Mackenzie Lucas – My Top Favorite Sports Romances

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’re in the midst of the Soccer World Cup, baseball season is buzzing all around us, and we’re heading into the dog days of summer, so everyone knows our favorite football teams will be sweating through training season to get ready for kick-off. In America today, we can live and breathe some sporting event every single day. Live, streamed, recorded, you name it. We’re a sports-crazed nation. Many of us grew up playing a sport in high school or college. Or we have a natural love of baseball, soccer, football, volleyball, basketball, golf . . . the list goes on and on. We have fathers, brothers, husbands, and spouses who love the game, whatever the game might be.

So what is it about contemporary romance novels with a sports theme that draws women to them in droves? Is it the hunky Alpha hero? The details and action of the sport itself? The taste and smell of the baseball stadium or the sounds and sights in a hockey arena that get us going? Maybe it’s the significant other who is a font of sports trivia? I’d content it’s a combination of all of those aspects and more.

I had to look at my top favorite sports romances of all time and the real-life quarterback I adore most today (RGIII) to figure out why I loved romance novels with jocks at the center of the story. First, it didn’t really matter to me what sport was portrayed in the romance novel. Even if I detested the sport out of the gate, somehow, the author won me over by the end of the book. I didn’t like hockey at all before Rachel Gibson pulled me into her Chinooks series. I’d had a love-hate relationship with football before Susan Elizabeth Phillips introduced me to her Chicago Stars football team. But after It Had to Be You, I was hooked. Thank God there were several others in the series after that one. So how’d the author do that? She did it by using good characterization and an authentic understanding of the sport. Giving me characters that I loved who were sometimes at the top of their game, sometimes struggling, but always ready (whether they knew it or not) ready to tumble into love with a feisty heroine.

For me, yes, the visceral action of living through the highs and lows of a sporting competition is huge. I love the drama. The intensity. But what I love more is the stories behind the character. The integrity. The core of steel. The struggles and the triumphs. Yet, at the end of the day, it’s the love story that trumps. Give me a good love story with either a sports hero or heroine at its core, make me love them, and, honestly, you’ll pretty much open my eyes to a whole new field of opportunities. I watch football today because I reconnected with the sport after reading Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I began to adore hockey after Rachel Gibson’s books. I still search diligently for any and every sports-related romance series out there I can find to read, and I know there are other readers out there just like me. So, I’m going to give you a short list of my favorite contemporary romance sports-related novels (in no particular order).

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Chicago Stars Football series

It Had to Be You

Nobody’s Baby But Mine

Heaven Texas

Dream A Little Dream

This Heart of Mine

Match Me If You Can

Natural Born Charmer

First Lady


Rachel Gibson

Chinooks Hockey series

The  Trouble With Valentine’s Day

Nothing But Trouble

Any Man of Mine

True Love and Other Disasters

See Jane Score

Simply Irresistible


Jaci Burton

Play-by-Play series

The Perfect Play

Changing The Game

Taking A Shot

Playing to Win

Thrown By A Curve

One Sweet Ride

Holiday Games

Melting the Ice


Mindy Klasky

Diamond Brides Baseball series

Perfect Pitch

Catching Hell

Reaching First

Second Thoughts

…more to come soon …


Molly O’Keefe

Crazy Thing Called Love (hockey)

Please feel free to chime in with comments on your favorites, because I really am always looking for good contemporary romance with a sports angle.

Mackenzie Lucas also writes sports-related contemporary romances. Essence Cover x300Essence, her debut contemporary romance published by Soul Mate Publishing is about a pro-golf hero who fights over a piece of land with a spa owner in St. Augustine, and Courting Cinderella, her August 13th release with Soul Mate, is about a heroine who plays volleyball for the U.S. National team and a sexy photographer/ex-Marine who threatens to expose her deepest, darkest secret.

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Mackenzie Lucas – My Top Favorite Sports Romances — 6 Comments

  1. I’m a huge football fan, so I love Allison Parr’s New York Leopards series. Rush Me, Running Back, and Imaginary Lines. And Kat Latham is turning me into a rugby fan with her London Legends series.

    • Samantha ~ I haven’t read Allison Par or Kat Latham. I will check them both out. Thanks for the recommendation. I’d love to get into rugby. And football is an awesome standby. I’ll look up the Leopards. ;0)

  2. Welcome to the Cafe, Mackenzie! I love sports, so it’s a little surprising that I read my first sports romance last week. It was Love in Straight Sets by our own Rebecca Crowley. Kat Latham’s London Legends series is up next.

    I love that, like in Love in Straight Sets it’s your heroine who is the sports star in your upcoming release, Courting Cinderella. Intriguing premise. I’m looking forward to it.

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