I think I was the last person on Earth to watch Ted Lasso. Everywhere I turned, I saw memes, I saw reaction pictures, and I saw beautiful, interesting internet takes. I was intrigued. What is this show that everyone suddenly became obsessed with? Is it really just a soccer TV show? Is Jason Sudeikis really a charming soccer coach? Well, folks, I watched the show, because obviously, and let me tell you that I see it. I see why it won seven Emmys. I see why the world fell in love with Ted Lasso.
If you’re not familiar with the show Ted Lasso (totally okay if you’re not!), its’ about Ted Lasso, a former football coach, who gets hired as the new coach of a struggling U.K. soccer team. We meet a varied cast of people, like Rebecca, the newly-divorced team owner; Roy Kent, the mature, grumpy soccer player who has been playing for years; and Keeley, the fun, beautiful model-turned-PR consultant. They each give something special to the show and it’s so fun to follow their stories along with them.
Now, the show is a hit. What I’ve seen constantly is love for the characters and their personalities. Because of this, I wanted to recommend romance books inspired by the characters that everyone loves from the show. So, if you love a specific character and want to read a romance book with a main character that kinda resembles them, keep reading!
For Fans of Ted Lasso
Window Shopping by Tessa Bailey
We are going to start with our lead, Ted Lasso himself. He’s optimistic, joyful, and ready to help anyone in need. You’ll find that Aiden in Window Shopping resembles him so much. Even Tessa Bailey said fans of this show would adore Aiden.
Ex-convict grumpy Stella (she kinda has a Roy vibe too!) is found staring at a hilarious Christmas window display at a department store. She is found by one upbeat manager Aiden, who also tells her they’re in need of a window dresser and that she should apply for the job.
Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey
Teddy’s life quickly takes a turn when her boyfriend of a few years breaks up with her. Feeling disoriented, the only thing that grounds her is a local children’s show called Everett’s Place. The host, Everett St. James, is sort of a young Mr. Rogers!
She decides to send him a letter that soon turns into a pen pal relationship when Everett actually writes her back.
Man vs. Durian by Jackie Lau
We have a grumpy/sunshine trope in this one but hello!? The hero is the sunshine-y one while the heroine is the grumpy person who curses loudly (ring any bells? *wink*).
Peter hates durian. Valerie loves it. They have a meet-disaster when Valerie accidentally crashes into Peter and covers him with her durian ice cream. He then asks her out, but she rejects him quickly. But then (!!) she asks him to be her fake boyfriend to get her mom off her back.
How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole
Bez is chaos in human form. You start loving her the first time you meet her and you cannot stop laughing whenever she is in a scene.
Makeda has lost everything and now she’s living with her grandmother. The last thing she wants is to rehash the memory of her grandma’s affair with a prince from another country. But then a sexy investigator knocks on her door, claiming she’s the lost heir of her kingdom…
For Fans of Roy Kent
Battle Royal by Lucy Parker
I think this book is perfect for fans of the Roy/Keeley relationship. Dominic and Sylvie are the grumpy/chaotic dynamic you love to enjoy in the Ted Lasso ship.
Dominic and Sylvie are very much opposites. She bakes colorful cakes. He bakes simple, minimalistic cakes. She’s sunshine and sprinkles, while he is stoic and annoyed at everyone. When they first met, their relationship went very quickly to dislike. But years later, they find out they’re now judges in the same baking competition show.
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
If you’ve seen everyone reading The Love Hypothesis, it’s for a reason. As soon as I started reading this book, it captured my heart and my soul and never really let me go.
Third-year PhD candidate Olive Smith is need of saving. So when she sees a lone man one night, she kisses him without even knowing who he is. This is because she wants to make her best friend Anh know that it’s okay to date the guy she was previously seeing! But the kiss unravels gossip and now everyone on campus thinks Olive is dating grumpy, genius professor Adam.
For Fans of Rebecca Welton
Book Lovers by Emily Henry (May 3, 2022)
Now, Rebecca is a boss. She’s the owner of the AFC Richmond team! But she’s going through a divorce during the first season and she has to put a brave face for the media. Rebeca is really a force to be reckoned with and she’s loved by many even if she thinks she isn’t.
Book Lovers is the upcoming Emily Henry book about literary agent Nora, who decides to take a little trip with her sister to a small town. She’s seen as an icy queen who does her job pretty damn well. Her ex-boyfriends have all broken up with her for other people — she’s the left woman all the time. But finding out book editor Charlie is also staying in the same small town creates changes in her life.
I Love You, I Hate You by Elizabeth Davis
For the You’ve Got Mail fans, this romance title will become your new favorite book.
Victoria and Owen are enemies since the first moment they met. Constantly on opposing sides in the court room, they can’t help but hate each other more and more every day. But one night, they have a one-night stand and things rapidly change. What they don’t know is that for years they have been chatting anonymously through Twitter, quickly becoming best friends. But they still hate each other in real life!
The Legal Affair by Nisha Sharma
This follows a similar storyline of what you see Rebecca go through — Raj has recently been betrayed by her husband when he went to the enemy company and sold her secrets away. And now they’re getting a divorce. Raj is the CEO of her own company and she has a lot on her plate when she meets Ajay, the hero.
It’s clear both of them don’t need any distractions, each of them going through their personal demons, but they can’t help but feel attraction to each other.
For the Keeley Jones Fans
Pink Slip by Katrina Jackson
When I thought about a character that is kinda similar to Keeley, I thought of Kierra instantly. Kierra is flirty, sexy, and super fun. She has her bosses in the palm of her hand!
But let’s go back to the beginning. Kierra, a poor poet, is looking for a job while she works towards her dream. This is the reason why she suddenly becomes the personal assistant of married spies. For three years she has lusted after them, but thinking it’s impossible, she finally gives them her notice. But before she walks away, her bosses whisk her away to Serbia for one last mission.
Managed by Kristen Callihan
Sophie is sunshine and chaos. Plus she just became the new photographer and social media person for the biggest rock band in the world!
She and Gabriel Scott, the band’s cold but handsome manager, meet on an airplane, not knowing their lives are about to completely change. He’s annoyed she is using the seat next to his own. She’s so entertained by his grumpiness and quickly starts to annoy him more. When their airplane touches ground, nothing will be the same ever again.
A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria
Keeley works as a PR consultant at AFC Richmond. She loves her job and she’s very good at it. Just like Michelle from A Lot Like Adios! Michelle who gets an email from her estranged childhood best friend — someone who left her behind without any explanation — telling her he needs her for the marketing of the new gym he wants to open in NYC.
As they work on the campaign, old feelings reappear.
I am sure this show is going to become a comfort for me. Years from now, I’m going to keep rewatching key episodes that just made me smile uncontrollably the very first time I watched them. If you want more feel-good romance books, Book Riot can help you with that, too!