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Tough Guy

(Game Changers #3)

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  386 ratings  ·  186 reviews
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
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Kindle Edition, 262 pages
Published January 13th 2020 by Carina Press
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.75 stars*

Tough Guy is a very different book from Heated Rivalry, which was one of my favorite books of 2019. It's a more... angsty story, a lot weightier, and though I enjoyed it, I didn't adore it like the second in the series.

I loved the fact that we get a confident, femme MC. I'm always into books with MCs who play with gender and blur the lines, and so Fabian was a real pleasure to read. I adored his confidence, and though he edged towards too judgmental and unsupportive of Ryan at
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Judith










Didn't love it.Didn't hate it.It was ok.


Maybe I was,unfairly,comparing it to book two which was one of my favourite books from last year.Was I expecting that same intensity? Most definitely.But,to be fair,this was a completely different book.



Let's start with the positives....



Fabian He is my absolute favourite type of character.Femme( enough said really)...I loved everything about him.I could wax lyrical all day about him.


Ryan,on the other hand....I had mixed feelings about him.At times I kind of
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Shile
I liked this one.

Book 2 will forever be my favourite book ever. I went into this one with zero expectations and tried really hard not to compare it to book 2. I think i succeeded.

This is the story of Ryan the hockey enforcer and Fabian the aspiring Indie Musician. It is some sort of second chance thingy/the one that got away thingy.

I liked both characters, Ryan is a giant teddy bear, he struggles with anxiety, i wanted to hold him and wrap him in a warm blanket. Fabian is the complete opposite
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Optimist ♰King's Wench♰
4.25

Honestly, I intended to wait to read this until closer to its release but I am currently muddled in a reading desert complete with tumbleweeds and the occasional snake so... I needed a slam dunk.

AND that's what Reid delivered in the third of the Game Changers series which, by the way, was completely different in tone to its predecessors. I found myself impressed with Reid's range and ability to straddle the line between sweet and meaty. Let it be known, I'm not averse to closeted characters
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Wendy
3,5

I am a huge fan of this series and the second book,Heated Rivalry is definitely one of my all times faves. I have fallen head over heels on love with Ilya and I don't think I will be recovering anytime soon 9f01372377900d9203bc4efe48eb1659 I don't even want to !!



So, of course, there was never any question about me reading this third book in the series, which by the way can be read as a stand-alone. I don't know why you would want to do that since I just told you about Ilya and his awesomeness... but you could.

Now as much as I
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Rachel Reid
Aug 19, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The third book in my Game Changers series! Just like how Heated Rivalry was very different from Game Changer, this one is very different again. There’s no secret relationship in this one, and it’s not a coming out story. Ryan is a giant sad teddy bear and Fabian is a hockey-hating, makeup-wearing musical genius. I hope you enjoy them!
Hollis
HEATED RIVALRY, book two in the Game Changers series, was one of my favourite reads of last year. It came as a complete surprise considering the romance and tone of book one which, while far from bad, was just nothing like the follow up. As a result I was trying to lower my expectations for book three and went in to this one just hoping it ranked somewhere in the middle. And, for the most part, I got my wish.

Ryan inwardly cringed at how rude he must have seemed. He wished he could just wear a
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Cadiva
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another fabulous entry in this ice hockey series from Rachel Reid.

I love how each book has been different in narrative, tone and in the romance it tells and this one could be my favourite of the lot because I just adored Ryan Price and everything about him.

Fabian was also an interesting character, but I took longer to warm up to him because, while he was wonderful mostly in the way he intuitively understood Ryan's fears and anxieties, he also had a serious chip on his shoulder which I didn't
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Riley Hart
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone knows that Heated Rivalry was my favorite read of 2019. I'm basically obsessed, especially with Ilya. I was nervous to read this just because I loved book two so much. I was lucky enough to get an ARC and I absolutely LOVED it. I mean, it's different. Let's just get that out there now. It's different from the first two books in the series and really different from book two but that's one of my favorite things about it. I love that Rachel stayed true to Ryan and Fabian's story and Ryan's ...more
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Solid 4 Star Read!

Great addition to the series. Rachel Reid is definitely an auto-buy author for me.

I can't say this was my favorite, it didn't quite hold my attention like the other two.

But I really loved Fabian and Ryan. Ryan was sooooo sweet. They had good banter, which was led mostly by Fabian.

I thought they really complimented each other. They had great chemistry. And while Ryan wasn't exactly a virgin, sex hasn't always been enjoyable for him. Fabian really tried to change that for
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Ele
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think book 2 set the bar too high for me. I liked this one well enough, but it certainly did not wow me.

I liked both characters a lot, Fabian for being confident and fabulous, Ryan for being a big teddy bear (an anxious one). I just did not love them together. They definitely had a connection but I didn't feel great chemistry, I'm afraid.

I liked the beginning a lot, it was very engaging. After a while, though, the characters would spend so much time in their heads, I was almost bored.

Overall,
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Lyn
Audio 3 Stars
Story...3.75 Stars

Sweet, low angst romance. I really enjoyed it, and really appreciate the fact that the author wrote 3 different romances in the series and didn't go the cookie cutter route.
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Mwanamali
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mm, contemporary
THANK YOU TO NETGALLEY AND THE PUBLISHER FOR PROVIDING ME WITH THIS COPY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW

I won't lie. Fabian and Ryan are no Ilya and Shane but that's my problem. This sequel to the Ilyaverse was very sweet. There was a lot less focus on hockey and a lot more focus on Fabian and Ryan.

Ryan is an enforcer for the Guardians and is disillusioned with his job but feels trapped. Fabian is an indie musician who can play a mean violin. They knew each other when they were younger and
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Fabi
I read this one immediately after Heated Rivalry and unlike most of my reading friends, Tough Guy is by far my favorite of the two.

I have a soft spot for wounded hero characters. Ryan stole my heart from early on. A gentle giant with a giant sized heart forced into an untenable position. Although I didn't understand what made him the way he was, I still empathized with his problems.

Glamorous, talented Fabian could have easily stolen the show. Except for "the break up". You know, the one we
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Corina
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, sports-romance
3.5 stars

I found this author only recently, when I read and fell in love with book 2, Heated Rivalry - which was a 5 star book for me and honestly is hard to top.

Ryan Price was this huge enforcer, ginger beard, hard muscles, gently bear in the inside, and he was attracted to the very opposite of what everyone would have imagined. He was confident in his feelings, but didn’t flaunt them. I loved his softer side, especially since he was such a fearsome character on ice.

Fabian Salah, a former
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Eugenia
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored these characters!! This slow-burn, semi-second chance romance ticked so many boxes for me!

UST-check
Teddy bear of a tough guy-check
Sassy artist with guy liner-check
Taking it slow-check
Real people with real issues-check
Sweeter than candy smiles-check
Sex toys-check (this one was funny!)
Manties-check, yes!
Sexy hockey players-check!

The sweetness, sexiness and delight with which the relationship between Fabian and Ryan developed was a pure page-turning addiction!

Ryan, enforcer, suffers from
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Waleska 'Wally'
UPDATE: Audiobook review

DNF ! Throwing the towel at 7% due to Tor Thom nasal , toneless and detached voice and narration. I enjoyed reading the book a lot, but listening to it was pure torture. I want my credit back!

I find it interesting and somewhat peculiar , at least to me , that I enjoyed Tor Thom narration for book 2 , Heated Rivalry BUT book 1 and 3 , I didn't like it... okay , being real here , I. Hate. It. A very disappointing experience.

TOD: 18h35 on 1/21/20 .


ORIGINAL Ebook
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.Lili.
I loved this one.

· The characters. I loved both their personalities.

· Dual POVs

· Feel good

· Second chance romance

· Opposites attract

· Ryan's mental health issues were handled well.

Two niggles:

-The story did start slow, but once it picked up it never slowed down for me.

-I felt like Fabian could've been more supportive of Ryan.

All in all, Tough Guy is a lovely addition to the series. Rachel Reid is an auto-but for me.

3.75-4 Stars
BWT (Belen)
I love the way Rachel Reid writes vulnerable characters. I loved that it was the big, strong, hockey player, Ryan, who needed the most help and that the femme, Fabian, wasn't stereotypically the one in distress.

It dragged somewhat for me, though I still haven't been able to really put my finger on why, other than maybe just the emotion of the story got too heavy at times for me? We're in Ryan's head a lot, and sometimes it was a lot.

Overall, I liked it. I loved Fabian, I loved how Fabian and
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Hayley ☾ (TheVillainousReader)
2.5 S T A R S

Heated Rivalry (book 2 in this series) was one of my favorite reads of last year and is my favorite contemporary M/M romance. That being said, I went into this read with lower expectations, assuming that I probably wouldn't love it as much and sadly for me that turned out to be true.

Even sadder was that this didn't even rank as "I liked it" for me. I didn't hate this, but I was bored throughout. Which makes me think that this could possibly be an instance of not the book but me
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Judith



Loved Fabian...

RTC.
Kaje Harper
Professional hockey is a game that demands a lot of its players, mentally and physically. The money is great, but Ryan has been traded over and over, moving from city to city without putting down roots or making friends. He's a decent defenseman, and would like to play that way, but ever since he was a teen and his body showed he was going to be six-seven and imposing, he's been put in the role of enforcer. That means his job is to threaten, and fight with, the tough guys on other teams. To put ...more
Sahitya
Definitely more of a 3.5.

Heated Rivalry was one of my favorite romances of 2019 and I loved it so much that I read it more than once :) So, when I found that there was going to be another book in the series, I was very very excited and so glad when I received the ARC.

The author’s writing style is very easy to read and once I start, I just don’t wanna put it down despite whatever I’m feeling. Because I thought Game Changer was an okay read but Heated Rivalry was excellent, I didn’t exactly know
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Leslie
/5 Stars
.5/5 Heat
5/5 Men in makeup and lingerie!
5/5 Big guy= Teddy Bear!



Heated Rivalry by Rachel Reid was one of my top ten reads of 2019. "Heated Rivalry's," couple, Ilya and Shane are high on my all time couple list. And Ilya by himself, as a character, is just perfection. You get where I'm going with this. Basically I loved the heck out of that book. It was with a mixture of excitement and nervousness that I read, "Tough Guy." Would it measure up? Would it be as good? Maybe that's too much
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Rachel Emily
What an EXCELLENT follow up and new story in this series! While nothing can top or replace Shane and Ilya as my favorite couple in this series, Fabian and Ryan do give them a run for their money.

Ryan is the defender for his hockey team, but struggles with extreme anxiety and poor body and self image. He might be a bad ass on the ice, but his friend and teammate is right - he's a big, orange teddy bear. I LOVED Ryan, ohmygoodness, from his inner turmoil over little everyday things, to his honest
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Sheena ☆ Oh, the Sheenanigans!


A meh read and it wasn't intriguing enough to really draw me in. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad because I was initially pulled towards this because of the unique bland of main characters: an out and in the open gay sports athlete and an androgyny musician. It was just a bland mix of nothing and I'm skipping out from reading the rest of the novel. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

Karma♥Bites ^.~
HA! Add this book & review page pops up, right?

Eyes land on standard ‘What did you think?’ just above text box.

What do I think? What do I think?!

That cover. *wipes drool* Um... wow. Haven't had such immediate, visceral reaction since cover reveal for The Perfect Play. Good grief.

But truly, interested b/c I've had some really good reads from Carina Press this yr (looking at you, Charlie Adhara) & Rachel Reid is NTM author so... *eyes drift* ... that cover...

(but totally ignoring beard
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Adam
3.75 stars


Ryan Price is the muscle on the ice. He's traded from team to team, and expected to be the bully backing up the star players. It's not a role Ryan's happy with, and definitely not one that earns him any friends.

But the real Ryan, the one off the ice, absolutely stole my heart. I thought Ryan's mental health issues were handled really well. Grappling with serious anxiety, Ryan was just the biggest teddy bear.

He's sensitive and sweet, and just trying to figure out what truly brings him
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Cory
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really have enjoyed every book in this series. I might go back and read the first two again especially after a part in this book where Ryan had some interaction with a few of the previous characters.

I know Wyatt is married to a woman, but I would love to read more about him too.

Great series!
Caz
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this a B at AAR.

Tough Guyis book three in Rachel Reid’s Game Changers series, set in the world of professional hockey. While I wasn’t as utterly caught up in the romance here as I was in the previous book (Heated Rivalry– which made my Best of 2019 list), I nonetheless enjoyed the novel, and appreciated the way the author flips the stereotype of the confident, ripped jock so often found in sports romances (both m/f and m/m) and creates instead an endearing, gentle-giant-type character
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Rachel Reid is the pen name of Rachelle Goguen. She chose it because it is much easier to say, spell and remember than Rachelle Goguen!

Rachel writes cute, romantic smut, mostly about hockey players.

Rachelle co-hosts a comic book podcast called Living Between Wednesdays.

Rachel/Rachelle lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. She has always lived there, and it's looking like she probably always will. She has
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Other books in the series

Game Changers (3 books)
  • Game Changer (Game Changers, #1)
  • Heated Rivalry (Game Changers, #2)
“wished he could just wear a sign that said I’m sorry. I am terrible at socializing. Please don’t take it personally.” 0 likes
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