Years ago it was difficult to find the professional athlete hero in romance fiction. The common thought (at least what I heard for years while attending conference workshops and editor panels) was that readers didn’t want these characters. The pro athlete was not considered a good romantic partner.
I’m not sure when this opinion started to change. Did the shift occur when the Chicago Stars series by Susan Elizabeth Phillips gained popularity? Did readers who were also sports fans asked to see professional athletes in romance fiction? Or did New York editors realize that a team of alpha men in their prime was a perfect built-in series?
Whatever the reason, these days readers enjoy a huge selection of sports romances. One of the popular sports readers enjoy is American football. The hero’s physicality is blatantly masculine and he’s celebrated for his power and brawn. He’s wealthy, famous and enjoys an enviable lifestyle. The football player hero is also driven, competitive and takes care of his team.
If this hero archetype interests you, here are three shining examples of football romance for you to try:
Intercepting Daisy by Julie Brannagh
Grant, the backup quarterback for the Seattle Sharks has an image problem. He got his current job because he has the reputation of being a chaste gentleman who takes his respectable dates out for G-rated evenings. But the truth is he’s as X-rated as it gets. When word starts to get out that he’s more of a player off the field, he decides to stop the rumors by asking out Daisy, a sweet and friendly flight attendant for the Sharks.
But Daisy isn’t that innocent. Not only does she have wild fantasies about Grant, but she’s also written them down and self-published them online. That story is gaining a lot of attention and people are wondering if it’s fact or fiction.
Intercepting Daisy is part of Julie Brannagh’s Love and Football series. This story is fun, sexy and immerses the reader into the world of football. You will adore this quarterback hero and the dynamics of his teammates.
Scoring Off the Field by Naima Simone
Dominic and Tennyson had bonded when they were foster kids and their lives are interwoven. He’s very protective of Tennyson and even made her his personal assistant when he became the quarterback for the Washington Warriors. But when Tennyson quits her job, Dominic’s world is thrown into chaos.
Tennyson is in love with Dominic but he made it clear years ago that he wasn’t interested in her that way. She needs to move on and just when she makes that decision their relationship goes from Friend Zoned to Friends with Benefits. The results are smoking hot! But Tennyson knows football is always going to be Dominic’s top priority while she has become a distraction and a burden to him. She needs to leave and not only to help Dominic, but also to give herself a chance to find someone who can love her the way she needs to be loved. She needs to be top priority for once.
Scoring Off the Field is part of Naima Simone’s WAGS series and her writing is addictive! This is a heartfelt story about two people who are afraid to reach out for what’s in front of them because they can’t risk the stability they finally have in their lives. If you can’t get enough of friends-to-lovers romances, you must read this book.
Pleasure Rush by Farrah Rochon
Deidre is in Hawaii for a much-needed vacation when she comes across Theo, an ex-linebacker. Her friendship with Theo has been strained for the past year ever since Theo asked her out a few times. At first Deidre had been excited about Theo finally becoming romantically interested in her until she discovered he wanted a comfortable and low-maintenance woman. As much as she wanted to be with Theo, she had to turn him down.
That was a year ago and Theo is done with the NFL lifestyle. He’s gone from linebacker to TV sport analyst. He loves being around football but he’s questioning if his loyalty is with his old team or his new job. Deidre, on the other hand, has an epiphany right before her fortieth birthday and is learning to put herself first. Who was she if she wasn’t taking care of her family? She had to work past her fears but will Theo be interested in the new Deidre?
Pleasure Rush is part of Farrah Rochon’s New York Sabers series. It’s a sensual romance about two people at different stages of reinventing themselves. All of the characters are so lovable that after finishing this romance you’ll want to hunt down the rest of the books in this series.