Kyle was forcing his way into Eric’s heart like a puck sailing into the top corner of the net while Eric was sprawled helplessly on the ice. He couldn’t control what was happening, and he hated things he couldn’t control.
I can’t believe I’ve officially read all of the Game Changers novels now! If you’ve followed my journey at all, you know I went all out of order. As it happened I read Game Changer (book 1) and Common Goal (book 4) back to back and I’m glad it happened that way because we got to see a lot of Scott and Kip, who were the main couple in book 1. Kip and Kyle were friends/co-workers and Scott and Eric were friends/teammates so it was nice spending time with familiar characters and seeing what Kip and Scott were up to a few years after the events of their book. I loved every book in this series, it’s such an amazing world the author has built, full of so many dynamic, interesting, and lovable characters. I’m sad I’m done but I hope there will be more books in the future!
This book follows Eric Bennett who is the goalie for the New York Admirals. He’s 41yrs old and about to retire and hoping that this next chapter of his life will include exploring the side of his bi-sexuality that, until now, has never had a chance to. Graduate student by day, and a sexy bartender at a local gay bar by night, Kyle Swift may have sworn off dating older men but he is more than happy to help teach Eric everything he needs to know to successfully date men. Eric is bewitched by Kyle and is happy to learn whatever Kyle is willing to teach him but given their 16yr age difference, he knows that what they share can never be more than their friends-with-benefits arrangement. Kyle sets Eric’s body on fire like no one ever has before and despite their best efforts, both are having a hard time stopping themselves from falling for the other. Will their stubbornness to come clean about their true feelings end up sabotaging any chance they have at a happily ever after? Or will they realize that what they share is more important than silly hang-ups about their age difference?
I love a good age gap romance, this one was large enough to make it an issue but not enough to make it creepy. I had to chuckle, though, at Eric being called a silver fox in the blurb when he was only 41 years old! That’s how old I am and seeing that made me feel incredibly old!! In hockey years, 41 is quite old and I can definitely see how the thought of starting a relationship with a 25-year-old could mess Eric’s head up a little. But Kyle was a delight, I enjoyed him from the moment I met him as the flirty bartender in Game Changer and I fell in love with him here. He had an interesting back story and I love that even though he was the younger of the two, he had all the experience and assumed the role of teacher for Eric. Their “lessons” were scorching hot! Kyle’s confidence combined with Eric’s inexperience, but eagerness to learn was a sexy combination. As hot as they were together in the bedroom, they also had a lot in common outside the bedroom. I loved their conversations and flirting just as much. They were both hung up on the age gap, for different reasons, but in every other way, they were perfect for each other. You just want to yell at them to get their heads out of their asses and just be together already!
I loved Kyle but I really connected with Eric. For one thing, we’re the same age, but we also had a lot in common with our personalities – with his discipline, and need for control – I saw a lot of myself in him. So I really loved seeing his journey of broadening his horizons and using the skills he was so good at to actually help him step outside his comfort zone. His vulnerability as he explored this new terrain with Kyle was endearing and Kyle was just so good with him. Rachel Reid sure knows how to write well-rounded characters who have the best chemistry together!
As always, it was also fun seeing bits and pieces of Shane and Ilya’s story from different perspectives. After seeing them pop up in all the books and seeing how others perceived them, it’s really a miracle that it took so long for anyone to figure out their secret! Ilya was actually in several scenes in this book and I just love how he appears, seemingly out of nowhere, and causes chaos while at the same time showing what a good guy he actually is. He’s hand down my favorite character of the entire series. Anyway, I could extol the virtues of Ilya Rozanov for hours but this isn’t his book and you probably don’t want to hear that anyway. What I will say is that I loved the hell out of this entire series and I look forward to returning to it either through re-reads or in (fingers crossed) future books set in this world!