Playing Offside by Jax Calder _ Blog Tour & Review

Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Playing Offside
By Jax Calder

Playing Offside cover FINAL

A M/M enemies to lovers sports romance

Aiden Jones, aka the Ice King, is one of the best rugby players in the world. He got there by working hard and sacrificing a lot, including denying a large part of himself. But there’s plenty of time to be the poster boy for gay rugby players after he retires. At the moment, he’s focused on passing a long-standing points record to cement his legacy, and he’s not about to surrender his starting spot to the cocky loudmouth who just joined the training squad, no matter how talented the kid might be.

Tyler can’t believe he’s made it into the New Zealand rugby training squad after only his first professional rugby season. Now management has decided that it’s a good idea for him to room with Aiden Jones, who Tyler’s had a long-range crush on for years. And although Aiden is icy to him both on and off the field, Tyler figures with a little charm, he can melt the Ice King. But even he’s not prepared for how heated things become between them. Now Tyler’s falling for the same guy whose starting spot he’s gunning for. But all is fair in both love and sport, right?

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I was a strong man. But right now, I definitely wasn’t made of ice.

And it would have taken someone with a stronger willpower than Gandhi not to check out a half-naked Tyler Bannings standing a few feet away. All that golden skin lying over perfectly sculpted muscle. I swallowed. Hard.

“Like what you see?” He smirked.

Fuck. It looked like the direction of my attention had not escaped his notice.

I managed to stop my cheeks from igniting. I raised my gaze to stare straight at him. He was still smirking, and I had an overwhelming urge to wipe that smug grin off his face.

“Yeah, I do, actually.” The words were out of my mouth without me stopping to think through the consequences.

His smile dropped. “Wait, what?”

Now was the time to backtrack and turn this into a joke. But part of me liked the fact I had the cocky bastard flummoxed. I could always claim the joke later.

“I said I do like what I see.” My voice came out husky.

His Adam’s apple bobbed. “You’re shitting me, right? You’re just messing with my head?”

He’d started breathing harder, his chest rising and falling as he watched me. My smart-ass teammate was the most freaked out I’d ever seen him. Even more freaked out than when he thought the New Zealand coach disapproved of him.

And that caused anger to flash through me.

I quirked an eyebrow. “What? I thought you’re this enlightened, woke generation. You’re not going to tell me you’re homophobic, are you?”

His eyes narrowed. “You are messing with me.”

I shrugged. “If that’s what you want to believe.”

He licked his lips. I couldn’t help my gaze dropping to his mouth. When I looked back up, his eyes had heated.

Holy shit, maybe I’d read this situation wrong. He couldn’t be, could he?

Bannings stepped toward me, his dark eyes not leaving my face.

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Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Playing Offside, Jax is giving away a $20 Amazon Voucher and an e-copy of Playing Offside!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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About the Author:

Jax’s stories are all about light-hearted conversations and deeply-felt connections. She loves exploring exactly why two characters are the only ones who’ll make the other truly happy, and the journey they take to reach their happily-ever-after

Jax lives in New Zealand with her family and a wide assortment of animals. She’s a rabid sports fan, a hiking enthusiast and has a slightly unhealthy addiction to nature documentaries. She has also been known to read the odd book on occasion.

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[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Playing Offsides by Jax Calder is the first book in the Sporting Secrets series. Aiden Jones is the best the rugby world has seen in a long time. He’s fighting tooth and nail to beat a legendary record when a young up-and-comer waltzes in looking to take his starting position away. But there is more to Tyler Bannings than just his overwhelming skills on the rugby pitch, he is closeted and has no intentions of that changing and impacting his career. Aiden and Tyler are thrown together on the national team as roommates and their attraction overtakes their common sense and they find themselves being each other’s dirty secret. But when their physical relationship becomes so much deeper the two are found asking themselves if they can truly throw away each other for a few more minutes on the pitch.

Aiden Jones has had a rugby career that most only can dream about. He has started for the national team for four seasons and is not looking to let Tyler have the position without a fight. He understands his physical attraction but Tyler’s personality is what truly entraps Aiden. He finds himself being a little bit less serious and shows Tyler sides of himself that no one really knows. The steamy scenes are well written but the sweet moments between the men truly stole the show for me.

“But despite not wanting a relationship, it appeared I’d stumbled into one with Tyler.”

Tyler Bannings has been hiding in the closet so long that when Aiden makes a pass at him he refuses to believe someone he’s fantasized about for years would even consider him. He wears his heart on his sleeve so much of the time especially when the Ice King comes out and Aiden hurts him but Tyler is just as capable of hurting Aiden right back. There were a couple moments when I just wanted to shake them both.

“God, was there anything better than seeing the Ice King looking at me with those molten eyes?”

MM sports romances are a fan fav for me. I enjoy branching out from the typical football and baseball stories so when a rugby book was coming out and it toted enemies to lovers as one of the tropes I was like yes please! This book did not disappoint although there were moments when the MCs were just so aggravating, poor Aiden. The balance between sport and romance was well done and I look forward to seeing what happens to the rugby star who falls for his manny.

3.5 stars for a sweet sports romance where fighting for the starting spot is hard when it’s someone you love. 

—Written by Katie—

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