Cleat Cute

A Novel

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Pub Date 19 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 03 Oct 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Griffin

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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.

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.


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ISBN 9781250873309
PRICE $18.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 107 members

Featured Reviews

Another hit by Meryl Wilsner! I love sapphic sports romances so imagine my delight seeing the author's next book was this. Both characters had great chemistry from the beginning and I love a good friends with benefits to lovers. I also appreciated the lack of unnecessary drama. Instead, the "conflict" was more funny. Plus, the steaminess of the love scenes?! 10/10.

Fans of Meryl Wilsner's previous books will love this too. 5 out of 5 stars.

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I don’t even know where to begin! Cleat Cute was such a fun and exciting read. It has the perfect amount of romance, drama, and just enough spice! I absolutely loved Grace and Phoebe, and I especially enjoyed the the secondary characters like Gabby, Madeeha, and Fish. I almost wish Wilsner didn’t write such interesting secondary characters because I just wanted to keep reading about them!

Cleat Cute also has it all if you’re looking for diversity and representation. Wilsner always does an excellent job writing queer and poc characters, and in this book they focused a lot more on neurodivergent characters. It was refreshing to read a book that included all of these characters.

My only problem with this book is that I wish it was longer! We obviously got a lot of Grace and Phoebe interactions throughout the whole story, but I would have loved to read more of them actually together in a relationship. I just didn’t want this story to ever end!

Cleat Cute is not one to miss. It’s Wilsner’s best book by far and I can’t wait for it to come out!

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CLEAT CUTE was an absolute joy to read. this sapphic romcom was a hilarious & tender exploration of doing what you love on your own terms, chasing your dreams, and falling for who you least expect.

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I was truly surprised to be offered the chance to review this ARC for Meryl Wilsner’s new book. Cleat Cute comes out September 19, 2023 and it is definitely worth checking out. I love how dimensional and relatable the characters are in this book. They feel so feel to me. I loved getting to know more about soccer and the love Phoebe and Grace has for the sport is seriously contagious. I found myself wanting to know more so I could join in with their excitement. I found myself really invested in the plot to this and the spicy scenes were just an added bonus. Wilsner is perfect at balancing the sweet with the spicy and blending it all together to make a really amazing book. Thank you so much to the author and St. Martins Press for the chance to review this book.

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I fell in love with Meryl’s writing after reading Mistakes Were Made so I went into this one with high expectations and I can say I was NOT disappointed! Phoebe and Grace are badass women, they’re funny, sexy, complex, and well rounded characters I immediately wanted to see end up together. From the start I’m rooting for them both off and on the field and seeing a relationship that allows for people to be messy is such a breath of fresh air. Also, seeing neurodivergent characters on the page made me feel seen, as an AuDHDer myself. Seeing characters who struggle the same way I do and still being successful humans made me so freaking happy. Seriously, I can’t wait for this book to drop so I can read it all over again! Thanks so much to Meryl and St Martins Press for the ARC!!

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I have been a fan of Meryl Wilsner's books since the first one I read, but I think that Cleat Cute is their best yet. Grace and Phoebe are delightful characters, full of fun and flaws. Wilsner's specialty of idiots to idiots who are also in love is present here to its fullest extent. They're so stupid (affectionate). The soccer information is incredibly well done. People who are already fans of the sport will delight in the myriad of references to real life WOSO events, though readers without the background knowledge will still understand the structure of what is happening.

As usual, Wilsner juggles a variety of identities and life circumstances with ease, flowing them naturally into the plot and characterization of the main cast and supporting characters. The world feels well-rounded and fully descriptive. And the sex scenes--scorching, unsurprisingly, as well as touching and enlightening.

Cleat Cute is hot, funny, romantic, and engaging. It's a home run. Or a bicycle kick, or something soccer-y and extremely cool and good.

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Meryl Wilsner has done it again! Cleat Cute is an adorable romance that combines some of the best aspects of her previous work; with amazing steamy scenes like in "Mistakes Were Made" and heartfelt "workplace" romance like in "Something to Talk About" (if you count a soccer field as a workplace) Grace and Phoebe are the best characters. I loved the undiagnosed ADHD x undiagnosed autism power couple representation, as well as the (not-so) hidden themes of prioritizing what you want in life. Overall, so cute, perfect amount of steam, and you will be sucked into this story- I read this in less than 24 hours! Thank you St. Martin's Press for the advanced copy!

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As my most anticipated book of the year, I had the highest of high expectations for this one. Which is almost comical considering I know negative zero about sports. Truly Meryl Wilsner is the only human who could write anything about the sports ball and I get so excited to read about it. You'll be happy to know that they absolutely knocked it out of the park!

Grace and Phoebe were both such well rounded characters. While each dealt with either ADHD or autism, it wasn't harped on or made to be a huge barrier to their relationship. If anything, it was truly done with such care and wholesomeness. While keeping the usual Meryl-sizzle, we also see them showing love by assisting each other with doctors appointments, schedules, and various other things they struggled with. The LGBTQ+ representation was also perfectly done! Inclusion of transgender, bi, etc characters just added an extra layer of inclusion to an otherwise normal sapphic romance.

Did I mention the 🔥🔥?! All I can say is good thing it's hot here because I needed a cold shower after some of Grace and Phoebes encounters!! This is truly one of if not the very best Sapphic romance of the year! The only downfall is another year or so until their next release. 😭


Thank you to NetGalley, Meryl Wilsner, and St. Martins Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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