Happily Ever After Book Nerd Favorite
Game Changer by Rachel Reid
Series: Game Changers #1
Published: October 22, 2018 by Carina Press
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
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?
I started reading Game Changer and never wanted to put it down! It has everything I love in a romance novel and I was immediately sucked into Rachel Reid’s writing and storytelling. I was engaged from page one and with a lot packed into the pages, this book feels a lot longer then it actually is. I’m a big sucker for hockey romances and Reid puts just the right amount of hockey in to keep it interesting without overwhelming those, like myself, who don’t actually know much about hockey in real life.
The characters are hands down the best part of this book and since I love character driven romances I was in heaven and quickly developing an obsession with both Kip and Scott. As team captain, Scott has a humble and mature presence that inspires his team and makes him a really enjoyable character to read about. He’s not terribly experienced because he’s avoided dating for fear of being outed. Scott believes he’ll never find love because he can’t risk it, so while he’s rich and famous, there’s also a well of loneliness inside him. When Scott meets Kip and realizes that Kip is interested in him, he finds someone he can finally be himself with. While Kip is a fan of Scott and the Admirals he also sees Scott for the man he is off the ice and this allows Scott to trust Kip in ways he’s never trusted someone before. While I loved how steady Scott was I also loved how charming and easy going Kip could be. He’s more experienced in dating but he’s also in a bit of a rut with his career and ambitions. In addition to Scott and Kip, Reid also gives us some great side characters and I particularity liked Scott’s fellow teammates, Huff, Bennett, and especially Carter. There support of Scott throughout the book was wonderful and often had me laughing out loud.
With off-the-charts chemistry, things move quickly and while there were quite a lot of sex scenes, most were intense and burn your fingers hot. There’s definitely some insta-love between Scott and Kip, I felt that it only enhanced their relationship because they’re both so open and honest about what they want. Of course, nothing is ever perfect and Kip begins to realize how isolating dating in private can be, but Scott is afraid what coming out will do to his career and his team. But what Scott fears more than anything is losing Kip so while his motivation for going public is initially fueled by keeping Kip, Scott eventually comes to realize that his sanity depends on finally being himself around everyone. I was so happy to see the full progression of Kip and Scott’s relationship from private to public and I’m glad that Reid showed us so much in regards to Scott’s coming out. For a debut author, I’m really impressed with Rachel Reid and I will most definitely be reading more by her in the future.
5 stars – loved it!
ARC provided by NetGalley for honest review
Game Changers reviews
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