Playing at Home by Jax Calder _ Release Blitz & Review

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Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Playing at Home
By Jax Calder

Playing At Home Ebook FINAL

Sporting Secrets, Book 2

Jacob Browne comes from rugby royalty but he’s never come close to being the heroic idol his father was on the rugby field. And now he’s failed off the field as well with the breakdown of his marriage. When his ex-wife hires a manny, it feels like the ultimate kick in the guts that another guy gets to spend more time with his kids than he does.

But when he actually meets Austin, the connection that grows between them upends everything Jacob thought he knew about himself and forces him to reconsider what it truly means to be a hero.

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New Release Excerpt:

“Are you okay if I ask Jen to babysit next Saturday night?”

My eyebrows knitted together. “Why, where’s Austin going to be?”

“Austin and I are going out together.”

My breath left me. It felt as if I’d been kicked in the guts. This is what I’d worried about right from the start. Matilda starting something with our ridiculously good-looking manny.

But now my guts were clenching not just because of my concern about the instability for the girls if Matilda started something with Austin. This was a whole other level of distress.

Hell. I scraped my hands through my hair.

Could I really blame Matilda for being attracted to Austin? No. Not when I suffered from the same affliction.

“Do you think that’s a good idea?” The words came out half strangulated.

Her forehead rumpled. “Why isn’t it a good idea?”

“I mean…I just don’t think it would be good for the girls…if you and Austin…”

Matilda’s frown morphed into a smirk. “Are you worried about me and Austin? Seriously?”

“I just don’t think it’s a good idea to get involved with our manny, that’s all.”

Matilda’s smirk remained. “I think you’ll find I’m lacking one major thing that Austin looks for in a partner.”

“What’s that?”

“A dick.”

My eyebrows flew up, and Matilda giggled.

“Oh my God, you should see the look on your face right now.”

I tried to keep my breathing even. “Austin’s gay?”

“Well done, I’m glad you managed to put those clues together.”

Fuck. My stomach was auditioning to be a somersault performer right now. At the same time, my heart raced harder than if I’d just played a full eighty minutes of a hard game.

Matilda’s smile faded. “What’s wrong? You’re not homophobic, are you?” Her eyes narrowed. “You can’t be. You’re fine with Beth and Charlotte.” She named her cousin and her cousin’s partner.

No, my physical reaction had nothing to do with the fact Austin was attracted to members of the same sex as him.

It was because the fact that I found him so attractive wasn’t quite as innocent anymore.

Yeah, I wasn’t exactly about to tell my soon-to-be ex-wife that.

“I’m not homophobic. What Austin does in his private life is his own business.”

“I totally agree. And that’s why I’m going to help him find someone,” she said. “I’m going to take him to the gay-friendly nightclubs and be his wingman. He deserves to have some fun. Hopefully he’ll manage to pull someone.”

My stomach twisted as I considered that possibility.

Of course he’d pull someone. Austin was gorgeous and charming and funny and sweet…yeah, that feeling inside me, the one that made me clench my teeth, it felt like…jealousy. And more than just mild jealousy. This was a fiery burn in my gut as I imagined Austin smiling at another guy.

Which I was fairly sure wasn’t what I was supposed to be feeling right now.

PAH Teaser 1

Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Playing At Home, Jax is giving away a $10 Amazon Voucher and an e-set of the Sporting Secrets Series so far (2 ebooks)!

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.

Connect with Jax:


[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Playing at Home by Jax Calder is the second book in the Sporting Secrets series. Jacob Browne has been living in the shadow of his world famous rugby playing father his whole life and has never played up to his expectations. He also sees himself failing at home as his marriage has fallen apart and his wife has decided to hire a male nanny to care for the girls. For Austin moving home to New Zealand was the right choice on many levels and he finds himself immediately thrilled with his new position at the Browne household. He doesn’t expect the rough and tough rugby playing father to be such an attentive parent and good guy overall. He finds himself unwillingly falling for Jacob in all the ways one shouldn’t for their boss but when attraction leads to secrets being revealed will the two men find their connection strong enough to keep going.

Jacob Browne is a sweetheart who just wants to be his own man. He doesn’t feel like he’s ever lived up to the expectations of anyone in his life so when Austin just wants to spend time with him as Jacob, the dad, he can’t help but give in to something he had suppressed for so long. The two fall into such a smooth rhythm that when it continues into something deeper you get a sense of rightness. Secrets are dangerous in any relationship so Jacob must decide when some unfortunate truths come out if he’s willing to put aside what’s come to light to continue with Austin.

“Jacob looked up at the sound, and his eyes met mine.
The smile lines around his eyes deepened even more.
And I found myself propelled forward by some force I couldn’t control, a desperate need to be closer to him.”

Austin Baker has been burned by his last job in London and has returned to New Zealand to get a fresh start and spend time with his beloved grandmother. He immediately recognizes his grandmother has been struggling to keep up with the house and remember even the most banal conversations. Thank goodness for the Browne girls and Jacob who manage to keep him afloat as drastic adjustments must be made with his grandmother. His bond with Jacob’s wife Matilda was complicated from the start as he recognized his attraction to Jacob right away but did try to fight it and create a bond with both parents. Jacob gets under Austin’s skin though and the treasured feeling he gets around him makes all the drama and chaos worth it.

“I’m exceptionally lucky regardless,” I said.
Austin moaned, grabbed the pillow, and hit me on the head with it.
I blinked at him. “What was that for?”
“You’re being too sweet. I can’t handle too much sweetness this early in the morning.”

I overall just enjoyed this story. It tackled heavy themes of familial expectation, fame, sexuality and the “coming out” as well as family members getting older and illness. Even with these heavy subjects Calder had me smiling with Jacob and Austin’s antics as well as the sweetness that is the rugby players helping Jacob and Austin when they need them.

4 stars for a rugby romance where the most important games are played at home.

—Written by Katie —

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