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Hearts On Fire Reviews

We read and review for the love and joy of books.

Avery Cockburn - Playing for Keeps (Glasgow Lads, #1)

Playing for Keeps - Avery Cockburn

Reviewer: Wendy

Genre: M/M Sports


I “dinna ken” if you’ll enjoy this as much as me, but I highly recommend reading this second book in the Glasgow Lads series. The Scottish charm continues as the story of John and Fergus takes shape. Just like the debut novella, this book will whisk you away to a different part of the world where football is soccer, men in kilts roam the land, and the whispered words of passion in a Scottish brogue will make you melt.


Both the tension and the heat climb several notches in this second story as compared to the first one, plus the extra length at over 300 pages means plenty to keep you in a constant state of anticipation (or squirming). Fergus’ legs may be the most talented body part when it comes to the soccer field, but off the field, I think it’s John’s tongue hands down. Not only can that tongue put anyone at ease (he’s a natural charmer with everyone he meets), but that wicked tongue created one of the most memorably erotic scenes I’ve had the pleasure to read (Aye!) following shortly after one of the most memorably awkward.


The core of angst that prevails in this story centers around issues of trust, secrets, and racism. In this case, racism is a more broadly used term to embody anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentiments – not just prejudice against race/skin color. There were many outside influences that threatened the very foundation of this relationship, and although very hard fought, love prevails in the end. Not everything is magically resolved in the world around them, but progress is started and some wounds just take longer to heal.


It’s hard to remember that John and Fergus are university aged young men. The issues they are dealing with and the way they come across on page makes them seem mature beyond their years. I loved them, and oh yes, did I mention that Fergus is a tall, gorgeous, ginger? Mmmhmm…


Can I say how much I’m anticipating book three? The little taste of “Playing to Win” at the end of this story was a naughty tease and I’m predicting plenty of fireworks between Colin and Andrew (if one doesn’t throttle the other first). Even better than the first, everyone should absolutely check out “Playing for Keeps” and see what I’m talking about. Yaldy!

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