Rating: 5 stars out of 5
My first book from this author, but it won’t be my last. This story engaged me and kept me riveted with not only memorable characters, who happen to be sexy hockey players, but also men who grow from 18-year-old rookies looking for a quick hookup to mature all-stars who know each other better than anyone else in the world and become willing to risk their hearts for a chance at permanence.
Talk about slow burn! These two took forever to realize their instant lust attraction—which they perpetuated for several years—was more than they ever thought they could have. After all, pro hockey players didn’t come out. They didn’t settle down with one man. And they certainly didn’t leave their homeland—Russia in Ilya’s case—to find their HEA with the man who newscasters set up as an archrival.
After years of texting, secretly meeting up after games in each other’s hometown, Ilya and Shane—Lily and Jane on each other’s cell contact list—finally face the fact that they aren’t just meeting to scratch an itch. They care deeply for each other and there’s a glimmer of hope for a future together if they plan it well. And since Shane is a planner…
From the beginning of this story, I was swept up in the rich characterizations, the excitement of pro hockey, and the secretive sexy banter and wish fulfillment. I enjoyed being with Shane as he matured and developed feelings for Ilya. And Shane was fortunate to have two supportive, interesting and loving parents—especially his mother who was a hoot with her knowledge of pro sports. Ilya, unfortunately, was not as blessed. An aging father who suffered from dementia, a demanding brother who constantly wanted money, and a stepmother who was zero in the nurturing department were all he had in his homeland and he got to the point where he dreaded going back to Russia in the off season. I adored Ilya with his accent, his sense of humor, and his ego—huge and well-deserved. And together, these two men were fantastic. By the end of the story, after they’d made their decision to be a couple, I couldn’t put the book down.
Every word, every page turn brought me closer to the end of the book, and I didn’t want to finish. I savored their time together, and I am hopeful we’ll see them again at some point in the future because I’m not ready to release them from my heart. Very highly recommended.
Cover art is every bit as heated as the title.
Sales Links; Amazon
Kindle Edition, 310 pages
Expected publication: March 25th 2019 by Carina Press
Original Title Heated Rivalry
Edition Language English
Series Game Changers #2