From the blurb:
New York Admirals captain Scott Hunter takes his pregame rituals very seriously. In this case, it’s not just a lucky smoothie he’s craving—it’s the man who made it.
Pro hockey star Scott Hunter knows a good thing when he sees it. So, when a smoothie made by juice bar barista Kip Grady precedes Scott breaking his on-ice slump, he’s desperate to recreate the magic...and to get to know the sexy, funny guy behind the counter.
Kip knew there was more to Scott’s frequent visits than blended fruit, but he never let himself imagine being invited back to Scott’s penthouse. Or kissed with reckless abandon, never mind touched everywhere all at once. When it happens it’s red-hot, incredible and frequent, but also only on Scott’s terms and always behind his closed apartment doors.
Scott needs Kip in his life, but with playoff season approaching, the spotlight on him is suddenly brighter than ever. He can’t afford to do anything that might derail his career…like introducing the world to his boyfriend. Kip is ready to go all-in with Scott—but how much longer will he have to remain a secret?
It's no secret that I love sports romance stories, especially hockey ones! "Game Changer" has been on my radar for more than six months but I just managed to get to it.
It's the story of Scott, a closeted hockey player and one of the most popular guys on his team, and Kip - nickname for Christopher which I like infinitely more than what he was called throughout the story - who's working at a smoothie shop while dreaming of actually using his degree in archeology some day.
Scott was having a rough season but after he stopped at Sraw+Berry one morning before a game and got a blueberry smoothie from Kip, he played better than he had in months. Seeing that as a sign of good luck he made that his rutine for the mornings before home games. The two connect immedately and somehow Scott's secret is out of the bag and Kip's tongue is in his mouth.
The first half of the book had a really nice flow to it. It was light, positive and joyful. Scott and Kip were getting to know each other, were spending time together and trying to navigate the times they had to be apart because of Scott's away games. I liked seeing the beginning of their relationship but I also liked that the story wasn't just about the two of them. There was enough page time dedicated to Scott interacting with his teammates and his friends as well as to Kip with his.
The second half of the book was less enjoyable. My main issue was Kip's insistence that Scott should come out publically. They were together for barely a month - and knew each other for maybe a week more than that - and Scott was honest with him from the beginning about his closeted status. Kip agreed with the situation and then went ahead and pushed a lot to change it. In the end Scott basically came out for him instead of himself even if Kip changed his tune at the last second - after insisting for weeks on end that they should be honest about their relationship and being passive aggresive about it by distancing himself and ghosting Scott without explanation. I liked him a lot less after he acted that way. It was Scott's decision and Kip acted selfishly and not like the supportive boyfriend he was supposed to be.
Kip lost yet more points from me when he kissed someone else when he and Scott where fighting and never told Scott about it. They were a commited couple at that point so I think that he should have at least mentioned it.
Scott on the other hand was a sweetheart. I loved that character! It was especially funny when he met Kip's parents and promptly charmed the pants off of them.
The second book, "Heated Rivalry", is about two players of rival teams having a secret affair for years while not really liking each other and being rivals in public. Sounds complicated and so, so interesting! It's Rozanov and Hollander's story and I'll make sure that I won't miss it!
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