Game Changers: Heated Rivalry – Rachel Reid
Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.
Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardize that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.
Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realizes he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.
As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…
This book is what every sports romance fan dreams of and more!!!
Heated Rivalry is the second book of the Game Changers series and can be read as a standalone. Admittedly, the super generic cover did nothing to encourage me and I put off reading this for a while. Tsk! Should have read it sooner. I haven’t read the first book but the blurb for book two grabbed my attention as I am on the look out for a true enemies-to-lovers story. Some of the ones I’ve read lacked intensity or don’t even hate each other at all. This one promised to be intense!
And it was!
You can see from the list above that the enemies as lovers, opposite attracts, sports rivals combination mean all kinds of fun, fun dynamics. From the get go, you can feel the super fierce competitive spirit between the two players, each trying to be number one at everything from first draft to Rookie of the Year to the Stanley Cup, to the Olympics to Cosmopolitan’s hottest hockey player. The smacktalk pops up every chance they get. It continues in the bedroom and long after they exchanged L-words. I would gladly read, or better yet, watch an entire series of just Shane and Ilya trying to get one over the other.
He wanted to kiss Rozanov and maybe also punch him for being such an arrogant fucking prick. And he hated himself for wanting any of this. But not enough to stop. Never enough to stop.
I totally relish the crazy, crazy combination of their animosity and the magnetic pull that drew Shane and Ilya together. Their inner turmoils and character progressions were portrayed beautifully. Their chemistry was fireworks!!! My favorite part was that even in the moment of truth, their confessions were so true to their characters.
“Yes. Listen. These women, they are so sexy and fun, but is no matter. I cannot stop thinking about this short fucking hockey player with these stupid freckles and a weak backhand.”
“A weak backhand?” Shane couldn’t stop smiling.
“Yes. And he is just so boring and he drives a terrible car and…that is my problem. All of these beautiful women and I am always wishing they were him.”
LOVE IT!!! ♡(─‿‿─)♡
This one is right in the kokoro:
“…And I want to learn Russian. I wasn’t kidding about that.”
“I’ll teach you.”
Shane smiled so wide and bright, Ilya almost had to look away.
“I should let you sleep,” Shane said.
“Da. Yes. Okay.”
And then… Shane kissed the tips of two fingers and reached out and touched them to the screen. And Ilya’s heart fucking stopped.
Bam! My heart stopped too. Σ>―(〃°ω°〃)♡→
The story covered the span of seven years or so starting from when they first met as rookies up to the present day when they started planning to come out as boyfriends. It documented each encounter and how they evolved from mere hook ups to something the two men can’t quite wrap their heads around. And all this time, they had to keep it a secret.
Author, Rachel Reid, wisely kept game play to a minimum but successfully incorporated the sports in such a way you still felt the game. It was the ideal style for those like me, who had zero knowledge of the hockey. We can enjoy the story while not be overwhelmed with the sport.
I never thought I would enjoy a sports romance book this much. I never even imagined giving one 5 stars but Heated Rivalry took my frosty view of sports-rom and set it on fire! I even googled hockey players and OMG, they’re cute! I’m so into this series now.
Absolutely recommended for when you’re into stories of people who are so wrong yet feel so right for each other.
5 Stars – absolutely perfect