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Tough Guy

(Game Changers #3)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  2,098 ratings  ·  455 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 bla
ebook, 292 pages
Published January 13th 2020 by Carina Press
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Kathrin Ilya shows up bit throughout the book and Shane has also a small part :)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,098 ratings  ·  455 reviews

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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 time

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 o
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
Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

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
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

Overall, I enjoyed this more than I expected. Especially the first half of the book. Loved the dialogues, the pacing was just right for me and the story had a very natural flow.
The second half of the book had some ups and downs.

When I started this, I wasn't sure how I would feel about Ryan. He is not the type of character I would expect to like, but he really grew on me. He is such a sweetheart and I actually found him very relatable.
His relationship with Fabian was mostly very sweet,
Wendys Wycked Words

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
Rachel Reid
Aug 19, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
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!
Riley Hart
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
h o l l i s
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 si
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 thi
Jan 12, 2020 rated it liked it
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.

*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: male-action
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 Ryan
Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT
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. 👍🏽👏🏽
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult, mm, contemporary

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 bum
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 alwa
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, 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 child
Loved Fabian, but Ryan got on my last nerve after a while.

3.5 stars
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 bec
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Audiobook review 6/2020:
3.5 Stars - Tor Thom did a fine job narrating this third book in the series. His voices for the two MC’s were very similar, but Rachel Reid did a fantastic job differentiating between the two POV’s so I was never confused. This is no Heated Rivalry, but it’s a good read. And...there are a couple of Ilya cameos, what can be better than that?! ❤️❤️

Original ebook review 1/2020: 4 Stars!!
I adored these characters!! This slow-burn, semi-second chance romance ticked so many box
Nov 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Ryan is a giant of a man that acts as his hockey teams enforcer. It's not a job he particularly likes, but he's good at it. Ryan has other issues....anxiety, body issues, and name a few. Fabian is a bundle of energy that loves attention and lives for his music. He also HATES hockey. His family used to house young hockey players and Fabian learned quickly that he had no place is his life for them. Fabian did like one of them tho....he was different...shy, caring, friendly....and s ...more
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 Revie
Xia Xia
As a former athlete, the reason of the conflict near the end of the book got me so pissed, I almost gave the book 1 star on the spot. But that would have been shitty of me, because this book addressed what severe anxiety could do to someone very well, so that deserved a star at least. Then I started switching between 2 stars and 3 stars, got annoyed with myself for lack of decision, so in the end I left it unrated.

Ryan was a sweet Teddy bear, but Fabian and I did not click, and with each chapte
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
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
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 Rya
Sam (AMNReader)
I wasn't even looking forward to Ryan's book. Until, that is, I started reading it. See, I'm having trouble pulling myself away from news (most of us) and other various things at the moment. Despite being socially distanced with no obligations other than my 9-5 wfh gig, my concentration is terrible. I started reading this after the kiddos were in bed, and I didn't have much hope it wouldn't end up another meh that I threw back on the stack, barely mustering up the will and effort to say more tha ...more
Kaje Harper
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I enjoyed this one. Ryan was really sweet and I felt bad that his anxiety affected him so much in both his personal and professional life. Fabian was perfect for him. He was open about sex and knew how to help Ryan with his anxiety and performance issues.

I liked that both of the MC’s weren’t hockey players and That hockey was kept to a minimum in this book. It was a nice change.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

Loved Fabian...

Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.6 stars

I love Teddy Bear Ginger and Fabulous Fabian. It can’t beat Heated Rivalry though coz Ilya and Shane are 🔥 but Ryan and Fabian held their own and I love their story.

It’s refreshing to read about an NHL player who was not as perfect as people thought him to be. Ryan was endearing, kind and sweet, his personal battles were real and Rachel Reid handled this with sensitivity and care. I also love how Fabian was portrayed, he’s fierce and beautiful and he owned it!!

Why am I depriving them
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.

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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. Her Game Changers m/m hockey romance series is available from Carina Press.

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

Other books in the series

Game Changers (6 books)
  • Game Changer (Game Changers, #1)
  • Heated Rivalry (Game Changers, #2)
  • Common Goal (Game Changers, #4)
  • Role Model (Game Changers, #5)
  • The Long Game (Game Changers, #6)

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