As the weather warms up, we’re sliding closer to baseball season and all that it brings: sunny weather, long, leisurely Saturdays—and, of course, those uniforms. As love and training season both blossom in springtime, romances set in the world of baseball are a perfect pairing. If you’d like to start the season off early by catching up with some baseball romances you might have missed, check out the list below of ones that are sure to score.
Changing the Game
If sports guys are your thing then you will definitely be left drooling once you get your hands on this! The second book in a long, bestselling series of baseball romances, Changing the Game is a sizzling romance between a sports agent, Liz, and Gavin, the baseball player she wants to sign. Gavin is a sexy and successful baseball player whose career only seems to be heading for the sky. He loves his family, his career, and his life and when he loves he does so deeply and passionately. He is carefree and confident but very determined when accomplishing his goals. Similarly, Liz is just as driven as Gavin but that's where the comparisons end. Liz is known for being a cold-hearted, manipulative bitch whose ambition will stop at nothing in order to line her pockets. However, what many don't realize is that behind Liz's icy exterior she is actually really afraid of giving in and losing it all. Can Gavin provide enough heat to melt Liz's cold shoulder in order to unleash their desires? If you’re in the mood for supersexy sports romance between two people surprised by love, look no further.
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The Lucky Charm
Izzy is a sports reporter who knows little about baseball and likes it even less. What she really enjoyed was being a photojournalist but when her boss gets pushed into early retirement, Izzy was forced to take the position of sideline reporter. To make things even better, Izzy knows nothing about baesball, she has zero chemistry with the camera, and the team she has to follow—the Pioneers—have zero fanbase. Jack is the second baseman on the Pioneers who is a really good player and an even harder worker. Perfect setup, right? Especially when you throw in the wit and charm of this Portland-set romance. However, Jack is known for playing with people for his own entertainment so Izzy is warned to stay clear of him. Soon her journalism skills kick in and she uncovers background dirt on Jack and needs to decide if she should run the story. With games if you play things right you can win big but sometimes it might just be luck—without it you can lose it all. If you’re new to the game, it might even teach you a thing or two, as you learn along with Izzy what exactly an RBI is.
The Perfect Game
Baseball romance isn’t just for the big league. The Perfect Game is a New Adult romance between two college students—baseball hopeful Jack and Cassie, a girl who’s about to make him change his (non-baseball) player ways, whether he wants to or not. Jack is the star baseball player at their university. He is known for being a cocky and arrogant womanizer so Cassie makes sure to steer clear of him. On the other hand, Jack has always set his attention to baseball, sure the women were fun but they never mean anything to him—that is until he locks eyes with Cassie. Now he can't shake her off and does anything he can to get Cassie to agree to go on a date. Despite trying to suppress her growing attraction of Jack, his wit and attitude get the best of her and she accedes. With family issues, trust issues, and terrible mistakes, can their love really be enough? Warning: this one packs an emotional wallop.
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Shalvis is known for her fun, sexy contemporary romances, and this one is no exception. Wade is a baseball bad boy, and he needs the help of his team’s publicist, Samantha, to clean up his image. Wade O'Riley is a 32-year-old MLB star player and heartthrob. Everything is going right in his life until his playboy image comes to bite him in the butt. A stalker fan of the team wrongly accuses Wade of being the father of her love child. Now management is running around trying to clean up the mess when they devise a plan: clean up his act by faking a stable relationship. Who has to take on this oh so difficult task? None other than Sam; she must pretend to be his girlfriend. Fortunately for us readers, that requires a fake date or two—and a lot of real feelings bubbling underneath. This one is a fun, sexy read, loaded with sexual tension and just the right amount of humor that will have you running to your nearest baseball field!
Both the hero and heroine are baseball players in Moonshot. Ty, a girl born into a baseball family, meets pro player Chase—but due to shifting circumstances, they can’t be together. When we meet Ty she is only 17 but she has quickly matured; due to the constant traveling with her father—he plays for the Yankees—and losing her mother at a young age, Ty learned to adapt with whatever life threw at her. On the other hand, Chase is 22-years-old and trying to handle the unwarranted attention from being a rising baseball star. When he is finally traded to the Yankees—the team for aspiring players—he meets Ty and what follows is an undeniable connection that neither was expecting. The book is divided into two parts: when Ty and Chase first meet and 5 years into the future. There will be obstacles that will try to separate Ty and Chase but will their love be strong enough to defeat it all? Throw in a lot of angst and the curveball of a murder suspense subplot, and this romance has all the makings of a home run.
If you’re like me, you love a librarian heroine, and Calling It has a great one with Dorie, a woman who’s in baseball player Nathan’s home when he unexpectedly returns from traveling with the team, surprising them both. If you're looking for an easy contemporary sports romance, this is a great option! For starters, it has a cute small-town setting when Dorie moves from the city life of Boston to a quiet town in Iowa. She is enjoying her stay when she steps out of the bathroom half-naked to find star player Nate Hawkins. Both victims of a mix up, they can't deny that the awkward interaction has lead to an instant attraction. One encounter turns to many—some unclothed—and soon Dorie is in a fling. They both know it's only temporary since Nate must report back in three weeks before spring training but he finds himself falling in love and with no intention of letting go. Super sharp and fun—Doyle won a best banter award for the novel—it’s a sure bet to read while you’re waiting for the game to start.
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Dare You To
Dare You To is a young adult novel between a popular high school player, Ryan, and the new girl at school, Beth, who comes from a painful past. Beth's mother's irrational behaviors constantly get Beth into trouble but this time it sends her to jail. Her estranged big shot uncle is forced to take custody of Beth in order to keep her mother's dirty secrets at bay. As Beth's uncle takes her in, she starts in a new school where she meets the super cocky and confident Ryan. There is an instant connection that Beth and Ryan try to deny until they finally give in. With a love triangle thrown in, it's going to be a wild ride! The book is split between Beth and Ryan's POV so you'll find yourself engaged and developing with the characters as they fall in love. If you want your baseball love along with the high emotions and coming-of-age themes that YA brings, look no further. Bonus: Beth is a skater girl.
What happens when a jock and a nerd are forced to coach together 10 years after they graduated high school? Opposites attract, and we readers get all the sweet, sexy romance we crave in this story between jock Jake and nerdy Brandon from the author of the m/m Cut and Run series. Because Jake was the popular jock and Brandon was the studious type, they ignored each other in high school but now they are working together and they can't rely on old habits. Their high school images are long gone so they must learn to work together so they can help the school's baseball team. As they start to learn more about each other, they get past their preconceived notions to form a friendship...perhaps even more. Soon they start to feel things that surprise them. They experience love and lust and a relationship develops. The constant shift in POV will pull you into their journey of desire and baseball.
See No Color
This time, it’s the girl who plays ball, as Alex struggles to balance baseball with growing up, falling for a guy, and discovering her identity as an adopted biracial girl in this complex young adult novel. She enjoys an unflawed life: a loving family and stellar baseball skills. But when whispers arise on the truth of her identity—Alex is half African-American—fear and anxiety arise. With the rest of her family being white, she must undergo her own exploration to discover the meaning of her transracial identity. Luckily, Alex doesn't have to travel on the journey alone; she meets the charismatic and caring Reggie, the first black guy who really wants to get to know Alex. The process of the novel follows Alex's on coming-of-age course, one in which she better understands who she is as a black teenager in a white family and within a white world. If you’re looking for meatier themes with your baseball romance, try this one.
Let Me Be the One
Love the fake boyfriend trope? Then you’ll probably adore this friends-to-lovers contemporary in Andre’s Sullivans series. Vicki and Ryan have been close friends since they were teens, completely inseparable meaning that any feelings they had for each other were suppressed for fear that one wrong move could tear their friendship apart. They maintain their friendship for fifteen years—keeping in touch but never seeing each other—and now Vicki has a favor to ask. A talented sculptor, Vicki needs help protecting herself and her career from the unwelcome advances of one of the judges. This is where Ryan comes in—Vicki needs her pro baseball player friend to be her date. One date must become a full on fake relationship to keep Vicki safe. Ryan is happy to help and protect Vicki, taking on the role of fake boyfriend giving convincing kisses and caresses...it might just nudge them to first base and beyond. Once they cross that line will they realize it was a mistake or the best decision that leads to love?
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C.D. Reiss is known for her supersexy contemporaries, and HardBall is that and more. “Diamond King” Dash is the kind of sports star that school librarian Vivian could only dream about it—but her wildest dreams have come true. Vivian is your average girl with a boring job to help take care of her father. Her looks aren't anything extraordinary but she catches the eye of the oh-so-handsome Dash. They have an instant connection and soon they find themselves from the field to the bedroom. Despite his developing feelings for Vivian, Dash isn't looking for anything serious—his head is in the game, that is baseball game. Dash is set on his rigid habits and his even stricter schedule but he still finds himself falling in love. Their world will flip upside down as a love story—both spicy and emotional—where the two learn to come together outside of the game.
If you’re looking for a sweet romance that leans towards women’s fiction, Stealing Home may be your best ticket. Maddie Townsend married her high school sweetheart for over twenty years when she discovers that her husband has been having an affair with his nurse. To make matters worse, his much younger mistress is now expecting so he packs his things and leaves his family behind. Now Maddie finds herself as a divorced single mom of three kids—that's plenty on her plate. Although she has no job and zero job skills, she has plenty of caring friends which is more than enough to help her get through her troubles. They offer a helping hand and even suggest she open her own spa. Maddie hesitates with the suggestion but she is completely blown away when they tell her she should date her son's baseball coach...who just happens to be 10 years younger and undeniably handsome. A romance with her son’s baseball coach, Cal, could be a terrible idea—or the best thing that’s ever happened to her.
If a second-chance romance set in wine country isn’t enough to entice you, you might need to check your pulse. In Napa Crush, semi-pro player Luca reunites with his old high school crush, Danica, after he accidentally hits a line drive into her head. (Ouch.) Danica never took Luca seriously, he was always just there but now he is a star player for the Sonoma Crushers and he's back in town. He's going by the name Danny Deep to work hard for his achievements instead of depending on his family name and the family business—Santino Winery. He hopes this time Danica will actually notice him except...she doesn't recognize him. Danica thought she was attracted to Luca's brother Michael but with his arrival back in town, she becomes extremely confused. With the flirtatious Santino brothers in the picture Luca might not stand a chance—but he isn't going to retreat to the dugout this time.
Featured photo: Tim Gouw / Unsplash