Troy Barrett has been freshly traded to Ottawa after calling out Dallas Kent during a team practice. He wants to be a better person, and the weird, scrappy energy of the struggling Ottawa team seems like the place to…well. It seems like the only place that will have Troy right now.
Fortunately the Ottawa team includes Ilya Rozanov and Wyatt Hayes, and also includes an adorable social media manager, Harris Drover. Harris is the opposite of Troy in every way: friendly, cheerful, chatty, and goofy with a booming voice, a startlingly loud laugh, and Pride pins all over his denim jacket. Definitely not the sort of person Troy would normally associate with, and yet…
[I received a digital arc for an honest review]
Role Model is the 5th stand alone in Rachel Reid’s MM hockey series, Game Changers. This one follows Troy who is new to the team, sort of an a**hole, and deeply in the closet, and Harris, the team’s social media manager, who is proud of who he is and caring, supportive and just the greatest.
You might be wondering where my synopsis of the book is, my wrap up of what goes down without spoilers. Basically, this is the story about Troy finding a way to accept himself and be proud of himself. Which involves him standing up for others one second and then hesitating the next, him giving into his feelings one second and running away the next. I’m not going to lie it might not have felt so underwhelming if I actually liked Troy, but I didn’t. He really didn’t grow on me until the later half of the book, when he finally opens up to Harris and they spend a lot of really sweet moments together.
“Troy needed to earn Harris. Maybe he would never deserve him, but he needed to try.”
As I said in the first paragraph of my review, Harris is the greatest. I simply adored everything about him. His easy loud laughter, his smiles, the support he shows everyone on the team, and his big loving family. I just wanted to reach into the pages and give him a big hug. The whole time I was waiting for Troy to get it together, because Harris deserves to be cherished. I will admit I did love their dynamic in the bedroom and how Troy was the only one to ever treat Harris rough and not like he was made from glass.
“God, look at you.” His words danced across Harris’ skin in a hot rush of air.” I could eat you alive.”
I also loved seeing some of my favorite hockey players. The amount of page time Ilya had made my heart happy, and it was a pleasure getting to see Eric and Kyle again. Overall, the Game Changers series is a solid one, and I look forward to which ever hockey stick welding hottie gets a story next.