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Ratings and Book Reviews (9 15 star ratings
9 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.5 out of 5
15
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Score!!

    I adored these characters!! This slow-burn, semi-second chance romance ticked so many boxes for me! UST-check Teddy bear of a tough guy-check Sassy artist with guy liner-check Taking it slow-check Real people with real issues-check Sweeter than candy smiles-check Sex toys-check (this one was funny!) Manties-check, yes! Sexy hockey players-check! The sweetness, sexiness and delight with which the relationship between Fabian and Ryan developed was a pure page-turning addiction! Ryan, enforcer, suffers from severe anxiety, low self-esteem, and a severe lack of love for hockey. Recently traded to Toronto, he runs into Fabian—his crush from 13 years ago. Fabian is a working musician moonlighting at a drugstore when he sees his 13 year old crush walk into his store. Fabian is confident, driven, and wears whatever the hell he wants, including make-up. Oh, and he hates hockey and hockey players. What do these two opposite men share in common but an old crush? Through the book we see how a shy, insecure enforcer comes to find his true self and how a devil-may-care artist finds love in the unlikeliest of places. For those who have read Heated Rivalry, Ilya and Shane make a memorable cameo! This is a solid addition to this hockey series and I cannot wait for the next one! My rec? Yessssssss!
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Great characters, good story, but light on hockey

    Tough Guy is the third book in the Game Changers series but works perfectly well as a standalone. I love when each book in a series is a unique experience and that is certainly true with this collection. In many ways, Tough Guy is even angstier and heavier than Heated Rivalry as it addresses some difficult but relevant subjects including severe anxiety, self-esteem problems, sexual performance issues, suicide, addiction, and the toll professional sports can take on athletes. I devoured this book, really liked the couple, and was eager for their happily-ever-after, and yet I couldn’t help but feel as though something was missing. Rarely do we get such different sorts of characters as in the Game Changers series and that was especially true with the main characters in Tough Guy. I loved that Ryan wasn’t your typical professional hockey player, not to mention who you would expect as an enforcer. His soft, vulnerable side was utterly charming, and I really liked that the author wrote about a main character who struggles with anxiety in a very real, palpable way. I also loved that he was paired with a femme, confident man who embraced all sides of himself and encouraged Ryan to try the same. Beyond that, it was awesome to have sexual anxieties and issues addressed in a romance without it losing any of the steam. Instead, this honest portrayal of Ryan and Fabian in the bedroom made the scenes that much more impactful. In so many ways, Tough Guy broke the mold on sports romances, and I absolutely loved that. What I didn’t get was Fabian’s hatred for hockey that spilled over into him being unsupportive when Ryan needed it most, to the point that he refused to try and understand or listen to Ryan’s struggles. I get not loving every aspect of your partner’s life, I get not liking sports, but Fabian’s lack of investment in anything hockey when it came to Ryan rankled. Additionally, Tough Guy was really light on hockey. While that may be a positive for some readers, as a sports romance fan and a fan of hockey in general, I missed it. Overall, I really liked Tough Guy and that it set itself apart from most sports romances in so many wonderful ways, but when I pick up this trope, I want the sports elements. That said, this author will undoubtedly remain on my must-read list and I’d certainly recommend the title and series. *Reviewed for Alpha Book Club*
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Great Book, Great Series

    Really enjoyed this book, loved the characters and how the author isn’t afraid to tackle the darker parts of hockey. Can’t wait for the next fill book in the series.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    A wonderful, heartfelt story

    Not my favourite Game Changers read to date, but a welcome addition nonetheless. I love the whole opposites attract theory, and you really couldn’t get two more opposite guys than tough hockey jock Ryan Price, and glitzy musician Fabian Salah. Ryan loves everything about Fabian, his small frame, his clothes and his perfect colourful makeup, he also adores his music. Fabian however, hates hockey and absolutely everything related to it, except for Ryan, he’s besotted with Ryan. Reconnecting after 13 years they easily fall into an extremely comfortable friendship whereby Fabian learns that Ryan may not be quite as happy with the hockey lifestyle he leads, as his public persona leads him to believe. A wonderful, heartfelt story, a wonderful group of friends, loving life and living to please. I loved seeing Ilya again, he was a firm favourite of mine, and I feel a reread is in order. I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is my honest review.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Sensitive, alluring, and heartfelt!

    In this third novel in the Game Changers series, Tough Guy, Reid gives us a slightly more emotional tale about the shy, troubled, anxious Ryan who is struggling to come to terms with a life and career that no longer makes him happy, and the fun-loving, talented Fabian who lives boldly and loves fully. The prose is smooth and seductive. The characters are open, honest, and committed. And the plot is an alluring, pensive tale of longing, desire, angst, doubt, anxiety, compassion, support, friendship, love, and hockey. Overall, Tough Guy is a deliciously steamy, heartwarming novel about two unique, seemingly incompatible men who finally find the solace, sensitivity, tolerance, tenderness, and intimacy they need in each other.
15

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