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
Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited
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.
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.”
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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