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Playing Offside: A M/M rivals to lovers sports romance (Sporting Secrets Book 1) Kindle Edition
Falling for the guy whose starting spot you're after? Never a good idea.
I’m known as the Ice King, but I didn’t become one of the best rugby players in the world by giving out free hugs. I got here by hard work and sacrifice, including denying a large part of myself. But that’s okay, there’s plenty of time to become the poster boy for gay rugby players after I retire.
Right now, I’m focusing on cementing my legacy and I’m not about to surrender my starting spot to the cocky loudmouth who just joined the training squad, no matter how talented the kid might be.
I can’t believe I’ve made it into the New Zealand rugby team after my first professional rugby season. Now management has decided it’s a good idea for me to room with Aiden Jones, who’s been my jerk-off fantasy for years. And although Aiden is icy to me both on and off the field, I figure with a little charm, I can melt the Ice King.
But even I’m not prepared for how heated things become between us.
And now it appears I’m falling for the same guy whose starting spot I’m gunning for.
But all is fair in both love and sport, right?
This book features hot rugby players, fun banter, sweet moments, steamy times, a little bit of angst and of course, a Happily Ever After! You don't need to know anything about rugby to enjoy this story.
- ASIN : B099DQGRFP
- Language : English
- File size : 3086 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 294 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 17,356 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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A wonderfully written sports romance set in New Zealand , with characters that became family.. I felt as if I was there all the time with them..
Tyler and Aiden playing the game they have a passion for , Rugby..
There is so much more in this incredible story , the beginnings of “ something “ a hook up perhaps ? Maybe more ?
How difficult could life be between two men who are not out ?
This is a beautiful story one with many ups and downs , humour, and feelings, so many feelings .
Such an emotional read for me , I cried happy tears so many times ..
It was a privilege to read this book.
The author is now an automatic buy from me; they have a fantastic and easily flowing prose that really will engage with you because it captures the feels of the individual trying to navigate the what if’s of coming out, while balancing the emotional roller coaster ride of a new emotion.
While the book doesn’t really cover any new ideas, the execution is superbly executed and is certainly worth a read as it’s like a hug- comforting and you know what you’re going to get, with only minimal angst.
Jax Calder has written a vivid story of what it is like to be hiding your true self and the fear of being found out! Jax captures the turmoil of Aiden (the senior player) and Tyler ( the heir apparent for the same field position) falling for each other.
Jax has captured the tension of their secret relationship.
Playing Offside is the first book written by Jax that I have read but it won't be the last!
I have recently found this author and I just love the characters and how they seem like real people to me while I'm reading.
I loved all the Aussie reference and can't believe this booked mention the pool room quote it's a classic and I appreciate those touches that helped me connect even if readers from other countries might not get them.
This is a must read.
I actually stayed up way past bed time because I got sucked in to Aiden and Tyler's story.
If you like sports romances, you'll love this.
Top reviews from other countries
I'm not a huge one for sports romances but I've read my fair share, usually sports I know nothing about about like Hockey, so I was all in for an MM romance set in the world of one of my favourite sports.
I wasn't sure about Tyler at the start, although I really liked Aiden. Once I got to know Tyler's story more though I did warm to him a little better. I loved Aiden from the start, and I knew that Ice King exterior was just that, all for show and I loved the start with him and Tyler slowly coming together. The added tension of Tyler being an up and coming star after Aiden's spot on the team was another complication for them and I did wonder how they'd overcome that particular obstacle. I just felt bad that it seemed to be Aiden that had to give everything for Tyler in the end, although he didn't really mind as he got his happy ending. I just wish there had been a way for them both to get what they wanted, I really got invested in Aiden getting his record, dammit! I was so disappointed he didn't, yet Tyler got it all. (I'm sure it wasn't meant to come off that way, I just got so invested in Aiden, I guess).
I really enjoyed this book, it was so well written and the characters so well rounded, even the supporting characters like Zach and Jacob. I'd be happy to step back into this world and see what happens in the series next. Rugby romance, who knew this was a thing.
I received an ARC of this from GRR and this is my honest review.
As the headline says, I had a couple of niggles but in the end, the positives outweighed them.
It's not an enemies-to-lovers romance in the slightest. Their rivalry for the half-back position is mostly snark and cutting remarks until they're jerking off together around the 18% mark!
My main niggle however, was how the nickname of the New Zealand Rugby Union International side - the All Blacks - wasn't used to describe the team.
It baffled me, as a long time fan of both Rugby Union and League, because everyone I know, including all my time as a journalist covering sport, refers to them as that. Not as the New Zealand team, or New Zealand rugby or wearing the New Zealand shirt or doing the Haka as part of the before game ritual for New Zealand etc.
Every time they weren't called the All Blacks it threw me out of the story big time.
The second, and much bigger niggle in terms of narrative, was the tired trope of a homophobic parent, usually the father as it is here.
It's an 'easy' out to use imho, especially when it's then not addressed properly as is the case here. Tyler's father's horrible behaviour is casually tidied up with an off page apology reference and a note about his mother telling him off.
When it's been the cause of most of Tyler's sometimes unintentionally hurtful behaviour towards Aiden, and all of his internalised homophobia, it really needed better treatment then it got.
The final thing that was annoying, was that even at the end, when Aiden is throwing everything away for Tyler, he only refuses to go ahead after his dad has had a go at him for letting Aiden take the fall.
That made me so mad. Throughout their relationship Tyler has struggled with the thought of coming out and the outing itself is done in such a crappy - although not at all unrealistic or improbable - way.
I wished there'd been a conversation at least between them about Tyler's fears beforehand.
Still, this sounds like everything was bad and that's not the case! The writing is engaging, both Tyler's younger puppy like personality and Aiden's Ice King reputation are described well.
The dialogue is okay there's not much internal monologuing and thankfully no miscommunication.
Sex is treated a bit oddly, with loads of off page references but also quite a lot of page time too. In fact, half the times they should have been having a conversation it instead turned into a sex scene.
But, there is a genuine connection between them and I believed they wee each other's life mate.
If there'd been a bit less sex and a few more conversations, this would have heading towards 5* category because I'm a lover of sports romances in general and definitely love it when we get a Rugby Union setting for a change.
I'm looking forward to book two though so we'll see how that goes.
I loved following Aiden and Tyler's story as they both fought for the same spot in their team.As their mutual attraction grew.
I don't want to give spoilers for this book,I would like to give readers the chance to discover this absolute delight for themselves.
I received an arc copy of this book from Booksprout and this is my honest review.
I’m excited to read the next one, the set up has me so intrigued.