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Play On

(Glasgow Lads #0.5)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,019 ratings  ·  182 reviews
A tale of pride over prejudice on the soccer pitch kicks off this gay romance series set in Scotland

Duncan Harris is on the edge. Scandal has shredded his LGBT soccer team’s history-making season, and now the once-unflappable striker is lashing out. Only one person can tame Duncan’s rage and make him feel like himself again…

Bullied by schoolmates in his wee village, Brodie
Kindle Edition, 172 pages
Published May 25th 2015
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  1,019 ratings  ·  182 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~

I liked this book fine until the halfway point when the focus shifted to homophobia in Scottish society, particularly among football players.

Brodie started acting like a surly, immature teenager, which he was. The MCs are only 18.

Duncan kept apologizing when he didn't do anything but stand up for Brodie. And Brodie kept running away. He also had mono, so he was sick the entire time.

The writing appealed to me. I'm a fan of accents. The first half was cute, what with the slow burn, Facebook
A nice, harmless story of two college freshmen trying to establish their first serious relationship. I'd previously read the first book in the series -- this novella is #0.5 -- and taking them out of order worked fine and triggered no spoilers.

I'm giving it 3 stars because it's quite well-written -- and because my inability to get emotionally invested in the MCs, or take their heartbreaks seriously, seemed to be a me-problem. I'm going to blame it on how 2020 aged me. I kid you not: over the cou
I am a snob. There I said it. I don't pay enough attention to self-published authors (especially who only publish on Amazon), especially with pen name of (I assume it is pen name?) Cockburn (edited: apparently, Cockburn IS indeed a Scottish name. Sorry, author!). I imagine the story will be bordering on erotic porn that I never really interest in. Well, until my kilt-loving-British-adoring friend, Didi, brought the whole series to my attention, and I was curious because she seemed to love it. I ...more
Virginia Cavanillas

So splendidly Scottish I didn't know what they were saying most of the time LOL. And I think that's part of its charm. It's cute, sexy and refreshing.

I'll keep going with this series.
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I loved all the football. Especially the premier league references. This is a fun, sweet read. A little drama, but nothing annoying. I am going straight to Fergus' book. ...more
Kaje Harper
Jul 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort-reread, m-m
This prequel to Playing for Keeps is a less intense book. It brings together two young men - Brodie, who is finally out at University after a childhood scarred by homophobic bullying and a mom he had to hide his true self from, since he could not count on her to be accepting; and Duncan, whose family thinks a gay son makes them cool in their circles, but who has closer relationships with his friends and teammates than his family. Duncan plays football (soccer) and Brodie's worst childhood tormen ...more
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it

*3.5 stars*

Don't ask me why I liked this book. I don't know.

The scottish accent gave me hell. There is a lot of sports talk and I don't really like sports. It's homophobia and angst central and I was in the mood for something lighter. It's low on the steam and we all know what a perv I am. And Brodie is sick during the whole story. Plus, what's up with the guy's shirt on the cover?

But it is also exactly what the blurb says: A tale of pride over prejudice on the soccer pitch...

The idea of
This was certainly well written, but the story in itself wasn't anything special. Sometimes I was a little confused about what it was about: it started with the team's situation, then the homophobia problem, then Duncan and Brodie's relationship problems.

What I liked was that the MCs were realistic, they were portrayed as flawed boys trying to navigate their relationship and I appreciated their willingness to apologize when they realized they made mistakes.

I'm curious to read Fergus and John's s
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
Reread 1/11/2021:
Whelp, this year's going to crap already but at least I've got the Glasgow Lads and a BR to look forward to. Don't really have anything to add, except that I like that the characters act their age, not like 12-year olds. And the conflicts are believable if a bit too much for the page time.

Original review 12/2/15:
This was pretty standard, a well-told story but not exactly groundbreaking. It's very much an introduction to this world but still a self-contained story. This is a pre
☆☆☆~Bev's World of Books~☆☆☆

4.5 stars. Really enjoyed this little prequel novella of two 18 year olds navigating their way through the turbulent waters of gay adulthood, and all that that entails at a Glasgow University of all places. The central theme of the series is the LGBT Woodstoun Warriors football team, and its players.

Brodie comes from a small village in the North of Scotland where being gay just isn't acceptable, and he's mercilessly bullied by practically everyone including his own mother. Duncan comes from a
Super nice YA, opposites attract love story. Avery Cockburn definitely captures the atmosphere of a Freshman dorm, and all the activities that first years get up to. Revising in the library during finals week, parties, and some wacky social media hijinks.

Brodie has been the victim of some pretty intense bullying, abuse, and bigotry. I love that he finds the courage to escape his rural home town, and his bigoted parents to try life in the big city. And when he opens his heart to the love that Dun
I loved the premise and the idea of an all-LGBT, all-gender football team.

The book deals with some serious issues, and its approach feels pretty authentic (especially if you take into account the characters' young age and inexperience) but it doesn't avoid slipping into the stereotypical here and there.

It's still a sweet read, and I'm definitely reading the next book.
What the heck, I loved it no matter what other reviewers say. 5 stars.

Shelby, thank you for the rec! :)
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-sports
Waaa! So cute novella!! The main characters are like puppies and it has zero angst! LOVELY!
It has many super tender scenes… “Aww” moments everywhere ♥

I´m not sports fan, football inclusive, although is like religion in Spain, but I think the book makes a good resume of it. How the people who play live it and how the fans see it.

“This is dead brilliant!” Brodie sat beside Lorna again after they’d hugged and high-fived the entire Rainbow Regiment. “Why’d you never tell me how amazing this feels?”
Camila (previously the opinionated Catruler)
3.5 stars

While I got over the heavy Scottish slang, the story was a bit underdeveloped. Which makes sense, considering this is a novella when it had the content to be a full-lenght novel, in my opinion. Even the ending felt rushed (again, novella).

However, Scottish accents, real football, rainbow tartan kilts and Luis Suarez jokes? It's a no-brainer that I'm reading the next one.
Mónica BQ
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Best thing about this? Real football getting called football. El mero bueno.
* A Reader Obsessed *
3.5 Stars

A seriously great start to what I hope will be a great series.

You've got a college setting with a sports background, where flatmates Brodie and Duncan circle each other round and round. They both admire the other for their differences until those differences bring to light some sobering truths.

A lot more angsty than expected. This explores not only their relationship, but also the very real social issues surrounding LGBT youth, involving such topics as bullying, activism, and acceptance
Oh, I really enjoyed this! An all LGBT soccer team in Scotland? Oh yeah, baby!

I admit, the lingo threw me at times, but I actually liked trying to figure out what they were saying, and hey, I (maybe) learned some new words! Will definitely continue on with this series!

I loved watching Brodie and Duncan dance around each other. Brodie was bullied all through school, by people just like Duncan, the strong, athletic type, so of course Brodie tries to keep him at arms' length. But after some drunke
Arch Bala
Solid and beautiful writing!
Well this was a great start to what I anticipate will be an amazing series.

Note to Scots everywhere: you can say "Och, aye!" to me any day! ;)
Mello ❣ Illium ✮Harry✮ ☀Myrnin☀ Torin Ichimaru

A tale of pride over prejudice on the soccer pitch kicks off this gay romance series set in Scotland

Duncan Harris is on the edge. Scandal has shredded his LGBT soccer team’s history-making season, and now the once-unflappable striker is lashing out. Only one person can tame Duncan’s rage and make him feel like himself again…

Bullied by schoolmates in his wee village, Brodie Campbell lurked deep in the closet before coming to the city of Glasgow. Here at university he’s out and proud, but
Katrina Passick Lumsden
This novella, which is the introduction to the Glasgow Lads series, is a good read but definitely not without its fault. It's also not nearly as good as some of the following titles in the series. I adored Duncan, but his occasional refusal to have a backbone irritated me. Brodie, while almost coming off as the shy, virginal, naive sweetheart, couldn't even have a simple conversation with Duncan without becoming irate, defensive, and insulting. The two of them couldn't seem to communicate, they ...more
3 Stars

That was easily the most Scottish book I’ve ever read. A lot of the time I had no idea what they were talking about, but guessing was half the fun. I love all things Scotland so at the very least this book deserves points for authenticity.

To be honest, the story was a bit heavier than I expected it to be; but again, this is a thing deserving of praise. Themes of homophobia and bullying were present and genuinely affecting, but were not so overwhelming that they zapped the joy out of the
Sep 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book was gorgeous. Two 18 year old lads with a completely believable love story. Highly recommended. And I'm off to read the next one. ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5* I liked it more than I expected not being by any means a footie fan. It's VERY Scottish, loud, proud and undeniably Scottish - I can see non-Brits needing a translator.

The characters were intitially endearing but as the story progressed I started to wonder what attracted them to each other, they're very different people and politics stole some of the focus along with Brodie being ill for the entire length of the book. A few subjects are brought up then forgotten such as Brodie's mother.

Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Was very much enjoying this love match between Duncan and Brodie, until about 75% when Brodie completely lost it and shut out Duncan completely.

However, I forced myself to acknowledge these wee lads are only 18 and just first year university students, and this behaviour is quite realistic when you think about their upbringing, their inexperience and their impulsiveness.

Especially when Brodie eventually calms down (feels better really) and seeks out Duncan, there is a genuine attempt to right hi
Imperfect characters figure things out in this thoughtful story. These 'loons' found a place in my heart :) ...more
I enjoyed this one very much, and I'm looking forward to read the novels. I liked the writing style a lot and my fellow BReaders have told me the author gets better in longer books. (view spoiler) ...more
I really like this New Adult romance. Duncan is in hot pursuit of Brodie and takes care of him while he is sick. It is sweet.

There is a lot going on in this novella. Brodie comes more fully into himself and Duncan learns empathy (or he is working on it) and anger management.

A tender intersting romance.

I love how sex isn't perfect at first in Cockburn's books and I love getting understand different facets of Scottish culture.
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Hiya, I’m Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn). My days are filled with beautiful men who play beautiful games in the most beautiful place in the world. Being an author is pretty much the best job ever.

I live in the United States with one infinitely patient man and two infinitely impatient cats. Readers make my day, so email me at, or sign up for my readers group

Other books in the series

Glasgow Lads (4 books)
  • Playing for Keeps (Glasgow Lads, #1)
  • Playing to Win (Glasgow Lads, #2)
  • Playing with Fire (Glasgow Lads, #3)
  • Playing in the Dark (Glasgow Lads, #4)

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