” at the end of. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Even a decade after its publishing date, See Jane Score is still on my Top 20 Favorite Romances of all times. I recently re-read it, and it holds up as well today as it did the first time I read it. Jane is a reporter who has been assigned to cover the Chinooks hockey team. In particular, she wants a story with Luc Martineau, the Chinooks’ elusive and notably hostile to the press goalie. Luc does everything he can to fight his growing attraction to the reporter who knows absolutely nothing about hockey and is wholly unaware of her sexiness. Gibson books tend to be really funny, and this one is no exception, but what makes the book for me is how much I love Jane. She’s smart, resourceful, takes no crap whatsoever, and is horrified by her attraction to a man who she originally perceives to be a Neanderthal. It’s a truly entertaining book that I love. I highly recommend it for lovers of hockey romances.
YOUR TURN: Which are your favorite sports romances? Have you tried any of these that you enjoyed?