GS vs. STA: Sports Romances

Book Cover Last week I had hellaflu, and while working on this week's lineup, I asked on Twitter if there were any requests for content. OddSoxAlex requested a GS vs. STA for sports romances – specifically those that take place in the UK, or in Europe, and not in the US. 

Most of the sports romances I know of, such as Jaci Burton's Play by Play series, which features football and baseball, or Erin McCarthy's Fast Track series, which is about car racing, take place in the US. 

Do you know of any sports romances that take places outside the US, or, if not, sports romances that you loved in general? Recommendations, please!

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Lori says:

    Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy immediately popped into my mind. It’s m/m and one character is a pro football player (ie soccer). Fantastic book.

  2. 2
    M8888888 says:

    Tigers and Devils is an awesome book, but I have to point out that the football player is an Australian Rules Football player, not a soccer player! I was rather confused while reading the book whether they meant American football, soccer, or rugby, and then I went to Australia, and turns out all of them were wrong!
    Rachel Gibson has a hockey series that is good, too, although that’s American, too. Can’t think of any European ones off the top of my head. What a great question!

  3. 3
    Rose says:

    I’m kind of tempted to say Jilly Cooper ;)

    India Grey has a book in which the hero is a race car driver – I think it’s The Secret She Can’t Hide – but I don’t remember much racing going on in the book.

    For US-set romances, SEP’s Chicago Stars books are the ones that immediately come to mind for me, starting with It Had To Be You.

    Also, AAR has a listing of sports romances that’s worth browsing:….

  4. 4
    Josieanne says:

    Over the last couple of months Mills and Boon have published a mini-series of books set in a New Zealand rugby club.  I’m afraid that I can’t remember the titles or the author.  All I can remember is that I’m pretty sure it was/is set in Christchurch because as I have read them I keep thinking to myself.  If they were real… I hope they weren’t effected by the earthquakes!

  5. 5
    Elizabeth says:

    I think one of these was published by Harelquin. It was Nice girls finish Last by Natalie Anderson but I can’t find info on rest of series. It was fun to read about a sport I know a little about, rather than alway.s reading US ones where I have to imagine the ruLes! The story wasn’t bad either.

  6. 6
    kkw says:

    I like SEP’s Chicago Bears series (most of them, anyway, she’s always hit or miss), Jill Shalvis has some with baseball players that’s pretty great (Double Play, Slow Heat, maybe more), and I’m OK with the Gibson hockey ones, too.  The Fast Track series has pretty much derailed, but I liked them initially.  I have read some mediocre, and even some thoroughly awful ones, but I can’t tell you what to avoid because of course I can’t recall any names, but I feel like Lucky and/or Chance may have been involved in the titles of a mediocre series.  Helpful, right?  I don’t think I’ve ever read any sporty romance set outside the US

  7. 7
    Laiab says:

    Lori Foster has a series on MMA, but not set outside the US.

  8. 8
    awhit333 says:

    Player’s Ultimatum by Koko Brown is a good international soccer romance.  Very hot.

  9. 9
    Kim T. says:

    There’s the “awesome” Maharaja’s Mistress by Susan Stephens, where both the hero and heroine are in the European race car circuit. I had to read it because of the review here at SBTB and I actually thought it had its moments, but the ridiculous plot points kind of ruined the overall effect.

  10. 10
    Amelia says:

    I don’t know of any set outside the US but I do like Deirdre martin’s New York Blades series (hockey) and Carly Phillips Hot Zone series (football and baseball)

  11. 11
    Saby says:

    As a mondo hockey fan I have to say I’m a bit addicted to Rachel Gibson’s hockey series (Deirdre Martin also has a hockey series set in New York that’s quite good).  I haven’t really been able to find any other hockey romances even though you would totally expect to find some set in Canada, no?  Given that hockey is practically a religion up here…

  12. 12
    Tamara Hogan says:

    I enjoy Deirdre Martin’s “Blades” series, built around the fictional New York Blades hockey team.

  13. 13
    Kathleen O says:

    SEP, has Baseball team and then there are her hot golfers, Jill Shalvis also has a series with Baseball, Rachel Gibson has her Hockey Team,

  14. 14
    Alisonlee_79 says:

    Kate Angell has a baseball series too.  The Richmond Roguesi think is the series name.

  15. 15
    JaniceG says:

    Neither external to the US nor strictly a romance but Dead Solid Perfect by Dan Jenkins (author of Semi-Tough) is a fun novel about golf that also deals with relationships. My all-time favorite, although a bit dated, is World Class by Jane and Burt Boyar, which takes place during the fight to establish the open era in tennis where professionals could compete with amateurs. It follows several complicated and insightful couple relationships, one of which deals with Brits so I think that counts for an international flavo(u)r :-> (Oh, and another vote for Diedre Martin’s hockey series and SEP’s football series.)

  16. 16
    RachelT says:

    I had thought about the Mills & Boon rugby stories – apparently there were 8 of them. I think they were set in different countries, some of which surprised me as I hadn’t heard of their rugby playing tradition!…

    I love sports romances, and tend to collect them. However, the only British or European titles I can think of immediately are m/m:
    Overdrive by Airel Tachna – French/Canadian rally drivers
    Stroke to his Cox by JL Merrow – Oxbridge rowing eight
    Something about Trevor by Drew Hunt – yay!! a romance about cricket (village not international)
    Ravages by RA Padmos – UK Soccer (I haven’t read this yet, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy)

  17. 17
    JL says:

    My question is, do any of these books actually feature the sports, or are the characters just athletes? I don’t know if that question makes sense, but so many of the sports romances I read have a football/baseball/whatever star who could easily be replaced by doctor/lawyer/billionaire/whatever…

    Also, any female athletes? That’s what I’d really like to read.

    Um, not really fitting with the rec, but Shelly Laurenston’s Shifter Series feature lots of hockey and roller derby. They’re definitely paranormals, but they’re hilarious, and I enjoy the sports parts. And I recommend them any chance I get because they’re awesome. Except they are also US-based. Okay, I guess this is a recommendation-fail… :(

  18. 18
    kkw says:

    I’ve never read a romance that requires the least knowledge of sports, or that really features the game (for which I am grateful).  Or featuring a professional female athlete.  Unless you count ice skating.  And it was awful.
    I thought the Lori Foster series was fun at first, but lost interest with the aliens, and the Carly Phillips series was thoroughly poor, for whatever that’s worth.

  19. 19
    JaniceG says:

    If you’d like a terrific book about a female ice skater, I highly recommend Summer’s End by Kathleen Gilles Seidel.

  20. 20
    ksattler says:

    GS vs STA – huh?

  21. 21
    Mari says:

    I’m a skating fan, and hang out on a couple of forums. Someone recently posted an update there about her YA romance novel (Life on the Edge) being published; I think the relationship was between a pairs skater and a coach. I suspect that a skating fan would be more likely to get the sport right than an author less familiar with it, but I’ve no idea if the writing is any good – I’m not really into YA.

  22. 22
    Zee Lemke says:

    Set in the US, but VK Sykes’ Caddy Girls has a heroine who is on her way to being a professional golfer. I bought it from Carina a year or two ago and still re-read it occasionally. I’d call it “sleek” rather than “personal,” if that makes sense, but it has no gaping flaws, and actual games of golf feature prominently.

  23. 23
    Bri says:

    the Shalvis baseball ones had the sport in them as did the Martin hockey ones, at least at the beginning of the series.  I think the SEP football series goes back and forth.  the one i read (about the quarterback) took place in the off season so there were not any games/practices

  24. 24
    Vixenbib says:


    Try this link

  25. 25
    mssb says:

    Sarah Mayberry has a couple of Harlequins with female athletes. Below the Belt is about a woman boxer (the hero is her coach). Her Secret Fling is about a female (retired) Olympic swimmer.  Both are set in Australia and both are great.

  26. 26
    Deana Stom says:

    There’s one called The Bottom Line (by Shelley Munroe) with H as rugby player (non-professional) on local team (by day works in IT at same Company as h, an accountant).  Set in NZ, as I recall.

  27. 27
    Jennifer Comeaux says:

    Thanks for mentioning Life on the Edge! I’m the author, and the book is categorized as YA but lots of adults have enjoyed it as a contemporary romance, too :) It’s a story of forbidden love between a pairs skater and her coach. You can find more information about it on my site: http://jennifercomeaux.blogspo…  Hope you’ll check it out!

  28. 28
    Kristi Davis says:

    Another vote for Deirdre Martin’s Blade series! SO GREAT! Plus Carly Phillips Hot Zone

  29. 29
    Dancing_Angel says:

    Nora Roberts had two early romances that featured tennis (both the hero and heroine played) and racecar driving (just the hero), respectively.  (I should add that I hated both of them).  She also deals with horseback riding in one of her more recent fiction titles “True Betrayals.”

    Joan Wolf wrote an extremely-dated story in the early 1980s about a baseball superstar and his wife.  I think it was called “Beloved Stranger.”  I seem to remember a reissue or rewrite more recently, but I wasn’t reading romances then, so I don’t know if it’s any good.

  30. 30
    Amelia says:

    Nora Roberts also has an early one with a baseball player.

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