Play Hard by Avery Cockburn

Play Hard“I’ll always want more of you.”
Robert McKenzie lives to work. He’s fresh out of university as a video-game entrepreneur, and his new app could actually save lives. But burning the candle at both ends means missing out on the best parts of his own life—including his boyfriend, Liam.

Liam Carroll works to live. His job as a bartender pays the rent—if not always the heating bill—and that’s plenty for now. But Robert’s workaholism reminds Liam his own life is going nowhere, and his own dreams are scaring the pants off him.

To jolt them out of their ruts, Robert invents a new game: He and Liam are to take turns offering each other sexy new challenges with irresistible rewards.

Of course, Robert gets more than he bargained for, as Liam takes their game in one surprising direction after another. Whether it’s in the bedroom, on the football pitch, or at the pub (or even the supermarket?), the things they learn about each other—and themselves—could change their lives forever.

Play Hard is the feel-good, staying-in-love story the world needs right now!

Note: This happier-ever-after novella features the main characters of Playing With Fire but can be read as a stand-alone story.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ + half a star 🙂

*I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review*

I must admit that this was only my second book by Avery Cockburn, the first one being Playing with Fire, featuring the main characters of this novella. I adored Liam and Robert in the first one and was really excited to read this novella.

I was slightly worried that if there was even half much angst as in Playing with Fire, the novella would be quite difficult. I was so glad to discover this was not the case. The “happier-ever-after” is an apt description.

Robert is a workaholic. Liam is torn about his future. But there’s no angst in this. When Robert and Liam start the “game”, the challenges are interesting. I expected more of them being sex-based, but they weren’t, and I adored it. There was enough sex with that, but I really liked not all of them being just based on that.

I am also genuinely interested in the game Robert is developing, and the whole story just dragged me in so much, that I missed Glasgow as if I were there just yesterday. It felt very authentic (from what I can say, as someone who had just visited Glasgow twice), and I could see the city.

I would recommend reading at least Playing with Fire before reading this novella, because without reading that one first, the finer points of their relationship are lost, and honestly, I wish I had read the other books in order too. I am absolutely sure they are just as wonderful as this one and I really recommend reading them all 🙂


About The Author

Hiya, I’m Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn). Under my real name (Jeri Smith-Ready) I wrote over a dozen novels for major publishers. As an indie author, my days are filled with beautiful men who play beautiful games in the most beautiful place in the world. Thanks to my pure awesome readers, it’s pretty much the best job ever.

I live in the United States with one infinitely patient man and two infinitely impatient cats. Join my quarterly-ish newsletter at to receive a free book plus loads of exclusive bonus material. Cheers!

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