This book made me smile so much and my heart feel full to bursting that I almost couldn’t stand it. Role Model had so much energy and life; once I’d started listening to the audiobook, I didn’t want to stop. I almost didn’t want it end. I appreciate all the hours I lived in this book. The narrator Cooper North did a great job giving Troy and Harris distinct voices that totally captured their personalities.
Harris was pretty much perfect, secure in who he was, while Troy was still figuring out who he was and who he wanted to be. Harris didn’t have much of a character arc, as the story was centered on Troy’s redemption arc from being a total jerk in previous novels in the series to becoming and living his true self.
I enjoyed all the hockey in action scenes and seeing how Troy grew into an integral team player in Ottawa. It was such a treat to see Shane and Ilya together on the ice as well. I can’t wait for the sequel to Heated Rivalry, Shane and Ilya’s love story.
Since Ilya was the captain of Troy’s team, Ilya shared plenty of scenes with Troy in this book, becoming something of a mentor and role model to Troy. Other hockey player MCs from the series also showed up in supporting roles—Scott Hunter, Eric Bennet, Ryan Price, and their significant others. It was great to see them all together, though Troy and Harris were the real stars in this story.
It was such a joy to see how Troy opened up to Harris, who was such a good and happy human being it seemed like there really was no one else in the world who could bring out the best in Troy, who was the best for Troy.
I just loved how vulnerably and sensitively Troy was portrayed in this story and how hard he worked to be a better person. I loved how patient and understanding Harris was and how he set boundaries with Troy and wouldn’t let Troy get away with being the jerk he had been for most of his life and hockey career until he came to Ottawa.
I loved how they crushed on each other. I loved how they were so sweet with each other. So sweet sometimes I almost couldn’t take it but I couldn’t stop from smiling either. And I loved how their sex scenes were so freaking hot but more importantly so real and honest. I loved how Troy wanted to give so much to Harris and how much he appreciated him. How he showed his appreciation.
The ending was so emotional I was laughing and crying from one moment to the next from the range of emotions on the page. Though the ending was also a little too “Disney” for my taste, Troy and Harris were just so adorable together I will forgive the author for indulging.
I will never forget Harris’s Pride pins on his jacket, especially the apple-shaped pin that fluttered Harris’s perfectly, flawed heart. This book was such a wonderful gift. It made me so happy.
*Audiobook review copy received from the publisher.