Last Updated on April 26, 2023 by Louisa
Looking for a romance novel about a star quarterback? Or perhaps you’re eyes are on the captain of the hockey team?
Whatever your fantasies, there is something tantalizing about a ripped Jock hero in sports romance books.
In sports romances, you can expect the competition to heat up and the romances to be as steamy as the locker room.
Whether it’s a star player or an ambitious coach, these sports romance novels are designed to get you feeling hot under the collar.
If you’re ready to dive into a new romance read, then keep reading for my very best, steamy sports romance books to add to your reading list.
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What To Expect From Sports Romance Books?
Sports romance novels combine romance with drama, competition, and passion, which makes for a read that’s not just sizzling but also exciting.
They are typically centered around an athlete or team and their journey to victory, while simultaneously exploring their struggles, desires, and feelings toward a relationship they are not ready for.
You can expect stories to weave together the intensity of competition with raw emotion and deep connections between characters as they fall deeper for each other.
Common themes in sports romance books are enemies to lovers and opposites attracting. Sports romances can be slow-burning or fast-paced but are usually packed with angst and tension.
Football & Soccer Sports Romance Books
Let’s kick things off with some of the best football and soccer sports romance books.
Whether you’re looking for something steamy and fast-paced or something slow burning, these are the best books!
1. Off Sides – Sawyer Bennett
Faced paced and adventurous, Off Sides is the perfect bite-sized representative of college sports romance books that feature sports as one of the main driving forces in the characters’ lives—besides love, of course.
Ryan struggles with fulfilling his parents’ expectations in the face of his almost-fulfilled dream to play in the NFL, and Danny is on the other side, desperately trying to make ends meet.
Though unlikely, a bond is forged between them, one that will catalyze a change that they might not be ready for.
Are they strong enough to cross all the hurdles in their way? If you like the sound of this, then you might also like these billionaire romance novels.
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2. The Locker Room – Meghan Quinn
Looking for a book that is packed with heat? Then you may enjoy the Locker Room, which as legend says, is the steamiest place in sports.
It also says that a bout of lovemaking in the locker room after a baseball match is sure to end with a walk down the aisle…
After a long time of renouncing that superstition, star baseball player Knox is just about ready to give it a try when he meets and falls for Emory.
Her stubborn refusal to deviate from the rules she set for herself when she transferred to their college in Chicago makes it hard for Knox to break into her defenses.
An emotional rollercoaster, follow along as Knox and Emory’s relationship blooms from a beautiful friendship to a sizzling romance, and witness where it ends up taking them in their lives.
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3. Wrecking Ball (Hard to Love Series) – P. Dangelico
If you’re looking for a sports romance book series to get lost in, then consider Wrecking Ball by P. Dangelico.
Cam DeSantis’ life is a sad story. She lost her husband, job, and all her money in one hit.
When times get tough, people often resort to desperate measures. So when salvation comes in the form of one intolerable jerk, she has no choice but to accept his offer as a nanny for his eight-year-old nephew.
It’s only a three-month contract. How hard would it be to ignore him?
Although NFL quarterback Calvin Shaw enjoys interacting with women, he has no interest in dating or marrying one. He needs to focus on winning another Super Bowl before he retires.
Though he has a problem with the woman living in his house. He’s attracted to her.
The intricate plot is masterfully woven together, gradually increasing in complexity and emotion as it progresses. This is a sports romance novel you won’t be able to put down.
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4. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me – Mariana Zapata
Do you enjoy fake relationship and forced proximity romance books? Then you should add The Wall of Winnipeg and Me to your reading list.
Vanessa Mazur is an assistant and housekeeper to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization, but one day she plans to leave.
When Aiden Graves shows up at her door asking her to come back, she’s shocked.
The NFL star Aiden, also known as ‘The Wall of Winnipeg,’ would not speak to Vanessa for two years, but after she’s gone, finds he needs her more than he thought he did.
This is a tale of a budding romance, as their chemistry aligns and their feelings for each other blossom. It’s a slow read, but it’s a beautiful NFL sports romance story.
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5. Kulti – Mariana Zapata
Kulti is a hot and slow-burning age gap romance novel that is truly captivating and makes you feel sad that this is just a standalone book.
It tells the story of a German International Footballer, Reiner Kulti, and someone that Salome (Sal) Casillas has admired from a young age.
When he becomes the new assistant coach of her soccer team she is elated.
Kulti is moody and has an unlikeable bad attitude. You know he’s battling demons but only Sal is ready to put up with it. As they begin ‘getting-to-know-each-other’ in secret, the chemistry is magnetic and the tension unbearable.
Sal is a strong heroine who stands up for herself and follows her passion, and Kulti supports her as she chases those dreams.
Sure, they have a 12 year age gap, but the attraction is real. Kulti has a kind of protective alpha thing about him that is irresistible.
The love described between Sal and Kulti is more friendship burning into something more.
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6. Beauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love Series) – Ilsa Madden
If you want a fake relationship romance novel about two lovers who get a second shot together? Then check out Beauty and the Baller.
The story follows Ronan Smith, a talented and brilliant NFL quarterback, has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and fiancée in a car accident, Ronan falls into a pit of grief and bad choices.
When he meets an enigmatic girl at a party who seems to be drawn to him, Ronan decides to make her his one-night stand.
That girl happens to be Nova Morgan, a beauty queen on a mission. She sneaks into a high-profile party with hopes of gaining the attention of her favorite quarterback, but after a disastrous one-night stand, all her hopes come crashing down.
Two years later, Nova returns to Blue Belle, Texas, where her new neighbor is none other than Ronan.
He doesn’t remember her, and when the booster club keeps pestering him to find a woman, he asks Nova to enter a fake relationship.
As with all fake romance novels, pretending to be in love sometimes leads to love itself…
The chemistry between them is undeniable and keeps pulling the reader back for more as they work through obstacles together.
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Hockey Sports Romance Books
If hockey is more your game, then you’re going to love these tantalizing hockey romance books!
7. The Deal – Elle Kennedy
The most famous read in the hockey romance troupe is The Deal, which is part of the ‘Off Campus’ series by Elle Kennedy though it can be read as a standalone.
Hannah Wells is a well-behaved student, who is drawn to a guy who captures her attention, but she feels insecure about her bedroom skills.
Pushing herself out of her comfort zone, she agrees to tutor the egotistical captain of the Hockey Team to secure a pretend date with the guy she likes.
Meanwhile, Garrett Graham is a skilled athlete who has aspirations of playing in a professional league, but his academic performance falls short.
When he meets the sharp-tongued Hannah, he sees an opportunity to improve his grades and secure his future.
One playful kiss quickly leads to a steamy night in which they both find themselves falling for each other.
But as Hannah’s charade continues, and Garrett’s hockey dreams are in jeopardy, can they make it work or is it all just pretend?
The passionate chemistry between the main characters creates an electric connection so deep that readers can feel it emanating off the page!
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Read my complete review of The Deal by Elle Kennedy here.
8. Him – Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
Another swoon-worth read by Elle Kennedy to add to your reading list is Him.
It follows Jamie Canning, who has never understood how he lost his closest friend four years ago. Without an explanation, his roommate cut him off. It might have got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp, but it was just drunken foolishness.
Ryan Wesley has one regret; coaxing his straight friend into pushing the boundaries of their relationship.
Now, their college teams are set to compete with each other in the national championship and he can finally apologize. But one look at his longtime crush, and he’s unable to face him.
Until chance comes, and both Ryan and Jamie are asked to work together to coach at camp, and Jamie soon discovers more about his old friend.
This is a steamy LGBT sports romance book with some very elicit scenes. This novel is suitable for ages 18+
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9. Pucked – Helena Hunting
Although I admit the title of this book doesn’t give much away, the storyline of this sports romance novel is way more thought-out and captivating!
The story follows Violet Hall who is not interested in Alex Waters, the team captain of the legendary NHL hockey team. She knows about his playboy reputation, and she isn’t interested in him.
Violet mistakenly believes that hockey players have low IQs, and Alex inadvertently corrects her misconception. This revelation causes them to develop a closer relationship.
After their night together, Violet believed that their relationship was just a one-time thing.
However, Alex started to call her often and send strange gifts. Violet didn’t want to be associated with him in the media, so she tried to ignore him. However, the more time she spent with Alex, the harder it became not to like him.
The problem is that many people believe he’s a player, and Violet doesn’t want that label attached to her.
This romance novel is an immersive and emotional ride with characters that will have you rooting for them until the very end.
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10. Taking a Shot (Play by Play Series) – Jaci Burton
If you want a sport romance book that has more depth to the storyline than just sizzling scenes, then Taking a Shot is a good option.
Jenna Riley doesn’t need any more sports in her life. Her brothers are all professional athletes, and she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar.
Then Tyler Anderson comes in, and Jenna starts to feel like maybe she could use some fun in her life. However, she knows that it would be a mistake to date a jock like Tyler.
Ty, drawn to the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants something more with her life and offers his support as she begins to realize that she deserves more than what she’s been living for.
Their passion grows, and Ty insists that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it too…
First, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all-including Ty.
No two scenes are alike, each offering unique feels that turn this romance novel into an adventure unlike any other!
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Baseball Sports Romance Books
Dreaming of a star baseball player book boyfriend? Then you’re going to love these baseball sports romance books!
11. The Bromance Book Club – Lyssa Kay Adams
Looking for a book to keep you hooked on every page? It will be hard to put The Bromance Book Club down.
Gavin Scott is a professional baseball player whose marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered she has been keeping a secret – she fakes it in the bedroom.
When he loses his temper at the revelation, it is the final straw in their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he has let his pride get the better of him.
Gavin was distraught and desperate. He found help from an unlikely source; a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alphas.
With the help of their book club and novel of choice, the guys coach Gavin on how to save his marriage. However, it will require more than just words and gestures – Gavin needs to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.
This is a second chance sports romance book that offers a storyline that is quite unique and captivating.
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12. The Dugout – Meghan Quinn
Another one of my fav baseball romances is The Dugout, which is a truly a beautiful story with all the highs and lows of true love.
The story follows Carson Stone who was playing baseball in college, and he had his heart set on the major leagues.
He had it all planned out, he and his two best friends were going to play MLB, but this all came crashing down.
When a teammate injured him in practice, putting him on the bench for a season, Carson is back but struggling to find his groove. It’s his last chance to get drafted.
Milly Potter loves baseball, it’s her life. She coaches, and knows all about Carson Stone.
She knows about his injury and tells him she can help. But from that moment on, it’s not just the game they love, but each other…
An emotionally gripping storyline takes shape through well-crafted characters that develop and progress as the novel progresses.
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13. Major Love – Kate Stewart
Need a book to hit you right in the feels? An emotional sport romance novel to add to your TBR is Major Love by Kate Stewart.
Andy met April when he was at an all time low in his life. He had just had his heart broken and wasn’t sure if he could love again.
His baseball and coaching career is all that matters to him, but he fears April might be a distraction. He’s drawn to her, and she’s drawn to him.
Their relationship blossoms slowly, as Andy deals with his insecurities.
The scenes are hot and tantalizing and will have you rooting for April and Andy to make it to the end and give romance a second chance!
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14. The Player – K Bromberg
Need another sports romance that has an action-packed story with depth? Then I introduce you to The Player by K Bromberg.
Easton Wylder is a baseball star and he’s dedicated his life to the game. So when an injury threatens to end his season early, his coach calls in physical therapist Doc Dalton, to make sure he recovers.
Only Doc Dalton is busy, so he sends his daughter Scout. She’s feisty, determined, and gorgeous, but Easton doesn’t know if she can help him.
Scout Dalton is desperate to prove a woman can handle the pressure of physical therapy in MLB, so she’s desperate to get Easton Wylder back on the field.
Being a physical therapist means getting hands-on, and he’s irresistible. The more she touches him the more she wants him. It’s dangerous to start something when her job and his career are on the line.
But when lines are crossed, can they keep cool under the pressure they both face?
This is a tantalizing doctor romance novel and sports romance story that should be on anyone’s reading list!
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15. Thrown By a Curve – Jaci Burton
Do you like romances about a sport player falling in love with their sports therapist? Then you’re going to enjoy Thrown By A Curve by Jaci Burton.
Alicia Riley had a great job as a sports therapist for the St. Louis Rivers baseball team until she becomes the primary therapist for pitcher Garrett Scott.
Out of the lineup with an injury, he’s short-tempered, hard to handle, and handsome.
Alicia is obligated to help Garrett prepare for his pitching debut, but she can’t help but be attracted to him. This could ruin both of their careers.
Garrett also feels the sparks flying, and he thinks spending more time in bed with a steaming hot therapist is going to help him mend. All he has to do is convince Alicia to make the call.
With each obstacle overcome comes a new understanding of each other’s needs and wants, making their story alluring from start to finish. It’s one of the most believable sports romances I’ve read.
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Other Sports Romance Books
From basketball players to figure skaters, these are some of the most unique sports romance books of all time.
16. Playing for Keeps – Jax Calder
Looking for an LGBTQ sports romance? How about Playing For Keeps, which is a sizzling hot rugby romance book with rugged players and a best friends-to-lovers theme?
Ethan Lewis is one of the more light-hearted members of his rugby team. He’s always up for a good time, but any mention of his former best friend, Luke, and his happy-go-lucky exterior fades.
He doesn’t know why his best friend Luke has avoided him for five years.
He knows he crossed a line when he hooked up with his sister, but it gave him his son and he has no regrets about that.
When Ethan hears that Luke’s signed to play for his team, he decides it’s time to win his best friend back.
But Luke has returned from playing rugby in New Zealand and just wants to make the national team. He’s not going to let Ethan distract him.
Ethan may have been the one to break his heart all those years ago, but now he’s happy with a new boyfriend.
But it turns out that love never waits, and he can’t escape the love of his life.
This is one heartwarming book you won’t be able to put down!
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17. From Lukov With Love – Mariana Zapata
If you enjoy stories about figure skaters falling in love, then you may want to check out From Lukov With Love.
Jasmine Santos has immersed herself in figure skating for 17 years, and as her sports career draws to a close, she’s faced with difficult choices about her future.
Her life gets a major shake-up when a man she’s been secretly crushing on for years makes her an incredible offer.
What follows is a compelling, slow-burning tale of two opposites attracting, filled with spicy encounters amidst their frequent clashes.
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18. Real – Katy Evans
For something a little more fast-paced and action-packed, I present to you Real by Katy Evans, a boxing romance book with a bad boy and an ambitious woman who knows what she wants and goes for it.
Remington Tate is a boxing star, dangerous in the underground circuit, and incredibly handsome.
Brooke Dumas lost her dream of fighting in the major leagues, so settled for the second-best thing.
Her job is simple, keep him healthy, keep him fighting, and don’t get hooked.
But when one night awakens a spark that won’t be put out. With lots of angst romance and tension, this is one steamy sports romance book that will leave you gasping for air.
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19. Fast Break – Regina Hart
Are you looking for a romance book about a coach and a franchisee falling for one another? Then Fast Break is a refreshing read in the sports romance genre.
Being a professional NBL player is all about money and fame. DeMarcus Guinn was a two-time MVP and three-time champion who’s had an incredible career in basketball.
Now, he’s ready to be a first-time coach for the NBA’s worst team.
But the team’s franchise owner is fighting him at every turn. Jaclyn Jones wants to turn her family’s team into a team of winners.
It means more to her than just winning, it’s saving the community.
When DeMarcus wants to take control, his passion and determination set a fire in her, and she’s not sure she can put it out. Will DeMarcus help the team win and win her heart?
This book provides an enthralling journey through a grand romantic story of two characters coming together.
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20. Settling the Score (The Summer Games Series) – R.S. Grey
Last but not least, I present to you a forbidden romance sports romance book about two athletes falling in love at the Olympic Games.
Andie Foster is new to the Olympics. She’s spent 21 years of her life training for this day and has no time for boys or romance.
Now that she’s in Rio, ready for her first Olympic event, she finds out the rumors about the Olympic Village are true – they’re all frisky in the sheets.
When Andie is thrown into the path of Frederick Archibald, an Olympic swimmer for the British team, she learns that he’s off-limits.
But Andie is determined to keep her focus on her event and take her mind off the hot swimmer.
But the village is small, and she bumps into him everywhere. Can she avoid him, or will she give in to the pressures of the village?
This is a steamy sports romance novel with a unique storyline. Every scene is written with passion and intensity, setting the tone for what’s to come in later chapters.
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Final Word on Sports Romance Books
So there you have it, those are my favorite sports romance books, from basketball players to baseball stars, to football protegees to soccer coaches.
Whether you’re into buff NFL players or romantic and sweet hockey players, you’ll find a sports hero to swoon over in these books.
Do you think I’ve missed anything? Let me know in the comments!