Friday, February 21, 2020

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Tough Guy: A Gay Sports Romance 
Game Changers Book 3
by Rachel Reid 

They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐

This third book in the Game Changers series is my favorite so far. I enjoyed the first two books in the series but finished both with mixed feelings. Rachel Reid does write some great characters, but the romance came up short for me in the first two books. This one gave me both with Ryan and Fabian in a friends to lovers romance that has plenty of feels. I really liked the outlandish Fabian. He's larger than life at times, and he's just such a fun character to read. Then we have Ryan, who is a gentle giant until he hits the ice and has to be the fighter, the Tough Guy. I absolutely loved Ryan. He's not without his problems, most of which stem from low self-esteem and anxiety, but he's just that much more lovable because of those things. He's one of those characters that tug at the heartstrings and make me want good things for them. This pair would seem incompatible on the surface, but they are just so good together. There is plenty of steam between Ryan and Fabian, maybe even a bit too much given how much page time is dedicated to that side of the relationship, but at the same time, it works for this couple. I was glad to see that the author dedicated some time to the actual building of this relationship, and I loved seeing Ryan slowly come out of his shell both in the romance and in his everyday life. I've liked all three couples in this series, but I have to say that Ryan and Fabian make up my favorite couple so far. This has been an entertaining series, and I like that we get to revisit some past characters while the book still works as a standalone. I'll be interested to see what Rachel Reid does next.

❃❃ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Carina Press

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