This is the third book in Reid’s Game Changers series of m/m hockey romance novels. I haven’t read the other two books in the series, but they are already on my TBR queue based on how much I liked this one.
Well, spoiler alert, but there you have it: I loved this book.
Ryan, a professional hockey player, has been traded to Toronto. He doesn’t know anyone, but he immediately runs into Fabian, whose family he boarded with when he was a junior hockey player.
Fifteen years ago, they had an “almost” moment, but then they went their separate ways.
Oh, my gosh, I absolutely adored this book. Ryan might look like a 6’7 red-haired Viking lumberjack and his hockey job is “enforcer”, which basically means he starts fights. But ironically, Ryan is secretly a big cinnamon roll. He’s afraid of flying, and his favorite book is Anne of Green Gables.
On a more serious note, Ryan deals with anxiety, and I thought this was dealt with tenderness and authenticity. Anxiety and depression are so prevalent nowadays, so it’s nice to see this reflected in romance novels.
Ryan and Fabian have great chemistry, and I especially liked how Fabian was so patient and empathetic when intimacy didn’t come easily to Ryan. They work so well together, and it was so sweet to see their friendship rekindle after so many years. They both have regrets that they never shared their feelings when they were in high school, and now they finally have a second chance, and oh my gosh, this book was so good.
I would absolutely recommend Tough Guy. I especially enjoyed the characterization of both heroes, and how Reid provides a good balance between humorous banter and more serious material. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series in the very near future.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.