Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid (Renee’s review)

Title: Heated Rivalry (Game Changers, #2)
Author: Rachel Reid
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 25, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary/Sports/Hockey/Enemies to Lovers
Page Count: 310
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 5 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 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!

So I’ll start by saying that Rachel Reid, a new-to-me-author, is talented and has a future in the genre. I did enjoy her writing style quite a bit.

But Shane and Ilya’s story just didn’t do it for me. Don’t take my word for it because all I see are 4- and 5-star reviews for those with ARCs of this book.

Here is why I couldn’t rate it higher:
1. The way the story was told – Opening chapter is some weird hate sex, with no context, and it was totally jarring – not totally hot. And then the next almost HALF of the book going back in time to share their relationship sex journey over the past seven years. I don’t care for flashbacks, but sometimes they work. Almost HALF A BOOK of them doesn’t work.

  1. SEVEN years of sex with no emotions. I started skimming the sex scenes. I’m looking for the relationship-building! But what I got was ~40% of sex, hate, some character building, them sleeping with other people, many of them women. I want to read MM romance, not hate sex and MCs sleeping with multiple other people. Where was my romance?
  2. But I thought, surely, once the romance part starts, then I’ll enjoy it like everyone else! Wrong. I have to tell you folks, I never warmed up to these characters, particularly Ilya. I just thought he was a douche. I never did see what Shane saw in him, and vice versa. I was looking for that romantic chemistry that never came for me.

Please read other reviews before relying solely on my thoughts. But I really didn’t care for this “romance”.
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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Heated Rivalry provided by Carina Press via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


I love boys who love boys! I’m in my 30s, from the southern US, and my crack is m/m romance.


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