Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
📖 Q: what’s your ideal amount of angst in a romance using stove burner terminology? I am low to medium 😆.
I see people recommended Rachel Reid’s romance Heated Rivalry all the time. *ticking off boxes* It’s a MM sports romance between on-going enemies who are sexxing each other up anytime their teams are in the same town.
The Long Game, Reid’s upcoming release, follows that same Heated Rivalry couple—Ilya & Shane—now that they’ve said “I love you” but while they’re still keeping their relationship a secret from pretty much anyone because of the fact that they’re widely known as (supposedly) hating each other on & off the ice.
I have two different ways of responding to this book (and the series overall). I recognize that it’s a strong romance & I can see why it’s beloved. I gave The Long Game 4.5 stars bc of reasons outlined below.
But I think this is a classic not you, me situation bc these books hit me hard on the angst-meter & that’s not my fave romance-reading sensation in general.
Though Ilya & Shane are a couple in this book they still have a lot of issues to work through, including what they think will happen if they are to reveal that they’re a couple, what each of them wants, & challenges Ilya is experiencing with his mental health.
I found some parts of this book emotionally difficult to read & TBH as much as I was happy for this couple & enjoy Reid’s writing I was also feeling a little feelings cloud about picking it back up 😅.
Setting aside my feelings cloud & returning to my review opening 😆, this duology is great. The chemistry between Ilya & Shane is off the charts, they’re convincingly built up as characters who love to compete *and* kiss, Ilya is hilarious & always pushing the envelope, I love how much they obviously care about the other despite their missteps, & the ending is satisfying.
But it hurt me to get there 😆.
4.5 ⭐️. Release date: 04/26
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Give me that HEA, please.
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