Playing It Safe (Sydney Smoke Rugby Series #7) by Amy Andrews
Donovan Bane loves playing rugby for the Sydney Smoke. And if that means he has to keep his sexuality a secret, that’s a sacrifice he’s prepared to make. At least until after he retires, anyway. He doesn’t want to be the first pro rugby player in Australia to officially come out while still playing. The team doesn’t need the media shit storm and he’d rather be known for his footy skills. Which means no dating, no relationships, no sex. Nothing but playing ball.
Until one man suddenly changes everything…
Beckett Stanton is out and proud—and not looking for a guy who isn’t. Been there, done that, complete disaster. Unfortunately, on the first day of his new job working for the Sydney Smoke, he locks eyes with Donovan Bane and he’s a goner. Big, gruff, and athletic isn’t usually Beck’s type, but for some reason this man is ticking all his boxes. And it’s clear the feeling is mutual. It’s also clear that Donovan is not out, and doesn’t plan to be anytime soon. Still, Beck can’t resist being the man to show Donovan everything he’s been missing.
For the first time, Donovan doesn’t play it safe and allows himself to indulge in things with Beck he knows he can’t have. But when their relationship gets serious, he knows he has to choose between the career he loves and the man he loves, because how can he possibly have both?
-MM romance/Queer romance
I recently mentioned to a friend that I love sports romances but I’d never read a rugby romance… and then I was approved for this on NetGalley – how fortuitous!!
This is my first book from Amy Andrews and I’ve now added all of the Sydney Smoke series to my TBR.
Not only is this a sports romance but it’s also a M/M romance, which I adore. I love reading all sorts of queer romances and this one was such a great read.
Donovan Bane is a successful rugby star for the Sydney Smoke with a secret – he’s gay. He stays closeted because he believes that being out and being a rugby player cannot co-exist. He figures he’ll stay closeted until his career is over but then he meets Beckett Stanton and that plan is shot to hell.
The instant attraction between Donovan and Beck is tangible and intense. They both know it, feel it, but Donovan is not out and Beck swore he wouldn’t get into another situationship with a closeted man.
What ensues starts off as a fling – something easy and secret and not meant to be more than surface level. And the spice is delicious and amazing. What neither expects is to fall for the other so fast for the other… to become so important and necessary to each other. I truly loved reading how they evolved and how Dono and Beck grew, together and as individuals.
I also loved the secondary characters – the friends and WAGs, Dono’s daughter. They filled the story with love and laughs and it made me excited to read the other books in the series. I do wish we saw more of Dono’s daughter and their interactions. His ex, too. I think that could have brought more layers to the story.
This was a great read that I finished in one day and would recommend to anyone who enjoys sports romance and queer romance.