20 Best College Romance Books To Read

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When it comes to college romance books, nothing is better than watching two (new) adults find love as they navigate college life.

From college sports romances to contemporary new adult romance books to suspenseful college love stories, this curated list might just house your new favorite college romance.

The Deal by Elle Kennedy

When Hannah Wells finally finds someone who turns her on, she is eager to make a move. But there is one thing holding Hannah back: her lack of confidence in the sexual intimacy department. 

In her quest to break out of her comfort zone, Hannah agrees to tutor the arrogant captain of the hockey team. In exchange, Garrett agrees to help her overcome the dilemma. 

No one was supposed to catch feelings, but after an explosive night, Garrett is determined to convince Hannah that he’s the one for her.

For a sports-themed, enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance that will keep you gripped from start to finish, The Deal is one of the best slow burn college romance books for you. You’ll be hooked from the moment Hannah makes the deal with the college bad boy.

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The Friend Zone by Kristen Callihan

The last thing bigshot tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is cram his six foot six frame into his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum-pink Fiat 500, but he needs a set of wheels to get him to and from practice and she’s studying abroad. 

That’s exactly what he tells Ivy Mackenzie after she sends him a particularly cross text outlining the consequences if any shenanigans should take place in her cherished ride. In no time at all, the two become fast friends. 

Everything changes the day Ivy returns home. All Gray wants is to be with Ivy, but Ivy lives by two rules: never sleep with friends and never, under any circumstance, fall into bed with one of her father’s clients. 

On the hunt for the best college romance books? The Friend Zone is hands down one of those gems. And if you love sports romances mixed with cute banter, Kristen Callihan’s romance will certainly be a touchdown in your book.

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The Jock by Tal Bauer

“What Texan comes to Paris and falls for a cowboy?” 

Justin Swanscott’s Parisian study abroad itinerary includes visiting the French Riviera, hitting up the gay clubs, and bagging a French lover. All of that evaporates the second his football-playing cowboy roommate walks in, dazzling him with his shy little smile and sweet gestures. 

Wes Van de Hoek seized his dreams and made them come true. After scoring a football scholarship to one of the best universities in Texas, he’s now three years into his college career and making a name for himself as one of the most promising NFL draft picks in the country. Everything would be perfect if not for the secret he’s been keeping from everyone. 

If you love football and epic love stories, you’ll love Tal Bauer’s brilliant masterpiece. Captivating, beautiful, and emotional, The Jock is a stunning MM college romance that needs to be added to your bookshelf. And as one of the best gay romance books, Bauer undoubtedly scored a touchdown with this one.

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Sweet Fall by Tillie Cole

Determined to take back control of her life and make the most of her senior year, Lexi Hart starts by snatching a highly coveted spot on the University of Alabama’s Crimson Tide cheer squad. Everything in her life is finally going according to plan. 

What nobody knows is that beneath Lexi’s happy facade are voices that threaten to tear down everything that she has ever worked towards achieving. 

But then something happens that has never happened before: the voices fall completely silent when the Alabama Crimson Tide’s star Wide Receiver Austin Carillo enters the picture, a wild card she never saw coming.

Intensely emotional, breathtakingly honest, and hauntingly beautiful, Sweet Fall is a heartbreaking college romance that will destroy you in the best way possible and stay with you long after you have turned the last page.  

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Waking Olivia by Elizabeth O’Roarke

College coach Will Langstrom has no time for distractions. Between a struggling cross-country team, a mountain of debt, and a failing farm, the last thing he needs is more trouble. And that’s what his newest runner will be, an epic distraction. 

Olivia Finnegan had a promising running career before it all fell apart when she took a bat to her former teammate. Stripped of her status as a D1 athlete, Olivia is transferred to a new school and placed in a lower bracket. The only perk of the entire arrangement is that she gets to train under the legendary coach Peter McEwan. 

Or so she thinks. 

Olivia’s excitement quickly deflates when she learns that she will be working with the cocky asshole who has it out for her. But when her night terrors trigger memories from her past, Will will become the least of her problems. In fact, he may just be her salvation.

Read Waking Olivia if you are in the mood for a taboo college romance that will tug at your heartstrings. Even better, it is slow-burn, so the sexual tension is off the charts by the time the two get together.

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The Guy in the Middle by Kate Stewart

Lance Prescott is on his final leg of college ball. 

Next up? The NFL. 

Nothing will derail his plans.

Not even the coach’s daughter.

Breathtakingly honest, unimaginably romantic, and delightfully funny, The Guy in the Middle is a perfect example of Kate Stewart’s impeccable writing and beautiful storytelling. As one of the best college sports romance books on the market, I recommend adding this must-read to your bookshelf.

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Top Secret by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

At twenty-one, Keaton Hayward has a lot on his plate. Between football, his frat president campaign, and the need to please his father, Keaton barely has time to shower, let alone plan a threesome for his girlfriend’s birthday. But Keaton has never been one to disappoint, which is how he ends up on Kinky, an app for hookups. There his entire world is upturned when he starts talking to SinnerThree. 

At twenty-one, Luke Bailey is struggling to make ends meet. Between working two jobs, dealing with his toxic family, and campaigning for the frat presidency, Luke barely has time to relax, let alone meet up for a threesome. But when he starts talking to LobsterShorts, he finds himself growing more and more curious about the biology nerd who has a tendency to spout off random lobster sex facts. 

Cute, sexy, and hilarious, Top Secret is one of the best MM enemies-to-lovers college romance books on the market to add to your bookshelf. 

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To Professor, with Love by Linda Kage

Noel Gamble is the popular and talented star quarterback for a college football team and from the outside, he seemingly has it all: looks, girls, and a future championship… except that is far from the truth. 

If you asked students their opinion on Dr. Aspen Kavanagh, they would probably say she’s a cold-hearted bitch… except it’s all a charade. 

When Aspen and Noel’s lives collide, they could have never anticipated how much they would fall for each other, but with so much on the line, is it all worth it? 

Do you love your forbidden college romance books drowning in sexual tension? If you answered yes, To Professor, With Love is the next taboo love story you should add to your growing list of books to read.

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Say You Swear by Meagan Brandy

They say your first love lasts forever. But what happens when they break your heart and leave you a shadow of your former self?

With summer coming to a close and college looming in the distance, Arianna is feeling the pressure to put the moves on her brother’s best friend before it is too late. 

Arianna never foresaw the ultimate heartache Chase Harper would put her through, nor did she anticipate his future teammate’s determination to piece her heart back together again.  

Emotional, heartrending, and unforgettable, Say You Swear is a swoon-worthy slow-burn sports romance that will have you head over heels for your future book boyfriend. As one of the best college romance books of 2022, you should treat yourself to this unputdownable must-read. 

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I Hate You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

After three months of radio silence from her former fling, Charisma Rossi is ready to break the silence in a blaze of glory. Except it doesn’t go quite as planned. The moment Charm’s brown eyes tangle with Blaze’s icy blues, she’s transported back to the night he dumped and discarded her like yesterday’s trash. 

Determined to leave the notorious (football) player in the past where he belongs, Charisma makes it her mission to ignore his existence. But that proves futile when he keeps turning up wherever she goes. And with each encounter, he chips away at her carefully constructed walls. Letting Charm go was the biggest fumble of Blaze’s life. All he has to do is convince her that she’s the one.

Ilsa Madden-Mills weaves a tale of love, acceptance and self-discovery in this captivating enemies-to-lovers college romance. If you’re a fan of second chance sports romances, you need to get your hands on I Hate You

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Ecstasy by K.V. Rose

Zara, Alex and Eli are three college students who are tired of life. Zara leans on substances to feel normal, Alex refuses to acknowledge his anger issues and Eli is the star athlete with a dark secret.

 It’s their senior year and, for the last six months, party-girl Zara and the popular quarterback Alex have been in a volatile, toxic relationship. Everything changes the moment Zara walks in on him kissing another girl. After that, things quickly spiral out of control and when those three crash, ruins are left in their wake. 

If you’re searching for an insane dark romance filled with toxic relationships, self-sabotage, murder, violence and drug use, Ecstasy will undoubtedly be your cuppa tea. As one of the best dark college romance books, I suggest you add this to your TBR shelf.   

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Fold by Ashley Jade

Gambling may be Preston Holden’s addiction, but Kit Bishop is his weakness. Before meeting, the only thing they had in common was the two-faced gold digger stringing them both along. And after the truth came out, the two found comfort in the unlikeliest of sources: each other.  

Messy, unconventional and complicated, Fold is a stunning slow-burn college romance that will have you losing precious hours of sleep for nights on end. 

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Complicated Hearts by Ashley Jade

They say time heals all wounds. If only that held true for Asher Holden and Breslin Rae.

At sixteen, Asher stole Breslin’s heart. By eighteen, he destroyed it.

And after three years, she still remains frozen in the past. That is until Landon Parker enters the picture. 

Bright, patient, and confident, Landon is resolute when it comes to his feelings towards the girl who stole his heart. But the question remains whether the ghost of her ex will forever stand in their way. 

Asher never dreamed he would find himself desperate enough to accept an offer from a D3 college with a mediocre football team. But desperate times call for desperate measures. All he needs to do is bring his team to the championships and maintain a B average. Falling for his tutor was never a part of the plan.

Things are about to become a lot more complicated. Especially once Breslin returns from her three-week trip to Europe.

Raw, emotional, and steamy, Complicated Hearts is not an MMF college romance you want to miss. Filled with sexual tension, angst, and complicated matters, you won’t be able to put this page-turner down.

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Don’t You Dare by CE Ricci

It all started with a dare. And ended with a kiss.

From the moment Keene Waters and Aspen Kohl toddled their way into the world, the two have been inseparable. Nothing could weaken their bond or force them apart. Not college. Not baseball. And definitely not a dare that led to one of the hottest kisses of their lives. A kiss that would change everything.

Sexy, sweet, and spicy, Don’t You Dare is an unputdownable friends-to-lovers MM romance that will hook you from the first dare. And if you’ve been looking for a bi-awakening college romance between childhood friends, you need to add this to your bookshelf right now because it is the perfect book for you.

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Follow the River by CE Ricci

Unapologetically himself, college quarterback River Lennox has never been one to back down from a challenge, be it in football or life. When he learned that he was bisexual, River embraced it, so no one would ever be able to use it as weapon against him. 

Enter Ciaráin Grady. Hostile, cruel, and broken, Rain despises his happy-go-lucky captain and tears him down at every chance he gets. But when the taunts and jabs are taken too far, the two will be irrecoverably changed.

Deliciously dark, intensely emotional, and uncomfortably raw, Follow the River is a powerful MM enemies-to-lovers college romance (emphasis on the enemies) that will take you on a rollercoaster ride of hate, love, loss, and self-discovery. Make sure to read the trigger warning in the beginning.   

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I Promise You by Ilsa Madden-Mills

At Waylon University, the legend goes that the first girl you kiss freshman year at the bonfire party is the one you will never forget. Dillon McQueen called BS on that particular superstition until he turned into the living embodiment of that legend after the girl of his dreams became the one who got away minutes after partaking in a life-altering kiss. 

Fast forward three years, and Dillon is now the starting quarterback for Waylon. Set on the NFL, Dillon’s senior-year plans include nothing but living and breathing football. So when fate throws him a curveball in the shape of his freshman-year mystery girl, he knows the feisty oreo-fact-slinging spitfire who challenges him at every turn is the one. 

If only he could get her on the same page.

Entertaining, passionate, and emotional, I Promise You is a captivating enemies-to-lovers college romance that will keep you entranced from Dillon and Serena’s very first encounter at the legendary bonfire party that starts it all.

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Out of Love by Jewel E. Ann

When it comes time to jet off to college, Livvy Knight is more than ready to escape her father’s overprotective clutches and live life like a wild child, doing whatever and whomever she pleases. 

When she sets her sights on Slade Wylder, she knows he is just the kind of guy her dad would detest. Dark, enigmatic, and stoic, he checks off every one of Livvy’s boxes. 

Too bad he wants nothing to do with her. 

Mysterious, romantic, and suspenseful, Out of Love is a mesmerizing college romance brimming with deadly secrets, haunting rumors, and twists and turns that will send your head spinning.

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Misadventures of a College Girl by Lauren Rowe

College freshman Zooey Cartwright is ready to spread her wings and get the entire college experience, starting with losing her pesky “V” card while partying with her new roommates. 

Determined to find the perfect douchey candidate, Zooey sets her eyes on the cocky, womanizing jock who purposely wears shirts that say things like “God’s Gift to Womankind.” 

After all, there is no conceivable way that a one-night stand with Tyler Caldwell would lead to anything more than a one-and-done sexfest. 


Hilariously sweet, insanely hot, and unbelievably cheesy, Misadventures of a College Girl is a page-turning college romance that will keep you thoroughly amused from start to finish. 

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The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Graduate student Olive Smith is single-minded in her pursuit of attaining her Ph.D. Nothing can derail her focus, not even the aloof hotshot professor that sends students running from his office in tears.   

By all accounts, Olive knew that she, an exhausted and overworked grad student, probably registered as nothing but a blip on Adam Carlsen’s radar. And that would be true if Olive had never accosted said professor with an uninvited kiss. 

What should have been a one-and-done smooch to curb her bestie’s concerns over her dating life quickly spirals out of control when news of the “relationship” trickles down the STEM department grapevine.

To say that the pair are in a tricky predicament would be the understatement of the century.

Smart, witty, and adorably romantic, The Love Hypothesis is a hilarious college romance theorized to be one of 2021s best romantic comedies. As one of the funniest romance books out there, I recommend adding it to your ever-increasing must-read pile.  

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Ivy by Willa Nash

On the outskirts of the prestigious Aston University sits Clarence Manor, an opulent structure that houses three women.

First is Cassia, the newcomer who is running from her past. Then we have Ivy, the manipulator who likes to toy with people. And that leaves Elora, the guarded best friend who is drowning under her family’s web of deceit.

Entangled in secrets and deceptions, no one’s past stays buried once they step foot past those wrought-iron gates and into the den of lies. 

Let the games begin.

Pretty Little Liars meets Gossip Girl in this highly readable new adult romance brimming with lies, betrayals, and secrets. For a mysterious college romance, I recommend adding Ivy to your list. 

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