Welcome back, readers!
Spring is a fun time for sports fan, and we're sharing some of favorite fictional sports stories from genres like mystery, romance, and more. All titles are available as ebooks or from one of our locations.
It's start time. Let's go...
Back Spin by Harlan Coben
Kidnappers have snatched the teenage son of super-star golfer Linda Coldren and her husband, Jack, an aging pro, at the height of the U.S. Open. To help get the boy back, sports agent Myron Bolitar goes charging after clues and suspects from the Main Line mansions to a downtown cheaters' motel--and back in time to a U.S. Open twenty-three years ago, when Jack Coldren should have won, but didn't. Suddenly Myron finds him self surrounded by blue bloods, criminals, and liars. And as one family's darkest secrets explode into murder, Myron finds out just how rough this game can get.
Sooley by John Grisham
In the summer of his seventeenth year, Samuel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basketball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.
Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quickness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.
During the tournament, Samuel receives devastating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ransacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it's just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholarship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn't immediately needed. But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he's dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team losing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game against Denver, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock and, of course, was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams. But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent, Arnie, find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds Arnie finally locates just such a team and informs Rick that, miraculously, he can in fact now be a starting quarterback–for the mighty Panthers of Parma, Italy.
Yes, Italians do play American football, to one degree or another, and the Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player–any former NFL player–at their helm. So Rick reluctantly agrees to play for the Panthers–at least until a better offer comes along–and heads off to Italy. He knows nothing about Parma, has never been to Europe, and doesn’t speak or understand a word of Italian. To say that Italy holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement.
No Nest for the Wicket by Donna Andrews
Croquet is a genteel game, usually played on a summer afternoon on a tranquil green lawn. Extreme Croquet is a whole other story. That's what Meg Langslow and her new friends are playing on the several-acre farm of her new neighbor, a countryside studded with rocks, steep hills, and placid, seemingly immovable cows. While this society game can get quite warm, it hasn't reached the stage of actual homicide at least not until Meg knocks her ball down a small cliff and encounters the body of a dead woman.
Just Too Good to Be True by E. Lynn Harris
Harris serves up a treat that will capture and enchant audiences everywhere--a big, bold, and irresistible novel about football, family, and secrets. Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church's "Celibacy Circle." Now in his senior year at college, the smart, and very handsome, Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL.
As sports agents hover around Brady, Barrett, a beautiful and charming cheerleader, sets her mind on tempting the celibate Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future--but is that all she wants from him, and is she acting alone? Carmyn is determined to protect her son. She's also determined to protect the secret she's kept from Brady his whole life. As things heat up on campus and Carmyn and Brady's idyllic relationship starts to crumble, mother and son begin to wonder about the other--are you just too good to be true?
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash. Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.
A few miles away, at a local rodeo, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward -- even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans -- a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.
Intent to Kill by James Grippando
Ryan James's promising baseball career was derailed before it even got started when a hit-and-run driver killed his wife Chelsea, leaving Ryan alone to care for their beautiful little girl. Now, three years later, he's a popular sports radio host in Boston, still haunted by a tragic crime that was never solved. But on the anniversary of Chelsea's death, Ryan receives a chilling message from an anonymous tipster: "I know who did it."
The shocking revelation may have come from Chelsea's brother, Babes, a young man suffering from an autism-related disorder, and it sets Ryan on a twisted path toward a shattering truth. Suddenly what really happened that awful night threatens to irreparably alter the lives of Ryan and Babes, and dedicated prosecutor Emma Carlisle, if they can survive the wrath of the powerful . . . and the deadly.
Double Play by Robert B. Parker
1947: Jackie Robinson breaks baseball's color barrier—and changes the world. The event also changes the life of Robinson's bodyguard—and those changes can prove fatal.
Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury
Aaron Hill has it all---athletic good looks and the many privileges of a star quarterback. His Sundays are spent playing NFL football in front of a televised audience of millions. But Aaron's about to receive an unexpected handoff, one that will give him a whole new view of his self-centered life. Derrick Anderson is a family man who volunteers his time with foster kids while sustaining a long career as a pro football player. But now he's looking for a miracle. He must act as team mentor while still striving for the one thing that matters most this season---keeping a promise he made years ago. Megan Gunn works two jobs and spends her spare time helping at the youth center. Much of what she does, she does for the one boy for whom she is everything---a foster child whose dying mother left him in Megan's care. Now she wants to adopt him, but one obstacle stands in the way. Her foster son, Cory, is convinced that 49ers quarterback Aaron Hill is his father. Two men and the game they love. A woman with a heart for the lonely and lost, and a boy who believes the impossible. Thrown together in a season of self-discovery, they're about to learn lessons in character and grace, love and sacrifice.Because in the end life isn't defined by what takes place on the first day of the week, but how we live it between Sundays.
Miracle at St. Andrews by James Patterson & Peter de Jonge
Seasoned pro golfer Travis McKinley is cruising toward a new season when he misses a putt on the 18th green. Just like that, he's down and out and off the Senior Tour, his career all but dead. Then Travis is visited by a mysterious stranger whose vision is clear. Go back to the beginning. The very beginning. Taking his advice both literally and to heart, Travis and his family travel to their ancestral home – Scotland. In the place where golf was born, he's able to look beyond getting the round ball in the round hole. And when Travis steps onto the Old Course at St. Andrews, the magic of the game takes over . . .
Final Round by William Bernhardt
In the glamorous world of professional golf, one match is synonymous with excellence, tradition, and prestige. The Masters is played on the sweeping fairways of Georgia’s exclusive Augusta National Golf Club, drawing an annual pilgrimage of Lear jetting superstars, media, and throngs of fans. But this year, the tournament has attracted something else. A killer is coming to play a deadly game of his own.
The Rival by Kendall Ryan
Being stranded in remote Canada with a hottie? Wasn’t part of my summer plans. Dump my cheating ex? Check. Land an amazing job with Boston’s professional hockey franchise? Check. Fall stupidly in love with hockey’s favorite bad boy? Ugh. After wasting years of my life with the wrong person, I told myself all I wanted was a little no-strings fun. Enter Alex Braun—a wealthy, handsome, notorious playboy who’s equal parts charming and dangerous as hell to my wounded heart. After enduring a very public breakup of his own, the sexy player doesn’t want to be anyone’s forever. Too bad he barreled his way into my heart, instead of just my bed. But this professional athlete knows a thing or two about competing, and he won’t let go so easily.
Do you have any additional sports fiction faves to share with us? Let us know! We love to hear from our readers on our social media pages or even in person.
As always, images and info are courtesy of other web pages, such as WV Reads, Google, Goodreads, etc.