Football Cravings: Romance Edition

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In this article, I will fully admit I might have an addiction to sports romances. It’s a problem. New adult, young adult, contemporary…football romances are on my insta-buy list even though a) my TBR pile is way too large and b) my wallet is empty. We’re safely tucked away inside and reading is the only solution. My bank account can shut it. 

Maybe it’s the ruggedness and roughness of football that is so damn attractive.  The fact that athletes are willing to get hit hard, wear all the gear, sweat their asses off, and put in the work is so appealing. There is a blatant amount of respect that goes into the physical demands of the sport, but the mental demands? Ugh. It’s incredible. (I’m swooning again…sports romances are my catnip. Send help before I fall into a pile of sexy books with too many book-boyfriends)

(Actual gif of me and all the sports romances I can find)

Today we’re going to talk about football romances. It is one of the most popular sports to write about (besides hockey, but we’ll revisit that later) and it is also one sport that has a passionate, dedicated fan base. Baseball has 162 games a year but football only has 16. Could you imagine only getting to watch your favorite team/sport/player in 16 games? The passion, the frenzy, the hunger for that. *Shivers* I totally get it. 

Now, six fantastic football romances to help get you through this break from sports because we all need it.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Two reasons why this sports romance is on my #foreverfavorite list: enemies to lovers and a deliciously slow burn. I’ve read every one of Zapata’s books and adore her style and ability to make a slow burn not feel slow at all. But this story melted my heart and gave me all sorts of feels. The elevator scene, the puppy, the cracks in Aiden’s tough exterior

The journey between the two characters wasn’t insta-lust, or insta-love. It took work and we were able to see each time a wall fell down around Aiden’s heart.  This story is emotional, realistic, and sweet. I don’t re-read books often because my TBR pile is stupidly large but this one I did.  The glimpse into the sports world and the dedication and grit, combined with the forced proximity of them living together turned into a wonderful love story. 

Plus, I cannot be the only one who is a sucker for large, muscled men?

Intercepted by Alexa Martin 

This book is so fun. Alexa Martin’s writing style and humor is my cup of tea. I devoured this book with a huge smile on my face. There was a huge focus on female friendships which I loved and appreciate because that’s something we face our entire lives. FInding the right group who is supportive and GOOD for you. 

Plus, it was incredible to get to read a real, behind-the-scenes of what it’s like being a player’s wife or girlfriend. Alexa is pretty open about that fact on social media and reading her words in the world of WAGS, the good, bad, and everything in between about being the partner of a professional athlete opened my eyes to that world. Her entire series is WONDERFUL and let me take a moment to just generally fan-girl over her because Alexa is awesome. 

It Had to be You By Susan Elizabeth Phillips

First off, I felt like a total badass reading this book with this cover. I was a proud romance reader from the start and gladly glared at anyone who gave me a weird look on public transportation. But this football romance rocks the female in charge of a football team storyline. It has a trio of my favorite things: opposites, enemies to lovers, and slow burn feels. Take a city chick who knows nothing about a football team with an alpha coach? 

SEP is the queen of football romances and this entire series was my escape. I would read them over and over and they felt like old friends. If you haven’t read the Chicago Stars Series, get on that. Plus, I’m a huge Chicago sports fan. 

Enemies by Tijan

 This is an angsty, new adult sports romance that pulls you in right from the start. There are layers to the story, to the childhood friends and their intertwined paths. I’m also a sucker for a college romance because the drama is amped up, the angst and forced-proximity of everyone makes it just slightly more intense.  The title alone clues you in that the two characters are enemies and boy, the enemies to lovers journey is delicious. 

One thing I loved about this story though was that the set up seemed like a typical, mean girl typed atmosphere, but Tijan shifted that into friendship and a found family. We have enough mean girl BS in the world and I really enjoyed how someone who suffered too much loss was able to find her own family and happiness.  I devoured this story in one sitting. 

The Ex-Effect by Karla Sorensen

The premise of the guy who used to date my sister is a hit or miss for me but Kayla Sorensen nailed it with this story. Also, the cover is GORGEOUS. 

One reason I adore Karla is the fact she writes wonderful heroes. They are decent men and the way she wrote Matthew Hawkins… mmm. He is just perfect. The heroine is feisty as hell and the chemistry between them is palpable. 

The entire series, Washington Wolves, is the perfect way to get a football craving fix with a side of HEA. 

The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner

Growing up a Chicago sports fan (Bulls, Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks) I one-clicked this shit after seeing the premise of the MC having season tickets. I’ve never been to Soldier Field  but I’ve seen enough games on TV to imagine the atmosphere there with the passion, hunger for wins, and insane unity of the fans. Kandi took a heart-wrenching topic and made it into a beautiful story. The banter between the two main characters is perfect. 

While neither the hero/heroine is an athlete, the entire premise of the story involves Soldier Field and season tickets. She bought them for her ex-husband and needs someone to fill the extra seat. No strings, no relationship, just fun. Yeah, we all know how that goes…

This story is a real touchdown (sorry, couldn’t NOT put a pun in here) and definitely should be on your TBR. Hell, they all should ABSOLUTELY be on your TBR if they aren’t already. Just fan-girling over them is enough for me to go back and re-read them. 

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

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