Playing It Safe (Sydney Smoke Rugby Series Book 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?
Publication date 6/9/2021
Donovan is a sports personality, so has an image to uphold. The last thing he needs is to be found out that he’s gay! So much pressure and financial worry has Donovan firmly in the closet!
Beckett a financial genius, gay and proud of it. It’s taken him a long time to accept and live himself, and he’s dated men who are scared of being found out, he’s not going to do that to himself again. He wants a man to openly show his love.
I loved the beginning of this story, the moment their eyes locked across the crowded restaurant, the chemistry practically sizzled off my kindle. Introductions are made and Donovan is just a gibbering wreck, he knows Beckett knows he’s gay, and hopes that he stays quiet.
But at some point he wants to get to know this man.
But working together is going to cause all types of hassles.
Donovan is dismayed that Beck is going to be working at the club he’s at! People will only have to look at them and know he fancies Beck!
Beckett Stanton is a wonderful character, gentle, kind and totally gets where Donovan is coming from.
He’s patient when Donovan has a melt down, he’s assertive when needed, and such a foil for the rough and gruff rugby player. He sees the real Donovan and does his best to bring that side out.
It’s about weighting up the pros and cons of a relationship. It’s about doing what’s right for you, and damn the consequences. But in Donovan’s case, he has his career/family to think about, what will his daughter think? What will his family and fans do?
But spending time with Beckett has him questioning those values. What if he misses out on the best thing that will ever happen to him? Doesn’t he deserve happiness? Yes he could wait until his career is done. But would Beck wait that long?
Beck understands where Donovan is coming from, but he won’t be a dirty little secret. He’s allowed to show his love, and if Donovan doesn’t want to show the world, then he’ll find someone who will!
It does slow down a little, and the constant looking over his shoulder has me wanting to shake Donovan, you understand his reluctance, but he going to lose Beck if he’s not careful!
This book is in a series, I’ve not read any of the previous books, but I probably will go back at some point.
It doesn’t spoil this book if you don’t read the others first, but I was surprised to find it’s an MM (male/male) read in a FM (female/male) series (I’ve noticed a lot of authors branching out recently, which is good, nothing wrong with a little change up)
It’s also a sports romance (not a big fan) but it’s written really well.
A slow burn romance that will tug at the heartstrings and the face muscles. It’s left me with a smile 😊