March Smashness, Smut Reporting

March Smashness

March seems like a good time to read sports romances, does it not? And we had so much fun doing our Monster Mash Smashdown last October that we decided that another epic buddy-read was in order. It’s time for a deep dive into the world of sportsball.

For the month of March, we’ve decided to read not one, not two, but eight books together. Can we do it? We shall see. Every Friday, we’ll post a group review discussing two books selected based on a theme. (We’re trying to read a selective sample, but the world of sports romance is big! We chose our books based on best-of romance lists, Goodreads ratings, and our own reading proclivities.)

With no further ado, we proudly present: March Smashness!

Week one: Baseball

Reading the Signs by Kierra Andrews vs. The Changeup by Nicole Falls

Week two: Football

Scoring Off the Field by Naima Simone vs. On the Line by Liz Lincoln

Week three: Basketball

Love Becomes Her by Donna Hill vs. One Last Shot by Alexandra Warren

Week four: Wildcard Round! Heavy Hitters in Sports Romance

Nobody’s Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phelps vs. Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Are we ready for this?!

How excited are you to read a bunch of sports romances this month?

Holly: If I’m honest…not really. Sports romance is not really my jam. I may be using this as leverage for a month of bodice rippers in the future.

Erin: For my fun reading, I have been reading hockey and baseball romance almost exclusively for at least six months. Some football and rugby, too. So, yes, yes I am. 

Ingrid: I’m curious. I won’t deny it. It’s been some time since I’ve been on a sports kick and I’m ready.

Have you read many sports romances before this?

Holly: A handful. I can think of one off the top of my head, but I have to have read more than one ever, right?

Erin: I’ve read a few. 😉

Ingrid: Yes!! Usually a binge. All the hockey. Then all the football. Then all the soccer. Etc.

What are you expecting to see in sports romances?

Holly: A lot of toxic masculinity. Hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised by its lack.

Erin: A little bit of the celebrity archetype, but without full-blown movie star on a billboard celebrity; the toxic masculinity, yes, but hopefully more from a protagonist worrying about the toxic masculinity of fellow athletes than because of personal beliefs; constraints due to the pressures of being a professional athlete, such as scheduling issues due to conflicting travel schedules or energy needing to be spent on perfecting craft and staying on top of the game over personal desires and gratification; sex as an outlet and opportunity to avoid relationships

Also: actual sports. I don’t really get the sports romances where the athlete’s being an athlete has nothing to do with anything

Ingrid: I’m expecting pressure and high expectations placed on very hyper-elite players…and I’m expecting a lot of “I can balance you out” type relationships. Maybe some “I was a playboy” roadblocks to happiness. 

What are you hoping to learn by doing a deep-dive into the world of sports romance?

Holly: Even if sports romance remains not my jam, I hope that reading a bunch and talking about them with the Smut Report Crew will give me an appreciation of why fans of sports romances find them pleasurable. Erin will probably want to explain that pleasure to me in great detail.

Erin: I will. But also I mostly read hockey romance, which we are not discussing this month, so I’m hoping that I find something to love in these different sports.

Ingrid: I’m hoping to see more than a stereotype here—I want to see some complexities and tender-hearted fellas and warrior women. And I cannot wait to hear the back and forth between Holly and Erin!

Will we rise to the occasion, or we will go down in a blaze of glory? One thing’s for sure: we’re giving this 110% and leaving nothing on the field.

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