Game Changer (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Game Changer
Author: Rachel Reid
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: October 22, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Sports
Page Count: 368 pages
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5


New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter takes his pre-game 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, nevermind 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?

Who doesn’t love hockey? Hot sexy men on ice – skating, shooting and scoring. I mean, amiright?

Scott Hunter, captain of the Admirals, is a loner, not necessarily by choice, and hiding his sexual orientation means no romantic dinners out, no plus one for charity and team events, taking vacations where he isn’t well known and picking up men away from the watchful eye of the media.

But when Scott meets Kip, everything changes. Not as quickly as Kip, who is out and proud, would like but for a man whose entire life is dependent on hockey, Scott slowly comes to realize that he can’t hide in the closet forever. The chemistry between Scott and Kip sizzles, and the sex is plenteous (so so much, that I actually skimmed through a few steamy scenes nearer the end of the book) and totally off the chain. The plot is a good one and I love the hockey setting, but too often we get a brief synopsis or small snippet of a play where I would have liked to get more actual hockey play. Since Scott is the captain of the team and several players are secondary characters (and the upcoming second book in the series is about a pair of hockey players), getting a feel for the on-ice dynamic would be nice.

The relationship angst here is nicely done, with Scott realizing that he needs to make a decision, and I like Kip’s understanding, but his impatience as well. The ending is all sorts of sweet and the epilogue is perfect. All in all, a very good debut novel from Rachel Reid and I’m anxiously awaiting the second book in the series, “Heated Rivalry” due out in March of 2019. 4 strong stars for “Game Changer.”

Game Changers Series

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Galley copy of Game Changer provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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