Tough Guy by Rachel Reid _ Book Review


They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.


[I received a digital arc for a honest review]

Tough Guy is the third stand alone in Rachel Reid’s Game Changers series. A surprisingly sweet romance between an easy going violinist and hockey enforcer.

This story brings us an opposites attract romance between hockey enforcer Ryan and musician Fabian. They knew each other for a short amount of time when they were kids and both had harbored secret crushes. Over a decade later their paths cross again, and they both feel a spark. They are very happy as they get reacquainted but Fabian hates all things hockey so can he overlook that in order to fully embrace Ryan.

My life is a f*cking mess, but the one thing I know for sure is that I like being with you. And I would like to be with you as much as possible.”

Ryan fights people for a living on the ice but in reality he’s a highly anxious sweetheart. His shy smiles and bashfulness made my heart happy, his insecurities and feelings of unworthiness not so much. Fabian is comfortable in his skin and know what he wants out of life, and he is adverse to all everything hockey, except Ryan. Fabian is outgoing while Ryan is more reserved, Fabian is more feminine to Ryan’s extreme masculinity, and while Fabian is happy with his career choices , Ryan is miserable when he fights on the ice. Their differences balance each other out and Fabian is so patient with Ryan in and out of the bedroom. I loved how he showed him how beautiful he was, even if he couldn’t see it.

You’re too good to be true, Ryan Price.”

This book was drastically different from book two, which I loved, except for the open ending of it – that just frustrated the crap out of me. So from the start do not go into this expecting the angry angst of Heated Rivalry because you won’t find that in Tough Guy. However, I was pleasantly surprised by it and the ending made me happy, I’m a person who needs that concrete happy conclusion for a book. Tough Guy left me with a smile and an overall warm feeling.

4 star rating

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