Cleat Cute: A Novel (Paperback)
Soccer sports romance? Um, yes!! I absolutely love sports romances, and this one didn't disappoint. Pheobe Matthews is finally getting her chance to prove herself and possibly get drafted into the US national soccer team to play alongside her childhood idol, Grace Henderson. Grace is reserved, keeps to herself, and an amazing player, and she's not dated anyone since her bad experience with another player, Kelsey. Phoebe is fiery and flirty, but she hasn't had a girlfriend since college and doesn't want one either. But neither of them can deny their physical attraction to one another. I loved getting to see them grow not only in their relationship but also as people!— Kalli K.
A sapphic rivals to lovers rom com for fans of Ted Lasso and A League of Their Own, where two soccer teammates are at odds before falling in love as their team gears up for the World Cup.
Grace Henderson has been a star of the US Women’s National Team for ten years, even though she’s only 26. But when she’s sidelined with an injury, a bold new upstart, Phoebe Matthews, takes her spot. 22-year-old Phoebe is everything Grace isn’t—a gregarious jokester who plays with a joy that Grace lost somewhere along the way. The last thing Grace expects is to become teammates with benefits with this class clown she sees as her rival.
Phoebe Matthews is too focused on her first season as a professional soccer player to think about seducing her longtime idol. But when Grace ends up making the first move, they can’t keep their hands off of each other.
As the World Cup approaches and Grace works her way back from injury, a miscommunication leaves the women with hilariously different perspectives on their relationship. But they’re on the same page on the field, realizing they can play together instead of vying for the same position. With every tackle the tension between them grows, and both players soon have to decide what's more important—being together or making the roster.
The perfect blend of funny and steamy, Meryl Wilsner’s Cleat Cute is about being brave enough to win on and off the field.
About the Author
MERYL WILSNER writes happily ever afters for queer folks who love women. They are the author of Something to Talk About and Mistakes Were Made. Born in Michigan, Meryl lived in Portland, Oregon and Jackson, Mississippi before returning to the Mitten State. Some of Meryl's favorite things include: all four seasons, button down shirts, the way giraffes run, and their wife.
A 2023 October Indie Next Pick!
Bookish, "15 Swoonworthy Queer Romances for Your TBR"
Book Riot, "The Biggest New Queer Books Out in the Rest of 2023"
BookTrib, "Your Next Charming Read"
Buzzfeed, "25 New and Upcoming LGBTQ Romance Novels You’ve Got to Read"
Goodreads, "A Look Ahead at This Year's Big Fall Romances" and "Readers' Most Anticipated September Romances"
Lambda Literary, "September’s Most Anticipated List"
Library Journal, "The Titles to Read in 2023"
Nerd Daily, "Swoonworthy July to December 2023 Romance Book Releases"
Paste Magazine, "The Most Anticipated Romance Books of Fall 2023"
"Wilsner makes this sports romance a winner." - Publishers Weekly
"This steamy opposites-attract romance from Wilsner is recommended for all collections." - Library Journal
"Wilsner breaks new ground with a sporty twist on the meet-cute trope...Fans of the popular Apple TV show Ted Lasso and the classic sporty romance film Bend It Like Beckham will cheer for this sexy sapphic romcom that fills a gap in the heretofore male-dominated sports-romance genre." - Booklist
"[A] delightfully steamy sapphic romance...class differences are deftly handled throughout, the city setting is vibrant, and there are several secondary characters who shine; most importantly, the romantic journey at the center is fun and entertaining." - Kirkus
"This upcoming romance by Meryl Wilsner is everything I’ve ever wanted in a love story...Do not miss this book!" - Book Riot, "Books About Women’s Soccer to Read During the FIFA Women’s World Cup"
"Wilsner is one of the hottest contemporary f/f romance writers right now, and the anticipation for their latest scorcher is at a fever pitch... USWNT fans who shipped Kristie Mewis and Sam Kerr long before those two made it official: this one’s for you." - Electric Literature, "The Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books for Fall 2023"
"Cleat Cute is a fun, sexy read about two women falling in love regardless of what stands in their way." - The Mary Sue
"Meryl Wilsner is a go-to author for sapphic reads." - Culturess, "10 queer romance releases to keep Pride Month going in 2023"
"For anyone in need of more sapphic soccer content post-World Cup, Meryl Wilsner's latest romantic venture, Cleat Cute, is sure to fulfill your craving." - PopSugar, "Best New Romance Novels That'll Make You Swoon"
"Wilsner is such a fun author to follow, because their debut was the slowest of the slow burns, and then bam, their followup was the spiciest of the spicy (within trad pub contemporary romance), and so Cleat Cute really could’ve gone either way… and gives a great compromise by making you think it’s gonna be the former and then. Whew. You will know it when you see it, and you will like it." - Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, "September 2023 Queer Romances"
"Cleat Cute’s Sapphic Soccer Romance Will Fill the World Cup-Shaped Hole in Your Heart." - Autostraddle
Praise for Mistakes Were Made:
"Speaking of bangers: Mistakes Were Made is what the author, Meryl Wilsner, describes as their MILF book, a Sapphic age-gap romance where a brash college senior (Cassie) unwittingly hooks up with her best friend’s divorced mom (Erin) before Family Weekend... this one struck just right, with a mix of college-party shenanigans and family-holiday pressure that felt real enough to relate to but escapist enough to enjoy." - The New York Times
"Wilsner proves their serious romance range with a sophomore that laughs in the slow-burning face of their debut by kicking off with a hookup that'll have you fanning your face for days." - Buzzfeed, "26 Highly Anticipated LGBTQ+ Romance Novels Releasing In 2022"
"Wilsner’s steamy, fast-paced secret-lovers contemporary romance features fully realized queer protagonists and secondary characters...It’s not a romantic comedy, but definitely has humor, as well as great dialogue and hot sex scenes." - Library Journal
"A sexy and empowering romance." - Kirkus Reviews
"[A] hilarious, high-heat rom-com...by coupling raunchy humor and genuine connection, Wilsner’s sophomore outing offers plenty to love." - Publishers Weekly
"This book was hot. A MILF dream, if you will. Wilsner did such a great job of twisting together personal drama with relationship drama so that there was always something going on to keep me turning the pages. I would most definitely read another book by them in the future, and I highly recommend you all read this one when it comes out in October." - Write Through the Night, "Mistakes Were Made Was Fun, Flirty, and Extremely Gay"
"Mistakes Were Made is so sexy and compelling, reading it is like being in on the most tantalizing secret. From the moment I picked it up, I couldn't stop reading, smiling, or blushing. Simply delectable from start to finish." - Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer and Home Field Advantage
"A frothy blend of heart, humor, and steam, this story about accepting love and embracing the unexpected will stay with readers far beyond its happily ever after. A vibrant, intoxicating romance." - Ashley Herring Blake, author of Delilah Green Doesn't Care
"Mistakes Were Made is an absolute delight, both undeniably sexy and incredibly sweet. The story overflows with warmth, friendship, and humor, and Wilsner skillfully ensures that even when Cassie and Erin make their mistakes - big ones - those mistakes are human and understandable. I was rooting for their happy ending the whole time, and when it arrived, I cried happy tears. I think readers will adore this story, and for good reason." - Olivia Dade, author of Spoiler Alert
"In Mistakes Were Made, Wilsner somehow deftly depicts both the messy, exuberant confusion of college life and the messy, bewildering confusion of middle age. Cassie and Erin's journey is taboo and sexy, but ultimately, it is deeply sweet: a story of how love can, and should, transcend societal expectations." - Anita Kelly, author of Love & Other Disasters
"Meryl Wilsner's sophomore novel bursts with charm, humor, and heat. Mistakes Were Made left me smiling from beginning to end and you'll fall in love while rooting for this sexy, forbidden, and adorable love story. Wilsner is a storyteller who gently and perfectly steals your heart and hands it back a little fuller. I can't wait to recommend this book to everyone I know!” - Denise Williams, author of The Fastest Way to Fall