If you follow me as a romance writer OR an avid romance reader, I talk about sports romances A LOT. It’s almost my entire brand. I am super competitive, a former athlete, and actually spent years coaching and for whatever reason, I LOVE writing and reading about all these sports combined with steam. While I can binge read every baseball, football, or hockey romance any time, I found myself reading other sports, ones that I don’t know about and oh baby… it was a learning experience and so damn fun. Three stories feature athletes from tennis, moto racing, and rugby.
Painting the Lines by Ashley King
Ashley’s debut is breathtaking for fans of slow burn romances. Publisher’s Weekly said “fans of slow burn romances will be swept away” and my god, it is so true. Enemies to lovers AND a slow burn are two of my catnips and hot damn, Ashley DELIVERS IT.
The banter between Amalie and Julian is OFF THE CHARTS and there were some one-liners that made me legit, laugh out loud. The book is marked as a hot rom-com and while that label makes me nervous because too often books are labeled as that without following through but Painting the Lines lives up to it. There are tender, sweet moments, sexual tension hot enough to make you need a cold glass of water, and passion that flies off the pages.
I love sports romances that sometimes just feature an athlete and not going into the details of the sport but reading about tennis was wonderful. It is refreshing to read a romance in the tennis world and you can feel Julian’s desperation for the game! This is book one of the Ace of Hearts Series and she has painted a world that is so vivid and realistic, I feel like these characters are my friends. I can’t wait to see what else we get in the next book!
This book in three words: spicy, funny, and heartfelt
Amalie Warner wants another shot to prove that she can be a successful writer. After hitting the bestseller’s list nine years ago, she’s lost her spark. Feeling pressure from her father to leave her writing behind and to work for her family’s lucrative hotel business, she’s desperate to find inspiration for her next big idea, something that challenges and excites her, something real.
Enter Julian Smoke, a failed tennis player making a dream run for the US Open. After a chance meeting at a bar, Amalie hates him instantly. He’s cocky and arrogant, but Amalie knows his story could be her big break. Could he be more?
Everyone knows that in tennis, love means zero, but these two are about to change that.
Fearless by Katie Golding
First off, take away the sports reference, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a story to steal a few hours of their time and leave them breathless. Katie writes in such a way that you feel what the characters feel, her language is so intentional and romantic… Taryn and Billy’s story doesn’t shy away from second-chances, hurt, and LONGINGGGGGG. The sex scenes are beautiful and tender and you will definitely need a fan on you after reading. This is Katie’s trad pub debut and she knocked it out of the park. (I had to use a sports pun, I can’t help myself)
One of the coolest parts of this story is the introduction to a world I know nothing about–Moto Grand Prix. My pulse sky-rocketed reading some of the scenes and I never had any interest in learning about a sport I didn’t know. THAT CHANGED NOW, THANKS KATIE. It is also badass because the heroine also races so we get two flawed characters who love deeply, trying to find their way back to each other. Also… fans of rodeos and chivalrous cowboys will EAT THIS UP. Billy is not an alpha-hole and I just want to keep him because of it.
This book in three words is delicious, and sexy, and charming.
Billy King may be smiling under his black Stetson as he waves for the MotoGP press corps, but the plain truth is the motorcycle racer is hurting: for his horse back in Memphis, for his girl with one boot out the door, and thanks to an injury that’s not getting any better.
With his racing contract contingent on his latest injury remaining a secret, Billy bolts home at the end of the international circuit―resolved to heal, and ready to win fellow racer Taryn’s heart a second time. Hopefully, before the love of his life is gone for good. But broken hearts don’t heal overnight, and the cost of forgiveness is sky high…unless Billy can prove his heart is home to stay.
The Hooker and the Hermit by Penny Reid and LH Cosway
So, the hooker is a position in rugby if you are like me and had no idea that was a thing. (It is a thing, for real) I don’t know enough about rugby besides a scene from Friends or that any rugby player I see on TV is huge so when I read this book, I was fascinated by our hero rugby player. Ronan is… perfection. He’s a bit of an alpha and needs to protect his tarnishing image as the bad boy of rugby. And our heroine is just ADORABLE. I loved Annie. She was so real and relatable.
Throw in a fake-dating, bad-boy needs to clean up his image, and a little steam? You get a wonderful, heartfelt, delicious story that had me FLYING through the pages. Penny and L.H. teaming up is genius and leave the reader (ME) wanting SO much more. While the story features a rugby player, it is not a huge plot in the story. Still worth it though, 100%.
This book in three words: witty, steamy, and FUN.
New York’s Finest
Blogging as *The Socialmedialite*
LADIES AND GENTS! I have an announcement!
You know that guy I featured on my blog a few months ago? The really, really hot Irish rugby player who plays the position of ‘hooker’ in the RLI (Rugby League International)? The one with the anger management issues, the body of a gladiator and the face of a movie star? The one with the questionable fashion choices leading me to ask whether he was the lovechild of a leprechaun and a hobbit? Ronan Fitzpatrick? Yeah, that guy.
Well, I have a confession to make…
Annie Catrel, social media expert extraordinaire at Davidson & Croft Media and clandestine celebrity blogger, can make anyone shine in the court of public opinion. She is the Socialmedialite, anonymous creator of New York’s Finest and the internet’s darling. Virtual reality is Annie’s forte, but actual reality? Not so much.
Ronan Fitzpatrick, aka the best hooker the world of rugby has seen in decades, despises the media—social or otherwise. The press has spun a web of lies depicting him as rugby’s wild and reckless bad boy. Suspended from his team, Ronan has come to Manhattan to escape the drama, lay low, fly under the radar. Only, Ronan isn’t easy to overlook, and he can’t escape the notice of the Socialmedialite…
When Ronan is sent to Davidson & Croft Media to reshape his public image, he never expects to cross paths with shy but beautiful Annie, nor does he expect his fierce attraction to her. He couldn’t be happier when her boss suggests pairing them together.
What lengths will Annie take to keep her virtual identity concealed? And what happens when the hooker discovers who the hermit really is?
Which sport wouold you love to see in a romance novel? Comment below!