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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.9 out of 5
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  • Long awaited and so worth it!

    Insta fave! I loved every bit of this book and I can't wait to reread it! Ilya and Shane's epic love story continues, with both men working together to coach hockey camps for their charity while still keeping their romantic relationship a secret. After ten years of secrecy, they're good at keeping their feelings on the down low, but the strain is showing, especially as Ilya spirals. Meanwhile, Shane is even more obsessed with performance perfection and living up to the daunting expectations of his team and fans. Although their love is strong and they're closer than ever, Ilya and Shane long for so much more -- for the freedom to openly acknowledge their love and live publicly as a couple. I fell for Shane and Ilya in Heated Rivalry and I loved getting even more in depth with them in The Long Game. They've both grown so much and their declarations of love, acts of affection, and emotional vulnerability are some of the highlights of the book! All of their interactions are so charged and real that I couldn't stop reading! Heart eyes for days. I also appreciated how they really worked on their communication, especially as Ilya begins to acknowledge that he's not okay and needs help. I liked how the timeline of this book overlaps with Role Model and shows key events from that book from Ilya and Shane's points of view. There's also a host of recurring characters from the series who offer support and give insights into what's going on in the larger hockey world. Seeing these characters again was like the best reunion, and the end had me basking in all the feels! Highly recommend to fans of character driven stories, emotional and steamy romance, sports narratives, and found families! If you read and enjoyed Check, Please!, you will absolutely adore this book and series!

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  • Smart and Loving

    The Long Game is a m/m sports romance and the sixth in the Game Changers Series. This book is a true sequel the second in the series Heated Rivalry. It continues the story of Ilya and Shane who are both are professional hockey players in Canada. Shane is in top form and his Montreal based team is coming off of winning the Stanley cup. Ilya is a great player who plays for a less successful team in Ottawa. The two are in a solid but secreted monogamous couple. The book begins in summer and follows them through the year. Ilya is struggling with some depression and seeks help for his mental health issues. I thought this was realistically depicted. I love that his therapist realizes that that he needs his own support above and beyond his partner. I’ve been referred to this series before and I regret it has taken me this long to read one of the books. The writing is smart and on point. There are concerns over career implications, and reactions from teammates, family and friends. The relationship between the two men is loving and steamy hot with several intimate scenes. And even thought they are together they still make mistakes in communication and assumptions. I don’t read a lot of m/m romances but I will definitely read more from Rachel Reid.

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  • Just wow!

    The Long Game by Rachel Reid is the sixth and last in her Game Changers m/m hockey series. That said, it stands alone beautifully. I read it without having read the rest of the series (they’re on my TBR, I promise!) and loved it completely. Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov have been rivals since they met more than a decade ago, and that led the way to a heated attraction and then to a secret relationship. Rachel Reid’s writing is terrific—I loved her characters and their friendships and connections. Ilya and Shane feel very well-drawn, and they have a lot going on, much as people tend to. I feel they and the other characters have been written with warmth and affection, and that made me enjoy the read all the more. The Long Game has been a long time coming for these two—they have spent years hiding their real selves from the world, and struggle to determine how to navigate revealing themselves. They find hard truths about those closest to them and are reminded what is truly important. I absolutely loved The Long Game and plan to reread it soon, perhaps after catching up with the prior books in the series!

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  • prepare for a lot of tears

    fans of heated rivalry will truly enjoy this heart-warming sequel. definitely a tear-jerker, but the payoff is worth it. ilya and shane deserve all the happiness in the world, and this was the perfect conclusion to their story.

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  • Spectacular!

    Fans of Rachel Reid’s marvelous Game Changers series rejoice, the most recent episode, The Long Game, is part two of Ilya and Shane’s romance! While the rest of the novels in this fabulous series can be read in any order, you’ll definitely need to read Heated Rivalry first. I adore established couple stories, and the scope of this one is epic! One of the finest enemies to lovers romances of all time, Ilya and Shane have incredible chemistry. From their very first meeting, the heat between these two burly hockey players leaps off the page, and they are just so darn cute together. Fast approaching their thirtieth birthdays, the guys have known each other for eleven years now, and are still firmly in the closet with their relationship. It’s not so much about coming out about their sexuality, as it is facing what the hockey world will say about these two fierce rivals being a devoted couple. I’m delighted by how Rachel Reid explores every aspect of what these two men go through as they face various challenges in this story. We spend time with family, friends, teammates, and folks in the hockey world, and delve deep into how each of them is feeling. Shane’s drive and determination to be #1 hasn’t changed. It’s no surprise that his dedication to his career conflicts with his desire for a real romance with Ilya, and there are some terrific scenes from Shane’s side of the story. What is an unexpected surprise is how deeply Rachel Reid gets into Ilya's head and heart in The Long Game. I fell hard for Ilya in the first book, and I love spending time learning what makes this intricate guy tick. An extraordinarily interesting character, Ilya has a unique sense of humor, is a solid friend and teammate, and is an appealingly dommy but sensitive lover. Ilya struggles with his mental health, and it’s an intense journey as he gradually comes to grips with his emotions. Painful memories force Ilya to do some intense soul searching about how he sees himself, and how his past impacts the relationships he forms with others. The Long Game focuses mainly on the development of their relationship, and how both guys are coping with life. And there are some terrific cameos from other characters from the Game Changers series. I love the bonus that a little of Troy and Harris’ story overlaps the timeline here. My only complaint is that it’s a little short on hockey scenes, but Rachel Reid totally makes up for that at the end! A superb series, and I definitely hope this isn’t the last we hear from Ilya and Shane!

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