From the Blurb:
Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.
Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardize that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.
Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realizes he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.
As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…
This is one of the books I wish I could read again for the first time
I love stories that span over many years of the characters' lives. They feel more real, wholesome and well developed. "Heated Rivalry" takes us through about a decade in Shane's and Ilya's lives and it gave so much depth to the story and the characters.
The book is split in four parts and it slowly takes us through the phases of their relationship, from the early days when it was more hate than anything else, all the way to present day when all that has unexpectedly changed to love and a playful competitiveness that doesn't seem in any hurry to go anywhere.
As we follow them through many seasons of their NHL careers and through personal life events we get to really know them and connect with them. We see their relationship with each other change without them realising until it's too late to do anything about it but move forward.
I fell in love with this book and with the MCs, both of them. I read the book in a little more than a day and I still wanted more. The solution they found was realistic and exactly what I wanted for them. It was sweet to see their excitement when they managed to find a way to live their life together and keep their careers at the same time.
Shane and Ilya where so different from each other and that's what made this story even more captivating. At first, they didn't even like each other but still there was something that was pulling them together. As their feelings started to grow, we got to see them thinking about the other's annoying trates with fondness and teasing each other about them.
The idea for this book was great and I loved every part of it. It wasn't overly angsty, it was mostly sweet and funny. As the years passed they started to be jealous about who the other was spending time with when they weren't together but there was really no reason for it. When they finally gave in and accepted their feelings it was glorious and there was no going back. Once they were in they went all the way and never looked back.
I was eagerly anticipating "Heated Rivalry" from the first time I read the blurb and it didn't disappoint. I'm always happy to read about hockey players and the fact that this took place over many years made it even better.
5 amazingly awesome stars!
*An ARC of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. *
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