What a way to wrap up this fabulous NFL series

Playing Deep coverPlaying Deep by Beth Bolden

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So the journey of the Miami Piranhas comes to a close and I am absolutely gutted! I have loved every one of the books in this series and I still can’t quite decide if this one, Kenyon and Julian’s romance, has beaten Coach and Scott’s.

I think I’m still hedging to Asa finally getting his man after a lifetime of knowing Scott but this one has taken it close to the line.

Kenyon’s not looking for anything when he bumps into Julian in a seedy bar during Spring training but there’s a spark between them which won’t be denied from the start.

And there’s no reason their hook-up’s should stop just because Julian’s a reporter with CBS covering the Piranhas’ games is there?!

This book is a real mixture of UST, angsty longing which neither man will admit to, secrets and wishes that ultimately won’t be denied.

The timeline overlaps with that of some of the previous books in the series, so we get snippets of the rest of the guys but from Kenyon’s perspective inside the dressing room and Julian’s insightful commentary in his matchday reports and questions.

It’s as funny in places as the rest of the series has been, but there’s also a sense of more weight being given to the narrative. Kenyon isn’t a football or I’ll die guy, it’s a means to an end for him, helping him find sponsors and donors for his charitable foundation.

He knows how tough it was being a black kid in school with dyslexia, he got help, but loads of other kids don’t and so his foundation is really his driving purpose.

Julian’s hiding secrets of his own, a foster kid who’s never been put first, his boss Nikki’s faith in him as a reporter gives him the drive to be successful, but he knows it comes with strings.

Watching these two nuggets fall in love is both exhilarating and frustrating because they’re in denial for so long, knowing they’re pushing the boundaries of every rule about fraternisation.

I probably got more emotional at this book than any of the others in the series I think, even though each one has had moments that caught my heartstrings and twisted them all up in a ball.

But it’s in watching julian realise that Kenyon will always put him first, be there for him, want him in spite of all his prickles, that this book becomes joyous and the causer of leaky eyes!

I am so sad to be leaving the Piranhas behind but I know Beth has plans for some of the guys here which will mean we will see them all again and I cannot wait to discover where she goes with the spin-off series!

As ever, I beta read this book for Beth.

#ARC received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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