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Play Hard

(Glasgow Lads #4.5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  212 ratings  ·  55 reviews
“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 heati
Kindle Edition, 127 pages
Published April 23rd 2019
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  212 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Happy Stars!

Seriously, probably the most sexy installment yet!

However, never fear as Cockburn always brings the socially relevant to this well loved series, never shirking the swoony romance, and definitely outdoing herself here, revealing how Liam and Robert are doing several months later. Though life often gets in the way, these two ultimately realize what and who’s important, and they show each other that over and over and over and over again just how much!

Whoo-eee! This started right off t
4 Stars

Play Hard is another impressively written addition to this sexy, sporty, and seriously Scottish M/M romance series.

Revisiting besties-turned-lovers, Liam and Robert, a year into their romantic relationship, was certainly not a hardship; it was heart-warming to see how happy and in love these two still were.

Here, we get to follow the boys as they purposefully work to grow as a couple and as individuals, both professionally and personally, while still having fun and loving each other madl
And we're back, phew! I was really sad that I struggled with the fourth Glasgow Lads so much but PLAY HARD brought back all the feels, and the excitement, I've had for so much of this series. The fact that it was a novella and, upon finishing, only made me want more? Win win win.

Despite always knowing he was gay, he'd remained clueless about a lot of queer realities, and in his ignorance he'd said some hurtful things when Robert had revealed his sexuality.

I loved the focus on this particular cou
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
More Glasgow Lads? More Liam and Robert? Aye, and they are pure dead brilliant! I always enjoy checking in with couples that I adore “later on” to see what’s happenin. Especially when it’s a couple that’s just as silly and they are sexy. Liam and Robert have been together forever but the dynamic changed when they ventured from best mates to boyfriends. And despite being perfectly suited they are still navigating the fresh waters of their enhanced relationship. They love each other fiercely and t ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hot-hot-hot, ku, lgbtq
*3,5 stars*

A decidedly hot and cute meet-up with Liam and Robert from book 3 in the series.
Loved catching up with these two, but considering this is a novella, there was too much football in the middle part!

Great addition to the series though!
Catching up with Robert and Liam in this novella made me realized ... I really don't care about Robert and Liam. I don't care about Robert's work, and that he's a workaholic, and I absolutely don't care about his app game. I don't care about Liam and his conflict of finding a job he loves too. And I don't bloody care about their sex *shrugs*

The only time I care about Robert and Liam are when Robert is talking to Ben and Liam is talking to Evan. I guess I want to read an update about BEN AND EVAN
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-read, m-m, author-site
I so enjoyed catching up with Liam and Robert. I did go back and read Playing with Fire again, as it’s been a while. The couple is a year down the road and Robert is wrapped up in the business he started. He and Liam must find a way to help Robert achieve better work/life balance and Liam to find a bit more courage to improve his future. Along the way, we are treated to the very sexy, mildly kinky rewards! This is a fun and tender look at the continuing growth of the men, both personally and in ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Anyone who follows my reviews knows how much I adore this Glasgow-based series based on an LGBTQ football team.

So when Avery said she'd been writing more Liam and Robert, I couldn't wait to read it and it's a pure delight.

Just like the city herself, this book has heart-stoppingly beautiful moments, great bursts of humour, and a deep sense of belonging.

It's also stupendously sexy as Liam and Rob decide they need to find ways to challenge and reconnect with each other and deal with the fears of tw
Linda ~ they got the mustard out! ~
This was very sweet and very porny. Way too porny. I had a hunch going in due to the blurb, which is why I borrowed this one instead of bought it, and I'm glad I did. There were just too many sex scenes for such a short book and most of them I couldn't be bothered to read. But if you're looking for a pornmance, this should definitely scratch that itch.

What I did like was seeing how Robert and Liam are still navigating their way through their new relationship. They've been together romantically f
This was a sweet check in with Liam and Robert. I really loved how open Liam was and willing to call Robert on his bull, he's working to much no matter how important his work is. This was a sweet, sexy story for these two working out boundaries and figuring out how to be better partner's to each other. I like that Robert sneakily pushes Liam into wishing for more and accepting that he can have more. Great little addition to this series.
May 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A slice of life is about adulting with Rob and Liam. The sex games are kinda inventive but the minutiae of app building was beyond boring. It was a realistic look at figuring out that balancing family/friends/work/dreams/ambitions with the reality of paying the bills is pure life.
Nice to catch up with Robert and Liam again. Yes, we do have some footie in this story, reconnection between Liam and Evan [making up at last], and ideas for computer games fizzing between Rab and Ben.

Settling into 'coupledom' is hard for anyone...of whichever/whatever sex. We all fear being boring and predictable, of our partner finally getting fed up with our little quirks and foibles and seeing us for what we truly are but shouldn't we have a little more faith in ourselves and in our partners
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a funny, charming, witty tale with lots of footie and even more shenanigans.

Liam and Robert have been best friends since childhood and together as adults for a year. When Robert worries that the minutiae of life will get boring and they'll have nothing left. They both work too much, too hard. So when he comes up with the idea of a game to spice up their life, things start to get interesting... and fun... and a bit sexy.

I laughed so many times. These guys were all grins and fun and the l
Lisa The Novel Approach
Robert McKenzie and Liam Carroll began their relationship in Playing with Fire, and while this novella is labeled a standalone, and at the risk of contradicting the author, I’d recommend reading their novel first. If you’re like me and need to see where characters and a couple got their start, it’s a must. It’s not an easy read—none of the books are, really, because they each deal with outside circumstances that work against the couples, whether it’s religion, politics, social status, economic h ...more
Barb ~rede-2-read~
ARC provided by the publisher through Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words in exchange for an impartial review.

If you’ve read Playing with Fire, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to your e-book retailer and purchase this story immediately! It’s a fantastic continuation of the love story between Robert and Liam which started in that book. But it’s also so much more. Filled with humor, love, friendship, romance, and sexy times, reading this story is like looking through a one-way mir
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I swear sometimes I’m such a ditz. I didn’t realize this was a part of a series until it was time to read it and by then…..well. I do recommend reading the others first, BUT, not having read the other books first, I still got an overall picture and could kind of figure some things out. But it’s a good story. It’s all about reconnecting on an intimate level.
Robert has been spending way too much time working, and is being neglecting other aspects of his life. Especially Liam. Liam has tried not t
3-3.5 Stars

This novella is diving further into Rob and Liam’s life, closely after“Playing in the Dark” ended. Cockburn deftly weaved about the anxiety that racked this couple for different reasons and the way they worked around the issue. It’s sweet, jocular, and as steamy any as Rob and Liam’s story usually are. It’s refreshing after a rather different path and a lengthy tale of Ben and Evan in the previous entry, to read this novella. The two characters also put more than two cents into the st
Mia Sciberras
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed this series and all the ways it's uniquely Glaswegian in its language, feel and setting. This novella has lots of appeal and a revisit to one of my fave couples. I really appreciated the rawness in the storytelling and how insecurities, foibles and mistakes aren't glossed over. It also happens to be quite sexy in places. 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
~nikki the recovering book addict
4 stars

Ahhhh.... a lovely addition to this entire series. I was wondering where this would go but as was with the main book for Robert and Liam, it wasnt dramatic or fraught with insurmountable challenges. It was just lovely to catch up with them 🥰
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is always super fun showing a relationship after the hea begins.

I love their friendship equal to their partnership, and I think I loved this one more than their first book.
Jess A Jaye
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am really not a fan of football but I love the Glasgow Lads series. I've read the whole series and I totally adore the whole gang. It was great to see Robert and Liam again who the stars of a friends-to-lovers book earlier the series. These two are not only adorable, have hot sexy times together but they also make me laugh out loud. There are definitely some darker moments in this series but overall it's a really fun read. I also find it refreshing that it's set in Glasgow and the author firms ...more
Robin Powers
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I missed the Glasgow Lads so very much! I loved catching up with Robert and Liam's relationship as it matured with issues of balancing work/home life and the pressures of transitioning from young adult to making career choices. Let's face it...we've all wondered what we want to do when we "grow up" and whether we're making the right choice. But all that matters is that you have that other person in your life and for's Liam and vice versa. These two get down to some steamy challenges ...more
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Glasgow Lads series is one of my favorite M/M series, and it was wonderful to revisit one of my favorite couples in this follow-up novella. Liam and Robert had been giving me bromance vibes since book one, and in their book, Playing with Fire, I was alternately obsessed with and annoyed by this couple. However, all of the bumps in their story smoothed out here and Play Hard was a treat to read.

Robert and Liam have been dating for a little over a year and their relationship is stronger than e
Play hard is a Glasgow Lads novella written by Avery Cockburn.

Anyone who has been reading the Glasgow Lads series already knows Liam and Robert from the 3rd book of the series called Playing with Fire.

Play Hard continues where Playing with fire left Liam and Robert. They are finally together and happy.. well mostly! Liam feels like Robert is too fixated with his work and hasn't really been paying attention to their relationship for sometime. To get Roberts attention back to himself he comes up
Joe McGowan
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mari  Cardenas
4.25 Stars

Play Hard is a follow-up novella to book 3 in the Glasgow Lads series. However, even if can be perfectly read as a standalone, which is what I did (Bad Mari, I know, and the worse part is that I actually own most of the previous books in the series *blushes*), I think the experience will be even better if the books are read in order.

I loved Robert and Liam, they were such a fun, hot, sweet couple, who'd fallen in a bit of a rut due to Robert's workaholic tendencies. However, both of th
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katerina Ross
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Robert is sitting at a computer all day, working, while Liam is pulling pints at a pub and playing shrink to what seems half the population of Glasgow’s East End. It won’t do! Regretting he’s been neglecting his lover and best friend, Robert comes up with a series of challenges for both of them to make their life... a life, not just work.
Reasons to read Play Hard:
- It’s a feel-good story, tender and funny. It left me smiling.
- Liam and Robert are quite a pair. They are tough and gentle at the sa
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: awesome-series, lgbtq
More of Robert and Liam, so YAY!! This novella is a sweet and sexy read. We get to see more of their life after they have been together for a week.

They both work too much and when Robert comes up with an idea to spice up their life, it makes it interesting and sexy. I love them both and there was a lot of moments that laugh hard.

Love that her character are not perfect but flawed. Her book reflects real life and it's one my favourite things. To be honest, it's only been a while since i came to ab
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly enjoyed this novella. Relationships are hard, even when they're easy. Work and life definitely mess with relationships, and this novella is about just that, and keeping the relationship fresh, even after a lifetime together. (In this case, yes, the lifetime was mostly friendship, but also almost a year of being in love.)

I really enjoyed the back and forth nature of their games. I really liked their games, how it stretches them and makes them grow together.

It's definitely a cute story --
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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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