Title: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2)
Author: Rachel Reid
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 25, 2019
Reviewed by: Maya
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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!
This book is approximately 66,000 words
I started reading this on a day it was snowing outside and there were already buckets of snow on the street. So, cold, but funny enough, I got pretty warm once I started the book.
Shane and Ilya are hockey players: each of them is used to being the best so meeting someone who is equally good is surprise for both of them. It’s also surprise how they they react to each other. They keep jostling for each win and each award in their respective carriers. They usually beat each other by the nose since they are both very good. When they end on opposing teams it’s natural for them to compete even more. They keep pushing each other.
Except that they also sleep with each other almost from the beginning. And that part of the story is very sweet: (it doesn’t stop being hot, but this is honestly a love story. I just about melted while reading it). I loved how the story unfolded. They are different enough for the story to work.
Shane is only child of loving parents, he is easy going and friendly. Ilya comes from troubled family, is arrogant cocky and doesn’t have or want friends. They are both competitive and stubborn.
The story focuses entirely on development of their relationship. They are each other firsts in many ways. For Shane first man, for Ilya first person to mean something. It doesn’t starts as love, just something neither of them can resist. The story follows them through the years and they way they change each other, both clinging to relationship that doesn’t make sense in their world. The story has easy flow and is very lighthearted: there is angst only enough to deepen their relationship so it works very well. I loved how both of them were described. There were bits and pieces that meant so much for their characters: a lake side cottage for Shane, or sports car collection for Ilya.
When things between them start to shift, they both figure they ought to stop, but somehow that never happens. It’s not easy for either of them to admit they are in love, but it’s so obvious.
I also loved how author figured out the way to give them their happy ending. It was smart and required commitment on part of both of them.
The story has somewhat unusual approach to timeline, as it covers time period of several years. I actually think it enhaced the story, because what they have is secret from everyone else in their lives and focuses entirely on the two of them.