Monday, September 20, 2021

Playing Offside by Jax Calder Blog Tour

Blog Tour. Jax Calder’s Playing Offside.

Falling for the guy whose starting spot you're after? Never a good idea.

Aiden Jones, aka the Ice King, is one of the best rugby players in the world. He got there by working hard and sacrificing a lot, including denying a large part of himself. But there’s plenty of time to be the poster boy for gay rugby players after he retires. At the moment, he’s focused on passing a long-standing points record to cement his legacy, and he’s not about to surrender his starting spot to the cocky loudmouth who just joined the training squad, no matter how talented the kid might be.

Tyler can’t believe he’s made it into the New Zealand rugby training squad after only his first professional rugby season. Now management has decided that it’s a good idea for him to room with Aiden Jones, who Tyler’s had a long-range crush on for years. And although Aiden is icy to him both on and off the field, Tyler figures with a little charm, he can melt the Ice King. But even he’s not prepared for how heated things become between them. Now Tyler’s falling for the same guy whose starting spot he’s gunning for. But all is fair in both love and sport, right?

A M/M enemies-to-lovers sports romance.


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Playing Offside by Jax Calder

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Paperback (US)
~  Also Available with KindleUnlimited  ~




I was a strong man. But right now, I definitely wasn’t made of ice.

And it would have taken someone with a stronger willpower than Gandhi not to check out a half-naked Tyler Bannings standing a few feet away. All that golden skin lying over perfectly sculpted muscle. I swallowed. Hard.

“Like what you see?” He smirked.

Fuck. It looked like the direction of my attention had not escaped his notice.

I managed to stop my cheeks from igniting. I raised my gaze to stare straight at him. He was still smirking, and I had an overwhelming urge to wipe that smug grin off his face.

“Yeah, I do, actually.” The words were out of my mouth without me stopping to think through the consequences.

His smile dropped. “Wait, what?”

Now was the time to backtrack and turn this into a joke. But part of me liked the fact I had the cocky bastard flummoxed. I could always claim the joke later.

“I said I do like what I see.” My voice came out husky.

His Adam’s apple bobbed. “You’re shitting me, right? You’re just messing with my head?”

He’d started breathing harder, his chest rising and falling as he watched me. My smart-ass teammate was the most freaked out I’d ever seen him. Even more freaked out than when he thought the New Zealand coach disapproved of him.

And that caused anger to flash through me.

I quirked an eyebrow. “What? I thought you’re this enlightened, woke generation. You’re not going to tell me you’re homophobic, are you?”

His eyes narrowed. “You are messing with me.”

I shrugged. “If that’s what you want to believe.”

He licked his lips. I couldn’t help my gaze dropping to his mouth. When I looked back up, his eyes had heated.

Holy shit, maybe I’d read this situation wrong. He couldn’t be, could he?

Bannings stepped toward me, his dark eyes not leaving my face.



He’s hot as hell, but can he melt the ice king’s heart?



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Playing Offside is the debut in a new series, Sporting Secrets. Jax Calder is a new-to-me author, and I look forward to reading more.

As an American, Rugby is out of my wheelhouse, having zero idea of the terminology or rules. Curiosity spiked, I decided I certainly have to Google it at a later date if I plan on reading more, especially in this series. HA! I was so lost.

At almost 28, Aiden is an elder on his team. Still in his prime, the best of the best, retirement is swirling around his head, as well as the desire to top his idol's scoring record before turning 29.

Aiden has ice flowing in his veins, an emotional cool to hide the grief and survivor's guilt he's been harboring for nearly fifteen years, surrounding his father's tragic, accidental death. The last thing he needs is a cocky rookie angling for his top spot, making it next to impossible to reach his lifelong goal... or maybe it's exactly what he needs.

Fresh-faced, smart-mouthed, and only 20, Tyler is taking the rugby world by storm. Going in there and cutting the seasoned veterans off at the knees. The world takes notice, seeing Tyler as an up-and-comer who will bypass the best of the best, guaranteed to take Aiden's spot.

Daddy Issues:

Aiden is deep in grief, altering his personality, scared to get close to anyone in fear he'll ultimately lose them and be left behind, like his father left his mother.

Tyler feels ashamed of who and what he is, hiding behind raw talent and bravado, all because his father doesn't approve of a gay son, while terrified his mother would be devastated.

These issues plague our heroes. Aiden struggles to get close to anyone, waiting until retirement to come out and finally find the love of his life, settling into a quiet existence at his cottage. Tyler never plans on coming out, rather be lonely than disappoint his father or upset his mother. Until they face-off against one another.

A combination of sweet, angsty, humorous, and emotional, Aiden and Tyler have an undeniable connection. But as the story progresses, the heat simmers and the unexpected friendship turns to love.

Jax Calder did an excellent job showcasing the difficulties facing Aiden and Tyler, especially with the seasoned player vs the rookie angle, where one's triumphs was the other's failure, along with the emotional toll this took out on our couple.

Engrossed, I read the novel in a single sitting, highly entertained, with engaging characters, a warm and fuzzy vibe filling my spirit.

Highly recommend to fans of MM Romance, particularly the sports subgenre. I look forward to reading more by this author and more in this series.

This is the first book in a new series – I was delighted to get a chance to read it, as I am a big sports romance fan, and a big rugby fan too.

Aiden and Tyler meet at NZ training camp. Tyler is young, fast, and keen to be the starting player in his position. The lead player though is the very talented Aiden – who is very close to breaking a world record scoring record, with just a few more opportunities left in the season to beat it. Tyler is not what he needs to dislodge him from the team.

Against this backdrop, the men both find that they have caught each other's eye. Completely unexpectedly. We get to learn why both men are currently quiet about their sexual preferences, and whilst they are undoubtedly partly due to the sport they are in, there are more complications involved too.

As they cannot help but form a connection, they will need to work out how they can possibly make things work. It is moving, enticing, and emotional, with a very satisfying ending – I recommend it to you.

I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.



Author Bio

Jax Calder, Author

Jax's stories are all about light-hearted conversations and deeply-felt connections. She loves exploring exactly why two characters are the only ones who’ll make the other truly happy, and the journey they take to reach their happily-ever-after.

JAX CALDER lives in New Zealand with her family and a wide assortment of animals. She's a rabid sports fan, a hiking enthusiast and has a slightly unhealthy addiction to nature documentaries. She has also been known to read the odd book on occasion.

Connect with Jax

Facebook  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads





Falling for the guy whose starting spot you're after? Never a good idea.


Hosted by

Gay Romance Reviews Tours & Promo.

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Playing Offside (Sporting Secrets #1) by Jax Calder to read and review for this tour.

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