Review: Tough Guy by Rachel Reid

Quick Info
Tough Guy

  • Author: Rachel Reid
  • Publishing House: Carina Press
  • Release Date: 13.01.2020
  • Series: Game Changers
    book 3
  • Genre: Contemporary, Romance
  • Trigger Warnings: body issues, self worth issues, suicide mention
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars

Tough Guy

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 blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

The Queer’s Review

I will go down with this series.

Seriously, I love it so much it’s ridiculous. And every time I read one of its books for the first time, I think it possibly can’t be better than the one before – and then it somehow ends up being exactly that.

At least my favourite character from Game Changers hasn’t changed (yet?). And even better he even has a guest appearance! But you’re probably not that interested in this little tidbit so I’ll stay quiet about him for now and start gushing about Ryan.

Because seriously… This huge-rough-on-the-outside-but-so-very-gentle-on-the-inside-red-teddy-bear has taken my reader’s heart within a few sentences.

I really don’t want him to suffer but I enjoy his anxiety so much because how often is anxiety portrayed realistically? I don’t wanna know how many times I’ve rambled to some “victim” about how anxiety isn’t some cutesey little character trait for fuck’s sake!

Also, how often is a seen by society as a manly man guy allowed to be anxious? And not only that but struggle with getting off (I use “struggle” because he tries again and again on his own so it seems to be something he would really like to achieve instead of not caring about it at all).

And his body issues. There is just so much to love about Ryan aside from his character – because he is in no way a manly man guy even though he appears that way to outsiders.

There is so much romance and talking between happening between Ryan and Fabian that I really enjoyed being able to come with them on their journey to finally fall in love with each other. Again in a way.

Bookish Thoughts

I just know that I will come with them again very soon because while I will yell again and again about how important Ryan’s portrayal is to me, I had so much fun reading Tough Guy.

Smirking while using public transportation and not caring manly man guy about it fun. And my favourite has a small part, too!


I received a free copy on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

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