Hello friends and fellow book lovers! This week, I knew I wanted to include a recommendations post about football/NFL romances. If you didn’t know, the NFL has been back about a month and it’s been bonkers. Whether it’s because of the pandemic, players or teams, things are up in the air. Then again, that always seems to be the vibe with the NFL.
In honor of the NFL being back, I knew I wanted to write up a post of my favorite football romances. Most of these either feature a current NFL player or a retired player in which the NFL is discussed a lot. I’m also featuring one high school football player so that’s why it’s not strictly an NFL romance recs post. Either way, I’m super excited to talk about these books so let’s get into them. 🙂
1. First & Then
The first football romance I’m recommending is First & Then by Emma Mills. This is the high school football player romance. This is Devon and Ezra’s romance since Devon is writing a feature on Ezra for the school paper. In that time, she learns a lot more about Ezra especially his interest in football, what it means to him and why football is such a big deal to some people.
It’s been years since I’ve read this book but I remember absolutely loving it and loving how much Devon grew to appreciate the sport. It does have some questionable language along with some talks about death/grief if you’re sensitive to that.
2. The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1)
This is the romance where the NFL player is retired and his career actually plays a large role in the story. Rhiannon and Samson hooked up once before Samson ghosted her and they eventually reconncect via their rival dating apps. Of course, that gets the ball rollling and it’s their romance. However, this book focsues a lot on NFL players and the health concerns the league generally ignores.
It’s especially relevant as Samson’s dealing with the loss of his uncle who was a huge presence in the NFL. Eventually, Samson is able to deal with that along with making amends with some former teammates and dealing with his own thoughts on concussions in the NFL. Overall, the romance is great, the football aspect is great and it’s a fun read.
3. The Changeup (New Beginnings Book 1)
Alright, I’m going to be honest and say, this one is not a football romance. I couldn’t think of any others I’ve read and I wanted to show this one some love. This is a romance between a baseball player and the sports journalist who won’t stop trolling her on Twitter. Eventually, the two fall in love and this book is SO great. Both of the main characters are Black as well.
This book just made me SO happy when I read it. It’s easily one of my favorites of the year and I cannot recommend it enough. It’s not a football romance but I knew I wanted to talk about it so hopefully you don’t mind.
4. The Wall of Winnipeg and Me
The next book is one I just read last month and actually inspired this list. I’m sure most of my fellow romance bloggers have already read The Wall of Winnipeg and Me. It features a prominent NFL player and the romance he has with his assistant. I don’t want to give away too much because I think it’s part of why this book is so good. It’s a super slow-burn read too if you’re into that.
This is another book that’ll probably end up being one of my top books of 2020. It was such an incredible read and I honestly want to re-read it already. If you’re looking for a solid NFL romance, I highly recommend this one. I honestly can’t get enough of these two and it just makes me smile.
5. The Playbook series
The last recommendation I have is for the Playbook series by Alexa Martin. Each book focuses on a different woman and their romance with NFL players. The books also talk about relevant topic to the NFL including concussions, player protests and free agency which isn’t easy. Thankfully, Alexa Martin is married to a former NFL player and it’s clear she has the experience to back it up.
I’m pretty sure this is going to be a four book series and Snapped is going to be the final installment. My favorite book in the series is Fumbled which is a second-chance romance and focuses a lot of concussions in the NFL. If you’re looking for an NFL romance and haven’t read the Playbook series, then you need to fix that ASAP.
6. Hands Down
The first NFL book on my TBR is Hands Down by Mariana Zapata. This book focuses on Zac who was a side-character in Wall of Winnipeg and he was such an adorable cinnamon roll. I’m happy Mariana Zapata decided to release a book focused on him as he was SO great in Aiden’s book. While I don’t know much about this book, I’m pretty sure it’s a second-chance romance and it sounds like it’s going to be amazing.
7. The Baller
The next book on my TBR is The Baller by Vi Keeland. This book is a romance between an NFL player and a female sports reporter. I’m pretty sure he tries to get a rise out of her when she’s doing a report on him. Eventually, they end up forming a connection and dating after that? I’m not really sure but I’ve heard good things about this one. It seems like it could end up being a new favorite NFL romance.
8. Scoring With the Wrong Twin
The next book is one I found while looking on Kindle. This is actually called the WAGS series by Naima Simone which stands for Wives and Girlfriends of NFL players. I actually haven’t heard anyone talk about this book or series. It seems like it’s going to be a lot of fun, though. I’m crossing my fingers it ends up being as steamy and fun as her Lick series though.
9. Not My Romeo
The next book is by Ilsa Madden-Mills who I’ve never read from before. This book involves a mistaken-identity romance because it’s a mix-up with first dates and the girl ends up on a date with an NFL player. This is one of her recent release and I’m excited to give it a try. I know a lot of people enjoyed Dear Ava by her so I have a little bit hope that this one will be good. Plus I rarely read this premise in NFL-related romance books so we’ll see.
10. The Bombshell Effect (Washington Wolves # 1)
The last book I picked out was The Bombshell Effect by Karla Sorensen. This is another author I’ve never read from before. This book follows a romance between a girl who inherits the football team her father owned and one of the players who she has a horrible first meeting with. It sounds like it has the potential to be a lot of fun as well as angsty. Nevertheless, I’m excited to finally pick it up and I think I might end up dedicating a week or two to reading more NFL romances.
I also wanted to feature a few honorable mentions I found while looking for some of these books.
- The Wrong Game by Kandi Steiner. (Follows a girl who has season tickets but doesn’t actually feature an athlete!)
- Connecticut Kings Series by Christina C Jones and Love Belvin
- A Bennett Affair series by Donnia Marie
- New York Sabers series by Farrah Rochon
- Fulton U series by Maya Hughes
Anyways, those are all my football romance recs and the ones on my TBR. If you guys want a future post where I read football romances for a week, I could do that. It could end up being a lot of fun so I’m down if anyone would like to see it. Before you finish reading my post, please take the time to look over these attached links to help with Black Lives Matter.