False Start (Playing for Keeps #2) by Riley Hart, Neve Wilder

Jacqueleen says "False Start gave me exactly what I wanted after finishing Rookie Move - an epic HEA for Houston."

From the Blurb:

If only my feelings were as fake as this "relationship" with my former teammate.

CULLEN: I’ve been the NFL’s “problem child” since my rookie year. If there’s trouble, I’ll find it.

But my biggest weakness has always been Houston McRae. We were secretly together in college before it blew up in our faces.

So, when I see him again years later, you’d think I’d know better than to end up in an airport bathroom stall tearing his clothes off.

To make matters worse, because of mistakes I’ve made, I find out afterward I’m being traded… to Denver.

Where Houston lives. Because of course.

I’m not taking responsibility for the two of us ending up in a fake relationship. That’s all on him, but I can’t pretend I won’t enjoy it. As long as I don’t let myself fall for him again, I’ll be fine, right?

HOUSTON: I lived, breathed, and slept football until an injury sidelined me for life. Now I’m solely focused on finding my place again… until Cullen Atwood walks back into my life and tempts me into an airport bathroom stall, where every ounce of passion for him I thought I’d buried returns with a vengeance.

Now he’s playing for the Rush…

And staying in my apartment.

And did I mention he’s also my fake boyfriend who makes it clear he still wants me every chance he gets?

I’ve got my future to think about, though, and we’re one wrong move from becoming a tabloid headline. I can’t afford to think of Cullen as anything more than a casual hook-up.

So why do I keep wishing this relationship was real?

False Start is a low angst, high-heat sports romance in the Playing for Keeps series.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

False Start gave me exactly what I wanted after finishing Rookie Move - an HEA for Houston. Since I read book 1 when it came out almost a year ago, it took me a little bit to get back in the groove for the series so to speak. Luckily, there was plenty of Garrett and Ramsey appearances to remind me about the tone of the series and my brain was happily back on board. I really enjoyed getting to know Houston better and I loved his love interest Cullen just as much. Cullen reminds me of Garrett with his cocky AF ways and smart ass mouth. Naturally those two get along like a house on fire both on and off the field, which is quite a good thing since Cullen is the newest member of the Denver Rush, much to his ex-boyfriend Houston's chagrin.

Surprisingly, even though Houston was the MC I was looking forward to, it was Cullen who really stole my heart. That smart mouth of his I mentioned hides a much softer inside. It hurt my heart hearing how much it broke him when he lost Houston the first time, and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty when he inevitably lost him again once their so called fake relationship ran its course.

"𝑯𝒐𝒘 𝒅𝒊𝒅 𝑰 𝒈𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒔𝒐𝒎𝒆𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒂𝒃𝒊𝒍𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒕𝒐 𝒘𝒓𝒆𝒄𝒌 𝒎𝒆 𝒔𝒐 𝒎𝒖𝒄𝒉?"

I couldn't be mad at Houston though. He made his choices back in college for what he believed were good reasons, and he's trying to do the same again as an adult. After his injury, he was pretty much adrift. He had a plan and picture of what his life was supposed to be like and it most definitely didn't include losing football. "I miss it." God it killed me when he said that. I could feel his sorrow. He's spent years finding his footing again, convincing himself what he was doing wasn't enough. That he needed more. It just took him awhile to figure out that the more he needed wasn't just some high paying job, it was a person. It was Cullen. The man who drove him crazy. The man who always knew the best ways to get under his skin. The man who would go to the ends of the Earth for him. It was Cullen. The man he loved.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

False Start is the perfect sweet, swoony second chance romance... overcoming the fact that both men were closeted in college and broke up badly when they went to different pro teams, the chemistry is apparent once they are re-united, although they still have a lot to get through to find their HEA..A bathroom hook-up, an inopportune photo, a 'fake' relationship, a cross-roads and another separation... plus they both need to find the trust and confidence they both had before...

This book was incredibly well written, made you root for these men from the start and made me fall in love with Cullen! and Houston!

Rating: 5 Stars 
False Start is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.