• The Long Game

  • Game Changers, Book 6
  • By: Rachel Reid
  • Narrated by: Cooper North
  • Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (173 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary


The sequel is finally here! Shane and Ilya’s story, first seen in Heated Rivalry, continues in this long-awaited hockey romance from Rachel Reid.

"Everything you could want from this magnetic couple! A passionate, sexy, emotional sequel that grips your heart! Shane and Ilya forever!" —#1 NYT Bestseller Lauren Blakely, author of Hopelessly Bromantic

To the world they are rivals, but to each other they are everything.

Ten years.

That’s how long Shane Hollander and Ilya Rozanov have been seeing each other. How long they’ve been keeping their relationship a secret. From friends, from family…from the league. If Shane wants to stay at the top of his game, what he and Ilya share has to remain secret. He loves Ilya, but what if going public ruins everything?

Ilya is sick of secrets. Shane has gotten so good at hiding his feelings, sometimes Ilya questions if they even exist. The closeness, the intimacy, even the risk that would come with being open about their relationship…Ilya wants it all.

It’s time for them to decide what’s most important—hockey or love.

It’s time to make a call.

Game Changers
Book 1: Game Changer
Book 2: Heated Rivalry
Book 3: Tough Guy
Book 4: Common Goal
Book 5: Role Model
Book 6: The Long Game

©2022 Rachel Reid (P)2022 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What listeners say about The Long Game

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Where’s Tor Thom?

He’s the voice of Shane and Ilya. I’ve only just begun and I’m grateful for a second book but disappointed that Tor Thom isn’t the narrator.

4 people found this helpful

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Not Tor Tom

Let me start by saying that I’ve enjoyed this entire series and I have been anxiously awaiting this book. I knew going in that Cooper North would be the narrator. What I didn’t expect was to have such a negative emotional reaction to someone other than Tor Tom voicing these characters. For me I felt cheated and would have gladly waited an extra 6 months for the audio if Tor was narrating. He is the voice of Ilya and Shane. It felt like a cover song to me. Nothing against Cooper North, but he is Harrison and Troy, not Ilya and Shane.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth the Wait

The Long Game, #6, is the long anticipated sequel to Book #2, Heated Rivalry, does not disappoint.

Two talented NHL hockey players are constantly being compared to each other. They were both drafted straight out of high school (not college; high school) the same year for the same position. They were the #1 and 2 draft picks for rival teams and against each other for Rookie of the Year.

Off the ice, they couldn’t be more different. Well mannered Shane, from Canada, always says the exact right thing when being interviewed by the media. On the other hand, Ilya, from Russia, is an egotistical ladies man who uses his ability to read people to get under their skin and piss them off.

Fast forward 7 years and Shane and Ilya’s rivalry and hatred for each other is infamous in the hockey world.

Heated Rivalry: The problem is not that they have secretly been sleeping together the whole time (in their defense, they only see each other 3 times a year). The problem is that now they are in love and have to figure out how to be together.

The Long Game: Now that they have decided to be a couple, this is the story about their secret relationship, it’s ups and downs, and if it can/should become public.

After waiting a year, I took off work to listen to all 12 hours 52 min of this book on release day. It was worth it.

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Worth the wait and your credit!

It is always hard to write a follow up to a hit like heated rivalry. This book pulled it off successfully. I've read reviews of those that missed Thor Tom who narrated the first part of Shane and Ilysa's story. I loved that too but Cooper North did a stellar job carrying the story forward and making the narration his own.
Highly recommend.

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long awaited

beyond blissful to have more quips and sexy times between Ilya and Shane. def recommend. a magnificent follow up

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i absolutely love this book

This was such a great story i love every minute of it , and Cooper North was wonderful at bring these lovely characters to life .

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Disappointing audiobook.

The narrator change right at the end of the series is extremely jarring. Instead of hearing Ryan's extremely deep voice, he sounded like one of the other characters with a slightly higher pitched voice. And Ilya's "Russian" accent was terrible, as a person who lives with native Russian speakers. Fabian also sounded like any normal person, unlike the quirky dude the narrator portrayed in Tough Guy.

I'm going to have to use TTS to finish this book, since the audiobook is so distracting.

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  • MV
  • 04-27-22

Such a disappointment!

It pains me to say that NOTHING about this story worked. Heated Rivalry is one of favorite "comfort reads" and I have probably listened to it more than a dozen times (I listen a lot when life gets stressful) and read the short stories on RR's website multiple times, so I have been eagerly awaiting the sequel. I even woke up at 3am so that I could download it when it first dropped. Unfortunately these are not the characters that we know and love.

What didn't work:

1. Narration - I'm sure the narrator would be fine in another context, but Tor Thom's strong deep voice gave Ilya (in particular) and Shane specific voices and personalities that are missing here. In The Long Game Ilya's accent sounds ridiculous, Cooper North's spoken voice is much weaker, and all other characters are practically indistinguishable.

2. This was supposed to be a love letter to Shane and Ilya's fans, but instead the first several hours are mostly about her other characters, none of whom I care about. Yes, I know it is part of a series but I want Shane and Ilya. Also at some point it started to feel like "yet another LBGTQ+" where that was their only defining characteristic. This has been a problem with other series as well, and what starts out as special just becomes trite.

3. I don't know what happened to Ilya and Shane, but in The Long Game both of their personalities have changed to the point of being unrecognizable. Where is Ilya's swagger and self confidence? This story has completely emasculated him. Yes, mental health is an important topic. But contrast the way that TLG deals with it versus the other great MM hockey classic series - Him/Us/Epic. Jamie's difficulties - and the way that he and Wes worked through them - were much more relatable and believable. Granted, Us wasn't my favorite book in the series, but it didn't feel like a betrayal of the characters either.

4. A pet peeve perhaps, but past a certain age the term "boyfriend" just sounds stupid. Every...other...sentence.... Yes, I get it. They are together. Finally. That's great. But figure out a different way to express it.

I'm sorry to say that The Long Game, a book I have been looking forward to for more than a year, ultimately reads like bad fanfiction. Such a missed opportunity!

1 person found this helpful

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My heart!!!!

I just love this characters. The angst, the love, everything was so amazing! 🫠💜 I am so happy Ilya and Shane exist!

1 person found this helpful

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Love this series

Rachel has just created perfection with this series and especially this couple. I cannot say enough good things. This book was long awaited and made me laugh, cry and everything in between. It’s a must read!

1 person found this helpful

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  • BevS
  • 05-11-22

Wonderful ending for Ilya and Shane...

I A.D.O.R.E.D. this story, soooo worth the wait, and Cooper North's narration was exceptional!! I know that some reviewers here on Goodreads have complained that Shane doesn't get much of a look-in in this one, and that the story is therefore fairly irrelevant BUT why shouldn't the character who is probably my most fave Russian character ever - not forgetting Pasha from Edge of Forever by Barbara Elsborg and Vanya from Be My Best Man by Con Riley - get the better part of the story for a change? Ilya was a much more relaxed character than Shane [who was waay too uptight for his own good], Ilya gave me most of the laughs and puddle of goo moments...and there were plenty of them, along with some fairly ugly teary sessions too. Go you Ottawa Centaurs!! This will be on repeat on my Audible app, probably just as much as Him by Sarina Bowen.

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  • HMM
  • 05-01-22

Loved it

If you liked Shane and Ilya in book 2, you will love this. Just everyday stuff. Nothing too dramatic. I disliked one huge cliché used as a plot device.
The narrator is my new favorite.

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  • Sarah Davis
  • 04-28-22

Beautiful

This is definitely Ilya’s book, where Heated Rivalry was Shane’s. My heart broke over & over for him but not once was I left doubting the love they have for each other, or that they will find a way to be happy together in spite of all the obstacles they face.
I loved this book & will be listening to it again & again!

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  • Dylan
  • 05-31-22

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE

LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! A brilliant sequel!! Love the characters! Love the story!! I can't say enough about this book!!

As for the narration, the Russian accent was a little inconsistent, but the performance was still great.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 05-02-22

Such a satisfying and smoking sequel!

We first met Shane and Ilya, captains of opposing ice hockey teams, in Heated Rivalry. They fell in love but chose not to declare their relationship or come out. After 11 years of sneaking around and catching stolen moments together, the secrecy is taking its toll. Ilya is depressed. He feels he has given up everything to make the relationship work including moving to Ottawa to be near Shane, but it’s not enough and the idea of spending another 10 years in hiding seems bleak. It’s time for change. I’m a huge fan of this series, I’ve loved every couple and Heated Rivalry was a standout story. Always teasing and able to get under anyone’s skin, Ilya is a great foil to the super-conscientious Shane. The story was fun and riveting, I couldn’t wait to see how things would resolve. Audio narrator Cooper North does his always excellent job, I love his Russian accent for Ilya. I thought it was an interesting choice to use a Russian accent when Ilya spoke in English, but a plain accent when Ilya spoke to other Russians in his narrative tongue. Although this book delivered everything I wanted, I really hope it’s not the end of this brilliant series! Anyone else want to see Luca Haas get his own story?

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  • Book.it.to.me
  • 04-28-22

Perfect!!

I loved every second of this book!! There is so much depth to their relationship, hardship & unfairness but also so much love and humour! I just love Ilya & Shane so much.
Beautifully written and another perfect addition to this amazing series