Cover Image: Common Goal

Common Goal

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I am speechless. Absolutely speechless. Within the first ten percent of the book, I knew I needed to read Reid's entire backlist and purchased it. By now, I'm pretty sure I'd let Reid drive me over in her car and thank her for it.
The chemistry between Eric and Kyle OH MY LORD.
The sex scenes had me actually putting down the book so I could fan myself.
The discussions the two of them were having about art and dreams and their future - both separate and together? I LIVE. 
I seriously don't have the words to express how much I loved this book but all I can say is that I was so swept up in their romance and keeping all my fingers crossed for them and the angst!! and the pining!!!!
I constantly murmured "i need to lie down" WHILE LYING DOWN because I was so overwhelmed by the love I had for this book. Please lord give me five hundred more pages about Eric and Kyle I NEED THEM.
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The instant, I saw Rachel Reid wrote another book in the Games Changers World , I wanted to read it . Yes, without sounding too gushing Heated Rivalry , book 2 , is one of my top favorite Hockey story ever. Therefore, the bar is set incredibly high. 

Common Goal is a fine, solid and entertaining read. A strong and welcome continuation to this amazing series. Both heroes , Eric and Kyle are likeable and have many great qualities.  Kyle won me over with his hilarious inner thoughts and wonderful quirky personality. As for Eric , his sense of honor and dependable nature made me fall for him. 

They make a good and sexy couple ; except for the - annoying to me - lack of communication. All their problems would have been resolved, if they talked it out.  But it didn't happen till the very end. We only got - yes, I am greedy-  a small amount of time with them in coupledom. I wish, we had more of those moments , instead of letting us know it happened , in the epilogue.

It would be amiss , on my part , if I don't mention Ilya Rozanov and Shane Hollander making cameos appearances. And of course, Ilya being Ilya , Stole. Every. Single. Scene. he was in! HFS, I adore Ilya and his smirks. There I said it ! LOL

Common Goal can be read as standalone . Yet, I recommend reading all other books too , as they're spectacular stories.

I just reviewed Common Goal by Rachel Reid. #CommonGoal #NetGalley
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Disclaimer: I received this as an ARC from Netgalley. 

I am a sucker for age difference, sports romance, and snark, so this book was right up my alley. I actually hadn't read the other books in the series but I didn't have any issues. 

Eric is a goalie on the precipice of retirement and trying to come to terms with being bisexual, Kyle is a grad student brokenhearted over an unrequited crush. I enjoyed the dynamic flip in the novel where Kyle is the experienced lover while Eric is happy to be lead. Its not exactly a common dynamic in mm romance so it was a nice little bit of something different. 

The book was an easy, comfortable read that leaves you with happy warm feelings. Eric and Kyle were well fleshed out characters with interesting quirks and different takes on life that complement each other.
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When a book comes out by Rachel Reid, I read it! I don't even need to read the blurb. Her characters are so much fun to dive into. This book is no different....Eric and Kyle were such a hot mess. You have a 41 yr old retiring goalie who is "pretty sure" he is bi but has no one to experiment with, and a 25 yr old graduate student who totally crushes on older, "mostly unavailable/in the closet" men. Sounds like a beautiful disaster waiting to happen! These two have sizzling chemistry, in and out of the bedroom but they both insist that nothing can come of it. Too bad their hearts don't quite understand. Kyle and Eric are so intense together....I couldn't wait to read what their next encounter was going to involve! Soooooo good! I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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3.5* A good story, but this series peaked with Ilya and Shane's tale, and everything that comes after will be found willing! But, I'd still read anything this author puts out.

This is another nicely written tale in this series, which I suspect ends here, unless a certain less-than-pleasant character who suddenly appeared and got a bit of page-time before disappearing, is being introduced for a tale of his own. If so, that'll be interesting as this guy is likely to be the worst offender - a guy who's in denial about his sexuality, and thus has a MO of hurting others with his attacks and aggression, and with his physicality on the ice. At the same time, if the series did end here, it would have done so with a gentle tale and a slow-burn romance, which suited me fine.

I'm not sure that I believed in the attraction between the leads, but I did believe in their unlikely friendship and in Eric's awakening to his sexuality. In theory, there were aspects that should have given rise to more angst than there was in the tale, and that there wasn't ,was a bit of a let down for me, as the tale plodded along a little too comfortably. It's not to say that the tale was lacking, but it didn't have anything that really stood out. I think that because Ilya and Shane's tale and romance was so strong in comparison, the series peaked there and this was a little more ordinary in comparison. I think, too, that the (welcomed) cameos from Ilya and Shane perhaps overshadowed this tale, as their story is either happening concurrently or has just taken place before this, with those guys a bit more obvious about each other than they're perhaps aware.

The leads were decent guys and both seemed open and honest (well, Eric as much as he could be in the beginning) which is why their friendship and trust in each other grew quickly and made them work despite the lack of an overpowering attraction that jumped off the pages. 

It ended in a good place, a year or perhaps just over, since the leads met and realistically, too, which earned it bonus points. It is a v...e...r...y    s...l...o...w... slow-burn romance, though it does have its fair share of sex, which I ended up skipping as it was the tiniest bit tropey.

ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Carina Press, for my reading pleasure.
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This was almost close to wonderful you can smell it. It was two MCs figuring out their relationship through sex and their limited open communication. Kyle as the man in charge and Eric as the older man seeking new experience was a great way to tell their story. They were fun together. 

This was well on its way to being my second favorite until the dark moment, which I actively disliked. My biggest issue was that dark moment - I seriously didn’t like that they broke up and didn’t like that their separation went on for so long. It kind of ruined the last part of the book for me. It didn’t been to happen and didn’t feel authentic to the characters’ growth. And then the ending was like WHAM. PLANS. LOVE. HEA. No make up sex for a couple whose relationship was built on sex. No I love you scene. Just. BOOM. HAPPY. MUCH PLANS. THE END. 

Note to self: skip the dark moment when you reread. 

We did see lots of Ilya and some Shane too which I cannot resist. (If they break up in their next book as the dark moment, however, I will not handle it well. At all. Down with that infuriating and unnecessary part of a romance. Burn it to the ground.)
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Common Goal is such a sweet romance with the loveliest characters. I love Eric and Kyle, both individually and together. This is my first book in the Game Changers series, and I will definitely read the first few books in this series.
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Lack of communication ✔

Characters didn't become a couple until the end ✔

Those two things typically kill a book for me, but surprisingly enough, I stayed engaged in the story the whole time. That's not to say I never got frustrated, because I did, but I was able to overlook them and just go along with the flow.

The story had:

-Lovable main characters
-Dual POVs
-Age gap
-And Rachel Reid's smooth writing style.

Despite being worried initially, this would be the first RR book I wouldn't like; I ended up enjoying a lot.

4 Stars
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I'll start off with saying that Rachel really set the bar with Ilya and Shane's story in Heated Rivalry. And I've already dubbed it for any other couple in this series unable to beat those two out. However, I definitely enjoyed the heck out of this one. I wasn't really expecting the slow burn, but once things start heating up, it's best to get a fan to cool yourself off ;-)

It took me a little to get through the first half of the book, I've been staying away from slow burns because I just haven't been able to focus on my reading. Thankfully my reading has been going great so far, so I was able to push through with this one.

Another trope that I haven't read about in a while is friends with benefit, they make me extremely nervous since feelings get involved. And one almost doesn't realize their feelings until the very last moment; it drives me crazy.

I've loved the pairings that Rachel gives us with every single book in this series. With a bit of an age gap and being so different, they worked perfectly together. I hope we get to see more of Eric and Kyle in the books to come.
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it's nice to be back in new york, seeing kip and scott from game changer navigate their committed relationship. and eric is a super fascinating hero, like he's so disciplined and grown up. it's like the opposite of chaotic trickster ilya, who makes a couple of delightful cameos in common goal and okay i'm going to be honest i really kind of just wanted more ilya. 

i enjoyed eric and kyle's story. i really did. i just wasn't transported by their story. i think maybe i'd have liked it better if kyle was part of the hockey world? but instead he was an art history major who moonlights as a bartender while working on a degree he's not interested in and had passing interest in kip but that obviously wasn't going anywhere. 

kip and eric connect and kip is basically eric's tour guide on the gay side of life. and it's a perfectly good story. i liked it just fine. i just...i just didn't fall in love the way i loved heated rivalry and that's a me problem not a problem with the book.

**common goal will publish on september 21, 2020. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/carina press in exchange for my honest review.
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Eric Bennett just hit the wrong side of forty and is feeling it. He has good games and bad games, but realizes retirement is probably in his near future. He is divorced, lonely, reserved, and wants to maybe start dating and find companionship. But he also wants to explore part of his sexuality that he never really has...being with a man. But with little dating experience, his flirting game is off, he is awkward, insecure, and lacks confidence. 

Kyle has been crushing on his best friend, Kip, for a while but has to finally realize that Kip is getting married(to Eric's friend and teammate, Scott). He is in his mid-twenties but has a thing for older guys, but also has a bad history with them and has come to expect the worst. He is flirty, fun, smart, and outgoing. He is scared of a real relationship and has never really had a healthy one. 

These two cross paths due to their friends, but find common interests. They kind of play at flirting, friendship, and even try to be each other's wingman. But there is this simmering attraction between them that leads to a friends-with-benefits exploration situation. But they think they want opposite things and that they are not right for each other despite the attraction and connection they both are feeling but hiding. 

This is a slow-burn, opposites-attract, age-gap romance. I liked both of the characters and it did develop at a realistic speed, even though at some times I might have wanted it to move along a bit faster and maybe a bit more couple time in the end. They definitely had some issues as far as their fears, insecurities, misconceptions, and communication. Sometimes I wanted to just yell at them to say what they are thinking or feeling. They had great chemistry and sexy times were not an issue, but they really needed to get out of their own heads and talk it out. But I loved them together and at least I could see they would make a great couple even when they were too afraid to admit it. 

Fans of the series will enjoy cameos, but it can be read as a stand-alone as well.
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Eric and Kyle's story is emotional, captivating, and hot. Everything I've come to expect from Rachel Reid. This is actually my second favorite in the series (Heated Rivalry will forever claim the top spot). If you love age gap, miscommunications, and mutual pining, this is the book for you.
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This was an ok read. Nothing can surpass the second book unfortunately. I just wish there was more tension between the characters. I just found the story rather boring.
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Let's be honest here, nothing can surpass the greatness that is Heated Rivalry (I mean, it made my all-time favorites list, so enough said!), but Common Goal is solidly the second best in the series, and is a powerhouse romance in it's own right.

First of all, we get an age gap, sexuality discovery story with a hockey player MC. That combo can only mean greatness, in my book. Rachel Reid sure know how to tick my boxes!

The MCs were charming, even if they weren't as dynamic as some of the other pairings. Eric was a very interesting character, and I fell for him right away. I loved how intelligent he was, and I adored his love of fine art. I was an art history double major in college, and a man who can appreciate and invest in art is big draw for me. He was an older MC, shyer and on the edge of retirement, and I liked his quiet, introspective nature.

Flirty Kyle was a great counter to Eric, and I thought they had great chemistry together. My only wish is that they had more page-time as a couple since a lot of their back and forth felt like work that could have been solved with better communication. I wanted more couple moments. There were also some times where the book felt a little sluggish, but those moments were few and far between.

Common Goal was a sweet, lovely romance, even if Ilya stole the show whenever he made a cameo. The writing and character development made the story a win, even if it had some plot flaws (communicate!!). I think all fans of the Game Changers series will be pleased, and I can't wait to see what Rachel Reid comes up with next.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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Giving this one 3 stars, because Reid's writing is, as always, really, really good. She writes great sex, great emotions, the characters were well thought out. I didn't care for the story all that much though, didn't find enough tension between the two of them.
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First, ya’ll I apologize. I’m in a strict hockey headspace because the Stanley Cup and HOCKEY IS BACK!!

That being said, this cover, uh, yes please, thank you. I need all the gorgeous goalie covers in my life. I have a soft spot for goalies and their quirks. Like, the goalie head-bumps at the end of the game? I LIVE for those moments.

Eric, veteran goalie, recently divorced and he is exploring his bisexuality for the first time. He’s seen several other players find the type of love he didn’t think he could have and he’s finally found someone who he wants to experience these moments with.

Kyle is getting over his long time crush and offers his expertise to Eric. As he and Eric end up in each other’s lives more often than not, it would be hard not to form a friendship. That relationship steadily develops the more time they spend with each other.

What I absolutely loved? Eric, just one hundred percent Eric. He had a kinship with the goalie posts and it reminded me of all the moments I caught of a goalie tapping their goal posts after a save, or pregame as they’re getting into the zone. There was more to him than being a professional hockey player. He has a love for art that he wants to share with people (which just so happens to be Kyle). I enjoyed the party scene where he and Kyle were off on their own connecting with each other. Even in a house full of hockey players, it still felt intimate.

Kyle,  oh I felt for him. I just wanted to give him all the hugs. Like I know what it feels like to be in those shoes, crushing hard on someone only to find out they’ll never return those feelings. I just wished he would have had more faith in Eric instead of being stuck on the age difference.

They were such a great pairing though. Their chemistry as both friends and lovers was off the charts. They communicated, tried new things and enjoyed themselves when they were together.

I have so much love for this series! If you are a hockey fan, give these a read because they don’t let you down At all.
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I'm just gonna start by saying that I'd like to write more reviews in english, here on Goodreads ... Actually, I wrote some during lockdown, but I still go back to the easy (and lazy) road and write in my maternal language, which is french, even if if I'm fluent in english (but oh so shy and awkward when it comes to reviewing a book).

Anyway ... in this book, we meet Eric a.k.a Benny, superstar goalie of the hochey Admirals, he's 41, divorced, he's about to retire AND embrace his bisexuality (yayy!) ; we also meet Kyle, who's younger (25), works in a gay bar called Kingfisher with Kip (lead character in book #1), and he has a weakness for older guys.

I liked this book very much, it was well written and engaging. I loved how Kyle & Eric went from friend to friends with sexy benefits. From the 1st time they rolled in the sheets, we could feel the true intimacy, the true chemistry between them. For me, it's delicious to read about a man (and a mature one !) who embraces his new sexuality and discovers what it's like to have sex with a man. The sex scenes are very sensual & sexy (Kyle is a sexy and creative teacher, and Eric ic an eager student ^^), and once again, we can really feel how close the characters are, we can already feel that between them it will always be more than just some steamy moments.

Unfortunately, there's this age gap between them (16 years) and Eric is not confortable with it, so of course, it leads to frustrating lines and painful decisions. But, for once, I found this totally relevant & believable : he's a 41 years old man, he's divorced, his career is almost over, so of course he's gonna question himself, of course he's aware of the differences between a 25 years old guy and him ! Usually, I find this kind of miscommunication/plot twist articifial and often too much ; to be honest, it's one my pet peeves, but Rachel Reid writes so well that we can only understand where Eric is coming from. I loved how she handled it.

Ilya's cameos were one of the highlights of the book, I swear, this guy steals the show every.f*cking.time ! I just love him, period. Oh and I can't wait to read more (way more !!) about him and Shane ...

So yeah, I loved this book, it was a perfect balance between slow burn and steamy moments, very well written, even if I agree with some reviews I read *** SPOILER**** I would have love to see more of them as an established couple !****
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Basically whenever I find out there’s a new book in the Game Changer series I always think “yes, go on forever”. I still think that after this most recent addition.

I will be honest and say I don’t typically gravitate towards romances with an age gap. The age gap between the two main characters, Eric and Kyle, is 16 years. Eric just turned 41 and Kyle is 25. This does have an impact on the plot as Eric is painfully aware of their age gap, especially as he is considered ‘old’ by hockey standards. Another factor to it is how Kyle is typically attracted to older men. Couple this with an experience where he was groomed by his married boss at 18, this creates a certain amount of conflict.

I have mixed feelings with how the age gap was handled While Eric does treat Kyle as his equal for the whole book, because he is thinking a lot about their age gap, and Kyle at times too, you as the reader is made to think about it. Both of them aren’t initially completely comfortable with it at first and that affects the reader as well. In the end, I did think this was a better handled age gap romance, although I still will probably not revisit the trope much.

I did overall really like this book. One thing that I did really enjoy was the appearance of other characters, mostly Kip and Scott from the first book in the series and following their engagement. Kip and Scott remain my favourite couple in the series and this book has really made me want to reread the first book (as well as Heated Rivarly).

I think this was an overall good book. I did find the characters a little dull at times but the characters did make up for it. I also liked seeing Eric embrace his bisexuality after his recent divorce with his wife. I really do love this series and I’m looking forward to more overall.
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Common Goal is a great addition to the series.  I loved that Benny finally got his HEA.  Eric struggled e early on in this book, he was coming to terms with his age, his divorce and his career..  He was also smitten with Kyle and he finally is willing to focus on him.   Despite Kyle having a crush on Kip he agrees to befriend Eric to help him navigate his new normal.   
The pair is hot together but really struggled as neither wanted to share their feelings.  
While I enjoyed it there was a lot of hurt before they got their HEA.  

I received a copy of this book for a honest review
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almost shook since 'Tough Guy' was terrible and I had expected the same with this. Thank the reading Gods above for blessing this novel because I was ready to drop this like a hot potato.

'Common Goal' slow building romance initially won me over. I just couldn't help but root for Kyle and Eric's bubbling relationship. The chemistry, the sexual tension, and banter were everything. Though age gap romances are not a fan favorite of mine and I typically stray away from them—when it came to Eric and Kyle's relationship it just worked. I can't really explain it but it just did.

For the obviously reasons this was a better followup to the 'Game Changers' so there is still hope for this series. Fingers crossed 'Role Model' is a keeper too!
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