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Peek Inside Playing It Cool

Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw... When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score

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Score one for the curvy girls.

Harper Nugent might have a little extra junk in her trunk, but her stepbrother calling her out on it is the last straw… When rugby hottie, Dexter Blake, witnesses the insult, he surprises Harper by asking her out. In front of her dumbass brother. Score! Of course, she knows it’s not for reals, but Dex won’t take no for an answer.

Dexter Blake’s life revolves around rugby with one hard and fast rule: no women. Sure, his left hand is getting a workout, but he's focused on his career for now. Then he overhears an asshat reporter belittle the curvy chick he'd been secretly ogling. What's a guy to do but ask her out? It’s just a little revenge against a poser, and then he'll get his head back in the game.

But the date is better than either expected. So is the next one. And the next. And the heat between them…sizzles their clothes right off.

Suddenly, this fake relationship is feeling all too real…

Each book in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series is STANDALONE:
* Playing By Her Rules
* Playing It Cool
* Playing the Player
* Playing With Forever
* Playing House
* Playing Dirty


"PLAYINGIT COOL by Amy Andrews is a quick and totally adorable read that combined a quirky heroine and a hot man with even hotter chemistry." -Sassafrass Smith, Goodreads

"I really loved this couple together! Their banter was fantastic, full of humor and heat. Their chemistry was on fire, like whoa. And, best of all, there was an excellent man grovel towards the end. Boy, do I LOVE a good grovel.Everything about this book kept me smiling and I'm so glad I read it. I can't wait for more!" - Megan Burton, Goodreads

"I loved this book! The characters are great and I can't wait to read books dealing with the other Sydney Smoke rugby players. Agood, quick read with a happy ending (once the man comes to his senses)." - Denise Wengert, Goodreads

"I love this book! Ten pages in to the book I thought "oh, how I love a fun, sexually charged book", and this book was full of fun and sexiness from first page." - Bente Elin Bendiksen,

"I liked the fact that both Dex and Harper are so real. Dex is totally committed to rugby and is certainly not the standard womanizing sports hero. Harper is a warm woman, trying to be secure in her body. Their chemistry is sizzling and natural." -Jeannette Koenhein,

"Two books down in the Sydney SmokeRugby series by author Amy Andrews and another top read it was...Passionate interludes and funny one liners, kept the pages turning." - TalkingBooks Blog

"You have to read this sweet story about Harper and Dexter to see how things end for them. I love how Amy Andrews wrote this one and how she depicted the characters in the story as well. Very well done!" -Melanie Hutchinson, Books Need TLC

"I love, love, loved this novel! Andrews brings the perfect balance of sweet and sassy to her lead character Harper and a sizzleto her love affair with Dex that is impossible to ignore. Playing it Cool? A great name for this book, but definitely not what you do as a reader! In fact,I challenge you not to fall in love with this romance! Playing it Cool is the perfect score for curvy girls everywhere!!" - Lianna Izzo, Goodreads

"I loved the concept of the book and thought that the author did a great job on delivering a pretty great read...Looking forward to read more in thisseries." - Paige Turner, Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

"The main characters are so GREAT! Both are likeable and endear the reader to them immediately." - Tijuana Jones,

Additional Details

ISBN: 9781633757509
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 2
Release Date: Sep 12, 2016
Page Count: 236
Imprint: brazen
Genre: contemporary, sports romance
Tropes: across the tracks, fake relationship

Select Featured Reviews

See All Reviews on
By Eve (Between The Bookends) September 12, 2016



From author Amy Andrews comes book two in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series...


Harper Nugent is a big girl. Always has been, always will be. When her douche of a stepbrother insults her in front of rugby star Dexter Blake, she is embarrassed and just wants to get on her way. She is more than a little su ...more

By XxTainaxX September 03, 2016

This book was all kinds of awesome. A sexy rugby player who likes his women curvy and appreciates a plump booty? Yesssss! Harper wins even more points for being a gamer. The story is just what I needed. It's sweet, fun, sexy, entertaining, and did I mention sexy? Lol Dexter becomes Harper's knight i ...more

By Stacey is Sassy September 12, 2016


They were COOL…then they were SMOKING

Group huddle…Ok peeps, it’s come to my attention that we (the reader) are not really appreciating book covers enough. I just read an article and they were talking to the models of Romance covers. Maybe it’s just me (probably), but book covers aren’t necessarily t ...more

By Wendy'sThoughts September 12, 2016

4 Not Having to be "On" Stars
* * * *
It's Hot, It's Sexy, It's LIVE!!
Everyday people rarely have the pressure of having to worry about how others are accessing their every move. We get to live our lives with the ability to just be...and let things happen, come what may....Those in the public eye cann

By Jen September 12, 2016

3.5 Stars

When Dexter Blake first spots curvy beauty Harper Nugent chasing after her douche of a step brother on the sidelines of his rugby match, he’s immediately intrigued. When that douche of a step brother then taunts her “fat ass,” Dexter’s just pissed. A split second decision leads the hot rugb ...more

By Nicola August 05, 2019

On SALE 99c/99p!

I’m loving this series and Dex and Harper are a fabulous couple who together crank up the heat.


I have to applaud Amy Andrews for going against the grain and creating a heroine who’s not what is perceived as perfect. But to me that’s exactly what Harper was: I loved her and maybe th ...more

By Melanie August 15, 2018


And telling Dexter Blake she was so horny for him she'd worn out a set of batteries was something she planned on taking to her grave.
LOTS to love about this sweet and smokin' HOT rom/com!

Dexter doesn't have very many elite-level rugby playing years left in his career, so he's n ...more

By Michelle September 11, 2016


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Score One for the Curvy Girls!!!!!!! Amy Andrews has once again set hearts racing and swooning for hot Australian Rugby Players!!!!! A lovable hero with a broken past. Check! A beautiful curvaceous heroine. Check! Hot passionate sex. Chec ...more

By Claire August 30, 2016

4 - "White wine makes me mouthy." Stars!

Amy Andrews delivers again with the second book in her Sydney Smoke Rugby series. Dex and Harper left their own set of scorch marks on my kindle, with the chemistry that blazed hot and hard between them pretty much from the get-go.

I think the author took a loo ...more

By Irene September 21, 2016

4.5 stars

Playing it Cool was such a good read.

Loved both Dex and Harper, they were perfect for each other.
I enjoyed the relationship unfolding throughout the book, it was a fun and entertaining read.
The chemistry between the characters was smoking and totally believable.


And this....

Yeah these two ...more

By 1-Click Addict Support Group September 13, 2016

I might not be a Rugby fan (Aussie Rules lover here), but I am Australian, and I do love sports romance, and I did ADORE this fabulous book from Amy Andrews. And I think you will too, TBH.

What’s not to love about this book? It was smart and hyper-sexy. It was cute in places, but never OTT sweet. An ...more

By Chris September 10, 2016

I am not usually one to pick up sports related books so I have to say I hesitated before reading this one. I'm so glad that I did because I would've missed a really great read.

This book is definitely full of action and I'm not talking about rugby. With an agreement to hook up, things quickly turn an ...more

By Kate August 01, 2017

4.5 Paint Girl & Dex the Stud Stars

This book came at exactly the right time for me. I had this series on my radar but wasn’t interested in reading the first one, second chance romances just ain’t my thing you know?

Harper Nugent has a lot of junk in her trunk. She is an artist. I liked Harper from he

By Elaine September 29, 2016

This is a smokingly hot romance with a rugby focussed hero, determined not to be sidetracked from his sporting career goals by anything or anyone . . . until he hears a journalist making obnoxious, derogative comments to the curvy woman he’d been ogling earlier. It turns out that the woman is Harper ...more

By ♡Tonya♡ September 23, 2016

I ❤ Dex and Harper!

Dex is a hot rugby player who is NOT and manwhore! He sees Harper on the sidelines of one of his games and is immediately smitten.(can rugby players be smitten?) Harper's stepbrother is insulting her and Dex steps in and asks her on a date to help her save face.

Harper can't belie ...more

By Mindy Lou's Book Review September 12, 2016

Oh Dex, Dex, Dex. I have mixed emotions about Dex. He was so sweet when he wasn't being an jerk. I loved that he wanted to make Harper look good in front of her dick of a stepbrother but the way he treated her when she fell for him made me want to punch him in the nuts. Good thing he realized what a ...more

By JenReadsRomance September 03, 2017

I recently reread this after getting the other books in the series on sale. I loved this book. One of my favorite tropes is: woman who knows she's worth more dumps the guy who's dragging his heels. Harper may have body image issues, but she knows her worth. She loves Dex, but she's also willing to t ...more

By Felicia August 09, 2018

This is the story of curvy, not-board-skinny Harper. She is very self conscious. She has self esteem issues because she thinks she is over weight and that guys must not find her attractive because all her previous relationships failed. And along comes Dex to make her feel beautiful in the skin she's ...more

By Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews September 14, 2016

Slick's review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

I'm really enjoying author Amy Andrews Sydney Smoke series and am learning a bit about Rugby as I read it. Playing It Cool is the second book of this series and I enjoyed quite a bit more than the first book because I actually liked both the char ...more

By TereseDK September 15, 2016

4 stars

What an excellent follow up to the series! This was a very sweet and enjoyable read, albeit a bit short.
There is a good amount of drama and push/pull, however, I would have liked more follow up on the Chuck/Anthea storyline. We never saw Harper grow some lady balls and stand up to the two o ...more

By Kassiah December 13, 2016

4-1/2 stars

Ah, Harper and Dex are just. so. hot! That alone is enough for you to drop everything and read now. But in case that's not enough, I'll give a little more.

The summary is spot on here. Curvy Harper is being dissed by her brother when sexy rugby star Dex overhears it, and despite the fact t ...more

By TJ *Book Twins Reviews* August 30, 2016

Curvy Girls Rock!!

Dexter Blake knows what he likes in a woman and will stop at nothing to get it. When he sees curvy Harper Nugent being insulted by her brother he steps in and asks her out. Dex isn't looking for love, but soon after going on a date with Harper he realizes he wants to spend a lot mo ...more

By ⚜️Trea February 06, 2017

Boy, did this book turn this series around for me! I really loved the story here! Dex seemed a very approachable hero, even when he was acting like a bumbling male! I loved Harper, how she never let anything knock her out of what she enjoyed and while she was down about it sometimes, she was never o ...more

By Heather August 30, 2016

Harper has no problem being blunt and to the point, “what can I say? Watching you play rugby makes me horny.” I loved this book, Dex really had no idea what can of worms he was opening with Harper and I loved it. ...more

By Alaina August 19, 2018

Playing It Cool is the second installment of the Sydney Smoke Rugby series and it was honestly a pretty good one. In this book, you will meet Harper and Dex. If you've read the previous book, well.. you will notice that we do meet that couple in this as well. It was a short but sweet moment and I wi ...more

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3.88 avg rating
Amy Andrews

About the author

USA Today Best Selling Author

Amy Andrews

Amy is an award-winning, best-selling Aussie author who has written sixty plus contemporary romances. She is a USA Today best-seller who writes books featuring lots of sex and kissing. She likes to make her readers tingle, laugh and sigh. She loves good books, frequent travel and great booze although she'll take mediocre booze if there's nothing else. At sixteen she met a guy she knew she was going to marry and she did and they're still living out their HEA! They have two grown kids who've flown the nest but still ring her for advice and recipes. She lives on acreage in a sunny part of Australia with a gorgeous mountain view but secretly wishes it was the hillsides of Tuscany. Sign-up for her newsletter at:

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