Baseball Craving: Romance Edition

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Anyone else missing baseball something fierce? Don’t get me wrong, staying home, staying safe, and practicing social distancing as much as we can is essential. We need to flatten the curve and do all we can to help healthcare workers. But, being a total baseball fan, I miss Spring Training, the smell of sunscreen and beer while sitting on the grass, and the excitement of opening day. 

I’m a romance writer from the midwest who balled my eyes out and had way too much champagne when the Cubs won the World Series in 2016.  (Like, ugly cried and called into work the next day because of the mentioned champagne) Just look at Kris Bryant and tell me he isn’t the cutest? 

Also, our household is torn in the baseball world. The hubs and I grew up Cubs fans but he works for the Arizona Diamondbacks (not a player, lolz) and our allegiance has changed slightly since they do supply a large part of our income. It’s downright awkward. But check out the hilarious bullpen shenanigans when there was a rain delay during a game…

Sports play such an important part of our world whether it’s pop culture, entertainment, and like our house, income. In a world where panic and sorrow dominate the news stream, I cannot wait for the day the news goes back to normal and baseball games will be on. Yes, they are long, really long, but they are so worth it. Even if it’s just for the muscles…

In hopes of satisfying the baseball craving I’ve been feeling for awhile, I’d like to talk about my favorite sports romances: baseball edition. Why are sports romance such a good trope? 

Is it the competition? The fact that we can imagine them in their uniforms? Is it the glimpse into the lifestyle? The fantasy of someone famous.  I’m not sure why but alls I know is that I am a fan. A huge fan. I miss the sport and if the only way I can dive into that sunflower seed, hotdog eating, beer drinking world, then I’m diving into one of these four romances all featuring baseball players I love to crush on. 

First up to bat is Jock Row by Sara Ney 

Sara Ney is the goddess of the new adult genre. This story features a baseball house on Jock Row. That’s right. Some people would think that’s a living nightmare of having an entire row of houses dedicated to jocks. Others, well… it would be a dream.  This story is total sweetness. It is a slow burn that burns so damn sweet as we see the two main characters form a unique friendship but then something more. He’s a star player on the baseball team, she’s the goody-two-shoes and opposites slowly attract and ignite in this adorable love story. 

On deck  is Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton is the queen of sports romances. In my mind, she wears the crown and this book is incredible. She takes a very unlikeable heroine and humanizes her. (Also, the couple is hot AF in this story. Like… get a fan ready) It takes superb talent to turn the heroine from the first book (and standalone) in the series and make me root for her and her happy ending. This book is hot, emotional, and shows everyone has insecurities and humans have flaws. 

Also, this is how I picture Gavin in the story…

Third up to bat  is The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

This books gets the best spot in the line-up because it has the softest hero, a heroine trying to hold her life together, and combines baseball, angst, and romance reading men. That’s right. It’s like Fight Club, but men reading romance novels to fix their problems. It is clever, unique, and sweet. It wasn’t too heart-wrenching and I found myself smiling throughout the end. There is the ever-present grand-gesture that is the perfect HEA. 

The clean up hitter– is Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis 

Jill Shalvis is one of my all-time favorite romance authors so obviously she made it on the list. A player with a bad rep? A fake girlfriend ploy. A secret crush? My god, the amount of catnip in this story makes me hungry to re-read it for the third time. The heroine is incredible likeable and the sexual tension with the hero… yum. He’s also a catcher in this story and I don’t know why but I have a thing for baseball catchers. Maybe it’s  because they are always dirty, in charge, and generally badass? Who else would willingly want to catch balls coming at them near 100 mph?

Stay safe, healthy, and sane, and dive into those HEAs as much as you can. I know I will. 

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