Discover all the college romance books worth reading in this epic book list!
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57 College Romance Books That Make the Grade
This is THE book list of the college romance books worth reading. So if you’re looking for new adult romance books about college students, then I have your back. These are the best college romance novels that make the grade in my book.
Why You Should Read a College Romance
I love reading college romance books because they take me back to some of the best years of my life.
There is just something about being a college student, living it up on campus with your friends, and making those four years some of the greatest memories you’ll ever have.
They are full of first times and first loves, new relationships and forever friendships.
Variety in College Romance Books
Many college romance books feature college athletes so rest assured that this book list contains all the college sports romance books you could dream of reading.
If you like college football romance books featuring the star quarterback, or even hockey sports romance books, I have you covered.
You’ll also find baseball, water polo and wrestling romance books. All of these bad boys are here!
These college romance books also include MM romances and stories of first loves and first times. Basically, if the love story takes place during college, then you’ll find it on this book list.
Ready to relive the life and times of a college student? Check out these best college romance books worth reading.
Here’s what you’ll find in this epic book list:
- College Romance Books
- College Romance Book Series
- College Sports Romance Books
- College Sports Romance Book Series
- MM College Romance Books
- Popular College Romance Books I Haven’t Read (and probably never will)
If you have a college romance book that you feel deserves to be on this list, let me know in the comments!
College Romance Books
Daisy Payton is a freshman at college ready to start a new chapter in her life, on her own and away from the pressures associated with the family name Payton.
On move in day she meets senior Trevor Boone. Neither expected or anticipated their instant attraction but barriers ultimately arise that try to block their potential start at something more.
This was a tender novel that had me believing in love at first sight and the power of friendship from a debut author that I cannot wait to read from again!
It delved into friendship, the bonds of family, the importance of loyalty, honesty, forgiveness and grace. It also peered into the different social stratas, familial expectations and grief.
Now that is A LOT to cover in one book but Edwards does it so brilliantly that I didn’t want the book to end. [Read More]
The last thing on Allie’s mind now that she was in college was dating. Yet Jesse, the cocky bad boy and star athlete couldn’t help but catch her eye.
I enjoyed Rose’s writing, dialogue and story flow in this college romance. Jess and Allie had their own brand of banter that seemed to be their form of foreplay, but the back and forth at times could be hurtful.
This book definitely fits the bill of new adult romance.
Cassidy is finally in college as a 21 year old freshman. She’s trying her best at acclimating to college life and society in general having run away from the cult she was raised in back in Wyoming. Now she just has to convince her friend Dylan to tutor her outside the classroom and in the bedroom.
This was a fun, friends to lovers college romance mixed with a relationship coach story line!
I enjoyed how this focused mostly on Cassidy’s intimacy exploration after having grown up in such a repressive environment and how she manages her feelings for her best friend. A great book in a great series. [Read More]
Mick and Jolie met over the summer while both are working as counselors at summer camp. Those days were spent watching kids while sneaking off and humping like rabbits whenever and wherever they could.
Who knew they’d meet up again at college where Jolie is a returning junior and Mick a new transfer student.
This was a cute, new adult romance where the nerd scores the beauty. I liked how this was told from both points of view but Mick was my favorite.
He may consider himself a nerd (just because he’s smart and doesn’t party), but he’s far from it and quite the perfect boyfriend. [Read More]
Dani is a college student who decides to be carefree for a night and hooks up with a player. She shouldn’t be surprised when they run into each other again and he doesn’t recognize her.
This was my pick for college romance book for the 2020 Romance Book Reading Challenge! I liked the angle of this story where the guy forgets the girl. If you like instalove and college drama this is a pick for you.
College Romance Book Series
Elements of Chemistry in the Hypothesis Series
by Penny Reid
Katlyn’s always been the invisible girl until her chemistry lab partner, wealthy bad boy notices her. He entices her to a spring break getaway but can their attraction lead to more?
A college romance book featuring an intelligent heroine the hero can’t resist, yes please! Reid delivers on smart romance where both characters push each other to grow and this was a great new adult romance series from her.
This was a great bad boy college romance book worth reading.
Her Elements of Chemistry series is one continuous story in three books so know that books one and two end on cliffhangers!
This is the continuation of Kaitlyn and Martin’s story where things heat up between them and they must navigate forces that threaten their newfound relationship. A forbidden romance that ends on a cliffhanger so you’ll be reading book 3!
This is the finale to a great college romance book with all the chemistry! A lovely second chance romance book to close out a fantastic book series.
Dear Professor Series
by Penny Reid
Emma went on a blind date, not realizing it was with the wrong person. Only months later she runs into him again on campus – he’s her Russian Literature professor.
If teacher student college romance books are your favorites, then this is it. I particularly liked how the ethics of their relationship was discussed and addressed instead of just brushed aside.
Emily is a college student who also works as a lingerie model to make ends meet. She just didn’t anticipate her college professor seeing her half naked when modeling but when that happens, they become friends and then maybe more.
Reid writes a completely different hero than I was expecting in Victor, the college professor. There’s definitely a thread around body image and self esteem in this college romance book as well as the teacher-student relationship.
College Sports Romance Books
Anna didn’t have plans to fall for college star quarterback Drew Baylor. It was just supposed to be a hookup.
I love it when the hot guy on campus pursues the girl who thinks she’s anything but worthy of his attention. This was the perfect new adult romance book with a devastatingly worthy book boyfriend that you’ll love.
If you’re a fan of college sports romance books, this is a must read as are the following books in this series.
Knox is a hot baseball player on campus and he has his sights set on Emory. She brushes him off so he may just have to up his game and take her to the baseball locker room to make her his and his forever if the superstition is true.
Knox made this college romance. He was so patient with Emory, empathetic and just all around awesome. This is the first book to a FANTASTIC series from Quinn.
Carson is recovering from an injury that may derail his senior year season and his chances in the draft. His only hope is the baseball whisperer – a girl on campus who may know more about baseball than he does. She may even become more than his fairy ballmother.
I absolutely loved The Dugout and it solidified Meghan Quinn as one of my most favorite authors. From the story, to the budding relationship to the secondary characters – this book had it all.
Plus, there were just so many lines that had me laughing out loud making it so much fun college romance book to read. The texting exchanges among friends were just priceless and any mention of “man dangles” had me in hysterics. [Read More]
Zack, a college hockey player, is tired of dealing with all the puck bunnies chasing him. He’s game to take on Sugar’s proposal to pretend date so that they both can benefit from the deal. Only the rules they establish for this fake relationship are so easily broken.
This is one of my favorite fake relationship romance books with all the feels of a great college romance. I love how easily the line is crossed from fake to real and how they both realize they are meant for more.
Max, the university’s star quarterback, is a shoe-in for the Heisman trophy if he can stay on the straight and narrow. Sunny, his new neighbor, agrees to be the distraction he needs by becoming his fake fiance.
This is one of my most favorite fake relationship romance books where there is so much more behind their attraction. I loved their chemistry and connection that runs much deeper than either realize. A must read for college romance book fans as well.
He’s captain of the university’s hockey team and the privileged son of a U.S. Congressman. Danny’s from the opposite side of the tracks on a mission to build her own success. But can their relationship last when their different worlds collide?
I’m a huge fan of Sawyer Bennett so I can’t wait to read this college romance book. Plus I’m a sucker for opposites attract love stories so this is a must read for me.
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College Romance Book Series: Football
The Underdog Series
by Kate Stewart
Theo may be considered a geek since he’s in the college’s marching band, but he knows what women want. What does he want? Laney. His hot shot football roommate might also have his eye on her but he’s not going down without a fight.
This 5 star book hit so many boxes for me. It had me sighing from the sweet romantic gestures, it had me laughing out loud with its many hilarious moments, it had me fanning myself with its hot, panty melting s-e-x and overall had me rooting for Laney and Theo’s HEA in this opposites attract, new friends to lovers story.
This was the perfect kick off to a fantastic college romance book series. [Read more]
All it took was one night for Troy and Clarissa to be forever linked, but that’s not what’s supposed to happen between a teacher and student. Now Troy’s in his senior year at college and willing to do anything to get her back and to gain redemption.
There’s nothing like a little kid who melts your heart in a romance book. Dante was the highlight of this book.
On the outside Troy may be the star football player on campus but you get to see a completely different side to him in this book – as someone trying to make it for the sake of his family.
Lance has everything riding on his senior year football season. He needs to prove himself so he can get drafted and save his family’s ranch. The only problem is that he didn’t anticipate falling for the coach’s daughter.
This college romance book was absolutely wonderful. Stewart wrecked me with this book. My heart had all the feels after reading it that I wanted to reread it and reread it again and again.
The Hook Up Series
by Ilsa Madden-Mills
Delaney has sworn sworn off football players, especially the cheating kind. When Maverick, the captain of the college’s football team finally sees his chance, he dares her to give him one night. She can’t help but accept.
I love bad boy athlete – nerd girl college romance books. Especially those with girls who love Star Wars and The Princess Bride! Madden-Mills writes new adult, college romance books unlike any other and this one delivers on the dare.
Golden boy quarterback of Waylon University, Ryker has had his eye on Penelope. She’s the sweet yet nerdy girl who seems to have it out for him because she can’t stand man whore jocks. But when Ryker’s college teammates set up a bet he can’t refuse, will he win or lose?
There’s something about romance books where a bet is involved. I loved the chemistry between Penelope and Ryker and devoured this book.
Charisma, a senior at Waylon University, is still reeling from a humiliating and very public break up from her short time hook up, Blaze, the star football athlete who just helped his team win the national championship. Blaze, despite his actions to the contrary, wants her back – if only she’ll forgive him.
This is a book where you wish you could just jump into their world and give both main characters a big hug and never let go.
I’m not sure I’d call it an enemies to lovers story (more people with a history together that left them both raw), but it was a heartwarming journey of two people learning to trust in love and to ultimately let go of the fears holding them back from it.
A perfect, second chance college romance book worth reading.
Dylan McQueen is Waylon University’s hot shot quarterback who’s just trying to make it to the NFL.
He didn’t anticipate running into the quirky girl he kissed at the freshman bonfire who’s since haunted his every waking thought. She’s not his type, so why can’t he stop trying to win her?
Madden-Mills brings it again with this college football romance. Dillon is a different kind of hero – a cocky, take charge athlete but one who is shy and a bit tongue twisted around Serena. I loved that! [Read more]
Fulton U Series
by Maya Hughes
Persephone is a 19 year old genius about to graduate college who’s ready to check off a bunch of “firsts.” Reece, the college’s star receiver, mistakenly walks in on her interviews for candidates to “be her first” and decides to help her with her list.
This is a fun, opposites attract, new adult romance with characters you can’t help but love. Seph is adorable in her quest for experience and self-discovery and Reece is the perfect friend who can’t help but fall for her and her quirks.
Nix is a big man on campus and a football god. Too bad his neighbor didn’t get the memo. She’s nothing but a pain, calling the cops on his party, and now he’s stuck doing community service with his neighbor as his boss.
I really liked Nix from the first book in this college romance series so I look forward to seeing this enemies to lovers story play out.
Berk is a star football player on campus who gets a mysterious, HOT letter from an anonymous sender. He’s desperate to find the girl who’s become his new pen pal and has enlisted his sweet neighbor in his search only to find he’s falling for her.
The letter Berk receives is enough to get me to want to read this college romance – the girl who wrote it does not hold back what she wants to do to him. I can’t wait to see what happens when he uncovers her identity.
Why did I have to go and fall for my best friend? My coach’s daughter? And will I have to choose between my football dreams or our friendship?
This is LJ’s story which looks to be a great friends to lovers romance. Add in the forbidden element in that he’s falling for the coach’s daughter and it’s going to be hot and fun!
College Romance Book Series: Hockey
The Off-Campus Series
by Elle Kennedy
Hannah will tutor the failing hockey stud in this college hockey romance book if he helps her get the attention of the football player she’s after.
I love this kind of fake relationship romance where both people realize the one they really want is right in front of them, not the person whose attention they had wanted from the start.
Since Hannah was initially after someone else, I love how she can just be herself and gain some confidence whenever she is with Garrett.
Garrett was the playboy not looking for a relationship but neither could resist the other the more they hung out together. Such a perfect romance book!
John Logan can get any girl he wants but it’s freshman Grace Ivers that catches his eye. But when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.
College hockey star, Dean Di Laurentis is big man on campus and impossible for the ladies to resist. Even though Allie is nursing a broken heart even she falls for his charms but only for one night. Now she just wants to be friends but Dean is going in for the score of a lifetime.
A college romance where the girl has the upper hand after a one-night stand? I love it and can’t wait to check this one out.
Sabrina has her whole future planned out once she graduates college and it doesn’t include a hot hockey player. But when one night of passion forever ties her with Tucker she’s going to have to learn to become a team player.
Surprise pregnancy romance books aren’t typically my jam, but the first book in this series was so good that I’m going to have to finish the series no matter what!
Briar U Series
by Elle Kennedy
Summer can’t help but be drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. The tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jock is SO not her type so it shouldn’t be hard resisting him now that she’s his new roommate, or is it?
Fan of opposites attract love stories will enjoy this college romance book between the beauty and the quiet hockey player. After reading it you’ll won’t be able to resist reading the second book in the series.
Desperate to claim a sports broadcasting internship, Brenna has no choice but to ask hockey star Jake to pose as her boyfriend. Not sure it’s the best idea to fake date the coach’s daughter from a rival school, Jake still accepts with one caveat: She must give him one real date for every fake date.
This is a fantastic read. Both a fake relationship and enemies to lovers story – it sizzles with heat. Brenna is a strong heroine and Jake is the type of romantic hero that I adore. The perfect book boyfriend. This is a must read college romance book. [Read More]
Hunter is the new captain of the hockey team at Briar U and is determined to make up for last season. To stay focused, he’s going celibate – until he’s tempted by Demi.
You can’t help but come to care for Hunter after reading the first two books in the Briar U series and want him to find his happily ever after! This college sports romance book can easily be read as a standalone however.
Taylor is in a college sorority filled with mean girls who dare her to seduce the hottest new hockey player on campus.
I have yet to read the final book in this college romance series but I do love a romance book where a bet is involved. I may have to check it out just to see that the sorority girls get what’s coming to them.
The Ivy Years Series
by Sarina Bowen
Corey expected to start Harkness College as a varsity ice hockey player. But a serious accident means that she will start school in a wheelchair instead.
Across the dorm hall, she meets Adam, another would-be hockey star who has a broken leg. They may both be out of their sport, but he’s way out of her league. Plus, he’s already taken.
I haven’t read this college sports romance series by Bowen but I know she sure can write incredible hockey romance books so these books are on my to be read list for sure.
She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.
Bridger is a hockey star on campus but right now his focus is hiding his eight-year-old sister in his dorm room. Scarlet is a freshman at Harkness College who’s also hiding something, her identity, even if it means lying to the green-eyed boy she’s falling for.
Two people with hidden truths – what could possibly go wrong? I can’t wait to see what happens in this college sports romance book.
Michael has made an art of hiding his orientation from everyone. Including himself. Only his former best friend, John, is now his new teammate and has the power to out him.
A MM romance book by Sarina Bowen?! Sign me up. I can’t believe I haven’t devoured this college romance yet so it has moved up my list!
Bella, the student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, loves sex and isn’t shy about it. So she can’t understand why her neighbor is acting weird after their hookup.
I love how Bowen turns stereotypes on its head with this college romance book where it’s the girl who sleeps around hooking up with the virgin boy.
Freshman Lianne Challice is finally at a real school and trying to shed her famous persona. She’s been burned before whenever she’s gotten close to guys but she can’t help but feel a pull toward Daniel “DJ” Trevi, the hot, broody guy who spins tunes for hockey games.
Just when you think you can’t get a new take on a hockey sports romance, you have one featuring a hockey game DJ. Love it!
College Romance Book Series: Water Polo
Malibu University Series
by P. Dangelico
Reagan is a water polo god at Malibu University – just not the world’s best driver. After almost running over Alice and jeopardizing her college scholarship, she has no choice but to accept his help, even if she knows he’s nothing but trouble.
Dangelico is a favorite author of mine because she writes such great slow burn romances with wonderful characters. This is one of my favorite new adult romances of hers where the heroine is not impressed by the hottie athlete, but in great, slow burn fashion – he wears her down.
Dallas is a senior on the water polo team who has a reputation for being a wild man and his wild ways have finally gotten him into hot water. Dora is the shy wallflower who’s gotten roped into helping him serve out his plea deal.
Who knew that he’d also be the perfect person to help her with her checklist of new experiences.
This college romance book was a great, opposites attract, new adult romances for those who love a happy ending for two very deserving people. I loved seeing how both characters grew over the course of the novel. [Read more]
College Romance Book Series: Wrestling
How to Date a Douchebag Series
by Sara Ney
Sebastian is the wresting team captain at Iowa and better known as the douchebag on campus. Studying at the library with his teammates he catches sight of Jameson, a fellow student dressed in a cardigan and pearls.
Taking a bet, he approaches her but is soon surprised that she is not the stuffy, studious prude he pegged her for.
In this college romance book, Sebastian lives up to his douchebag reputation more times than not, but it’s also sweet to see how these two apparent opposites grow to care about and fall for each other.
Zeke Daniels is an a$$hole – even his friends call him one- but he’s in need of a biology tutor. Enter Violet DeLuca- a sweet, caring, stuttering girl who at first is intimidated by Zeke but soon brings this tough guy to heel.
If you love tortured heroes and soft heroines who rehab their tortured hearts then this college romance book is for you. It is the best of the series.
The Failing Hours explores how these two seemingly opposites actually find common ground, trust and love one another. I absolutely loved Zeke and Violet.
Rhett’s college teammates are so determined to get the wrestler laid they plaster fliers all across campus with his phone number. He just didn’t expect the hot girl to respond and want him.
I liked the change up in this novel where the college hero is practically a virgin, lacking confidence and experience when it comes to girls, but scores the beauty on campus.
The How to Date a Douchebag series takes a turn with this novel and focuses on the wrestling coach’s daughter. Coach’s orders are to steer clear of her but douchebags will be douchebags. Luckily she finds herself the last nice guy on campus.
I can’t believe I haven’t read this one yet! I need to get on it because I like sweet, friends to lovers stories and especially those that involve roommates so this is on my must read college romance book list.
Abe is the wrestler each of his teammates turn to for every need. Helping to mend his roommates broken heart and find him a girlfriend, he impersonates him on the college’s dating app and connects with Skyler. Only Skyler doesn’t know that she’s falling for Abe, not JB.
Oh how texting and emailing can get us into trouble!
You can never be sure who you’re communicating with and I loved that set up in this story. The lie doesn’t go on forever which was refreshing and I liked how Abe had to work to gain Skyler’s trust and her heart.
College Sports Romance Series: Multiple Sports
Jock Hard Series
by Sara Ney
Scarlett likes to keep her friends out of trouble but guys call her the jock blocker so she’s been banned from Jock Row. The job to keep her out of the baseball house falls to the university’s hot shot short stop.
I really liked this college romance because it was unlike so many romance books. It’s SIMPLE (and I mean that in the best possible way) in that you are along for the ride in “watching” how Scarlett and Rowdy meet, connect and fall for one another over a period of weeks. [Read More]
Teddy keeps getting dragged to the rugby house on campus by her friends but there she just gets ignored by guys. Kip has been watching her crash and burn for weeks and decides to offer his services as her hairy godmother to help her get noticed.
I’m a sucker for romance books where the hunky hero takes pity on the unassuming heroine and decides to help her out with her lackluster love life (of course assuming he will just stay friends and not develop feelings for her- yeah right!).
This college romance book had the best banter and the best characters making it one of my favorites.
Jackson is all about football on campus so rather than party, he cruises the strip on campus every Friday night. But one Friday night he has an unsavory run-in with Charlotte. He may push her buttons but neither one can’t help but fall.
This college romance book is such a funny, sweet and loveable enemies to lovers story. The honesty Charlie and Jackson shared between them was very special and the highlight of the book for me.
Ney writes phenomenal dialogue for her characters that just makes them shine.
MM College Romance Books
Keaton wants to give his college girlfriend a birthday present she always wanted and will never forget – a threesome.
Looking for a guy to join them, he turns to a hookup app. Yet he soon discovers that texting with SinnerThree turns him on a little more than he’s willing to admit.
Bowen and Kennedy are the queen duo of writing MM romance. I loved this enemies to lovers story between college housemates that neither guy ever expected.
Nate is taking a study break in his room and takes things in his own hands to provide some needed relief when his roommate, Eric, walks in on him catching him in the act but not necessarily looking away. Nate likes the attention, making him think he’s maybe not as straight as he thought.
Let me just say that this MM college romance book was HOT. It’s truly an erotic romance between two juniors, sharing the same house, who explore their sexuality and chemistry everywhere but a bed. I loved it. [Read More]
Marc and Chet’s childhood friendship all but ended when their fathers had a falling. Now at the same college, they have been able to steer clear of one another until they end up interning at the same law firm.
Ever the competitors, the tension to one up each other is turned on, but the tension between them is just as strong.
This is a great friends to enemies to lovers story with a great push-pull dynamic between the characters. The prologue really sets the stage for their connection followed by great will they or won’t they moments until they stop fighting their attraction.
Another great MM college romance book to check out! [Read More]
Popular College Romance Novels That I Haven’t Read
(and probably won’t)
These books are some of the most popular college romance books that fans of this genre have read.
I personally haven’t read any of them and probably won’t because many delve into topics that I steer clear of in my romance book reading such as rape, sexual assault and abuse.
If you don’t mind these topics then check out these popular college romance novels. Just know that they should carry trigger warnings.
Abby is in college hoping for a new beginning, only Easton University’s walking one-night stand challenges her straight and narrow path with a bet she doesn’t refuse.
This is one of the most popular college romance books and I’ve yet to read it! I’m not quite sure it’s for me given the heavy subject matter but for those who love a college bad boy who’s drawn to the good girl – this is your book.
Jacqueline is in college hoping for a new beginning – only Easton University’s walking one-night stand challenges her straight and narrow path with a bet she doesn’t refuse.
Webber’s book is another favorite college romance book I haven’t read and probably won’t given the sexual assault content. If you’re cool with it, it’s worth checking out.
Gabriel is a professor who lives out his nights trying to escape his dark past. When Julia enrolls as his graduate student, his connection to her not only jeopardizes his career but exposes his past as well.
The Dante references in this book may be enough to keep me away on this college romance as well as the virgin- bad boy references. This book has been made into a movie on Passionflix so you may want to read it and then watch it! [Movies on Passionflix]
Livie is starting her freshman year at college and embarking on the plans laid out by her father, completely ignorant of her own desires. She falls for Ashton, the playboy with his own secrets but he’s already taken.
I love coming of age, new adult romance books to a point but not ones with cheating so this will stay a pass for me even though I love Tucker’s books. If you enjoy love triangle romance books, check it out.
There you have it! The ultimate list of college romance books you’ll ever want or need to read.
Have you read one of these novels? Which was your favorite? Share in the comments below.
Related Book Lists:
- Best Teen Romance Books
- Best Sports Romance Books
- Best MM Romance Books
- Best Romance Series to Binge Read
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