Book Reviews

Common Goal (Game Changers 4) by Rachel Reid at Carina Press

Genre Gay / Bisexual / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Age Gap / Romance
Reviewed by Barb on 21-September-2020

Book Blurb

Veteran goaltender Eric Bennett has faced down some of the toughest shooters on the ice, but nothing prepared him for his latest challenge—life after hockey. It’s time to make some big changes, starting with finally dating men for the first time.

Graduate student Kyle Swift moved to New York nursing a broken heart. He’d sworn to find someone his own age to crush on (for once). Until he meets a gorgeous, distinguished silver fox hockey player. Despite their intense physical attraction, Kyle has no intention of getting emotionally involved. He’ll teach Eric a few tricks, have some mutually consensual fun, then walk away.

Eric is more than happy to learn anything Kyle brings to the table. And Kyle never expected their friends-with-benefits arrangement to leave him wanting more. Happily-ever-after might be staring them in the face, but it won’t happen if they’re too stubborn to come clean about their feelings.

Everything they both want is within reach… They just have to be brave enough to grab it.


Book Review

Rachel Reid loves hockey and her love for the game shines through each book in this series. This story features forty-one-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 forty, friends to lovers, hockey, and m/m love.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Carina Press via NetGalley for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novel, 282 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 21-September-2020
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.95 audiobook
Buy Link