YA Sports Romances You Haven’t Heard Of

One of things I want to do with this blog is talk about the genres I write in as well as subject matter. My latest series, Merryville High Series, is composed of two couples, the males of which are both on the basketball team. So of course, I figured I should recommend some sporty young adult romance books.

I thought this would be super easy. I’ve read hundreds of books, and all my contemporary young adult books feature characters who participate in sports or clubs. Surely I’ve read plenty of these.

Shocker! Out of like 700 read books, only 16 books have characters who play sports. And when I checked out Goodreads lists, there weren’t many on there I’d even heard of.

Since I love writing sporty characters and I really enjoyed reading books about sports other authors have written, I want to help you if you’re having a hard time finding some to read.

Before we begin, I have a few disclaimers. One, my books will be featured on this list. Two, some of these I read years ago, so I might mess up the details. And three, I’ll be using Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something after using the link, I might get a 4% commission, but you won’t have to pay any extra. So if you want to know more about the book, please use the links. There’s no negatives on your end, and if enough people do it, I might be able to earn a little (which is great because editing is expensive).

YA Basketball Romance

Unwrap My Heart

This series features boys on the basketball team finding love, but the more sports heavy book in the series is Unwrap My Heart.

Zain is the basketball Captain, and his goal for winter break is to get his team in tip-top shape to win the Basketball Bash. But there’s a big distraction coming his way in the form of his best friend and secret crush Brayleigh Baker. She’s just been kicked out and broke up with her boyfriend (Zain’s BFF). On top of that, she has a huge secret and a life or death decision to make.

Being a nice guy, Zain can’t let her deal with it on her own, but he might have to sacrifice everything he wants to help her. And the more time they spend together, the less he can contain his feeling.

If you want to experience an emotional whirlwind with a happy ending, you’ll love this. Fair warning, this books deals with sexual abuse and teen pregnancy. Most readers note in reviews that they cried and laughed, so I like to think it’s balanced. And it is most certainly a swoony romance.

YA Crew Romance

Tomboys Don’t Crush on the Captain

Nicole plays soccer and has a wicked crush on Ian who’s on the crew team. She thinks the sport is pretty stupid until she’s forced into it and winds up loving it.

Now she’s spending her summer with Ian, and boy is he hot. Too bad he’s her brother’s best friend. If they were to get together, her brother would feel abandoned, and she knows what that’s like since she and her brother were adopted. She can’t do that to him.

Ian wants to control his feelings for Nicole. He has a plan for them to be together before he goes off to college, but now that she’s on crew team and they’re having close calls when it comes to kissing, he knows that time line is going to need to move up. But if they were to get together and break up, it’d be bad for the crew team and his relationship with his bff.

They both have to choose who they love more. Or do they?

If you want a sporty summer romance to give you all the feels, this is a great one.

YA/NA Football Romances

First & Then

I read this one years ago and really loved it though I don’t remember everything. The girl now has her cousin living with her and there was some family drama. She’s not happy about the situation because her cousin is awkward in social situations. He may have ASD, but I can’t remember.

The guy plays football and she thinks he’s stuck up, but then he starts mentoring her cousin who turns out to be a great kicker. She learns that he’s had some trauma of his own and they have a lot to bond over.

This very much so gave me modern Pride and Prejudice vibes. It was super sweet.

If you want a very innocent romance without a bunch of making out, you’ll love this.

Until Friday Night

The girl in this novel is selectively mute after she witnesses something horrible and doesn’t want to repeat it to anyone after telling the police.

The guy is going through a tough situation, but he doesn’t want anyone to know. However, it’s too hard to keep it inside, so he tells the one person who can keep a secret.

He never expected her to respond, and they quickly form a bond, sharing in their traumas and being each other’s rock. Much too much dependence can be bad.

If you want a steamy romance that will make you ball your eyes out and swoon, this is a good option.

YA Soccer Romance

The Season

This soccer player just wants to make goals, but her family is forcing her to be a debutante. And to make things worse, she’s paired with a super rich douche who completely ignores her and never talks.

Or maybe he’s just shy.

If you want to read a modern day Pride and Prejudice inspired romance, you’ll love this, especially if you’re also a fan of the movie She’s the Man.

YA Tennis Romance

The Lying Game

I fell into this series so hard. When the MC gets kicked out, she has no where to go but to her twin’s house states away. They were both given up as babies. Her twin got adopted, but she never did. Now she’s mistaken for her twin, and the twin is dead.

With no where to go, she pretends to be her and dig up clues as to who murdered her. But everyone is a suspect and the murderer will know she’s pretending to be her twin.

Pretending isn’t so easy, especially because her twin is a wicked good tennis player. Good thing she also likes tennis, but she’s not in the same shape.

In comes a sexy neighbor who sees her practicing late at night and wants to join her. Maybe she can trust him with the truth and they can solve the mystery together. But if she’s wrong, he might kill her.

This series had a TV adaptation, but the books are very different and much better in my opinion.

If you want a sporty mystery romance to read, this will be right up your alley.

YA Softball/Baseball Romance

The Taking

This one is a scifi series where the girl gets abducted by aliens and returned 5 years later in a body that hasn’t aged. Everything around her has changed. Her parents are divorced. Her dad is a conspiracy theorist. Her boyfriend is now dating her best friend. And the only person who believes her story is her ex-boyfriend’s kid brother.

Well, he used to be the dorky kid brother who had a crush on her, but now he’s super hot and since no time has passed for her, they are the same age now. And he wants to help her remember what happened while she was gone.

Too bad the government wants the secret to this unaged returns and she has to run for her life. All she wants is to have never been abducted so she can play softball and make out with her boyfriend. But luckily, those skills will both come in handy while she’s on the run. And the aliens may have left her with some cool abilities.

I couldn’t stop crying when reading this book.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this list. Let me know if you plan to check any of them out and what you’re favorite YA sports romances are.

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