Looking for more sports romances? I’ve read three great ones this summer:
First Step Forward by Liora Blake Very cute, a little quirky, and totally hot. Pro-football player Cooper falls for a struggling orchard owner, Whitney. I love how Blake’s heroes fall early and hard, and definitely recommend this for those of you who like heroes-in-pursuit stories.
Intercepting the Chef by Rachel Goodman Smart, sexy and full of foodie goodness. Chef Gwen returns to her hometown to work for her brother’s best friend, who happens to be famous NFL quarterback Logan Stonestreet. Brother’s best friend is one of my favourite tropes, but it’s the layered characters and wonderful dialogue that make this book shine.
An Irresistible Force by Melanie Ting This is the second book in the series, but I had no trouble diving in, and am definitely checking out the rest of the series. This is a delicious slow-burn romance between former NHL star Chris and Amanda, the woman who’s been tasked with revamping a struggling an AHL hockey team. I loved the unique setting of the administrative office of a minor league team, and the payoff of Chris and Amanda’s tentative journey from co-workers, to friends to lovers is totally worth it.
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Going for the Goal, the third book in the Perfect Play series is out today. You can find me over at Happy Ever After talking about my top five real life sports romances, at Collector of Book Boyfriends talking about the love of writing hockey romance, and at The Reading Cafe where I’m talking about researching the story – there’s also a giveaway at that blog!
Top ten lists are one of my favourite things about this time of year, so I decided to do one of my own about my favourite books from this past year. Unfortunately, I’m incapable of sticking to only ten. But since there is no such thing as too many wonderful books, this is more of a top thirteen books of the year. Just a note – some of these books were published prior to 2016, but this is a list of books I read over the past 12 months, not books that were published this last year.
In no particular order:
1. Sparking the Fire by Kate Meader I adore everything Kate Meader writes. Snappy dialogue, lots of heat and a complex but loving family make this a great series.
2. The Enforcer by Kele Moon This is a beautiful, gut-wrenching read and while there is no HEA in the book, I’m holding out hope for the next one.
3. Big Rock by Lauren Blakely This is a new-to-me author, but her books are mega-popular, and for good reason. The hero was a lot sweeter than I expected and I ended up thoroughly charmed by the book.
4.Act Like It by Lucy Parker A quick read with witty, fun dialogue.
5. One Minute To Midnight by Nico Rosso Book one in this series was equally fantastic but I chose this one for my list because Bolt Action Mary is an awesome heroine. Rosso writes uniquely atmospheric romantic suspenses that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, but he doesn’t compromise on romance or character development. Hands down the best romantic suspense series I’ve read in a long time.
6. Primal Instinct by Tara Wyatt Another fantastic romantic suspense wherein I’m putting the second book on my list even though the first is just as wonderful. It totally fulfilled my craving for a band-of-brothers style romantic suspense series.
7. Forward by Abby Wambach The only non-romance book on my list. I don’t read a lot of memoir but I’m a big Abby fan. This is less a list of her many achievement and more of a raw, almost uncomfortably intimate look at her emotional journey rising to the top of the soccer world.
8.Sour Grapes by Rachel Goodman Both of the books in this series kept me up all night. I can’t remember a time when I’ve gotten so emotionally invested in the characters to the point where my heart ached for them because they felt so real. This is a must read for anyone who likes stories about complex female protagonists whose character growth is just as important as the romance.
9.The Deal With Love by Jamie Wesley This author is one of my favourite finds of 2016. I love that she writes strong, competent female characters and employs some of my favourite tropes in new, interesting ways.
10.For Better or Worse by Lauren Layne I’m not sure why I haven’t read more of Lauren Layne’s books, but that’s something I’m planning to fix in 2017.
11.The Undoing by Shelly Laurenston This is the only paranormal book on my list. I can’t resist the over-the-top humour and female friendships in Laurenston’s books.
12.One Night with the Quarterback by Jeanette Murray Another quality sports romance. I don’t know much about football but the world felt authentic and the storyline pulled me in.
13.Between a Rock and a Hot Mess by Phyllis Bourne I love a strong, competitive female protagonist who isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and Bourne absolutely delivered on this front. The book is funny, smart and sexy.
I’m over at XOXOAfterDark talking about my favourite gender-flipped romances. Come find me and share your favourites.