E-Originals, March 15, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

This debut adds another bad boy hockey star to a genre that already has dozens and is light on both actual hockey and romance; Reid follows up “Game Changer” with a heated, hidden romance full of emotional and physical exploration

Week ending March 15, 2019

Jordan, Lia. You’re the One. Tule. (Reckoning on Ice, Bk. 1). Mar. 2019. 310p. ebk. ISBN 9781950510009. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
[DEBUT] Lauren Moore is a single mom who’s behind on her bills and barely making it from paycheck to paycheck. Trevor Cole is the goalie for the Pittsburgh Pythons and an aggressive alpha male both on and off the ice. When Lauren is picked to try to get a puck past Trevor for a chance at $5,000, she thinks her prayers may be answered. Unfortunately, Lauren overhears Trevor’s locker room talk about her and never picks up the check. What follows is an unconvincing relationship built upon a caricatured athlete who uses money and sexual prowess to convince the heroine that’s what love is. Readers will find an insta-love story line that borders on obsession, with very little chemistry between the protagonists, and a plot twist that is completely unbelievable.
VERDICT This debut novel adds another bad boy hockey star to a genre that already has dozens and is light on both actual hockey and romance.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

redstarReid, Rachel. Heated Rivalry. Carina: Harlequin. (Game Changers, Bk. 2). Mar. 2019. 200p. ebk. ISBN 9781488051241. $3.99. LGBTQIA ROMANCE
Pro hockey is highly competitive and publicly straight. Canadian Shane Hollander lives hockey and strives to have his team the Montreal Voyageurs at top of the league. However, ever since Shane’s rookie year, Russian hockey star Ilya Rozanov has been the bane of his existence, with the media playing up their rivalry. What the media don’t know, what the fans don’t know, and what Shane’s own family don’t know is that he’s been attracted to Ilya for years, and the pair have been involved in secret hookups whenever their teams meet. For Ilya, Shane is an unattainable dream. Russia actively persecutes gays, and if he goes public, he could not only lose his career but his life. Yet the time is coming when each man will have to decide if their relationship is worth the risk. Shane and Ilya’s bond spans almost a decade and examines Shane’s coming to terms with his being gay and Ilya’s fear of exposure for “liking” men.
VERDICT Reid follows up Game Changer with a heated, hidden romance full of emotional and physical exploration. While it ends on a note of happy for now, the stage is set for a happily ever after in readers’ imaginations. Libraries where sports romances are popular should purchase.—Melanie C. Duncan, Washington Memorial Lib., Macon, GA

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