How in the heck did I not already have THIS list up?!! Some of my absolute favorite “new adult” books feature the sports star/girl-next-door fantasy. Whether he’s famous worldwide, or the college hero, there’s nothing better than being best friends (and maybe more) with one. Done right, whether they be loaded in cocky bad-boyness, or we have a more subdued, brooding-guy slow burn, these are the books that keep hitting the best sellers lists.
And it’s not for nothing. They can be hilarious (especially with a well-written entourage… like more popular guy friends). They tickle our “romance fantasy” needs (that, of being THE ONE noticed by the star that can have anybody they want), plus you get that family feel with the whole cast of characters. Pining and unrequited love. Angsty misunderstandings and endearing silly hijinks. Unexpected true friendships, groupies and mean girls. Nerds and jocks. Rumors and paparazzi. Throw ‘em together in one story, and it promises unputdownable FUN!!! Plus, the sports stars tend to be a little alpha-male, so that’s always a plus.
The best ones? They’re the whole romance-book shebang!
So when I started receiving requests like these:
Kristin: Awesome!! I love your genre lists! If you are plotting a new one, I would give anything for a baseball/football player one. Swooning….
Cheryl: …sports theme is my fav story-line!!! Heaven!!!
Marina: I don’t even like baseball??? No matter…
Fabi: “And I don’t even like baseball??? No matter…” hahaha marina, the things we do for (book) hotness
Maryse: I too am not into “real life” sports but I sure do love ‘em in our books! Tee hee!!!
Heidi: Not a sports fan, but I love reading books about hot athletes!
Kathy P: I am a sucker for any sports romance!
Becky: Ohh love sports! And have been looking at these books!
Lisa: Think I have an ice hockey/football player crush going on……too bad we don’t have either in Australia
*gasp* Yep… it’s game time. <— Tee hee. See what I did there.
Here are MY FAVORITES (so far):
- If old-school new adult indie-feel romance is what you crave, THIS IS IT!
- If you’re looking for the unattainable bad boy jock that develops a JUST friendsrelationship with the book smart girl (who really, and believably wants NOTHING to do with him) and it stays that way for a good portion of the book, TEASING YOU… THIS IS IT!
- If you’re looking for BELIEVABLE friendship, believable attraction and believable reasons why it’s not happening… THIS IS IT!!!
- If you’re looking for LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY, your eyes welling up with tears from laughing so hard, THIS IS IT!!
Jean: The Deal…..you guys…….so great! No instant attraction… They generally don’t like each other….. And their banter is so funny! And yeah a hockey player!! Is it bad that I want to be a puck bunny? Lol!
Kim: LOVED it!! You just have to say hockey player and I’m in. Garrett was BBF perfection and to match him with a smart, witty, strong female lead in Hannah, this book was pure joy. What a great way to snap a bit of a book funk!!
The Mistake (Off-Campus Book 2) by Elle Kennedy <— COLLEGE HOCKEY HERO ALERT! Like book #1, this one had just enough of “everything” to keep it good. A bit of a slow burn (’cause of that initial make-out session that doesn’t turn into much… at first), some bully-drama, romance angst, and humor to boot! Plus all of the personal angst to give it some depth. (my review)
Fabi: I’m 100% with you Maryse on wanting the football players spin off. Please, please, “pleas”, Ms. Kennedy, after we get to know the rest of the hockey players, including Hunter, can we meet the football players? I got a huge kick out of Grace being a football fan.
The Score (Off-Campus Book 3) by Elle Kennedy <— COLLEGE HOCKEY HERO ALERT! My perfect read! This one had my emotions in a whirlwind and every emotion I felt, I FELT HARD. The wit, the laughs, the romance, the steam, the pain, and the interactions between the main characters and the secondary characters in this series are second to none. (my review)
Sharon: This series is such a unexpected surprise. Every book just gets better and better for me. The Score? It had it all. It was fun, sexy, and it made me cry. I didn’t think I was going to like Dean. Well, I loved him. I just want to read Tucker’s story. How can you go wrong with a hot ginger haired hockey player?
Moonshot by Alessandra Torre <— BASEBALL STAR ALERT! This is the stuff made of pure fantasies. Crushing hard on the biggest and hottest baseball star in the major leagues, and him… noticing her right back. But what makes it that much hotter, that much more potent, is the touch of forbidden that sets the scene. (my review)
Cocky Bastard by Penelope Ward & Vi Keeland <— EX-RUGBY PLAYER (kind of famous) ALERT! There’s no doubt why “Cocky” (aka “Chance”) made so many of us fall head-over-heels. He’s… everything. EV-ER-Y-THING!!!!! He’s an ex sports star, hot as heck, sexy and silly, and a real guy, despite his seeming perfection. And best of all? He’s a true hero, but not that glorious, super-hero type. Chance makes mistakes. (my review)
The Baller: A Down and Dirty Football Novel by Vi Keeland <— FAMOUS FOOTBALL STAR ALERT! Yes you’ve read this kind of cocky character before, but trust me, there is SO much more to him then his public persona, and as we go with him behind the sport star scene to the things that matter most to him, you will adore him. (my review)
The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata <— FAMOUS FOOTBALL STAR ALERT! Plenty of butterfly in the stomach, and the OH NO HE DIDN’T thrill moments throughout the whole journey. A delicious slow burn, and a good dose of unrequited pining where we get to be HER, and go through all of her emotions with her as she struggles with her love/hate relationship with her boss. (my review)
Kulti by Mariana Zapata <— FAMOUS SOCCER STAR ALERT! Yes…. my friends. It’s soccer and not all of us are HUGE soccer fans. I can even venture to guess that the majority of us aren’t soccer fans at all. Doesn’t matter. YES, “soccer” is big in this, as the backdrop, but front row and center? That arrogant ass and our slow burn that we SO coveted for the last year or so. It. IS. HERE!!! (my review)
Jan130: Fabulous book. Doesn’t matter if you’re not a sports fan. (I know NOTHING about women’s soccer, except what I learnt in this book LOL). It’s so worth hanging in there right till the great payoff at the end of the book. And I love the heroine – she has so much integrity and maturity. I get sick of TSTL or really immature h’s.
MichelleS: “…absolutely loved it! Yes Sal was the star for me but Kulti, for a man of little words, had some goosebump-inducing, swoon-worthy moments! I do not even really like soccer but it was not even a factor in connecting with the story at all. I wanted to start something new today but I’m finding that I want to stay with their story a little longer and nothing is looking good…another indicator for me that I just read a great one!”
The Year We Fell Down: A Hockey Romance (The Ivy Years Book 1) by Sarina Bowen <— COLLEGE HOCKEY HERO ALERT! Great writing, a sweet exploration of honorable, intelligent, yet human “new adult” characters, with somewhat tragic events that kept that touch of angst rolling, and the learning process… growing. (my review)
Beautiful Disaster: A Novel by Jamie McGuire <— UNDERGROUND MMA CAGE-FIGHTER COLLEGE STAR ALERT! I know… I know. This one makes SO many of my various “new adult romance” favorites lists but come on. It’s the original. It’s the one that set the college bad-boy stage, plus he’s the untameable one that could get ANYONE he wanted BUT fell for the one he never expected. Plus he’s a fighter bad-ass and wins all of the matches to pay for his college. Travis. Is. IT! I’ll always love him and he will always be my favorite, and while his MMA fighting was not at a college-sports team thing, nor was it at the UFC level just yet, you KNOW he was a star, no matter what. Best of the best, and a total “sports” hero. (my review)
Real (The REAL series Book 1) by Katy Evans <— MMA FIGHTER STAR ALERT! If a guy COULD “acceptably” pee on a potential mate to claim and mark her in front of others… this would be the guy. He was another one of those… you know the kind. Where logically, things happen and stuff is said and you know you should run in the other direction. But your heart just can’t get enough of him, and instead you just want to promise him forever, even though you’ve only known him for two weeks, and you’re too young to know better… (my review)
Rachel: I practice martial arts so when I discovered they were books that combined both sports and romance I jumped to read them. Real was the first one I’d ever read, Remington has got to be my favorite alpha, I love a man in charge. They’re story is wonderfully written and fun to read.
Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts Book 1) by Kele Moon <— MMA UFC CHAMPION OF THE WORLD ALERT! “YESSSSS! THIS is what I was looking for. That intense, “OMG you are more famous then words and you want little ol’ me” excitement. That realization. Of course, not in “groupie” form – although that book might be fun too, but like this. Just. Like. This.” (my review)
Against the Ropes (Redemption Book 1) by Sarah Castille <— MMA FIGHTER STAR ALERT! He pretty much has everything going for us. I mean him. Let’s just say, he’s a few different “genres” in one. But once you start reading (and chances are… loving) this, that “a little too convenient” won’t matter so much. You’ll be having too much fun to roll your eyes. The writing and the laughs (OMG the laughs!!!) and the serious moments are handled wonderfully. (my review)
Thin Love by Eden Butler <— NFL FOOTBALL STAR ALERT!
Antonella: I’m halfway through and I’m hooked. The angst and build up is driving me nuts.
April: Loved Thin Love!!! It’s a re-read for me!!!
The Hooker and the Hermit (Rubgy Book 1) by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway <— RUGBY STAR ALERT! Karen loved it! “…the Hooker and the Hermit by Cosway and Reid… I just finished it late, late, late last night (shamefully late) and it was very hot and sexy and ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. The H has a seriously filthy mouth, but he was so delicious. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading a book! I think I smiled 90% of the time (but there were a few angsty parts too). Highly recommend if you want to swoon and laugh ”
The Player and the Pixie (Rugby Book 2) by Penny Reid & L.H. Cosway <— RUGBY STAR ALERT! DG recommends this one from the same series! “The Player and the Pixie (LH Cosway and Penny Reid)…yeah, HE was the first ever whose reputation was just that all talk…”
Him by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy <— M/M ROMANCE/HOCKEY PLAYERS ALERT! Kathy loved it! “I just read Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy. M/M Hockey romance that was so good so if you haven’t read that one yet I would highly recommend it. Fell in love with both male characters!”
PUCKED (The PUCKED Series Book 1) by Helena Hunting <— NHL HOCKEY STAR ALERT! SO many recommendations for this one!
Kim: I pucking loved Pucked. The funniest book I’ve read in a long time, maybe ever. Maryse, you will appreciate the endless Canadianisms. If you are looking for an escape from the angst and love a hot as puck hockey player as much as I do, this book is for you!
Jennifer: Finished Pucked last night and haven’t picked a new book to start yet. I really liked it I was reading while my husband tried to nap…he kept telling me to be quiet because I kept giggling!
Cheryl: I LOVED Pucked too! I seriously was laughing out loud every few minutes!! The things that came out of Violet’s mouth-hysterical and that epilogue…OMG I was dying..the cape…I’m losing it again…
Jenn: Ok has anyone read Pucked yet?? Absolutely hilarious!! Could not stop laughing, especially when she started to describe his “goods”.
Cindy: Just finished Pucked and never laughed so hard!! Great book and loved the outrageous things that came out of Violet’s mouth – especially in the epilogue. Thanks for the great recommendation!!
Lisa: Pucked was snort laugh funny….just what the Dr ordered after my recent book blues funk.
The Hook Up (Game On Series Book 1) by Kristen Callihan <— FOOTBALL STAR ALERT! Shane recommends it! “Shane: I finished ‘The Hookup,’ I really liked it. Drew did it for me. He knew from the start that she is the one and I wish all men were like that.”
Jan130: For me, Kristen Callahan’s The Hook-up and The Friend Zone have some of that Elle Kennedy feel. College students, sports stars, funny, sweet, hot.
Lisa: Laugh out loud loving The Hook up. Cant wait to start Friend Zone next. Fresh fun and sexy.
Cheryl: The Game On series has a similar feel as The Score or The Deal. College football player H, strong, sarcastic h, slow-burn relationship.
Biate: LOVE this list. But I have to add the Game On series by Kristen Callihan.
Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey <— FAMOUS OLYMPIC SOCCER PLAYER ALERT! Jan130 recommends it! “ I enjoyed Scoring Wilder and The Summer Games as well. Both sweet reads, even for those who aren’t usually into sports romance. Oh yeah, Freddie is HOT!! …The first one especially is full of funny one-liners and wisecracks. And I liked that SW was fresh in my mind when I read TSG because we revisit some of the same characters (in minor roles, admittedly), which was nice. TSG (or both books, really) are sweet, light, funny romances. TSG has a nice bee-arch of a baddie in Caroline and you just love to hate her. But a sweet HEA. Aaaahhh. *Idly sips at glass of sauv blanc*”
The Summer Games: Settling the Score by R.S. Grey <— FAMOUS OLYMPIC SWIMMER ALERT! Grace enjoyed this one! “Just wanted to say that I’m reading The Summer Games and really enjoying it. I seem to be on a roll with tension filled build up books right now. I really enjoyed Scoring Wilder, but I’m kind of loving that although those characters are in this one it’s not at all about them. I’m voting Freddie the Duke of Sexy! Even with a name like Frederick Archibald! LOL!”
Stealing Home by Nicole Williams <— BASEBALL STAR ALERT! Cheryl is reading this recent release as we speak! “I’m still reading Stealing Home which I’m loving!!”
Anything but Minor by Kate Stewart <— BASEBALL STAR ALERT! Another recent release and Heather says: “It’s amazing!”
Red Card by Carrie Aarons <— FAMOUS SOCCER PLAYER ALERT! DG loved it! “Just finished Red Card by Carrie Aarons ….love a good sports, international book. Hot, slightly older footballer….with lots of arrogance to spare *fans face* add in a hint of a troubled past. SOLD!”
Love, in English by Karina Halle <— SOCCER STAR ALERT! Julie O loved this one! “I do want to make a comment about soccer. I love sports, I watch football, basketball and soccer, mma and wish the olympics were on every year, winter and summer! Just have to say that soccer has the best looking guys in all sports, hands down. And just think of the stamina girls! Love in English is a great book featuring a soccer star and it was one of my top 5 this year.” Oh yes! I loved this one too!! (my review)
Worth the Chance (MMA Fighter Series Book 2) by Vi Keeland <— MMA FIGHTER ALERT! Lauren went crazy for this one! “Worth the Chance by Vi Keeland was FANTASTIC!!! The back-story between the two main characters makes them so easy to relate to, and there are just the right amount of conflicts that arise and then get resolved that had me turning the pages to find out what happened next. It’s currently the #1 BestSeller on Amazon in sports fiction, and it has an average rating of 4.8/5.0 (71 reviews) HUGE fan of Vi Keeland!!!”
The Perfect Play (A Play-by-Play Novel Book 1) by Jaci Burton <— FOOTBALL/BASEBALL/HOCKEY STARS ALERT! Georgia loves these! “I’m loving this series … being a huge sports fan. It’s amazing. The Alpha Males are awesome. The story lines for each of the books deals with real relationship issues. Jaci Burton rocks. I’m a huge fan. I’m on the fourth book in two days.”
Jan: Yeah Georgia. I’ll add my vote for Jaci Burton’s play-by-play series as well. I really liked these (except the latest one wasn’t as good). If you don’t know where to start from this list, you can’t go far wrong with Jaci Burton. And there’s a whole pile of books, about connected/ related MCs but several different sports. I think there’s even a racing driver one. Goodie!
Carolina Cold Fury Hockey by Sawyer Bennett <— HOCKEY STARS ALERT! Lisa LOVES this series! “I will urge you all again to click away on Carolina Cold Fury bundle. These guys are hot hot hot. I love this series, its like my happy place between angsty heartbreaker books. A bit like a KA fix…you know you’re going to get the HEA with a few bumps on the way…. Oh How I love those boys!!!! ALEX! ZACK! So good.”
Kathy P: Zach ( A Cold Fury Hockey) by Sawyer Bennett. I have to say I love my hockey romances and this was one of her best. …I have read every book in this series!! I am a sucker for a hockey romance!! You won’t be disappointed in any of these books!
Tina: The men of the Cold Fury by Sawyer Bennett. I love hockey men!
Melinda: I just finished zack a cold fury hockey novel by sawyer Bennett. Honestly so good I read it in one night just couldn’t put it down.
Nothing But Trouble (Chinooks Hockey Team Book 5) by Rachel Gibson <— HOCKEY STAR ALERT! Leslie M LOVES it so much she re-reads it! “Nothing But Trouble by Rachel Gibson. I have read this one a bazillion times (its my fave hockey romance). The h is a wannabe actress/personal assistant.”
Julie o: Nothing But Trouble is one of my favorite books and I have reread it a couple of times.
See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team Book 2) by Rachel Gibson <— HOCKEY STAR ALERT! Jan recommends another one from the same series! ”What about Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score? An old fav of mine. I hate the name of the book LOL but it’s a very sweet and funny romance about a female journalist who has to write stories about a hockey team, who aren’t very welcoming to her. But then Jane and the hot goalie get to know each other a bit better, ahem. (Same series as Nothing But Trouble in your list above).”
Taking Shots: An Assassins Novel (The Assassins Series Book 1) by Toni Aleo <— HOCKEY STAR ALERT! Chanpreet recommends these: “Toni Aleo writes some great books. She makes hockey sexy.”
Kathy P: Love Toni Aleo’s hockey series. I have just finished the first two books and the 3rd is ready to go! Was never a fan of hockey but I am now!
Lori: I have read some of Toni’s hockey men and DAMN!!! they are good..
J Mull: I heart the Assassins series, so I’m stoked for new hot hockey reading.
Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks Book 2) by Miranda Kenneally <— COACH & ASSISTANT ALERT! Blogger recommends this one! “I just wanted to recommend Stealing Parker by Miranda Kennelly again. It’s a phenomenal read, I highly suggest anyone to read it. A girl is working as assistant coach on her high school baseball team, however a relationship with the new coach emerges.”
Roommates by Tara Brown <— HOCKEY STAR ALERT! Lisa loved it! “Roommates…!!! Ice Hockey hero. Loved it.”
Legend (The REAL series Book 6) by Katy Evans <— BOXER STAR ALERT! DG reminds us about this one “Oh my Maryse….how could we forget?!?! Even though you have my fav guy listed…Remi…sigh…we forgot about Legend…just love the way Katy Evans writes about those MMA guys….double sigh”
Sweet Home Series by Tillie Cole <— COLLEGE FOOTBALL STARS ALERT! Another DG recommendation: “Sweet Home (Tillie Cole)…the first book of hers that I read…college football…recent British transfer student and quarterback of football team”
Fallen Crest High (Fallen Crest Series, Book 1) by Tijan <— HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STARS ALERT! Grey (and SO MANY in our crew) loved these guys! “Mmm, ooh Maryse. Thank you! What about an honorable mention section for Logan and Mason Kade… Because the Fallen Crest series by Tijan had some football fun, ”
Hardball: (A Sports Romance Standalone) by CD Reiss <— BASEBALL STAR ALERT!
Marina: OMG, Maryse I am ALL OVER Hardball!!! CD Reiss is DROP EVERYTHING and read for me. …I love CD Reiss and need her writing and a hot, sexy read. Now I have something I’m excited to read. And I don’t even like baseball??? No matter…
It Had to Be You (Chicago Stars) by Susan Elizabeth Phillips <— FOOTBALL STAR ALERT! Kathy recommends this one! “Some of the greatest listed here all but one; It had to be you by by Susan Elizabeth Phillips”
bev: Definitely have to add Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She has a series based off of a football team and one with golf. My first SEP was Nobody’s Baby But Mine (Chicago Stars Book 3) and it fits in there somehow. I must of been nicer to my heroines cause the premise is whoa. But its good. And another famous football star and she is a genius scientist. Beyond the premise their problems with each other are funny. Though I think it may be a connecting series book. The first Chicago stars is (look it up) It had to be You. Yes, good book. Heroine takes over the team. Coach does not like it, lol. First time we meet Bobby Tom. Ok end ramble.
Jan: SEP is a must. Chicago Stars series e.g. It Had To Be You.
Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley <— FOOTBALL STAR ALERT! Ooooooh a KA recommendation!!! Lori says: “Heaven and Hell is one of my favs. The h, in an abusive marriage, for years thought about the H, a famous sports star, a fantasy, to escape her reality. After the death of her husband, they meet by chance, and off their story goes. Sam is awesome, super hot, protective but of course has his own issues to deal with.”
From Rags by Suzanne Wright <— FAMOUS RACE CAR DRIVER!!! Ella suggests this one! “From Rags. He’s a famous race car driver. She becomes discovered as a model. Loved it. Love that author”
The Driven Series Boxed Set – Limited Edition (Books 1-4) by K. Bromberg <— FAMOUS RACE CAR DRIVER!!! Race car driver, in fact… Lauren loved these SO much and says: “I just discovered the Driven series last month & I’ve already gone back & re-read them a few times. I’m so glad I found em after all 3 had been released….can’t imagine having to wait for each book!!! “I race you, Ryles”…..my heart melted!! I love Colton Donavan! …so jealous of those who haven’t read it! I was late to the K. Bromberg Driven trilogy & all the books were already out & everyone was going nuts over Colton Donavan & I remember thinking, “what’s the big deal?” Then I read them….”
Melissa: “I have read the Driven series Twice now and Absolutely Love it!”
Tessa: “the Driven series was so goooooood. I was in a happy fog, my heart having clenched so many times throughout the books. Great recommendation. Warning, though, it took me a bit to be able to read again due to the happy fog.”
Revved Series by Samantha Towle <— FAMOUS RACE CAR DRIVER!!! Lisa recommends these!! “If we’re adding race drivers we had better pit Revved and Revived by Samantha Towle on the list. Loved Carrick.”
Poles Apart by Kirsty Moseley <— FAMOUS RACE CAR DRIVER!!! Marion suggests this one! “Poles Apart by Kirsty Moseley!!!! Formula 1 racer and a girl who works at a nightclub….very ģood story! Ms. Moseley has the gift.”
Play (Completion Series) by Holly S. Roberts <— FOOTBALL STAR ALERT! Cheryl LOVES the sports stars BIG TIME!! “I LOVE a sports star story. This was one of the best I’ve read. Angst, hot, alpha badass H, reminded me a little of Tate with his commands- “Everything off below the waist. Now.” “Naked in my kitchen. Now.” F&@k, I want to look at you for hours, but I’m done being nice. You ready legs?” Enjoyable!!”
Strike: New Adult Sports Romance (Completion Book 2) by Holly S. Roberts <— BASEBALL STAR ALERT! DG also suggests this one! “Ohhh…and here are a few more than stand out to me: Strike (Holly S Roberts)…great opening to this book…first chapter will hook you!… needless to say it is about a baseball player”
The Fighting Series by J.B. Salsbury <— MMA FIGHTERS ALERT! DG also recommends this WHOLE series! “ALL of JB Salsbury books…Fighting to Forget, Fighting the Fall, Fighting for Flight, Fighting for Forever, Fighting to Forgive, A Father’s Fight….”
Hammy: Ohhh Fighting For Flight stole my panties. NO fight necessary! Jonah… oh yeah! I got my shark teeth out and devoured this one. Can’t wait to see what you think :b
Suze: Fighting for Flight was fabulous.
Maria: Finished Fighting to Forgive, 5 Star book!!!! I loved it!!!!
Melinda: Fighting to forget great read, ever since I read this I can’t get it out of my head. All the broken people in this series could it be possible. All the emotions this book brings out, it’s traumatising. But there’s hope as well. I really enjoyed this book. Definitely needs to be on your Tbr page.
Carol: Just finished reading Fighting to Forget! Phenomenal. Loved it.
Leslie recommends all of these: “Oooh, I have more of my faves to add:
- Room for You (Cranberry Inn Book 1) by Beth Ehemann
- Crash by Nicole Williams
- Seducing Cinderella (A Fighting for Love Novel Book 1) by Gina Maxwell
- Suddenly Sexy by Linda Francis Lee
- Double Play (Pacific Heat Book 1) & Slow Heat (Pacific Heat Book 2) by Jill Shalvis
AND EVEN MORE THAT SOUND GREAT (and I’m hoping to get feedback on!):
Purple Orchids (A Mitchell Sisters Novel) by Samantha Christy <— SOCCER PLAYER+ ANGSTY-SOUNDING ALERT! “Baylor didn’t know what true love was when she arrived on campus for freshman orientation. Enter bad boy soccer player, Gavin, who was all too happy to take her on that journey. Everything was perfect . . . Until it wasn’t.” Holly especially loved the second book: The second book in this series White Lilies (A Mitchell Sisters Novel) is AMAZING!!!! You guys have to read it. Can be read as a standalone!