There’s something about sports romance that easily makes it my favorite sub-genre. The stakes, the uniforms, the tropes—all of it just speaks to me. And luckily for me as a queer reader, there are plenty of sports romances with LGBTQ relationships.
If you like your sports romance books the way I do (that is, incredibly queer), you’re in the right place. With a mix of YA and adult romances included in this list, you’re sure to find a sports romance that will hit all of the right tropes for you.
Check Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu
Eric Bittle thought he was confident enough on the ice as a figure skater. But when he joins Samwell University’s hockey team, he feels so out of his depth. Hockey is so much more aggressive—and, to Bitty, dangerous—than ice skating, and he doesn’t know whether he “fits” as a gay man on the team.
Will he be able to keep up with his teammates—and avoid falling for the team captain?
Roller Girl by Vanessa North
After a painful divorce, Tina Durham finds new friends and an outlet for her emotions in roller derby. But the romantic tension between herself and her coach—Joanne “Joe Mama” Delario—is hard to ignore. When their relationship off the skating rink turns into something passionate, can Tina overcome her fears of being dependent on and vulnerable with someone she could lose?
Running With Lions by Julian Winters
Soccer player Sebastian Hughes’s senior year is off to an excellent start. His teammates are like family, his soccer technique is on point, and he’s found an environment where he can be open about his sexual orientation.
But things take a challenging turn when Emir Shah, Sebastian’s childhood best friend, attends the same summer training camp. Emir treats him with nothing but bitterness and, to save his team’s chances at success, Sebastian attempts to reconnect and salvage their relationship. But what if their estranged friendship turns into something deeper?
Romancing the Zone by Kenna White
When her daughter joins a college basketball team, single mother Liz Elliot is reminded of her own college basketball days—and the struggles she faced as a closeted lesbian. Head coach Sheridan Ross has no interest in love but finds herself inexplicably drawn to Liz. But is the spark between them enough for Liz to come out and stop running from the past?
Bright Lights of Summer by Lynn Ames
In March 1941, 16-year-old Theodora “Dizzy” Hosler tries out for the P.B.S.W. Ramblers softball team. Softball is her one passion in life, and she’s determined to find success on the field.
Here she meets Frannie, a teammate that shares her passion for softball. When their friendship develops into something deeper, they must decide whether love is worth the sacrifice that comes with it.
Game Changer by Rachel Reid
New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter is in the middle of a losing streak until, after ordering a smoothie from a local coffee shop, he wins his first game in weeks. Now, he can’t start a home game without that smoothie in the morning.
But as he gets to know barista Kip Grady, he must make a difficult choice. Does he give up on the first unconditional love of his life, or does he come out as gay?
Goalie Interference by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn
Hockey player Ryu Mori’s season turns for the worse when he discovers he’ll have to compete for his position with rookie Emmett Armstrong. Emmett is confident—even a little cocky—and Ryu struggles to get through to him.
Though Ryu doesn’t want to admit it, he finds himself attracted to his teammate. When he discovers that Emmett feels the same, he must put aside his ego to risk a chance a love.