Sports Romances

I have noticed an increase in sports romances being featured on BookTok (the book part of TikTok), in other types of media (television, newspapers), and at book stores and libraries. My latest read even mentioned my favorite sports romance movie: Bend It Like Beckham. In my research, I discovered romances spanning many sports: figure skating, football, baseball, gymnastics, soccer, dance, basketball, and more.

I’ve gathered a list of different types of sports romances, both adult and young adult, owned by the Davenport Public Library. This is by no means all of the sports romances available and is only intended to give you a glimpse. All descriptions have been provided by the publishers or authors.

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Adult Sports Romances

Icebreaker by Hannah Grace

Sparks fly when a competitive figure skater and hockey team captain are forced to share a rink.

Anastasia Allen has worked her entire life for a shot at Team USA. It looks like everything is going according to plan when she gets a full scholarship to the University of California, Maple Hills and lands a place on their competitive figure skating team.

Nothing will stand in her way, not even the captain of the hockey team, Nate Hawkins.

Nate’s focus as team captain is on keeping his team on the ice. Which is tricky when a facilities mishap means they are forced to share a rink with the figure skating team—including Anastasia, who clearly can’t stand him.

But when Anastasia’s skating partner faces an uncertain future, she may have to look to Nate to take her shot.

Sparks fly, but Anastasia isn’t worried…because she could never like a hockey player, right?  – Simon & Schuster

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Intercepted  by Alexa Martin

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season. – Penguin Random House

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The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife. – Penguin Random House

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Cleat Cute by Meryl Wilsner

A sapphic rivals to lovers rom com for fans of Ted Lasso and A League of Their Own, where two soccer teammates are at odds before falling in love as their team gears up for the World Cup.

Grace Henderson has been a star of the US Women’s National Team for ten years, even though she’s only 26. But when she’s sidelined with an injury, a bold new upstart, Phoebe Matthews, takes her spot. 22-year-old Phoebe is everything Grace isn’t—a gregarious jokester who plays with a joy that Grace lost somewhere along the way. The last thing Grace expects is to become teammates with benefits with this class clown she sees as her rival.

Phoebe Matthews is too focused on her first season as a professional soccer player to think about seducing her longtime idol. But when Grace ends up making the first move, they can’t keep their hands off of each other.

As the World Cup approaches and Grace works her way back from injury, a miscommunication leaves the women with hilariously different perspectives on their relationship. But they’re on the same page on the field, realizing they can play together instead of vying for the same position. With every tackle the tension between them grows, and both players soon have to decide what’s more important—being together or making the roster.

The perfect blend of funny and steamy, Meryl Wilsner’s Cleat Cute is about being brave enough to win on and off the field. – Macmillan Publishers

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Everything for You by Chloe Liese

Enemies become lovers in this sizzling sports romance about taking a chance on love when life’s taught you it’s a losing game.

Oliver Bergman is a beloved rising soccer star, all sunshine smiles and the heart of their team’s spirit. To make matters worse, he’s obscenely attractive. In short: he’s genetically designed to get under misanthropic, miserable Gavin’s aggravated skin.

Ten years older than Oliver and a legendary player at the end of his career, Gavin Hayes is the team’s demanding captain. He’s also a giant–albeit gorgeous–grump who lives to rain on Oliver’s parade. Especially when Oliver and Gavin are named co-captains of the team.

Sick of their hostility, Coach gives them an ultimatum: put an end to their enmity or say goodbye to being captains. Forced to finally to lower their guards, Gavin and Oliver realize that they also have chemistry off the field and it’s fueled by something much more powerful than competition—an explosive attraction. – Penguin Random House

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Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine. – Simon & Schuster

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Take the Lead by Alexis Daria

Gina Morales wants to make it big. In her four seasons on The Dance Off, she’s never even made it to the finals. But her latest partner, the sexy star of an Alaskan wilderness show, could be her chance. Who knew the strong, silent, survivalist-type had moves like that? She thinks Stone Nielson is her ticket to win it all—until her producer makes it clear they’re being set up for a showmance.

Joining a celebrity dance competition is the last thing Stone wants. However, he’ll endure anything to help his family, even as he fears revealing their secrets. While the fast pace of Los Angeles makes him long for the peace and privacy of home, he can’t hide his growing attraction for his dance partner. Neither wants to fake a romance for the cameras, but the explosive chemistry that flares between them is undeniable.

As Stone and Gina heat up the dance floor, the tabloids catch on to their developing romance. With the spotlight threatening to ruin everything, will they choose fame and fortune, or let love take the lead? – Macmillan Publishers

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 Out of His League by Caroline Richardson

Gretchen Harper has always been practical. Dependable, solid, predictable. She’s never taken risks, and she’s especially never bought coffee for gorgeous professional athletes in airports. That is, until she meets her favorite baseball player on the worst day of his career.

Being sent to the minor league is just the first of Joshua Malvern’s many worries—he’s got an injury that won’t heal and his entire career and future are on the line. When a beautiful woman offers him coffee, that simple kindness is exactly what he needs to lift him out of his funk. He asks her to join him in first class, not expecting to end up joining her in bed.

What starts as a one night stand ends up holding the promise for so much more. And while stepping out of her comfort zone has never been Gretchen’s style, for a chance at true love she’ll have to decide whether she’ll swing for the fences, even if it means striking out. And Josh will have to step up to the plate. – Provided by the author

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Young Adult Sports Romances

She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

High school nemeses fall in love in Kelly Quindlen’s She Drives Me Crazy, a queer YA rom com perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Casey McQuiston.

After an embarrassing loss to her ex-girlfriend in their first basketball game of the season, seventeen-year-old Scottie Zajac gets into a fender bender with the worst possible person: her nemesis, Irene Abraham, head cheerleader for the Fighting Reindeer.

Irene is as mean as she is beautiful, so Scottie makes a point to keep her distance. When the accident sends Irene’s car to the shop for weeks’ worth of repairs and the girls are forced to carpool, their rocky start only gets bumpier.

But when an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her toxic ex—and climb her school’s social ladder—she bribes Irene into an elaborate fake- dating scheme that threatens to reveal some very real feelings. – Macmillan Publishers

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The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons

Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother, and a David Beckham in training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of isolation and bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.

At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boys’ soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans—he’s passing.

But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for. – Penguin Random House

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Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go… – Simon & Schuster

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Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei

A. L. Graziadei’s Icebreaker is an irresistible YA debut about two hockey players fighting to be the best—and the romance that catches them by surprise along the way.

Seventeen-year-old Mickey James III is a college freshman, a brother to five sisters, and a hockey legacy. With a father and a grandfather who have gone down in NHL history, Mickey is almost guaranteed the league’s top draft spot.

The only person standing in his way is Jaysen Caulfield, a contender for the #1 spot and Mickey’s infuriating (and infuriatingly attractive) teammate. When rivalry turns to something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants, and what he’s willing to risk for it.

This is a story about falling in love, finding your team (on and off the ice), and choosing your own path. – Macmillan Publishers

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Do you have a favorite sports romance? Let us know in the comments!

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