Title: Playing for Keeps (Glasgow Lads #1)
Author: Avery Cockburn
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 17th 2015
Page Count: 326
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Rule One: No Drama!
Fergus Taylor is damaged goods. Reeling from a brutal breakup, he’s determined to captain his LGBT soccer team out of scandal and into a winning season. For that, he needs strict rules and careful plans. He does NOT need a brash, muscle-bound lad messing with his head and setting his body afire.
John Burns has a rule of his own: Don’t get attached. Boyfriends are for guys with nothing to hide. Nobody—not his university mates, not the men he beds—knows his family’s shame. Now his double life is starting to unravel, thanks to a certain Highlander whose storm-riddled eyes turn John inside out, who wears a kilt like he was born in it.
Fergus is the first man John wants to share his secret with—but he’s the last man who could handle it. John knows the truth would shatter Fergus’s still-fragile heart. But how can he live a lie when he’s falling in love?
I still can’t explain where exactly I stand regarding this series. But I know I’m freaking exhausted after finishing this book.
It is longer than the first one and the Scottish accent is really, really hard on me to the point I need a translator. It is lighter on the sports stuff , but very heavy on the political-religious stuff. Specifically it revolves around the division between Catholicism and Protestantism in Scotland, which translates into Celtic vs Rangers in the football pitch (I hope I got it right). This is the main conflict of the story.
This is not just what you read in history books. This is the depiction of real life in Scotland and what it means to belong to either party. It’s about racism that has nothing to do with skin color or sexual preferences and everything to do with anti-Irish or anti-Catholic beliefs. And while all these details and references wore me out, I have to point out that the author did a hell of a job staying true to the setting.
On the plus side:
Yup, ginger wearing kilt. And these kilts saw some action, believe me. This is much more steamier than the first book and there is good chemistry between the guys. The MCs are incredibly well sketched and the secondary characters very intriguing.