Coming Out is Hard: Two Book Reviews

Posted October 24, 2018 by shooting in Book Review / 15 Comments

Today, I’m sharing two book reviews for novels about coming out. They are both adult m/m romances, and I do recommend them both. I thought they were fitting to put together because it shows that everyone’s journey coming out as LGBT+ is different and none is better than the other.

Two #mmromances that show that coming out is not one size fits all. Would you read either of these? #bookbloggers Click To Tweet

Game Changer by Rachel Reid

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add to Goodreads): Scott Hunter is the superstar captain of the New York Admirals hockey team. He has lived his entire adult life in the spotlight—and in the closet. One day he stops at a smoothie shop after a run and is immediately charmed by the cute guy behind the counter.

That guy is Kip Grady, an underemployed college grad who would never in a million years think he had a shot with the rich and famous Scott Hunter. Scott returns to the smoothie shop every game day, telling Kip—and himself—that he likes to stick to routine when he’s playing well. The chemistry between them is immediate and undeniable, and finally Scott tells Kip he’s interested and invites him to his penthouse.

They begin a passionate relationship full of red-hot sex and sweet romance. But after weeks of barely leaving the confines of Scott’s penthouse, Kip isn’t sure how much longer he can be Scott’s secret. With the pressures of the playoffs upon him, Scott needs to decide how big a risk he’s willing to take for Kip—and himself.

Review: If I’m going to any type of sporting event, it’s probably going to be ice hockey, which is just one reason that I love reading about hockey players. Game Changer is about Scott Hunter, captain of the New York Admirals, and Kip Grady, a history major that can’t find work in his field, so he works in a smoothie shop (I can totally understand Kip here…). Scott ends up meeting Kip at the smoothie place, and he keeps coming back when he has a game in New York. The two end up getting to know each other more and that’s when the relationship starts. However, this is very much a secret relationship. Only Kip’s best friend, Elena, knows, and Kip and Scott pretty much never leave Scott’s apartment.

I really felt for Scott, because being gay is something he’s always felt he had to hide. Hockey players, whether they are actually homophobic or not, like to use gay slurs all the time, so Scott told himself there is no way he could be a star hockey player and come out. It’s not until he falls for Kip that he realizes he finally has a big reason to want to come out, but it’s not as easy as wanting it. While I could definitely empathize with Scott, I felt really bad for Kip too. He was out, but he felt like he was back in the closet in a sense while with Scott because he had to sneak around and couldn’t talk to anyone but Elena about it. There is definitely some drama/angst here, but it was realistic and not overdone at all!

I thought Game Changer was a really good read. I liked that it was a nice mix of romance, friendships/family, and hockey. This is the first book in the Game Changers series, though the second one is a companion novel following a completely new couple.

Hard Truths by Alex Whitehall

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Officially Summary (add to Goodreads): Isaac didn’t expect to find love at his family’s Christmas dinner, but that was before he met his sister’s new fake boyfriend. Tall, muscular, and tattooed, Logan is what Isaac would love in a partner—and also everything his parents would hate in one. Not that they know Isaac’s gay.

That doesn’t stop him from dating Logan—unbeknownst to his parents, and with his sister’s approval after she fake dumps him. The pair dive into a whirlwind romance of motorcycle rides, cheesy puns, and hot sex. They meet each other’s friends and fill their time with happiness and laughter. It’s all perfect.

Until Isaac suggests they move in together, and Logan asks Isaac to come out to his parents. Isaac wants to, but he’s scared; he doesn’t want to lose his family. Unfortunately, he can’t see that his real family has been right beside him all along.

Review: Isaac and Logan meet each other at Christmas dinner, when Logan tags along with Isaac’s sister, pretending to be her boyfriend. It’s kind of a humorous meet-cute, and I really liked Isaac and Logan together. Unfortunately, Logan isn’t out to his parents, and he’s not really sure when that will happen as he’s pretty sure they won’t take it well. I thought Logan was really patient with Isaac. He understood that it was Isaac’s choice, but he was obviously a bit frustrated as time went on and the two of them got closer.

Obviously, Isaac eventually comes out, but I won’t spoil anything there. I did really like that the overall “message” of the book was that friends can be family, or that you can make your own family. I feel like this is an important thing to realize sometimes; just because someone is blood, doesn’t mean they are your true family. And on that note, there were some great secondary characters in Hard Truths – with Isaac’s sister, his friends, and Logan’s friends (though I didn’t love Logan’s friends as much and there’s a thread concerning them that I didn’t really feel was cleared up).

In all, I really did like this one, and I thought it felt pretty realistic!

15 responses to “Coming Out is Hard: Two Book Reviews

  1. I like Game Changer, and stories like that — and Kip and Scott sound wonderful! I like the situation Scott is in as a hockey player, if only for the potential for the delicious angst!

  2. Beth

    These both sound like good books! As a mom, I never quite understand why parents can’t support their kids. One of my kids is in the LGBTQ community, and while I was surprised by her decision to transition, I’m happy that she’s happy.

  3. I think they both sound like good reads, I think they’re both fairly realistic when it comes to being in or out of the closet, but I think that makes them important reads and good reminders that it is still hard to make the decision to come out.

  4. Amy

    My brother is gay and he had a really hard time coming out to the rest of the family. We were all just glad to know and to be able to support him!

  5. I read a YA novel quite some time ago about a hockey player who was struggling with coming out. It must be difficult to come out as an athlete, especially hockey players. I will have to check these books out as well.

  6. I just read a coming out hockey romance this summer. I’ve got Hard Truths on the list already. Glad you enjoyed both of these, Lauren. Good point about what family is.

  7. I’ve become such a huge fan of hockey romances, so much that I actually went to my very first every hockey game a couple weeks ago. I really enjoyed the game. Compared to a lot of sports, it is pretty much just going all the time, and I love that! The guy on the cover of the second book was one that grabbed my attention right away, he kind of looks like Adam Levine from Maroon 5, I think anyway. Great reviews, and thanks for sharing these!

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: L-L-L-Little Reviews - Kiss and Make Up Series #1-3 by Sara Ney

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