Today I am so pleased to welcome Rachel Reid to Joyfully Jay. Rachel has come to talk to us about her latest release, Role Model. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
Thanks so much for inviting me to share this excerpt from my new book, Role Model. This is from a scene near the beginning of the book. NHL star Troy Barrett has been recently traded to the struggling Ottawa Centaurs, and finds himself oddly drawn to the team’s cheerful social media manager. In an earlier scene, Troy was dismissive of Harris’s attempt to involve him in the team’s social media content, and now he has shown up at Harris’s office to awkwardly apologize.
Troy watched as Harris’s smile was replaced by a confused frown when he entered his office.
“Oh,” Harris said. “Hi.”
Harris stood from where he’d been sitting behind his computer. “This is a surprise.”
“Yeah, um.” Troy rubbed his own neck. He may as well get this over with. “I’m sorry. I was rude last night. You were being nice and I was a dick, as usual.”
Harris raised his eyebrows. “You came all the way here to apologize to me?”
Troy had done exactly that, but now that he was being asked, point blank, he felt a little silly. “I’m just at the hotel down the road.” Damn. He should have said he needed to be here anyway for something else. That would have been cooler.
Harris’s smile returned. “Apology accepted.”
“Good. Thanks.” Now Troy wasn’t sure what to do. Leave, he supposed.
“Actually,” Harris said before Troy could escape, “I was thinking this morning, about you and social media. I don’t blame you for hating it. I’ve seen how people have been talking about you online. It’s…not nice.”
“I try not to pay attention to any of that.”
“Good plan. But if you wanted to put a different image of yourself out there, I’m very good at my job.”
Troy wasn’t sure what being good at posting shit on Twitter meant, but he was determined to be more open-minded. “I’ll think about it.”
This time he really was going to leave, but Harris stopped him again with another question. “How do you like Ottawa so far?”
Troy’s knee-jerk reaction was to say something bitchy about the dull city he was being forced to call home, or to remind Harris that he lived in a hotel room that was practically attached to the rink, but he managed to be civil. “It’s okay. Haven’t seen much of it.”
“I’ve lived here my whole life, so I can answer any questions.”
Troy had no doubt, even though he barely knew the guy, that if he asked Harris to recommend a restaurant, he would enthusiastically rattle off a hundred options, along with detailed reasons why each were great.
“Have you looked for a place to live yet?” Harris asked.
“No. I’ll do that when we get back from our road trip.”
“Are you thinking downtown, or closer to the rink?”
“Not sure.” To be honest, Troy didn’t care. He was planning on renting something furnished and simple because he had no intention of staying in Ottawa past this season. He would use this year to prove that he was still a valuable asset, then move on to a better team. “Where do you live?”
“The Glebe. Nice little apartment. Nothing fancy.”
Troy had no idea what the fuck the Glebe was. “Cool.”
Harris seemed to take Troy’s one-word response as an invitation to keep talking. “I’ve only lived there for a year and it’s still weird living alone. I grew up in a full house. Forty acres of land and we still had to share a bathroom.”
That sounded awful. “Big family?”
“Two older sisters, Mom, Dad, Grandma before she died, three dogs, a cat, and a ghost.”
Troy decided to ignore that last thing. “Jesus. That’s crowded.” God dammit. No, he couldn’t ignore that last thing. “Ghost?”
“Yep. Grandma used to tell me it’s my great-great-uncle Elroy. He was a quiet guy, and a mostly quiet ghost. Knocks stuff over sometimes.”
That struck Troy as being extremely impossible. For lots of reasons. “You must be glad to be out of there.”
“Oh no, I loved it. The family, I mean. Uncle Elroy I could do without sometimes, but I suppose he’s family too. I still love going home. I help out a lot when I’m not working here. Oh geez, I didn’t even tell you. My family owns an apple orchard. Fourth generation.” He pointed proudly to a button on his jacket that said Drover Family U-Pick. “So, you know, let me know if you need any apples.”
Harris’s cheeks looked a little like apples, rosy and plump above the line of his trim beard. His near-constant smile molded them into round little balls that Troy had a fleeting, confusing desire to bite. He wouldn’t be surprised if Harris tasted like apples, sweet and wholesome. “I’ll let you know.”
“Rachel Reid crafted a story of true heart, beauty, heat, and glorious, hard-won redemption! I loved both heroes and their journey to love was a gorgeous one to watch!” – Lauren Blakely, #1 NYT Bestselling author of Scoring With Him
The highly anticipated fifth novel in Rachel Reid’s Game Changers series sees a grumpy professional hockey player meet his match in an out-and-proud social media manager…
The hits just keep coming for Troy Barrett. Traded to the worst team in the league would be bad enough, but coming on the heels of a messy breakup and a recent scandal… Troy just wants to play hockey and be left alone. He doesn’t want to be in the news anymore, and he definitely doesn’t want to “work on his online presence” with the team’s peppy social media manager.
Harris Drover can tell standoffish Troy isn’t happy about the trade—anyone could tell, frankly, as he doesn’t exactly hide it well—but Harris doesn’t give up on people easily. Even when he’s developing a crush he’s sure is one-sided. And when he sees Troy’s smile finally crack through his grumpy exterior, well… That’s a man Harris couldn’t turn his back on if he wanted to.
Suddenly, Troy’s move to the new team feels like an opportunity—for Troy to embrace his true self, and for both men to surrender to their growing attraction. But indulging in each other behind closed doors is one thing, and for Troy, being in a public relationship with Harris will mean facing off with his fears, once and for all.
- Book 1: Game Changer
- Book 2: Heated Rivalry
- Book 3: Tough Guy
- Book 4: Common Goal
- Book 5: Role Model
Rachel Reid has always lived in Nova Scotia, Canada, and will likely continue to do so. She has two boring degrees and two interesting sons. She has been a hockey fan since childhood, but sadly never made it to the NHL herself. She enjoys books about hot men doing hot things, and cool ladies being awesome. You can follow Rachel on Instagram at rachelreidwrites and Twitter @akaRachelReid, and on Goodreads. Her website and blog, where she writes more things, is www.rachelreidwrites.com.