This Spring’s Must-Read Sports Romances

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These books have got game! Whether they’re set on a field, a court or an ice rink, these stories feature sexy athletes who are not only scoring goals, but also falling in love.

The best thing about diving into contemporary-romance sports novels is the wide variety of jersey-clad heroes to choose from. From an ex-marine MMA fighter to a professional-rugby-player BFF, there’s a sporty guy here that’s perfect for you.

We’re sharing some of our sexiest sports romances for you to add to your TBR list this spring.

 

Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance, Small town romanceJen DoyleCalling It

Baseball player Nathan Hawkins needs to get away from Chicago. After a near career-ending car accident and with paparazzi surrounding his penthouse, Nate can only think of one place to go: home. But when he finds his old apartment occupied by a half-naked woman wielding a baseball bat, he’s not sure what to think…except that maybe his luck has finally changed for the better.

Librarian Dorie Donelli never thought she’d get to meet her fantasy man in person—much less in her bathrobe. To her surprise, her nearly naked run-in with Nate leads to more unclothed encounters. But Dorie is sure their fling is only temporary. As long as she remembers he’ll be gone once his life gets back on track, she won’t get hurt. In the meantime, she throws herself into enjoying their three weeks together before he has to report for spring training and go back to his old life.

For Nate, being with Dorie is the only time in months that he finds himself smiling. Laughing. And he has no intention of letting that go. He might even be falling in love…if only Dorie will let him say the words. What they have isn’t just a dream, but the start of a dream come true.

 

 Contemporary Romance, Sports RomanceKate Willoughby Across the Line

Calder Griffin needs to get back in shape. Sidelined last season by a knee injury, he’s determined to return to the San Diego Barracudas and play the best hockey of his career. This might even be the year he gets out of his talented older brother’s shadow.

For months, Becca Chen has poured her energy into Cups, the restaurant she owns, desperate to prove to her parents that she can succeed in the career of her choice, not theirs. But after she spends a five-hour plane ride flirting with charming, magic-on-the-ice Calder, she tells herself she needs a fling.

Becca and Calder can’t keep their hands off each other, but they know the relationship can’t last. They live on opposite coasts, and they’re both too devoted to their careers. All they have to do is prevent their feelings from crossing the line from lust to love…

 

 

Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance Lynda AicherGame Play

Meet the men of the Minnesota Glaciers! In this scorching-hot spin-off of Lynda Aicher’s bestselling Wicked Play series, a one-night stand turns into weeks of erotic experimentation…and eventually so much more.

When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker-room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?

Book one of Power Play

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Kat LathamTempting the Player

Libby Hart and Matt Ogden are perfect for each other—as friends. They’ve known each other for ages. They act as each other’s plus-ones. They even share custody of a dog. And if there’s always been a little spark between them, so what? It’s never been worth jeopardizing their friendship.

Professional rugby player Matt is fighting for a starter position with the London Legends—and that’s not the only thing he’s fighting. A crippling fear of flying means he’s struggling to get his career off the ground. He has no time for a relationship, even if Libby does make him ache. As an airline pilot, Libby’s looking for a stay-at-home husband so she can have a family without sacrificing her high-flying career. Matt’s certainly not that man.

But just because they don’t have a future together doesn’t mean they can’t have a right now. When Matt asks Libby for help overcoming his fear, they agree to take a vacation from their platonic relationship—whenever they fly together, they can have sex. It’s the perfect way to resolve all that built-up tension. As long as they can avoid getting a little too comfortable…

 

 

Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Michele MannonKnock Out

Logan Rettino never imagined she’d fall so far. Dropped by her ex on national TV, she’s gone from prima ballerina to ring card girl, reduced to revving up the crowds before MMA bouts. However distasteful she finds her new job, it pays well…and she needs the money if she’s ever going to rebuild her life. Promised a huge bonus if she can convince a brooding, gifted welterweight to keep fighting, she’ll do whatever it takes to earn his trust.

Keane O’Shea is unbeatable in the octagon. A former marine, he fights with a ruthlessness no gym jockey can match. He knows his brutal strength is too much for the delicate ex-ballerina, regardless of how fascinating he finds Logan’s tight dancer’s body. But one private performance and he’s drawn to her in a way he can’t—or won’t—resist.

As Logan discovers the heartbreaking truth that lies beneath this handsome warrior’s rage, she’ll need to forfeit everything she thought mattered for the one thing that matters the most: saving Keane from himself.

 

 

Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Allison ParrRush Me

When post-grad Rachael Hamilton accidentally gate-crashes a pro-athlete party, she ends up face-to-face with Ryan Carter, the NFL’s most beloved quarterback.

While most girls would be thrilled to meet the attractive young millionaire, Rachael would rather spend time with books than at sporting events, and she has more important things to worry about than romance. Like her parents pressuring her to leave her unpaid publishing internship for law school.

But when Ryan’s rookie teammate attaches himself to Rachael, she ends up cohosting Friday-night dinners for half a dozen football players.

Over pancake brunches, charity galas and Alexander the Great, Rachael realizes all the judgments she’d made about Ryan are wrong. But how can a Midwestern Irish-Catholic jock with commitment problems and an artsy, gun-shy Jewish New Englander ever forge a partnership? Rachael must let down her barriers if she wants real love—even if that opens her up to pain that could send her back into her emotional shell forever.

 

Elizabeth HarmonPairing Off

American figure skater Carrie Parker’s Winter Games dreams were dashed when her philandering partner caused one of the greatest scandals in skating history. Blacklisted from competing in the United States, her career is over…until she receives a mysterious invitation and is paired with the most infuriating, talented—and handsome—skater she’s ever met.

Russian champion Anton Belikov knows sacrifice. He gave up a normal life and any hope of a meaningful relationship to pursue his dream. And he’s come close—with a silver medal already under his belt, the next stop is the gold. All he needs is a partner. While he’s never forgotten the young American skater he seduced one long-ago night in Amsterdam, he never expected to be confronted with their past…never mind share the ice with her.

When what starts as a publicity stunt grows into something real, Carrie and Anton’s partnership will test their loyalties to family, country and each other. With only a few months to train for the competition of a lifetime, can they master technique and their emotions, or will they lose their footing and fall victim to the heartaches of their pasts?

 

Want even more sports romance? Click here!

Top Five Things to Love about Special Forces Heroes

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In my latest Carina Press release, AT ATTENTION, I’ve returned to the world of Out of Uniform, my series about navy SEALs and the men who love them. AT ATTENTION features a widowed dad and his best friend’s little brother, and Dylan gets ample opportunity to ogle Apollo in his uniform over the course of the book. While writing this series, I’ve come to wonder what it is that readers and writers love about SEALs and other Special Forces heroes. Here’s my list of things that I love, both as a reader and writer, about these special individuals.

  • These guys are fun to write and read because they don’t run from danger—they go running headlong into it, and you can trust that in a crisis, they’ll be first in line to help.
  • Special Forces men and women are some of the most highly trained and skilled people on the planet. Whether it’s an explosion you need or rappelling down a cliff, they have you covered.
  • These are people used to putting others first—their teammates, their country, their mission. And later, when they fall in love, you just know that they are going to put the other person first, too.
  • They wouldn’t leave a teammate behind, put their mission first, can’t be bought out and always know the right thing to do. Those sorts of morals make great partners.
  • Have you seen many military romance covers? It’s ALL about the abs. These men are FIT. And their muscles have a purpose, which makes them all the sexier.

How about you? What do you love about Special Forces heroes (and heroines depending on the book!)? Do you have a favorite book featuring a military hero or heroine? Share! And if you’re looking for more military heroes to fall in love with, I hope you’ll give the Out of Uniform series a try!

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bedcovers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

 

The Music Behind Wild & Sweet

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I’m always intrigued by the music that calls to me with each book. I seldom write with music on, but I listen to it heavily while each story plays out in my head—usually while I’m driving to and from the day job or doing things around the house. Whenever I find a song that resonates with the story, I capture it in a playlist and use it as my go-to for getting back into the story’s groove.

It’s also cool to see how the overall playlist turns out. This was especially true with WILD & SWEET. Sure, there are some awesome rock tunes in it. I’m a rock ’n’ roll gal at heart and the brothers demand a certain edge, but there’s also an abundance of what I’d call laid-back-Sunday-night music. Or maybe laid-back-Sunday-night-fooling-around music. Either way, I love how it turned out and I think it fits Zeke and Gabe.

Give it a listen and see if you agree. Even better, share songs you think would fit in the comments below! And if you’re ever curious about the playlists for other stories, you can check them out on my website here.

A native Oklahoman with two beautiful girls and a fantastic husband, Rhenna Morgan is a certified romance junkie and has a résumé that reflects her passion for new experiences. Since graduating with a bachelor’s in radio, television, and film at Oklahoma State, she’s racked up positions ranging from on-air radio talent, skip tracer and promotions director, to real estate agent, project manager, and business analyst.

Like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dawn to dusk. To combat the crush of reality, she’s turned to romance as her primary source of escape ever since she cracked the spine on her first Christine Feehan book years ago. Whether it’s contemporary, paranormal or fantasy you’re after, Rhenna’s stories pack new, exciting worlds, and strong, intuitive men who fight to keep the women they want.

For advance release news and exclusive content, sign up for her newsletter at rhennamorgan.com. For social antics and an abundance of smoking-hot man candy, follow her on FacebookTwitter or Rhenna’s Romantics.

 

 

 

Limited time opportunity: Accepting paranormal romance proposals (no full manuscript needed)

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Submitting to Carina Press has always—with a few exceptions—required a full manuscript and detailed synopsis. We’re pleased to announce that we’re living lighter this year and relaxing those restrictions for several proposal calls in 2017. We want to see what’s been brewing in your mind and have a taste of your fresh works in progress!

From April 13th to June 4th, we’re accepting proposals for paranormal romance.

Maybe you’ve heard that no publishers want paranormal, that paranormal is dead or that readers aren’t buying paranormal romance? Wrong! Carina Press is actively acquiring and publishing paranormal romance—and readers are buying it. So bring us your shapeshifters, your vampires, your fae and demons and witches. We want to read your paranormal romance proposals, because we love this genre and readers do too!

Details on this limited-time-only proposal call can be found below. You can also keep an eye on our blog and Facebook and Twitter pages to stay up-to-date on all our submission calls.

Submission link: https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/82046/paranormal-romance-proposal-call

Closing date: June 4th, 2017 (all submissions due by 11:59pm Eastern on this date)


Requirements for this proposal call:

  • Your book must fall within the paranormal romance subgenre, but can be of any heat level or pairing, including same-sex/multiples.
  • Paranormal elements should play an important role in story development, plot and characterization.
  • We will look at paranormal romances in different time periods and unique settings—they do not need to be contemporary or based in the US.
  • Your proposed book must be a completely new work and not have been previously published in any form, whether self-published or released via digital or traditional publisher. Only new material will be considered during this submission call.
  • You cannot submit a project you have submitted to Carina Press before.

Materials needed to participate:

  • A query letter with a 1-2 paragraph book description, plus an introduction of yourself as an author/your writing and publishing history.
  • Three complete, ready-to-send chapters of a WIP. If you have more than three chapters, you can certainly send more!
  • A thorough, well-thought-out synopsis that is at least 5 pages long. The synopsis is extra important with a proposal because we need to see progression of plot, character arc, storyline and, also really crucial—how it ends! See more about writing a synopsis here.
  • You may submit more than one project! However, please submit only one proposal per series.

How to submit:

  • If your book meets the guidelines above and all your material is ready and properly formatted, please use this link to submit.
  • Direct your submission to the editor who has advertised an interest in seeing manuscripts like yours! In doubt? Direct your submission to Editorial Director Angela James or Senior Editor Kerri Buckley.
  • We will consider all proposals that fulfill submission call requirements and are received by 11:59pm EST on June 4th, 2017.
  • All eligible proposals will receive a response within 12 weeks of submission.

Not going to be ready in time? Not to worry. We remain open to full manuscript submissions all year long via bit.ly/write4cp, and more submission and proposal opportunities are coming in 2017.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at submissions@carinapress.com.

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit bit.ly/write4cp.

We can’t wait to get reading!

Call for Submissions: Contemporary Royal Romance Anthology

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Calling all modern-day kings and queens, princes and princesses…

Carina Press is very pleased to announce a call for royal-themed romances, to be digitally published both individually as novellas and as an anthology. Please see below for specific information on what we’re seeking, closing dates and submission guidelines.

The novellas should be from 25,000 to 40,000 words each. We’re accepting submissions of new material only; nothing that has been previously published (including self-published) for this particular call, please!

Description/story focus:

There aren’t nearly enough tiaras to go around, in our opinion.

We’re looking to bring readers inside the contemporary royal court—wherever that may be—with tales of unconventional princesses, groveling hangers-on, bitchy queen mums, and princes behaving very badly. Whisk us away from the commoners and into a world where the crown jewels are super-sized, the palaces are sumptuous, and being so front-and-center in the public eye makes true love…tricky.

Think TV’s The Royals, not The Crown. We’re after storylines so juicy and salacious they’d make tabloid editors blush.

Novellas should be contemporary in setting and royals or royalty must be key to the story, conflict or character development. However, your modern-day royalty can be based in fictitious principalities and be royal figures with made-up titles. Want to write a beautiful countess and a down-and-dirty duke from the land of Cliffbrook (we just made up that name on the spot)? Bring. It. On.

**Please note, the use of actual people as main characters is prohibited.

Stories should stand alone, though they can be part of existing series or the start of a new series or trilogy, they should contain a satisfying romance as part of the central plot and storyline, and should conclude with an HEA or HFN. Heat level can be from low to the erotic, as long as the focus is on the romance.

Submission link: https://carinapress.submittable.com/submit/81242/royal-romance-anthology

 

Closing date: July 30, 2017

Decision made by: September 22, 2017
________________________________________

To submit:

• Complete* manuscript in .doc, .docx or .rtf

• Query letter containing a 2 paragraph description of the story, as well as an introduction to yourself as a writer.

*While Carina Press generally only accepts submissions of full, completed manuscripts, if you have previously published with Carina or another digital/traditional publisher, or if you have independently published multiple books with a solid positive rating history, please query submissions@carinapress.com about submitting a proposal. If we agree to look at a proposal in place of a full manuscript, the editorial team reserves the right to request a full manuscript prior to making a final decision, and all full manuscripts for accepted novellas would be due to editor 6 weeks after the close of anthology call.

________________________________________

FAQs:

Are same sex pairings permitted? Yes, we’ll absolutely consider same sex pairings or multiples in this anthology.

What’s the word count for this call? The word count is 25k-40k words.

What if I write more than 40k words or less than 25k? We’ll consider novellas that are within a few thousand words on either side (I know, we’re so strict) but if you write a lot longer, never fear, we’re acquiring longer books in this same genre outside the anthology call! If you write shorter, we hope you can add more plot, story, characterization to bring it up to 25k!

If I submit on proposal, when is the full manuscript due if my manuscript is accepted? Approximately 6 weeks after the anthology close date for each individual anthology.

Do I need to have a synopsis? A synopsis is not required for this particular call, but if you have one, please include it! In the event that we acquire your novella, we will ask for one at that point. What we do require is a two paragraph description of the novella story, to be included in your query letter.

When will the anthology and novellas be published? They will be released simultaneously in May 2018.

If I’m a returning author, should I submit to you or to my editor? Submit via the unique Submittable link for this anthology, please.

How do royalties work? These will publish individually as novellas, in which case you’ll get the full, individual royalties for your novella sales. They also publish as anthologies, for which you split the same royalty structure with the other authors–for the sale of the full anthology eBook only.

For questions about this call for submissions, please email us at submissions@carinapress.com

For more information about Carina Press, and to read our submission guidelines, please visit bit.ly/write4cp

*Permission to forward granted*

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