Cover Image: Common Goal

Common Goal

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Member Reviews

Another fantastic, hot and sexy book in this series.

I love this series so much. Every single book has been a 5-star read for me and Common Goal is no exception – and boy is it hot!

It's a fantastic age-gap and bi-awakening story. Eric is an aging goalie who is reaching the end of his career. He had an amicable divorce from his wife of 20-years but has yet to remove his wedding ring. This causes a bit of a dilemma for his soon-to-be love interest, Kyle, because while Kyle is attracted when they first meet, he absolutely will not get involved with a married man.

The thing that makes this story so hot is Kyle's offer to teach Eric everything he wants to know about sexy-time with a man – and boy does Kyle know a lot!! But beyond this, there is a tender love story developing between the two of them. The problem is that Eric just can't seem to get past the age difference and just about ends up destroying everything between them.

I started out listening to the audiobook version of this, read by Cooper North, but soon switched back to reading the ebook. I believe this is the first audiobook I've listened to from Cooper North. I didn't think his narration was really bad or anything, I just wasn't feeling the same emotion listening to the story as I've always gotten when reading the previous books (I haven't listened to any of them).

While Common Goal can easily be read as a standalone, fans of the series will enjoy visiting with previous characters from other books in the series. In particular, I enjoyed the cameo appearances by Ilya Rosanov and Shane Hollander from book two, Heated Rivalry. I'm not certain how the timeline for Common Goal intersects with Heated Rivalry, but nothing about that book is revealed in Common Goal. However, if you've read Heated Rivalry, you'll be reading between the lines in a few of the scenes. 😊

As far as I'm concerned, this series can continue on forever. I'm a huge fan and I love Rachel Reid's writing.

A review copy of the ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley, and Harlequin Audio provided a review copy of the audiobook, but this did not influence my opinion or rating of the book.

***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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Heated Rivalry is one of my favorite books of all time. The author Rachel Reid set such a high standard when she introduced Ilya and Shane that I am afraid every couple in this series will be compared to them

In this installment of the Game Changer series, we are introduced to goalie Eric Bennett who is past his first year since his divorce. He shied away from hanging out with the hockey fellas but he decided to support his teammate Scott Hunter and his fiancee Kip Grady, by attend a party celebrating their upcoming nuptials. Shane and Kip were the heroes from book 1 and their decision to live their lives openly had a hugely positive effect in the hockey community.

At the party, Eric found himself drawn to his bartender, Kyle Swift who is a bartender but Eric hasn't never been open about his attraction to men. In addition, Kyle was still nursing an attraction on his co-worker Kip Grady, who was off the market. Both men commiserated a bit before realizing that they could work off their loss with each other. The issues for Eric boiled down to one thing, he was 41 years old and Kyle was 25 years old. But they agreed to just be friends with benefits.
Of course these arrangements never last because feelings get involved.

I liked the story but I really enjoyed the evolution of the heroes. At first, Eric was like a piece of wood adrift in a lake. He was at the twilight of his hockey career, he was curious of the part of his sexuality that he had repressed for most of his life, and he just didn't seem passionate about anything. Kyle felt more like a college kid. He spent so much time remunerating about his crush of Kip while trying to figure out what he wanted out of life. But the author did a great job developing them because both evolved into more confident and decisive men. The journey was one of self discovery and it was well paced. I just wanted more dynamic interactions and communication between Kyle and Eric but these two spent a lot of time in their own heads.

I liked them but the author really set my expectations high after Ilya and Shane's book. My favorite scene in the book was Ilya being himself and calling out the "mess" that Eric was embroiled in. It was quintessential Ilya and that is why his commanding presence is so dominating in every scene he appears even more so than Shane the engaged hero from book 1. This book was cool, it just didn't bring the heat, witty banter and angst that I was hoping for but it was a good addition to the series.

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A romantic, sweet, May/December romance between Kyle and Eric. The biggest hurdle in this book is the age gap and Eric couldn't past that at first. There's great characters between these two and their love story is slow-burn. The reason why I love this book is because all the characters, whether they are teammates, partners, or friends, they are so sweet and accepting and I loved seeing all them. The book is funny, some angst, sexy bartenders and hockey players. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.

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I really enjoyed this one, though not as much as I enjoyed Heated Rivalry. I am afraid nothing will surpass that one anyway...

Still, in each book we get hot hockey players falling in love and what is not to love about that!! Damn I love hockey players and I will confess... the goalies are definitely my favorite. They are a brand all on their own.

Now I wasn't a real fan of the slow going pase in this on and the pushing and pulling that came with it, but we can't love them all the same and I especially like how this author has made all the books so different from one another.

That said, I loved the age gap and the sexual discovery in this one... it was delicious.

So even though, this wasn't my favorite in the series, I still very much enjoyed it and I can't wait for more. Keep em coming please!!!

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4.5 Stars

Eric Bennett is a tall, broad silver fox looking retirement from professional hockey in the face. He’s bisexual, but not really out, though he’s wanting to experiment with men for the first time ever. He’s a bit shy, and not really into the meat market approach to finding a partner. He has met Kyle, a young, sexy bartender, several times because he works at the same bar where Eric’s teammate’s new fiance, Kip, has been employed. Turns out that Kyle is a graduate student in ancient art and architecture, and Eric is an art connoisseur and collector. They seem to have more in common than a mutual friend, and that leads Kyle–who is always attracted to Mr. Wrong–to impulsively offer to teach Eric the ways and means of sexytimes with men.

Kyle has had a long-time crush on his friend, Kip, and seeing him happily engaged only spotlights Kyle’s loneliness. Kyle decide to really focus on his schooling, but he’s still more than willing to give sex lessons to Eric, and their chemistry could melt glaciers–let alone hockey rinks. They also get along out of the bedroom, with Kyle admiring and appreciative of Eric’s sense of style and his intelligence. Who knew Harvard graduated hockey gods? The more time they spend, the more they each begin to fall, but there’s a big age gap that unsettles Eric. And, he’s totally afraid he’s taking advantage of Kyle’s youth and winsomeness, especially when he learns of Kyle’s history of being used by older men.

Their happily ever after seems to be in jeopardy until Eric comes to his senses, realizing that losing Kyle to his own insecurities is not the way he should approach his new, and empty, life after hockey. It’s a very sweet reunion, and the sexytimes are fun and playful throughout. I loved the resolution here, and I look forward to more of these delicious hockey romances in the future.

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Common Goal
By Rachel Reid

That cover!!!! The image is so sexy and drew me in right away! I wanted to get my hands all over Eric Bennett!

This series is so much fun to read. I have to be honest, nothing will top Heated Rivalry. If you are looking for that feeling you got when you read that book you’ll be disappointed. The reason is because Shane & Ilya are just in a class of their own and you cannot expect an author to capture that magic in every book. That is if you loved Heated Rivalry as much as I did. I just know that it’s a favorite for many and therefore I tend to believe that other books in the series just can’t top that. That being said, I loved this book and the previous book, Tough Guy. TG because I fell in love with Ryan and his quiet self and this book because Eric is a down to earth guy with a great personality.

Kyle is a bartender that was introduced in Game Changer. He has a crush on Kip but Kip is madly in love with Scott Hunter. Kyle has been on his own in NYC, attending college, since he was involved in a scandal in his hometown and practically banished by his family. He notices Eric Bennett who comes to the bar to hang out and support his teammate, Scott Hunter. Eric is interesting and so sexy but he’s married and straight. Or so Kyle thinks.

Eric is a goalie for the New York Admirals. He’s coming up on his time to retire, he’s recently divorced from his wife and he’s bisexual even though he’s never had the chance to act on that side of himself. He’s definitely attracted to Kyle but he insists Kyle is too young. Feeling older than he is because of his hockey career doesn’t help that mindset either.

As Kyle and Eric get to know each other they find they have things in common and when Kyle finds out Eric is bisexual he volunteers to help him find someone to experiment with. Of course he’s the one who shows Eric the ropes in all things gay sex but feelings start to develop and Kyle has been burned by an older man before plus Eric keeps saying Kyle is too young for him.

The push and pull in this one is not going to be for everyone. I loved the slow burn and enjoyed how the friendship and relationship developed over time. Eric isn’t the type of guy to have casual sex. I can appreciate how Rachel Reid sticks to her characters personalities that way. This book is like Tough Guy, there’s a sensitive older man and a vulnerable younger one.

Rachel Reid has so much talent and I cannot believe she doesn’t have tons of books under her belt. Her writing gets better with each book. I know many read this series to see Ilya and you definitely see him in this book. He has just evolved so much into the funniest, sweetest man! I encourage anyone who reads the other books in this series after Heated Rivalry to keep an open mind and don’t compare the books. You’ll enjoy them so much more and hopefully love these characters as much as I do.

ARC received by publisher via NetGalley for review

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Rachel Reid's Common Goal is a wonderful addition to the Game Changers series. I love athletes and I love hockey romances, so I am always excited for a new book in this series.

This is the story of Kyle and Eric, two complete opposites. Kyle's a young man who's still reeling from his bad choices. He and the older Eric develop a friendship despite their reservations.

I love Eric. He's at the end of his hockey career, and is secretly bisexual. Having been married to a woman for years, he has never experimented with a man before. Until Kyle.

Their arrangement is for no emotions involved sexual exploration, as Kyle sets out to teach Eric the hot things he can do with a man. And, damn, does he ever show him!

There isn't tons of actual hockey in this one, but I do adore Eric and the way he talks to the goalpost. And I enjoy the frequent presence of his teammates.

I love the writing style, and love the characters even more. They are likable men and their storyline is compelling. It took me a little while to warm up to the men, but I did. They both have some layers that are intriguing, and together they make a good couple. I definitely enjoy the emotions and the fun banter. As well, the story starts off slow, but it picks up once the men get entwined. It's a long read, so be prepared for that going into it.

Common Goal is more than just a hockey romance. Rachel Reid definitely entertains in this story of sexual exploration and love. It's a sweet, comfort read kind of book.

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Ok so I can't say that I loved this one. I just liked parts of it. Eric is the older goalie on the team who has just gotten divorced and is ready to explore the things he feel's like he missed out on. Kyle is the younger man who is a good friend of the main character in a previous book. They were cute and sweet together, but I just felt like something was missing. I don't know, I had a hard time even getting into this one which really surprised me. There were just a lot of things that got on my nerves. The age gap thing was one of them because I really don't feel like that should have been a major issue. I honestly felt like Eric never being with a man before should have been more of an issue than it was, it was almost like it was glossed over in my opinion. I don't know, some things felt rushed and other things felt like they dragged out for me. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't to my liking.

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COMMON GOAL is one of those books you only put down under duress and think about constantly while you’re away from it. Rachel Reid delivers a slow burn romance packed with humour, complex emotional responses, realistic obstacles, strong friendships, and sports. The whole thing sparkles. My soul turns into a great big gush of exclamation marks whenever I think back on it, like so: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 stars

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Rainbows and Sunshine
September 21, 2020

This is the fourth book in the series and can be read as a standalone. I have mixed feelings about this one. I loved the writing style and the banter between Kyle and Eric .

✔ Age Gap
✔Sports Romance
✔Friends to lovers
✔No strings attached
✔Slow burn
✔ Dual POV
✔Super hot sex

I was a bit annoyed by the back and forth between the MCs because of the age gap. It was a constant hurdle and I kept wondering why they cared that much about age. They are both adults, for fuck's sake.

Loved the friendships in this book. Scott and Kip are best friends of the MCs and I do hope that I get around reading their book someday.

We get cameos from Ilya and Shane!!! I'm sorry but Ilya will forever be my favourite. Did I pick this up because I knew he was going to be in it? Yes, I did! Hopefully the magic will be back when it comes to their next book because I keep comparing each book to Heated Rivalry.

*ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

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4 Stars!

This one has to be my second favorite in the series so far. My number one favorite still belongs to Heated Rivalry.

I was really hoping that Kyle would end up in one of these books. He had a part in book one and I ended up liking him.

Kyle has a thing for older men. They just really do it for him. He hasn't had much luck with them in the past though and one in particular really messed up his life and his heart. Now he's more cautious and has tried to stay away from the men he's most attracted to. But one man keeps coming around and catching his eye. But that man is a hockey player and has wedding ring on his finger. So he should be way off limits but Kyle is pretty sure this guy is interested. Though Kyle has no interest in starting anything with a married man. Not again.

Eric has come to a couple big decisions after a year of being divorced. One: He is ready to retire. Two: He is ready to explore his attraction to men. Both are scary endeavors for him. He doesn't have any idea what life holds for him after hockey but he knows it's time to hang up the skates. When it comes to dating men, there is only on man who keeps catching his eye. Kyle.

Kyle and Eric have different reasons why they are weary about starting anything with each other. Eric because he is hung up on the age difference. But he admits to himself that he has feelings for Kyle. Kyle knows who he is and how he is and just knows he will probably be the one heartbroken at the end.

These were the perfect match. Eric is just so refined and put together where Kyle is flirty and still unsure about his future. Eric is shy, quiet, and a bit lonely. Kyle is more laid back, outgoing, and free spirited. They were completely opposites which completely made them work. They had amazing chemistry.

As usual in these stories it takes them a bit to get it right. But I didn't mind the wait nor the story of how they got there.

Happy reading dolls! xx

I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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COMMON GOAL is the fourth instalment in Rachel Reid’s contemporary, adult, GAME CHANGERS erotic, LGBTQ, (MM) hockey romance series. This is New York Admirals goalie, forty-one year old, Eric Bennett, and twenty-five year old, bartender/ graduate student Kyle Swift’s story line. COMMON GOAL can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous instalments is revealed where necessary. Kyle and Eric first appeared in book one Game Changer.

NOTE: COMMON GOAL is an age-gap, LGBTQ romance with graphic scenes of same sex scenarios that may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Kyle and Eric) COMMON GOAL follows the building romance and relationship between is New York Admirals goalie, forty-one year old, Eric Bennett, and twenty-five year old, bartender/ graduate student Kyle Swift. Eric Bennett is a bisexual man but has only ever had sexual relationships with women. Recently divorced, Eric has thought about his attraction to men but especially his attraction to bartender Kyle Swift, a young man whose obsession with Eric’s teammate Scott is slowly dying since Scott’s engagement to Kyle’s co-worker Kip. Coming out to Kyle, Eric found himself in a friends with benefits arrangement when Eric claimed he had no experience with the same $ex. What ensues is the building romance and relationship between Kyle and Eric, and the potential fall-out as Eric struggles with their age-difference.

Eric Bennett is a man close to the end of his professional career, and falling for Kyle Swift left Eric feeling old and tired but with no experience with gay $ex, Eric jumped at Kyle’s offer to teach Eric about $ex with a younger man. Kyle Swift didn’t care about their age difference but in an effort to get to know Eric better, Kyle offered to find Eric a partner but found himself falling in love with our story line hero.

There is a definite lack of communication between both men that exacerbated the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ especially as it pertained to Eric’s issues with their age difference (ad nauseam), and his need to keep Kyle in the friend zone. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and passionate.

There is a large ensemble cast of colorful secondary and supporting characters including Scott and Kip (Game Changer #1), Ilya Rozanov (Heated Rivalry #2), teammates Matti Jalo, Carter Vaughan, Kyle’s roommate Maria, and Eric’s friend and gallery owner Jeanette.

COMMON GOAL is a story of secrets, friendships and relationships. The character driven premise inviting and imaginative; the characters are spirited and inspiring; the romance is edgy and spicy. COMMON GOAL looks at the psychological side of coming out but stays clear of the social and professional repercussions that many professional athletes experience following such pronouncement.





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Rachel Reid loves hockey and her love for the game shines through each book in this series. This story features 41-year-old goalie Eric Bennett, who has all the quirks and superstitions most goalies have—including talking to his goal posts. And when I thought about it, I realized that makes sense. Who else is a goalie going to talk to? It was easy to be smitten with Eric right from the beginning.

Eric and his wife divorced last year and he’s ready to embrace his bisexuality, but doesn’t know where to start. Enter flirty bartender, Kyle Swift. Both characters grabbed my heartstrings and wove me around theirs for the full ride of Eric’s last hockey season and his first foray into sex with a man. Fit, muscular, a silver fox who does yoga to center himself and follows a healthy vegetarian diet, there’s not much to dislike about Eric other than his propensity to doubt himself, disparage his age gap with Kyle, and distrust his ability to make Kyle happy for more than a momentary fling.

Kyle can’t believe the stunning man who accompanied Scott Hunter to the bar a few times is real. But after flirting a bit, Kyle spots Eric’s wedding band and that’s it for him. Kyle has been burned—badly a few times and is not interested in more pain with a married man. Not, that is, until he finds out Eric is leaving the ring on because he’s superstitious about removing it, and then Kyle is all-in with becoming Eric’s coach—and not for hockey. Friends with benefits, no-strings attached sex lessons become time spent together and learning to enjoy all New York has to offer: art and history and cozy little restaurants. Unfortunately, the author used both miscommunication and lack of communication to keep the men apart. Yes, it’s a good tool for an author to consider, but no, it’s not one I enjoy in my romance books where everything else clicks.

The sex scenes where Kyle teaches Eric everything from hand jobs to oral to use of toys, edging, and more were hot, creative, humorous, and intense. But their time together in other activities showed the bond the two men shared and the love that was building between them. If only they could see what the author let readers see. Sigh.

A few cameos from Ilya Rozanov, my all-time favorite hockey player, were the cherry on top of this beautiful ice cream sundae… err… romance. This is definitely one of my favorites this year, though Ilya and Shane’s story, Heated Rivalry, will likely never be knocked from their top position in my heart. This is highly recommended if you like age gap, sexual discovery, virgins, men over 40, friends to lovers, hockey, and m/m love.

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This is the fourth book in the Game Changers series. I really loved this book and have enjoyed the whole series. The characters were wonderful with all their hang-ups about age and their worthiness of being in a relationship. It also deals with the emotions of retiring from a sport you have played for many years. The pace was spot on and hard to put down. I do feel you could read this book as a stand-alone, but in my opinion it is better read as part of the series.

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It’s been a while since I read a book this fast. I was completely captivated by Common Goal. I was totally in love with Eric. He was such a sweetheart and his chemistry with Kyle was off the hook.

The book wasn’t perfect. The lack of communication between the characters was very annoying but somehow I couldn’t spot reading. I would have love to have another chapter before the epilogue, to see Eric and Kyle as a couple. The ending felt a little rushed.

And, obviously, every scene with Ilya was awesome, amazing and magnificent. Heated Rivalry is one of my favorite books and now I to do a reread :)

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I have a new favorite Rachel Reid book and it is Common Goal. Eric and Kyle had me swooning non-stop, as individuals and as a couple. I absolutely loved the growth and confidence that Eric gained with his sexuality and learning to embrace and explore it. And I highly highly appreciated the demi representation we get with Eric. Reid mailed it perfectly, without being in your face about the representation and making it a huge deal, it was just part of who Eric was, and it made my heart so happy. Kyle is a delightful character whom I would dare anyone not to love. His journey into feeling worthy of love with the right person was so lovely to behold. Together the two of them are combustible, sweet and charming. I loved the absolute depth of their friendship turned romance. It was also great seeing Scotty and Kip and cameos from Shane and Ilya. This is definitely my favorite in the series so far and I am very curious to know who comes next!

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Common Goal is the fourth entry in Reid’s hockey romance series, and while I don’t think you have to have read all the previous books, it might help to be familiar with the first one, Game Changer, because the main characters play a fairly large role in this story.

It’s an age gap romance, with soon-to-retire goalie Eric falling for Kyle, who is 16 years his junior. The difference in their ages is the main point of conflict in the book. Eric believes he’s much too old for Kyle, while Kyle tries his best to resist his feelings for Eric, since his relationships with older men have all ended unhappily. Eric and Kyle are very compatible in most ways, though, including a shared appreciation for art, and true love of course won’t be denied.

Reid makes the story more interesting by turning the older/younger man dynamic on its head in a couple of ways. Eric has never acknowledged his bisexuality, and he feels unsure about being involved with a man, so Kyle becomes his mentor in the gay world. When they decide to take that mentorship into the territory of “friends with benefits,” control freak Eric discovers that he loves giving up control in the bedroom, so Kyle takes the lead in the physical side of their relationship, too.

Mostly I enjoyed reading about Eric and Kyle’s romance, but it did drag a little bit. Eric’s insistence that he was too old got a little tiresome at times, especially since his interactions with Kyle so clearly contradicted him. Also, it’s very much a story where a little bit of open communication would go a long way.

Overall, I liked it, though. I’m not sure if Reid has other books planned for this series or not, but I’m hoping for more.

A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for me to review; all opinions expressed are my own.

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Eric is a forty-one-year-old NHL player. He admitted to Kyle he's bi and wants to explore, wants to go out. Kyle and Eric have some mutual friends and Kyle will help and introduce him to the gay scene and who knows maybe even find him a hook up. Kyle wants to find himself also a guy. Not with each other, nooo, Eric is looking for someone not too young thirty maybe. Poor Kyle he's only twenty-five.
They decide to be friends. When Kyle offers himself as the one where Eric could sexually practice with they start friends with benefits. And Kyle will still lookout for a guy for Eric. Sounds great right? So not. They have the best time together and it will never be more, because hey, thirty-plus right!

I loved this story, the pace was good, it was entertaining and with enough emotions. Quite lovable characters, with Kyle as a bright star. The time they spent together was nice to watch.
It took them a long time to get where they wanted to be, at the end I wished some more resistance before giving in.
Overall a funny, sexy, enjoyable narrative!

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Eric has been the goalie for the New York Admirals for his entire professional hockey career. Now that he’s turning 41, he knows that this is his last season, but he’s not ready to tell his teammates. He’s also finally acknowledging his bisexuality, and now that he’s been divorced for a year, he’s ready to explore this new facet of himself.

Enter Kyle, a grad student who he knows through mutual friends. Kyle offers to help Eric learn how to date guys, which includes low-pressure introduction to the physical aspect of dating. Yes, that’s right, fucking lessons. It’s supposed to be a casual no-strings-attached friendly offer, but of course, they both catch feelings almost immediately. But there’s an age gap to consider, and Kyle doesn’t do relationships, so that’s a bit of a problem.

The first thing readers should know is that although this is the fourth book in a series, it does function well enough as a standalone. However, and I cannot stress this enough, readers ought to read the first three books before reading this one. To begin with, the New York Admirals are also featured in Game Changer, the first book in the series, and both Eric and Kyle play secondary roles in that book.

But wait, there’s more! Heated Rivalry, the second book features Ilya Rozanov, who appears in every book in the series like a trickster god, imparting wisdom along with a hearty dose of snark and derision. Ilya always manages to steal the show in every book, even when it’s not even his book. He’s doing it right now because here I am, in Eric and Kyle’s book, talking about ILYA instead of the actual stars.

Anyway, I digress. The TLDR of all that is that readers will gain a more thorough appreciation of the characters if they have the additional background info. But like I said, this book functions perfectly well as a standalone. Eric and Kyle have this intense chemistry from the very beginning, and their edging scene is one of the hottest sex scenes I’ve ever read.

Good sex is good, but it can’t sustain a relationship—or rather, a NSA casual situation—but Eric and Kyle have amazing banter, and this book had me laughing the entire time. I also loved the way that Kyle made creative mocktails for Eric, who doesn’t drink. I mean, I loved everything about this book, but I’m trying to summarize the highlights in less than 600 words.

Oh, yeah, there are some great hockey scenes as well. Silly me, how could I have forgotten to talk about hockey in the queer hockey romance? Eric might be a goalie, so the action scenes are more about focusing and getting the save rather than thrilling breakaways, but they’re just as exciting to read… and it’s extra cute to see Kyle, who has never cared about hockey, becoming a rabid fan almost immediately.

I would absolutely recommend Common Goal. Rachel Reid is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, judging by the way I inhaled this book over the course of a weekend. All of her books have earned their place in my re-read pile. As of right now, there are two more books planned for this series, so I’ll be over here, eagerly waiting for them, and maybe one day, I’ll get around to writing my review of Heated Rivalry.

I received a copy of this book from Carina Press/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I love this book so much, it's the only book in 2020 that caused me entirely zero amount of anxiety while reading it. It is so amazing and I need to reread it before I can write a review it deserves.

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