Monday, October 22, 2018

Game Changer by Rachel Reid


New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter takes his pregame rituals very seriously. In this case, it’s not just a lucky smoothie he’s craving—it’s the man who made it.

Pro hockey star Scott Hunter knows a good thing when he sees it. So, when a smoothie made by juice bar barista Kip Grady precedes Scott breaking his on-ice slump, he’s desperate to recreate the magic... and to get to know the sexy, funny guy behind the counter.

Kip knew there was more to Scott’s frequent visits than blended fruit, but he never let himself imagine being invited back to Scott’s penthouse. Or kissed with reckless abandon, never mind touched everywhere all at once. When it happens it’s red-hot, incredible and frequent, but also only on Scott’s terms and always behind his closed apartment doors.

Scott needs Kip in his life, but with playoff season approaching, the spotlight on him is suddenly brighter than ever. He can’t afford to do anything that might derail his career… like introducing the world to his boyfriend. Kip is ready to go all-in with Scott—but how much longer will he have to remain a secret?

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40601927-game-changer


Book 1
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Veronica☆☆☆☆
Kip is a 25-year-old college graduate with a degree in history, working in a smoothie shop, living at home with his parents. Scott Hunter is the country’s biggest hockey star. The two men meet when Scott walks into Kip’s work to buy a smoothie and a whirlwind, although secret, romance ensues.

After the initial excitement of our couple getting together, you can start to see the imbalance in their relationship. With Scott firmly in the closest, the relationship takes place pretty much in Scott’s penthouse apartment, leaving Kip isolated and lonely when Scott is away playing hockey and feeling uncomfortable about not being able to share the news of his relationship. That coupled with the difference in where the men are in their lives socially and financially, it wasn’t hard to see the troubles coming as the shine of their secret relationship started to wear off.

I wanted desperately for Kip and Scott to get their happy ending. I could understand where each man was coming from when the inevitable troubles arose, but I was, for the most part, on Kip’s side. Seeing both men struggle with trying to do the right thing had my emotions all over the place.

This story is focused on Scott and Kip’s romance and there is also lots of really super-hot sex. Lots and lots of sex. By the middle of the book I was thinking “are they really at it again?” Not that I didn’t think they should be, but by that point I wanted to get on with the story. But looking back I think maybe spending so much time with Kip and Scott, both inside and outside of the bedroom, is part of what had me so connected to them and their story.

I’m a lover of m/m hockey romance and I absolutely adored Game Changer. I’m thrilled to have found a new series to sink my teeth into and I can’t wait to read more.


Sarah☆☆☆☆
3.5 stars

This is a sweet and entertaining romance. When an NHL superstar orders a pregame smoothie, he can’t help but fall hard for the smoothie bar employee who serves him. Scott and Kip are both swoon worthy and both a little lost, but they can’t stay away from each other.

Kip’s narration saves this book from heavy handed use of tired sports romance tropes. And fortunately, most of the story belongs to Kip, not Scott. A university graduate working a minimum wage job and living with his parents, Kip will be familiar to millennials everywhere. Kip has solid friendships – but his friends are adulting without him. As they become successful and move on, Kip feels lonely and directionless. This is Kip’s slightly belated growing up story and I really loved his journey.

But if Kip’s story is fresh, Scott’s has been told too many times before. His closeted NHL star story reads like a paint by numbers m/m sports romance and as much as he is a likeable character, he never became a person I could really care about. It doesn’t help that there are a couple of moments where Scott hurts Kip badly enough that I wanted Kip to run from the relationship.

This is an entertaining read. Most of the romance is sweet and sexy and Kip is a fabulous character. However, with so many brilliant writers doing m/m hockey romance at the moment, new writers need to bring something fresh and exciting to the genre if they’re going to keep my attention.


Ruthie☆☆☆☆
This is the first book in a new series, and I think it sets up future installments well. I am a big sports romance fan, and hockey stars certainly know how to get down and dirty with the best of them. I have to say that there has come a time where being the first to be open about being gay in a professional sport becomes less realistic, but now it is done, the rest of the series will build on a stronger platform.

For me, this was possibly more about Kip, the live-with-parents graduate working in a smoothie bar, and how he grows as he falls for Scott, the most famous hockey player in the country. Scott, a man who lives very deeply in the closet and who is not ready to be open about any relationship. Kip is supportive, inventive, and caring, yet embarrassed about his lack of... well, a suitable job, a better bank account, etc. It is fascinating meeting his friends and family, and also the contrast with his situation to Scott's is effectively used to explain some of Scott's reluctance, and his naivety when it comes to love and romance.

I did find that they fell rather quickly into a very serious (if private) relationship, and expressed their feelings for each other constantly, as if needing the reassurance. And whilst their closeting made them grow closer due to the intensity of their time together, it felt to me that they were more in lust than love for much of the story.

I loved the ending and am certainly keen to get the next book and find out more about this couple, and to see who will next be struck by cupid's arrow!



Rachel Reid has always lived in Nova Scotia, Canada, and will likely continue to do so. She has two boring degrees and two interesting sons. She has been a hockey fan since childhood, but sadly never made it to the NHL herself. She enjoys books about hot men doing hot things, and cool ladies being awesome.

Connect with Rachel

Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


http://www.carinapress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Game Changer (Game Changers #1) by Rachel Reid to read and review.

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