Monday, March 25, 2019

Heated Rivalry by 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…

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!

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press – Harlequin

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Heated Rivalry is the second installment of the Game Changers series. While it could easily be read as a standalone, I strongly suggest reading Game Changer first, as there are parallel events.

Rachel Reid has a new fangirl. I've been dealt emotional blow after blow in the past week, and I found succor, entertainment, and escape in reading both books in this series back-to-back. I would do just about anything to have another.

As decadent as candy, I couldn't get enough of the addictive, juicy content, making me crave more. I spent the majority of the novel covering my face to hide the fact that I was smiling and blushing, or to cover up a rare burst of chuckles, as those reactions are inappropriate in my household right now. But the fact that this novel managed to break through the grief, where I felt more connected to Ilya because of it, says how much I enjoyed every word.

I actually highlighted a few passages, thinking this novel needed to come with a Combustible Contents warning.

From the outside looking in, Shane and Ilya are enemies on both the ice and off. While they may be rivals, they've known each other since the beginning of their careers. Heated Rivalry spans nearly a decade, as the reader watches Shane and Ilya grow into men and grow closer.

Heat. The banter has sparks flying, and it was involuntary on my part how my mind supplied a Russian accent during Ilya's narration and dialogue, which added to the overall addictive quality. I was surprised at how often I found Ilya's douchebaggery hilarious and endearing. He didn't come off as mean-spirited, just blunt as his grasp on the English language escaped him.

HEA? HFN? The ending is open for the future, where I'm assuming we'll see what plays out next with another set of narrators. Normally I'm a standalone series kind of girl, who gets bored when it's the same narrators every book, so it's surprising how I'm good even if we hear from Shane and Ilya as the main characters again, or just riding shotgun for other characters. But what I absolutely want is to continue to see Ilya on the pages, in any way the author decides works best. He is comedy gold.

Highly recommend to fans of MM romance, specifically sports romance who enjoy the angst and tension of having to remain in the closet.

Oh wow. This is a sexy, funny, sweet, and sometimes heartbreaking read. The book tells the story of two hockey players and their unlikely decade long relationship. From the moment they first meet at a Junior Hockey tournament, chemistry crackles between Shane and Ilya, two crazy talented rivals who will spend their careers playing for different countries and different teams.

I love the little moments the author gives readers. Told alternately from Ilya and Shane’s perspectives, the story is a record of ten years of tiny moments the men steal to be together. As their first hostile hookups become something warmer and more personal, Shane and Ilya’s lives grow further apart and an actual relationship seems increasingly impossible.

The interactions between Shane and Ilya are captured perfectly. Ilya’s reputation as an asshole on the ice starts to crumble as his walls come down with Shane. He never completely loses his edge and the contrast between Russian Ilya’s nasty attitude and Shane’s earnest, polite Canadian ways had me laughing out loud. I love the competition between these two on the ice and the slivers of warmth that frighten them both in the bedroom. I love that both Ilya and Shane are more complicated men than they first seem, and I fell madly in love with both of them.

The impossibility of Shane and llya’s relationship made me cry. And laugh. And finish the book in a single sitting. These two are wonderful together. I love the hockey in this book as much as the relationship stuff, and asshole Ilya on the ice is a wonderous thing. I loved everything about this book and I’m sure it’s one I’ll be rereading soon.

Shane and Ilya at two of the biggest young stars in ice hockey and from the moment they are drafted, the media plays up a rivalry between them. In the media and the public’s eyes they are enemies but in private they are fiercely attracted to each other.

I love that while there is instant sexual attraction between the men there is no insta-love. There isn’t even really insta-like. The story takes us over the span of seven years and we get to see the men change and deal with different issues in their lives as they very slowly grow closer together, all the while trying to deny that there is anything more between them other than incredibly hot sex.

I loved watching Ilya and Shane fall in love. I fell in love with them. Every time they were apart, I was hanging for their next encounter to see what would happen. Would one of them be brave enough to take their intimacy from physical to emotional and if so, who would make the first move? Would they even make it to a happily ever after?

M/M Ice Hockey romances do it for me and Heated Rivalry is now one of my favourites in the genre. This is an amazing love story without being overly emotional. It is a fantastic read.

This is the second book in the series, and I would definitely recommend that you read them in order. In fact, if you could read them back to back, you would find it even more satisfying.

What this book cleverly does is give us a hockey story which compares the styles of two different countries, two different NHL teams, and two gorgeous players. Aided by the media's interest in them, Shane and Ilya are pitched against each other at every turn. And yet... in private they have a chemistry which overtakes them whenever they get the chance – and WOW, anyone who doesn't like insta-love will love this romance which develops at a snail's like pace over a decade!

I utterly loved it, from the rivalry, the clear respect and devotion that the men showed to each other, their sport, and in Shane's case, to his family. As we hear from each of them about how their career and private life progresses, we can only hope that they will be strong enough to acknowledge out loud what they both know in their hearts.

I could have immediately reread this and loved it all over again. When the next installment comes out, I will be reading all three in one go to get all the goodness back in my mind!

Also Available in the Game Changers Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Carina Press – Harlequin

For reviews & more info, check out our Game Changer post.

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  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid to read and review.

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