“TOUGH GUY is really about a vulnerable guy that will simply make you fall in love with him. ”
~ Under the Covers

I became aware of this series on Instagram from a friend’s recommendation and I knew I wanted to try it, even if I’m starting out of order.  I quickly fell in love with the characters.  TOUGH GUY is really about a vulnerable guy that will simply make you fall in love with him.

Ryan is a hockey star but his position in every team he’s ever played is the tough one that gets in the fights.  That’s what he’s there for, that’s what the coach expects and the fans want.  But he hates being that guy.  So much so that he’s been dealing with severe anxiety from it.  He’s traded to a new team and moves to Toronto.  He’s not outspoken about the fact that he’s gay but he’s also not in the closet.  As much as it’s acceptable for some hockey stars now to be out and proud, he feels like he wouldn’t be accepted the same because he’s not into the manly looking guys.  And he quickly finds the perfect guy for him after finding an apartment in the LGBTQ Village of the city.  Turns out to be his high school crush!

Ryan has such a big and tough exterior that he can easily intimidate anyone, but I loved seeing his soft interior.  Even easily broken.  I think Ms. Reid did such a great job at dealing with mental illness and anxiety in this book and how it can affect someone.  That was one of my favorite things about this book.  Plus the chemistry between Ryan and aspiring musician Fabian was undeniable as well.  I really loved them together.

Because of the personal circumstances of our characters in this book I would say the chemistry is more understated instead of explosive, the relationship had to go at a slower pace and in the end maybe there wasn’t a lot of conflict.  For those reasons I think I gave this book the rating I did.

But one thing is for certain, I’m really curious to go back and read the previous books in the series and continue reading this author.  I have a feeling she can become a new favorite for me.



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