Release Blitz ~ Playing the Player (Miami Piranhas, Book 2) by Beth Bolden (Reviews + Excerpt + Giveaway)

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Playing the Player (Miami Piranhas, Book 2)

Author and Publisher: Beth Bolden

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs

Release Date: August 3, 2022

Genres: Gay contemporary sports romance

Tropes: Fake boyfriend, bisexual awakening, friends to lovers

Themes: Found family, trusting yourself, trusting others, finding confidence

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 91 000 words

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

Center Logan Banks didn’t come to Miami looking for a best friend.

He came for football and for a chance at freedom—the freedom to live out of the closet.

But after a water main break, he lands an unexpected roommate, the new Piranhas kicker, Dylan Leonard. Between practices, games, and too many late nights on the couch, a best friend is exactly what he gets.

When Logan’s past rears its ugly head and threatens to destroy the freedom he’s hoped for, Dylan becomes more than just a friend. He becomes a lifeline.

But then their friendship gets incorrectly labeled as something more, and Dylan shocks Logan by suggesting they play along with a fake relationship.

Logan knows it’s off limits to fall in love with Dylan. He’s supposed to be straight, he’s his best friend, his roommate, and his teammate. But the closer they grow, and the more he and Dylan fake falling in love, the more real it feels.

The more real Logan wants it to be.

Making a play for love is the biggest risk he’s ever taken, but he wants it all and he wants it with Dylan.

 

Excerpt

Dylan’s jaw dropped. “You’ve never seen Star Wars?”

“Guilty as charged.”

“Well, first, we’re gonna remedy that ASAP,” Dylan said with relish. “I can’t believe I get to pop your cherry.”

Logan froze, his hand still on the controller. “Uh,” he said. “Hate to break it to you but that’s been done . . .”

But I could pop yours, that voice that didn’t want to cooperate, inserted slyly. And now Logan was fucking thinking about it. A dark head, between his heads, tongue flicking out uncertainly. A hand pressed to the middle of his chest, as Dylan squirmed on his dick.

Stop. Do not cross Go.

“Your Star Wars cherry, silly,” Dylan said, laughing, punching him lightly in the arm.

“Is that a thing?” If it was, then Logan wanted it to be Dylan who did it. Logan wanted him to do all kinds of things.

It was a problem, even though he kept trying to pretend it wasn’t.

“Sure, it can be,” Dylan said, one of those quicksilver grins lighting up his whole face.

“So why this game?” Logan asked, trying to pluck the game from Dylan’s fingers, but he was too quick, and pulled it away. “’Cause it’s easy?”

“Well, it’s simpler, sure, but it also requires less hand-eye coordination,” Dylan said, and Logan shot him a glare. But Dylan only laughed. “We’re being honest here, dude. Set you on a football field, and you’d destroy most everyone, but with a video game controller in your hands?”

“Fine, fine, fine,” Logan said with a resigned sigh. He grabbed for the game again, and Dylan wasn’t quite fast enough this time, and when Logan got ahold of it, he didn’t let go.

Yanked both it and Dylan over the side of the couch, and Logan froze as the other guy landed basically in his lap.

He 100% did not mean to freeze. It wasn’t in his nature to freeze.

After all, they had a touchy-feely friendship. Logan had never shied away from touching Dylan and vice versa. It worked for them.

But now he was in his lap.

And he wasn’t moving.

Logan could count every shade of green in Dylan’s eyes as they stared at each other. His hand hovered right over Dylan’s back. He wanted to push him in, pull him close, but no matter how touchy-feely they were, they weren’t in the habit of embracing. Not like this.

Not with Dylan straddling him, not only wearing a pair of athletic shorts each.

Then Dylan reached out, pressing a palm against Logan’s chest. Right where his rose tattoo sat, right over his heart. Not pushing him away. Not using him to get up. Just resting it there.

Like he couldn’t help it, he just wanted to touch.

You’re wrong. He doesn’t want to. Not like that. Not like you want him to.

Logan opened his mouth to make a joke, but his brain was empty, and nothing came out.

Dylan leaned forward a fraction. Licked his lips.

There was something soft and hazy and affectionate in his gaze. Something curious.

And then he spoke. “Guess,” he said, voice low, “that your reflexes really do suck, Banks.”

 

~ * ~ Jos Review ~ * ~

5 Stars
This is book two in the Miami Piranha’s series. The first is absolutely worth reading, but you can read this as a stand-alone. This is a bi-awakening; friends to lovers, fake relationship, sports romance, and what a great combination that is. It had me from the first chapter; the connection between the two MCs,  Dylan and Logan, bounces off the page. Dylan is new to the team and has nowhere to live. Logan happens to be there and offers his spare room, and a friendship is born.   The way it develops naturally and then evolves into more is addictive. When Logan is outed by an ex, Dylan steps up and offers to play the boyfriend. They didn’t have to spend much time together, so it’s not a hard sell.
I’ve not loved a couple as much for a long time, and I read a lot of books. They just fit, and it was such a pleasure to follow their story. It is the perfect mix of sports story, best friends-to-lovers, and fake relationship. Each element is balanced expertly. It’s a dual POV, so you get to know both guys, and knowing they both want to move forward but don’t want to risk their friendship makes the tension mount. It’s emotional, sweet, romantic, and funny. I absolutely adored this book.
This is a must-read book for me; a definite one click—an absolute recommendation from me. I can’t wait for book three.
***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement.***

~ * ~ Priscillas Review ~ * ~

Playing for Keeps

4.25 Stars

This, being the first story in Beth Bolden’s new football series, Miami Piranhas, is a great introduction to what’s coming ahead. I enjoyed the story with Sebastian and Beau, even if I didn’t follow all the football plays and lingo that went with the story. That is my shortcoming as a reader, and I think, for anyone that is a huge football fan, this is seriously the series for you.

Beau and Sebastian are on the same team but are on opposite sides of the line. Beau is the coach’s son and a staff member. Sebastian is a player. A player that is having to make some changes he’s not exactly on board with. I won’t give the story away any more than this, but it goes on with these two having to navigate a personal and professional relationship while one is trying to decide if he wants to come out of the closet. I loved the chemistry, trials, and challenges Beth Bolden put between them, and I especially loved how these two MCs tackled them together so easily. These two are made for each other. Their relationship was an easy read. They just work!

Along with these two MCs, we meet the other future MCs being set up for their books in the series. I’ve read enough of Beth Bolden to know she sets her characters up well in previous books to get readers excited. And I’m extremely excited to read the rest of this series from what I’ve already read of these characters in this first book. Football is not usually my go-to sport. But Beth Bolden certainly has my attention now.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***

 

Playing the Player

5 Stars

This second book in the Miami Piranhas series was fantastic!

Dylan and Logan end up living together under some unforeseen circumstances and soon become best friends when Dylan is traded to the Miami team. This is a story where one friend is straight until he meets the guy that bends him just a bit. And I can see why Logan would do this for Dylan. They are an amazing couple I couldn’t get enough of. The story, the buildup, the heat: everything was just perfect!

What I love about Beth Bolden’s work is we always see other characters from past books quite a bit. We have our MCs but the other characters still play a huge part in these next stories as well. She’s also set the next story up in books one and two so much I’m almost afraid she’s written it out too much already. But in true Beth Bolden form, has she?? I’m sitting on the edge of my seat for book 3. So far, this series is getting better and better and with Logan and Dylan having such an exceptional story I’m almost nervous for Pax and Davis. I’m not sure how she can beat Dylan and Logan, but… I will never doubt Miss Bolden. Her writing never ceases to excite or amaze me.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie for my reading pleasure. A review wasn’t a requirement. ***

 

About the Author

 

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.

 

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