Playing it Safe
(Sydney Smoke Rugby, #7)
Published by: Entangled: Brazen
Publication date: September 6th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Donovan Bane loves playing rugby for the Sydney Smoke. And if that means he has to keep his sexuality a secret, thats a sacrifice hes prepared to make. At least until after he retires, anyway. He doesnt want to be the first pro rugby player in Australia to officially come out while still playing. The team doesnt need the media shit storm and hed rather be known for his footy skills. Which means no dating, no relationships, no sex. Nothing but playing ball.
Until one man suddenly changes everything…
Beckett Stanton is out and proud—and not looking for a guy who isnt. Been there, done that, complete disaster. Unfortunately, on the first day of his new job working for the Sydney Smoke, he locks eyes with Donovan Bane and hes a goner. Big, gruff, and athletic isnt usually Becks type, but for some reason this man is ticking all his boxes. And its clear the feeling is mutual. Its also clear that Donovan is not out, and doesnt plan to be anytime soon. Still, Beck cant resist being the man to show Donovan everything hes been missing.
For the first time, Donovan doesnt play it safe and allows himself to indulge in things with Beck he knows he cant have. But when their relationship gets serious, he knows he has to choose between the career he loves and the man he loves, because how can he possibly have both?
Why are you giving yourself early wrinkles?” He lifted his hand then, smoothing a finger along the furrows in Donovans forehead.
It was such a light touch yet Donovan felt it everywhere. Just as he felt the spicy accents of Becketts cologne wafting over him on a warm pillow of pheromone-laden air.
Because…I dont know how to…do this.”
This?” Becketts hand fell to his side.
I dont know how to do gay.”
Donovan…” Becketts warm chuckle, the way he always called him by his full name, set up home inside Donovans belly and lit a fire. Being gay isnt something you do. Its something you are.” Beckett tapped his chest lightly, right above his heart. So, however you do your life is fine. Really.”
Fine?” Donovan stared at him. Ive been ignoring this”—he tapped his chest in the exact spot Beckett had tapped—“since I was fifteen.”
Yeah, but not anymore, right? So you start from today.”
How? When I have to stay in this damn closet?”
Hey.” He lifted his hand and cupped Donovans jaw, and the tangle of emotions that were threatening to overwhelm him hushed at the touch. The first step is always the hardest. Finally accepting who you are, saying it out loud, often takes place in the closet, youre not on your lonesome there. Dont underestimate how far youve come.”
Donovan wished Becketts hand didnt feel so fucking good cradling him like that. Wished his voice wasnt so soothing and his words so damn sensible. Wished he didnt want to shut his eyes and just lean into all that calm rationality. It made him believe everything could be alright, that he could actually step out of the closet with this man and everything would be okay.
But it wouldnt be.
And now you get to choose what you want to do.” Beckett waggled his eyebrows suggestively as his hand slid down to rest against a bicep decorated in swirls of dark ink. What do you want to do, Donovan Bane?” he asked, a smile hovering on lips that had introduced him to a whole new world.
One that was still frustratingly out of reach.
Donovan shook his head as the weight of the unknown threatened to crush him. He backed up a step or two, and Becketts hand slid from his arm. He turned and paced into the living area. It was easy for Beckett—hed been living a full life as a gay man for a lot longer. He knew all the rules. All the dos and donts. The…conventions.
Donovan was utterly clueless.
Standing near the couch, he turned and faced the other man. “I dont know. Thats the thing…I dont know how it works with two gay men.”
Beckett gave a crooked smile. Pretty much the same as two straight people.”
No, I mean…” Fuck. Absently, he started cracking his knuckles. What did he mean?
Donovan,” Beckett said quietly, his smile gentle. Is this about the sex stuff?”
No. Yes.” Donovan stopped cracking his knuckles. Maybe.” He started to pace from the couch to the bean bag and back again. I mean…I dont even know how to do the sex stuff.”
A low chuckle slid from Becketts lips. “Oh, trust me, you know how to do the sex stuff.”
Donovan stopped pacing and glanced at Beckett. What? That thing just now? Thats what it is?”
Sure.” He shrugged. Sometimes.”
See, I dont know any of this. Im just a…big…gay…virgin. In every sense of the word. This is my first rodeo.”
Beckett laughed full and throaty. A gay virgin?”
Well, I dont know, do I?” He started to pace again, cracking his knuckles in time with the falls of his feet. I mean, is there such a thing? Because, I have had sex before, so Im technically not a virgin? Does sex with a woman count in—” Christ, he didnt know…some mental ledger?
The land of the gays?”
Donovan shot Beckett—who was clearly enjoying himself a little too much—an exasperated glare. He just grinned bigger as Donovan paced.
Do gay men consider other gay men who havent had sex with a man a virgin?” he continued.
Wow, you really do overthink things, dont you?”
Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling, double RITA nominated, Aussie author who has written seventy plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets. Her books bring all the feels from sass, quirk and laughter to emotional grit and panty-melting heat.
At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and several years later she did. They have two grown kids who have flown the coop for distant shores which enables their travel fetish.
She loves good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them!
She’s just taken a sea change and gets to create stories whilst overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean.
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