Tag: Sports Romance (Page 1 of 4)

BOOK REVIEW: Wildfire (Maple Hills #2) by Hannah Grace

BOOK REVIEW: Wildfire (Maple Hills #2) by Hannah GraceWildfire (Maple Hills #2)
by Hannah Grace
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


Maple Hills students Russ Callaghan and Aurora Roberts cross paths at a party celebrating the end of the academic year, where a drinking game results in them having a passionate one-night stand. Never one to overstay her welcome (or expect much from a man), Aurora slips away before Russ even has the chance to ask for her full name.

Imagine their surprise when they bump into each other on the first day of the summer camp where they are both counselors, hoping to escape their complicated home lives by spending the summer working. Russ hopes if he gets far enough away from Maple Hills, he can avoid dealing with the repercussions of his father’s gambling addiction, while Aurora is tired of craving attention from everyone around her, and wants to go back to the last place she truly felt at home.

Russ knows breaking the camp’s strict “no staff fraternizing” rule will have him heading back to Maple Hills before the summer is over, but unfortunately for him, Aurora has never been very good at caring about the rules. Will the two learn to peacefully coexist? Or did their one night together start a fire they can’t put out?


While I adored Icebreaker, this book and I didn’t mesh as well.  One of my favorite things that was missing in this story was the group dynamic.  I adored that we got it in the beginning, with the Jenga scene.  And that it pushed Russ and Aurora together.  But once they left for camp, that component was gone.  Yes there were characters at camp I adored, but they didn’t give off that same feeling, or the banter.  I missed it.

Russ Callaghan can call me a good girl anytime.

While the camp scene wasn’t really my thing, what I did enjoy about this story was the characters.  I adored them and felt their struggles in my heart.  These characters were so fleshed out and their issues felt real to me.  Russ was the sweet, cinnamon roll guy that was so easy to fall for.  And Aurora felt like the girl next door you could easily be besties with.  And both of them were hurting because of their family.  People had always made both of them feel less than and they tried their best to hide their hurt deep.  His dad had a gambling addiction, and her dad just ignored her.  I knew that they could find happiness with each other, if they would just take that next big step!

“We could have just had a conversation. This is not the kind of main character moment I’m looking for in my life!” She groans loudly, peeking at me between her fingers.

Watching their friendship form was heartwarming.  I loved how they had to work for it.  How the camp forced them together, like in the team building activities.  And how they realized they were having miscommunication issues.  Yet the whole time, it felt like their story was low on the angst and tension.  So they were adorable and also had some steam too!  Their date in the back of the truck was beyond cute!  And the epilogue down the road left me closing this book with a smile.  But for me, this book was wayyyyy too long.  I would have been happier with a couple hundred less pages.  So if you’re looking for a forced proximity, miscommunication, NA romance with a cinnamon roll guy, then this book may just be what you were looking for!

“You are the brightest thing in my life, Aurora,” he says. “And you’re a living reminder of the good things that can happen when I allow myself to be happy.”

PS I adored Fish, Trout, and Salmon!

BOOK REVIEW: The Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams

BOOK REVIEW: The Cheat Sheet by Sarah AdamsThe Cheat Sheet by Sarah Adams
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


The friend zone is not the end zone for Bree Camden, who is helplessly in love with her longtime best friend and extremely hot NFL legend, Nathan Donelson. The only problem is that she can’t admit her true feelings, because he clearly sees her as a best friend with no romantic potential, and the last thing Bree wants is to ruin their relationship. But those abs . . .

Nope! Nothing but good old-fashioned, no-touching-the-sexiest-man-alive, platonic friendship for Bree. In any case, she has other things to worry about. After a car accident ended her chance at becoming a professional ballerina, Bree changed paths and now owns her own dance studio, with big dreams to expand it. But one more rent increase could mean the end of the studio entirely.

Then, as usual, Nathan comes to the rescue and buys the entire building. A stubborn Bree is not happy about it and decides to rebel with a couple—okay, maybe more than a couple—of tequila shots. Then her plan backfires as she spills her deepest, darkest secret to a TMZ reporter. One viral video later, the world thinks Nathan and Bree are the perfect couple. Before they can really talk about her confession, Nathan’s publicist proposes a big opportunity that could mean financial security for Bree. The catch? They have to pretend to be in love. For three whole weeks.

What will happen when Bree gives in to the feelings she’s been desperately hiding for so long, and could she be imagining that Nathan is actually enjoying it? Sarah Adams scores more than touchdowns in this exciting romantic comedy.


The Cheat Sheet was a friends to lovers sports romance that was a lot of fun.  With slow burn romance and fake dating mixed together, this book ended up being so adorable.  If you’re looking for a romance story that’s sweet and low on angst, definitely add this one to your tbr!

To my left is a floor-to-ceiling three-million-dollar view of the ocean, but to my right is the view I would give my soul to see every day for the rest of my life. Obviously, Bree doesn’t know I feel this way about her.

Bree and Nathan had been friends since high school and she had been in love with him for forever.  Yet Nathan treated her as just his best friend, while he dated everyone else. Although I had some guesses when it came to Nathan.  He would pause when saying something or the things he did to help her out were sigh worthy.  I loved trying to look for clues to see exactly how he felt!  So I was surprised that after a couple of chapters we also got his POV!  I was squealing with giddiness!  Especially since we got to know a tiny bit of how he felt in that first paragraph!  But there was still a lot of things to piece together, since we spent a lot more time with Bree.  So when drunk Bree admitted to a reporter her feelings, she found herself fake dating her best friend.  At least until the Super Bowl, since they were doing an ad together.  And the lines of what was real and fake definitely started to blur!

What’s happening?! Why am I reacting this way? It changes nothing really—except I feel like everything I knew has changed tonight. My foundation is shaking.

I loved Bree!  Her thoughts cracked me up and it was impossible not to laugh out loud at her.  Plus she was such a kind hearted soul.  She loved the students she taught dance to and would sacrifice for them, so they could dance.  Even if that left her scrambling for rent money.  And she didn’t want to rely on her bestie to help her.  I understood her need for wanting to make it on her own.  Especially when she pictured her bestie married to some other woman in the future.  So she tried her best to remain strong when it came to Nathan.  My heart hurt that she was jaded from the accident in her past.  She didn’t think she got to keep the good things in her life, and still struggled with that years later.  So the moments she would cave, or allow help from Nathan warmed my heart!  But Bree was in total denial that Nathan could ever want her.  Even though there seemed to be clues everywhere.  So of course Bree was nervous about crossing the lines of friendship while fake dating.  She didn’t think she could ever go back to normal after she crossed those lines!

I watch with a sinking feeling as Nathan’s head tilts ever so slightly and a grin tugs at the corner of his mouth. It’s a look I’ve never seen before, like I just got duped by a card shark when I thought I was playing Go Fish against a toddler.
He hands me the pen. “Oh, it’ll definitely be fun. I’ll make sure of it.”

While there were some cheesy moments and miscommunication, it worked perfectly with the low angst in this story.  I did want to shake them and tell them just to be honest with each other.  To be brave.  To take a chance!  And for Bree to not run away when he was practice flirting with her. They had to make it seem real, since he was in the public eye.  So I was glad that Nathan stood his ground, one of them needed to be more mature about it.   And when Nathan started to test the waters to see if she was interested, ohhhh I was so happy!  I loved that he used his friends to help him figure out how to get out of that friend zone.  Their brainstorming session was one of my favorite scenes!  And Jamal was definitely my favorite friend of his!  I loved that his friends were rooting for them to get together, just as much as Nathaniel was!

That’s not me and Nathan in this picture. This is a couple who’s head over heels for each other.
I know why I see that blissful look on my face, but why is it on his too?

With scenes that are forever etched in my brain, I’m looking at you brownie batter! Failed attempts at seduction. Jealousy becoming amusing. Stress and anxiety brought about in an honest way. I loved how this book continued to have a light and fluffy feel to it, even though it covered heavier topics. And it made me so happy! The Cheat Sheet was an absolutely adorable closed door romance. I will definitely be checking out other books by Sarah Adams!

BOOK REVIEW: Hat Trick Heart (Thunderclap #1) by Ella Market

BOOK REVIEW: Hat Trick Heart (Thunderclap #1) by Ella MarketHat Trick Heart (Thunderclap #1)
by Ella Market
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


When your agent calls and tells you that your publisher wants “something new," you do the only thing you can do:
Draw from real life experience.

Successful romance writer Macey Veronica’s life has revolved around hockey for as long as she can remember. When a blast from the past is forced in to her life again, six year old secrets are uncovered, and Macey V finds herself wondering how to fit feelings for three alpha hockey players into her one heart.

Max, Rafe, and Andy were the closest that three people could be without sharing blood while playing hockey together in college. Macey was their center, their grounding point, and they would have given her the world if asked. One fateful graduation party forced a rift between two that irrevocably changed everything…. Until years later when they find themselves all playing for the Tampa Thunder.

Macey loves them all, and always has. But is that enough to get them through this next chapter? Or will their pride prove to be too much to overcome?
Hat Trick Heart is a standalone reverse harem romance where the main character gets a guaranteed HEA with multiple love interests. It is intended for audiences 18+ for explicit language and sexual content, including MM, MMF, and MMFM scenes.


*Quotes come from an uncorrected eARC and could change*

Sometimes, I think constant chaos is my baseline.

YOU GUYSSSSS. My friend. She did it. She WROTE. A. BOOK. And even more so??? A damn good one at that. Literally any one person who has been friends with me on Goodreads for the last seven years (I went back and checked when I first read The Deal, LOL) should know that I am obsessed with hockey romances. I have read so many at this point that I have lost count and it became SUCH an interest to me that two of my good friends and I each picked two hockey teams and watched their entire last NHL season together, updating each other daily on games, players, trades—you name it. I feel like a true fan now let me tell you, lol. One of those friends just so happens to be Ms. Ella Market herself. That leads me to reason #1 why you know this book and all ensuing books in this series are going to be amazing: Market is passionate about hockey.

Without her knowing, she became my everything, and only in my dreams could I hope that she felt the same about me.

While I’m here reviewing HTH, I might as well dive into how I met Ella Market and how we became friends. It started the way so many online friendships do these days. Shared bookish interests and obsessions. We both love the same YA/NA/ Adult Fantasy fandoms and many of the same books in the romance genre as well. She asked me to join a dark romance book club on Insta where I also met Cam, the third in our hockey obsessed triangle, and the rest is history. Reason #2 why you should know the relationships and spice in this book and all ensuing books in this series are going to be amazing: Market is passionate about romance (and honestly has read more romance in more subgenres than anyone else I have ever known and can probably give you a rec for literally anything you’re looking for).

“. . . there are team superstitions. The traditional shoulder check line or locker room song.” He pauses, and I force myself to look up at him, his blue eyes piercing me in a way that makes me squirm in my seat. “You, Macey, are a team superstition.”

But all that is beside the point. I’m here to talk about her DEBUT book, Hat Trick Heart, which is the first in a reverse harem style hockey romance series. Before this I actually hadn’t read many reverse harem romances and wasn’t fully convinced that I could go ALL IN in that sort of dynamic. If you’re on the fence about whether or not this is something you’d like/ like to try, I would say this is a great place to start. Macey, Max, Andy, and Rafe all make such perfect sense together. Macey and Maxy boy grew up together in Toronto before moving to the States for school where they met Andy and Rafe as all three men played on U of M’s hockey team together. Macey immediately formed a special connection with Rafe because of their shared Filipino heritage and with Andy because he’s an all-around 11/10 great guy (anddddd if I had to chooooose, WHICH YOU DON’T, he would be my favorite). Fast forward six years and Macey, Max, and Andy are living in Tampa. Macey has fulfilled her lifelong dream of becoming a romance author and the other two play together for the Tampa Thunder. Because Fate is a cruel (or maybe actually VERY VERY KIND???) mistress, Rafe gets traded to Tampa, too, and the entire group is thrown into a state of chaos after the missing piece of their group returns to them after six long years of no communication.

Now I don’t want to spoil anything further but I will say this book really has it all. Second chance romance, friends to lovers, a great supporting cast, the perfect amount of drama, and men groveling, lollll. This might be Ella Market’s first book but if THIS is her baseline for quality writing, I honestly can’t wait to see what she comes up with next. I am finally led to reason #3 why you know this book and all ensuing books in this series are going to be amazing: Market is passionate about writing and is damn good at it, too.

Our future is built on the chaos of today. And I can’t freaking wait.

Huge thanks to Ella Market for allowing me to read a copy of this eARC in exchange for my honest review!

BOOK REVIEW: Love Lessons (Brooklyn #7) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Love Lessons (Brooklyn #7) by Sarina BowenLove Lessons (Brooklyn #7)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


He needs an image makeover, she needs a mojo upgrade. A new lessons-in-seduction hockey romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

After I'm arrested for throwing a raucous party, my hockey team says I have an image problem. And I need to fix it, stat.

Charity work? Check. Haircut? Sure. But I draw the line at hiring my neighbor to style me. In the first place "style" shouldn't be a verb. And I'm tired of people who'd judge me on appearances.

Vera and I don't see eye to eye on anything. She wants me to try on clothes, while I just want to remove hers. She's distractingly pretty, with soulful eyes and a sinful mouth that likes to argue with me.

But when management threatens my summer vacation, I grudgingly agree to Vera's unusual proposal: she'll give me an image makeover. But in return, she wants lessons in the art of seduction.

It sounds a little nutty, but I know a good opening when I hear it. Besides, it's not like I'll ever fall for her...


I’m not tearing up/holding back from crying as I finish this book, NO I AM NOT. I was talking to a friend when I was getting towards the last chunk of the book and she said this book felt like an end of an era with a certain Captain retiring. I have to agree. I have been closely following along with Bowen’s work now for about four years and I know for a fact I have mentioned in multiple other reviews how much these characters feel like family to me. If this does in fact wind up being the last Bruisers book (no idea if this is the case or not), I will be satisfied.

When we first got a flash of Vera and Ian bickering in Charli and Neil’s book, I had been hoping for more of them together. My wish was certainly granted. What I did not expect was to read their story with the GORGEOUS backdrop of a villa in Italy. Perks of having a mega rich friend/teammate like Neil I suppose, lol. Gahh, what a luxurious setting. The thought of them connecting in this super beautiful and restful place for a few weeks during the summer was just very…nice. They didn’t have to worry about the pressures of a busy job or an insanely crazy hockey season, they were just able to get to know one another a little better and bicker all they wanted.

In all seriousness though, the main trope of this book being ~teach me how to be sexy and how to seduce men~ IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES OF ALL TIME. I’ve read about it numerous times and loved it numerous times but I felt like this one was special because of Ian. Most of the time in those situations the guy is a HUGE playboy. I’m sure Ian did get around since he is an insanely hot and talented hockey player but playboy wasn’t ever the vibe I got from him. Instead he was open and playful in bed which coaxed Vera into trusting him quickly and brought out her own brave side. I absolutely loved it.

Besides that we do get into deeper issues too–Ian dealing with the aftermath of dealing a career ending blow to a kid last season and being told my management he needed to clean up his image. Vera of course was trying to figure out what to do in order to impress her ex at a gala he invited her to after the Italy trip and was also guilty for being the one to call in Ian’s noisy party that ended up getting him temporarily arrested. As expected though, by spending time together like they did, both of them were able to think about their problems through a different lens and take care of business for themselves accordingly.

Overall this book warmed my heart and I was obsessed with the steam level. It doesn’t matter what Bowen writes, I will read and I WILL love. That’s all there is to it. Do yourself a favor and start reading this series if you haven’t already. It’s 100% my favorite hockey romance series of all time.

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Baller  (Strangers in Love #1) by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Beauty and the Baller was such a wonderful story! Check out my 4.5 Star Review below, enjoy ♥!

BOOK REVIEW: Beauty and the Baller  (Strangers in Love #1) by Ilsa Madden-MillsBeauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love #1)
by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


An NFL quarterback turned small-town coach gets sacked by a Texas beauty queen in this swoony, passionate romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Ilsa Madden-Mills.

Gorgeous, talented, and brilliant, NFL quarterback Ronan Smith has the world in his hands. But after losing his career and his fiancée in a car accident, he falls into a pit of grief and bad choices. When a mysterious girl shows up to his party, he feels drawn to her and makes her his…for one night.

Former beauty queen Nova Morgan is on a mission. Scantily clad as a princess from a galaxy far, far away, she sneaks into a high-profile party to capture the attention of her favorite quarterback. But her hopes crash after an awful one-night stand.

Fast-forward two years. Broke and desperate, Nova returns home to Blue Belle, Texas, where, by a cosmic twist of fate, her broody neighbor is none other than Ronan, the shiny new football coach everyone adores. But he has no idea who she is.

The booster club keeps shoving women at Ronan to keep him in town. His solution? He proposes fake dating to Nova. But things heat up for real under these Friday-night lights when he realizes she’s the one who slipped away.

Has this jaded beauty found her forever baller, or will his past keep them apart?


I want to touch the stars, even if I get burned.

Beauty and the Baller was a sexy, swoony, angsty read!  With a spunky cat, a lovable heroine and a sexy hero, this book was a lot of fun.  Add in fake dating, small town charm and a wonderful HEA and this book was such a beautiful love story.  If you like sexy, adult romance then you definitely need to check this one out!

“I like seeing you squirm,” she murmurs.
“Payback.” A slow blush works up from her neck to her face as she mutters something under her  breath.
“What was that?”
She clears her throat. “Just . . . life has a funny sense of humor.”

Ronan Smith had a tragic past.  His fiancé was killed in the car wreck that also killed his professional football career.  While still struggling a year later, Ronan found himself having a one night stand with someone he actually felt a connection to.  Too bad for Ronan, Nova Morgan saw it as a horrible and left before he woke up.  I just want to say I screamed noooooo out loud over something that went down, so I got why Nova bailed afterwards….you’ll see lol.  Two years later, fate had them both living in the same small town, neighbors and unable to escape one another at every turn.

I’m Ronan Smith and . . . I pause as clarity runs through my head. I want my life back, no matter what that may be.
Closing my eyes, I touch the ring around my neck.
Today is when everything changes.

Ronan was in Blue Belle Texas coaching their high school football team.  With the small town scared that they could lose their coach, they went to unimaginable lengths to keep him.  Especially their attempts to set him up with every single female.  So when Nova re-entered his life, he didn’t remember her.  He just knew that she wanted nothing to do with him, unlike everyone else.  So when he proposed that they fake date, to solve both of their problems, I was so happy when she said yes!  Yes Ronan had some growing to do, but I absolutely loved him.  Jaded characters always sneak so easily into my heart.  And when Ronan started to show us little bits of himself, I just knew he was so much more than meets the eye.

“Everything will be fine. We’re different flowers from the same garden, but we’re perfect together. Mama always said so.”

Nova was completely unique.  She was someone who knew what she wanted and went after it, like dressing up in the past as a Star Wars character to win over Ronan for their one night stand.  She loved telling us about the outfits she was wearing.  She had so much sass.  But her life completely flipped upside down when she gained custody of her high school aged sister, since her mother passed away.  While trying her best to raise Sabine, Nova definitely had her hands full.  This story was an emotional journey for Nova too, and Ronan helped play a big part of that.  But Nova had no problems pushing Ronan’s buttons.  And telling him when he was being a jerk, I actually clapped out loud in one scene lol.

I literally have no idea what I’ve gotten myself into. On the outside, I’m cool, but on the inside, I’m quivering with uncertainty.

The way the fake dating played out was so much fun!  The touching.  The kissing.  Showing the town that they were together.  And time and again they crossed that line of what was real and what was fake.  Because Ronan and Nova definitely wanted to rip each other’s clothes off.  The passion between them was so intense.  And when things did develop between them, it was extremely sexy and hot!  But Ronan was terrified to feel and he didn’t want to love.  His past still haunted him.  Except when he was around Nova, it was impossible not to feel.  And for Nova, each time Ronan showed a true piece of himself to her, it was hard to keep him away from her heart.  It didn’t matter that they didn’t want anything to happen, there was no stopping it!

My head tells me to keep the walls up around us, but the other side of me—my stupid, weak heart—clamors to tell him things.

This story was rounded out so well with some fabulous side characters.  I’m looking at you Skeeter, Sabine and Sonia!  And I loved the feel of the small town charm that was laced throughout this story.  Plus not only did Nova and Ronan’s love story cause me to laugh so much, but I even shed a tear.  Beauty and the Baller was a wonderful, adult romance that many will fall hard for!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

About Ilsa Madden-Mills:

Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ilsa Madden-Mills is best known for her angsty new adult romances and romantic comedies.

Eight of her eleven novels have placed in the Amazon Top 10 Best-seller List: Dirty English #1; Fake Fiancée and I Dare You #2; I Bet You, Filthy English, and Very Bad Things #6; Boyfriend Bargain #8; The Last Guy, her collaboration with Tia Louise, #4.

A former high school English teacher, she adores all things Pride and Prejudice, and of course, Mr. Darcy is her ultimate hero.

She’s addicted to frothy coffee beverages, cheesy magnets, and any book featuring unicorns and sword-wielding females. Feel free to stalk her online.

Amazon I Instagram I Mailing List I Goodreads I Bookbub I Book+Main I Website

Join her Unicorn Girls Group on FB, the best way to keep up here.

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