7 Off-Limits Football Romance Books

Football Love Stories

Welcome to the thrilling world where the rush of football meets the pulse-quickening beat of romance. If the sound of a whistle, the cheer of the crowd, and the adrenaline of a touchdown make your heart race just as much as a stolen kiss or a long-awaited confession of love, then you’ve found your sweet spot.

Our curated selection of football romance books is where passion for the game and the drama of love play out under the bright stadium lights and in quiet, tender moments away from the roar of the fans. From star quarterbacks falling for the girl next door to tough-as-nails coaches discovering their soft spot, these stories promise to take you on a journey through the highs and lows of love in the world of football. So, pull up a comfortable chair, grab your game-day snacks, and let’s dive into tales that prove sometimes, the most exhilarating victories happen off the field.

7 Football Romance Books (Sports Love Stories)

Football romance books feature underdog protagonists who overcome adversity and defy the odds to achieve success on the football field. These stories celebrate the resilience, determination, and grit of athletes who persevere in facing challenges, inspiring us with tales of triumph and redemption.

At the heart of football romance books is a sizzling romance that ignites sparks on and off the field. Whether it’s a forbidden love affair with a rival player, a second chance at love with a coach or teammate, or a slow-burn romance between star-crossed lovers, these stories explore the passion, chemistry, and intensity of romantic relationships against the football backdrop.

Here are seven books that explore the tension and chemistry between opposites as they clash and collide on and off the field, ultimately finding common ground and connection through their mutual passion for football. Let’s play!

NameKey FocusRating (Goodreads)
The Perfect First by Maya HughesA university football player finds freedom, and a girl follows her fashion. They make a friendship that turns into love.3.9/5
The Hook Up by Kristen CallihanA football champion falls in love with a girl who is not serious about love and relationships.3.9/5
The Hot Shot by Kristen CallihanA football player instantly falls in love with a girl who is a photographer, and both create romantic tension.4.1/5
The Cheat Sheet by Sarah AdamsA professional football player is doing a fake date with a dancer, and their dating creates a serious relationship.3.7/5
Hands Down by Mariana ZapataA childhood friendship meets again ten years later, and they have forced proximity.3.9/5
Beauty and the Baller by Ilsa Madden-MillsA neighbor to lover story where the football player faces life problems and the heroine helps him overcome them.4.2/5
Fumbled Hearts by Meagan BrandyA possessive football player and a strong girl build a rivalry situation that turns into romance later.4.2/5
Football Romance Books List

1. The Perfect First (Fulton U)

The Perfect First is the first book of the Fulton U series about college football romance. It is sexy and sweet and gives a lot of the right verse. Our footballer, Reece, is at the top of his game. He’s the best receiver for the Fulton University football team. Our college girl, Persephone, is so misunderstood. Her father was possessive of her, and she was hostage to everything she was told: what to do, what to wear, how to act, and how to do everything.

The one thing Persephone wants to do is have a college experience. Also, she wants to enjoy attending Fulton University over Harvard but doesn’t want to be a math genius. Instead, she wants to be a violinist and is beautiful at what she does. But her dad has dictated her life for so long, and she’s out to do what she wants.

One day, Reece meets Persephone. He changes her first, and it also changes it for him. I love that in this story, you find out that Persephone wants all these firsts and wants it with this first guy she met. But then she starts wishing that she had had those first with Reece. This friendship turns into a bond, and the bond turns into love.

As you read the book, you fall in love with how protective Reece gets of Persephone. You get this cat-and-mouse game. Finally, when these two come together, it’s passionate and loving. That’s what I loved about this story and how these two are the perfect match. There is some lack of chemistry and character building, but the healing process and end were good enough. You will love the whole series if you love sports romance with a supportive hero.

Author: Maya Hughes
Tropes: Arc, Insta-love, Friends-to-lovers
Number Of Pages: 344
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle

2. The Hook Up (Game On)

The Hook Up is another football book in the Game On series. The story is about Anna and Drew. Anna wants to finish her college life successfully and start a new life. Drew is two National Championships pro footballers. They are making a class, and Drew is instantly attracted to Anna. What starts then is a bit of instant banter and chemistry.

They meet up, and Drew wants to pursue her a little bit. He wants to make out with him maybe a bit more. They end up hooking up as you do, and Anna decides they can do the hookup. She has needed that in her life, which I liked about Anna as a character. She was a sexual person and wasn’t afraid of being sexual. So that’s how to get fans interested in reading.

While Anna’s happy to hook up with Drew, she doesn’t want him as a boyfriend. Also, she doesn’t want part of that lifestyle that he lives in, which is the football lifestyle. The cockiness, the banter they have in the beginning, early on, is incredibly awesome. It sets the table for their relationship regarding how they play with each other, which then translates to how they physically play with each other.

Half of the book takes a dramatic edge when a big event happens. That’s required and steps it up a bit in the melodrama. The negative side of this book is the predictable plot twists and unnecessary past information, which was boring for me. Overall, I enjoyed the best football love story.

Author: Kristen Callihan
Publisher: Plain Jane Books
Tropes: Coming of Age, Alpha-male, Angsty, Steamy, Emotional
Number Of Pages: 354
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

3. The Hot Shot

The Hot Shot is Book Four in the Game On series. I can’t get enough of Kristen Callahan’s writing as addictive. Some cameos from previous characters pop up occasionally, but they’re not playing integral roles in the story. So you don’t have to worry about reading one book to get another. Our heroine is Chess, a photographer who has the pleasure of shooting the entire New Orleans football team.

All these hulking, muscled football players standing right before her camera do not affect her except Finn. Finn is the quarterback of the New Orleans football team. She does notice that Finn has an intense animal magnetism to him. She is drawn to him. But the other thing she noticed is that he’s sensible. They have bickered back and forth a few times and only known each other for 2 minutes.

Finn returns to test his feelings. In full measure, he is somehow mysteriously attracted to her, even though she is nowhere near his type and he is nowhere near hers. But they are both intensely attracted to one another. Moreover, they have an intense magnetism for one another, and it’s inexplicable. Finn finds himself going to seek her out even after the photo shoot. As reluctant as Chess and Finn are even to be friends, they can’t deny that they like each other and want to know more.

Neither one of them is looking for a relationship together. Finn has only had hookups in the past. He’s never been in a relationship, and Chess has never found the right guy to be with. So she’s not interested in a relationship either. It seems simple enough, except for the intense sexual attraction between Chess and Finn. This sexual tension was so gripping. Kristen Callahan is the best author regarding sexual tension, romantic chemistry, and banter between the two main characters. There are many negative comments about the hardcover, but the paperback is awesome for font size, color, binding, and cover.

Author: Kristen Callihan
Tropes: Humor, Snarky-heroine, Celebrity
Number Of Pages: 337
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

4. The Cheat Sheet

The Cheat Sheet is a YA football romance with best friends. I love it when characters are best friends who fall in love rather than strangers-to-friends-to-lovers. Also, it does have fake dating. We follow Bree and Nathan, who are the best of friends. Bree is a dance teacher, and she owns a dance studio. In contrast, Nathan is a professional football player. They lived in LA in their late twenties and met in high school. For study purposes, they eventually talked one day, exchanged numbers, and started running together on the track on Tuesday mornings. That became a tradition for them.

The story opens up from Bree’s perspective but is a dual POV. Right away, Bree is entirely in love with Nathan, but he has always had girlfriends. So she assumes that he’s never been interested in her, and she doesn’t think he would ever want to date her because they have such a good friendship.

Then we get Nathan’s point of view and see that he is as in love with Bree as she is with him. They’re both in love and won’t tell the other because they assume the other one isn’t in love with them, which would ruin their friendship. So they’re both stuck in fear and miscommunication, which is frustrating as a reader because we switched to their different point of view. I recommend it if you are looking for a wholesome book that helps you to feel excited and wait for the last page.

Author: Sarah Adams
Publisher: Dell
Tropes: Fun, Fake-dating, Slow-burn
Number Of Pages: 322
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

5. Hands Down

Hands Down achieved Goodreads Choice Award Nominee, contemporary romance and football fiction. This book is about Bianca and Zac. Bianca is a YouTuber. She bakes and cooks and puts that on her YouTube channel. Also, she works part-time at a gym. Then we have Zac, a professional football player, and a quarterback. They have known each other since they were young and had an age difference. But they’re childhood friends, and it is childhood friends to lovers, one of my favorite tropes.

Bianca’s cousin Boogie is best friends with Zac. So that’s how Bianca got to be friends with Zac. They would all hang out together. When Bianca was growing up, they always hung out together because Bianca was so close to Boogie that naturally, she got close to Zac, too. But Zac and Bianca haven’t seen each other for ten years because something has happened. This is where our story starts.

I don’t want to spoil anything for you. There are cute moments, dual perspectives, and a slow-burn plot, which is the best for the storyline. The friendship was confusing for me, and the last thirty minutes were boring, which is the book’s negative side. You can enjoy the characters’ forced proximity, love triangle, and chemistry.

Author: Mariana Zapata
Narrator: Callie Dalton, Chris Brinkley
Tropes: Age-gap, Forbidden, Second-chance-romance, Female-lead
Number Of Pages: 550
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

6. Beauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love)

Beauty and the Baller is a romantic comedy that presents sports, friends-to-lovers, and many exciting tropes. NFL quarterback Ronan has gone over some life problems and is not ready to move on. His NFL career ended abruptly due to a serious accident, and he’s sad. But his best friend knows he must get back on the horse again and enjoy life. So what does his best friend do? They will get together with most of the NFL players on their team, and a beautiful girl (Nova) walks in dressed as Princess Leia. Ronan was so attracted to her.

Nova is a burst of sunlight because she is very eclectic and doesn’t care. She had a rough life, but she smiles and knows what she will do with it. Something happens, and these two have their fated moment, and it ends abruptly. Years later, Nova had to move back to her small town to help out with her sister. Her mom tragically dies unexpectedly, and she’s now her sister’s caregiver. That’s in high school, and Nova is trying to put one foot in front of the other. She’s struggling emotionally and mentally, losing her mom unexpectedly.

Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills
Narrator: Sebastian York, Savannah Peachwood
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Tropes: Office-romance, Small-town, Fake-relationship, One-night-stand, Neighbours-to-lovers
Number Of Pages: 314
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle | Audio CD

7. Fumbled Hearts (Tender Hearts)

Fumbled Hearts is the beginning of the Tender Heart series. It’s about a girl named Kalani who goes through the life-altering situation of losing her grandfather and her parents on the same day. She’s at the hospital saying goodbye to her grandfather and finds out that her parents were in an accident and died while in the hospital saying goodbye to her grandfather. At that point, she quit high school!

When we start this book, she agrees to go back. She moves next door to her cousin, will finish high school, and will start living her life again. So, she’s very mature, and it’s interesting to read about her as a high school student because she lives alone and takes care of herself. In one of the other situations in the book, Molly’s mother had a twin sister, her cousin’s mother. So, through this book, she will have to come to terms with how she wants to have a relationship with her aunt.

The book’s romance will be with a football player, Nate. Nate is the high school quarterback, and he undervalues himself. He thinks the only reason people would be interested in him is his body and being able to tell everybody else that they slept with him. At the beginning of Nate’s story, there is a moment where he’s sleeping with everything that moves. As you continue reading, you’ll understand that without that part of the book and their behavior. If you want high school football romance, you’ll enjoy it.

Author: Meagan Brandy
Narrator: CJ Bloom, Alexander Cendese
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Tropes: Enemies-to-lovers, Angst, Possessive-hero, Strong-heroine
Number Of Pages: 412
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle

5 Football Romance Books Series

  1. “The Hook Up” Series by Kristen Callihan

Starting with “The Hook-Up,” this series covers the lives of the fictional John Logan University football players and the women who capture their hearts. The series is known for its depth of character development, emotional complexity, and realistic portrayal of the pressures of collegiate athletics. Each book focuses on a different couple, offering readers a variety of romantic dynamics set against the backdrop of college football.

  1. “Game On” Series by Kristen Callihan

Another hit by Kristen Callihan, the “Game On” series begins with “The Hook Up,” featuring Drew Baylor, the star quarterback, and Anna Jones, a girl determined to keep her heart guarded. As the series progresses, readers are introduced to more players on the football team, each facing their challenges in love and life. The series is celebrated for its engaging characters, witty dialogue, and steamy romance, all set within the high-stakes world of college football.

  1. “Wait for You” Series by J. Lynn/Jennifer L. Armentrout

While not exclusively about football, the “Wait for You” series features characters connected to the world of sports, including star athletes. The series starts with “Wait for You,” where Avery Morgansten meets Cameron Hamilton, a charming and persistent guy who loves fighting sports. Each book explores different aspects of young love, consent, healing, and trust, with a touch of sports romance for added tension and excitement.

  1. “Play by Play” Series by Jaci Burton

The “Play by Play” series is a steamy sports romance series that covers various sports, with a significant focus on football in several books, starting with “The Perfect Play.” The series features professional athletes and the women who challenge, support and love them. Burton’s novels are known for their detailed sports scenes, strong female leads, and sizzling romantic encounters, making them a hit among sports romance fans.

  1. “Rusk University” Series by Cora Carmack

Set in the world of college football, the “Rusk University” series kicks off with “All Lined Up,” where Dallas Cole, the daughter of Rusk University’s football coach, swears off football players—until she meets Carson McClain, the team’s new starting quarterback. The series explores the lives of the team’s players off the field, focusing on themes of love, ambition, and the struggle to balance personal desires with professional commitments.

5 Steamy Football Romance Books

  1. “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” by Mariana Zapata

Aiden Graves, a professional football player, and Vanessa Mazur, his former assistant, find themselves in an unexpected arrangement when Aiden proposes a marriage of convenience to help with his immigration status. What starts as a pragmatic solution slowly unfolds into a deep, simmering romance that defies expectations. Zapata is known for her slow-burn romances, and this book delivers a satisfying build-up filled with tension, humor, and heartfelt moments.

  1. “The Deal” by Elle Kennedy – Off-Campus Series

Garrett Graham, the star player of the Briar University hockey team, finds himself needing help off the ice. When he strikes a deal with Hannah Wells to help him improve his grades in exchange for a date to boost her own social standing, neither expects the chemistry that ignites between them. Though centered around hockey, “The Deal” sets the tone for the Off-Campus series, blending sports, steamy romance, and the trials of college life.

  1. “Scoring Wilder” by R.S. Grey

When aspiring Olympic soccer player Kinsley Bryant meets Liam Wilder, a professional soccer player known as much for his game on the field as his game off it, she’s determined not to fall for his charms. Grey delivers a witty, banter-filled romance that’s as steamy as it is humorous, with two athletes navigating the complexities of their careers and their undeniable attraction.

  1. “Rush Me” by Allison Parr

When Rachel accidentally crashes a football player’s party, she doesn’t expect to clash with Ryan Carter, the team’s star quarterback. Their initial antagonism turns into a fiery romance that explores themes of fame, identity, and the compromises we make for love. Parr’s novel offers a delightful mix of steamy romance and the challenges of falling for someone in the spotlight.

  1. “Sacked” by Jen Frederick – Gridiron Series

Knox Masters is a star college football player with his sights set on the NFL, and Ellie Campbell is the girl who captures his heart. But Ellie has a secret that could change everything. “Sacked” is a steamy romance that tackles trust, ambition, and the lengths we go for love. Frederick weaves a compelling story that scores with its intense emotions and sizzling chemistry.

5 American Football Romance Books

  1. “The Hook Up” by Kristen Callihan – Game On Series

In the first book of the Game On series, Drew Baylor, the star quarterback of his college football team, meets Anna Jones, a girl who wants nothing to do with the fame and drama of dating him. Their connection, however, is undeniable. Callihan crafts a compelling story of love, vulnerability, and the pressures of collegiate athletics, making “The Hook Up” a standout in football romance.

  1. “The Wall of Winnipeg and Me” by Mariana Zapata

Aiden Graves, a professional football player, and Vanessa Mazur, his former assistant, find themselves in an unconventional marriage of convenience. Zapata is known for her slow-burn romances, and this book is no exception, offering readers a gradual build-up of tension and chemistry that explodes into a deeply satisfying love story. The novel explores themes of dedication, personal growth, and the unexpected paths to love.

  1. “Rushing Amy” by Julie Brannagh – Love and Football Series

Amy Hamilton is determined to keep her life simple, focusing on her flower shop and avoiding the complications of love, especially with a football player. But when Matt Stephens, a charming NFL player, enters her life, their attraction challenges Amy’s resolutions. Brannagh’s novel is a sweet and engaging romance set against the backdrop of professional football, exploring the balance between love and career.

  1. “All Broke Down” by Cora Carmack – Rusk University Series

In the second book of the Rusk University series, environmental activist Dylan fights for causes she believes in, while Silas Moore, a star football player, fights just to stay on the team. When their paths cross, they find common ground and a fiery connection neither can deny. Carmack delivers a steamy and heartfelt story, with well-developed characters who find love and purpose in each other’s arms.

  1. “Sacked” by Jen Frederick – Gridiron Series

Knox Masters is a football star on the verge of achieving his NFL dreams, but his focus shifts when he meets Ellie Campbell. Hiding a secret that could upheave her life, Ellie finds an unexpected ally and lover in Knox. Frederick’s novel combines the intensity of college football with a deep and passionate romance, making “Sacked” a compelling read for fans of the genre.

5 Football Romance Books Kindle Unlimited

  1. “Fumbled Hearts” by Meagan Brandy – Tender Hearts Series

After moving to a new town her senior year, Kalani escapes her troubled past only to meet the seemingly perfect Nate. He’s the star football player with a secret that could change everything between them. “Fumbled Hearts” faces the complexities of young love, trust, and overcoming personal demons, all set against the backdrop of high school football.

  1. “Blitzed” by Lauren Landish

“Blitzed” tells the story of Brynn and Maxwell. Brynn owns a bar near the local university, not looking for love, especially not with Maxwell, the star of the university’s football team known for his playboy ways. But Maxwell is more than he seems, and their connection becomes undeniable. Landish crafts a steamy and emotional story that explores the power of love to change lives and challenge perceptions.

  1. “The Bombshell Effect” by Karla Sorensen

Since she inherited her father’s football team, Allie Sutton just got a new job, not by choice. Luke Pierson does not want a new boss, especially not one who has no clue about football. Yet, their professional relationship starts to blend into a personal one, leading to unexpected fireworks. Sorensen delivers a witty, engaging, and steamy romance set in the world of professional football, where love finds a way through the clashes of wills and worlds.

  1. “Dear Ava” by Ilsa Madden-Mills

Ava returns to school after recovering from an attack, determined to move on. She doesn’t expect Knox Grayson, the team’s quarterback, to show interest in her. Known for his cold demeanor, Knox hides deep scars that Ava starts to uncover. “Dear Ava” is a poignant tale of healing, resilience, and the transformative power of love, wrapped up in high school football drama.

  1. “Sacked in Seattle” by Jami Davenport – Men of Tyee Series

Rookie quarterback Riley Black has all the potential to lead his team to glory, except for his off-field antics. When forced to clean up his image, he meets Tiffani Vernon, the only woman who seems immune to his charm. Their unlikely friendship evolves into something more, challenging both to reconsider their priorities. Davenport combines sports action with deep emotional growth, making “Sacked in Seattle” a touching and steamy romance.

Last Words

These books have taken us from the heart-pounding moments of a crucial game to the heartwarming scenes of love that flourish in its shadow. Along the way, we’ve cheered for characters who’ve shown us that determination, teamwork, and the courage to be vulnerable are just as important in love as they are in football.

Whether you’ve found a new book to curl up with or have been inspired to seek out more stories where love and football intertwine, we hope this journey has been as thrilling as a perfect touchdown. Until we meet again in the vast, vibrant field of romance and sports, may your days be filled with all the passion, excitement, and heartwarming moments these football romance books offer. Here’s to finding love where you least expect it—perhaps even at the 50-yard line.

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Pauline Jackson

I like to talk about popular books. My book review inspires you to read and save time. Also, I summarize the book and give you the best lessons or ideas that can change your life. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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