The Head Game by Brigham Vaughn (Relationship Goals book 2)

A rule following referee and an egotistical carefree hockey player are not supposed to hook up. But that surprising night and an unexpected turn in Nico's health has August taking all kinds of risks to be near Nico. Can their fake relationship turn into something neither was expecting in The Head Game

From the blurb:

Nico Arents Rushed to Hospital After In-Game Fall—Mystery Beau Revealed?

The Fisher Cats defenseman is conscious and in stable condition following a seizure that occurred during the recent game against Buffalo.

Updates indicate that while still hospitalized, he’s hopeful for a quick return to the ice.

The incident raises serious questions after referee August Manning was spotted in the same hospital shortly after Arents was admitted.

Recent rumors have swirled around Arents’ involvement with someone within the league. Could Manning be the mystery man?

A credible source claims the two are engaged. “He has been so doting! He’s barely left Nico’s side.”

Tongues are wagging as their off-ice involvement throws Manning’s on-ice impartiality into question.

How will the league react? Thus far, they have declined to comment but given the new Code of Conduct, there will be some tough questions to answer for these men to keep their romance and their careers.

TRIGGER WARNING: Contains non-graphic scenes involving brain surgery and discussions about brain tumors and cancer. HEA guaranteed but please reach out if you have further questions.

SNik's Review:

Second in series (Relationship Goals), can be read as a standalone but would be best if read in order. Hurt/comfort. Fake relationship. Opposites attract. Dual POV. 

August thinks Nico Arents is just too arrogant for words, as a referee in the NHL August deals with a lot of egos, but Nico pushes all his buttons. Of course Nico has a great life, he’s a professional hockey player, model and part-time DJ, everything is easy for him, except for the slight problem with his head which turns out to be something very serious. 

With August accidentally pretending to be Nico’s fiance and a long recovery ahead for Nico, they agree to work and play together until they can get their lives back on track. There are no regrets for August as his life implodes, caring for Nico becomes the most important thing to him, and Nico realizes that the comfort and companionship with August becomes something different that he welcomes in his life. 

There is a special way they complement each other, a sweetness to their interactions, a chemistry that is undeniable, and two men that put the pieces of their lives together in a specially loving way.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

This book has so much in it - forbidden hook-up, a little pining, a little hockey, a major health crisis, a fake engagement and an opposites attract relationship that clicks from the start!  There's a fair bit of angst, a pregnant best friend, a not-identical twin brother and all four of Nico's parents to navigate, which amps the banter and the drama, but gives us a chance to see just how in sync and protective August is of Nico.

This book was a roller coaster read and I was truly along for the ride!  I can't wait to see where the next book in the series goes.

This book is the second in the series, but can be read standalone if the tropes are what you're looking for.  Please make sure you check the trigger warnings if you are sensitive, especially to medical issues.

Rating: 5 Stars

The Head Game is currently available in e-book and paperback formats and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription.