I have clearly done a very bad job keeping this blog up-to-date. I haven’t posted anything since December?! A whole other book has come out since then! Come on, Rachel.
First, I just want to say that I have been completely blown away and giddy over the love and support Heated Rivalry has received since its release in March. I can’t even tell you how much fun that book was to write. I love Scott and Kip, don’t get me wrong, but Ilya and Shane are such a delight to write. When I was writing their story, I really wasn’t sure if any publisher would go for it because it’s kind of a weird book. It’s not quite enemies-to-lovers, it’s not a traditional slow burn, it spans almost a decade, and it doesn’t have a definitive happy ending. It’s a complete mess, really.
But oh my god the love I’ve seen for this book has made me so happy!
A few notes about the book. Firstly, because I don’t say this enough, I owe so much to my fantastic editor, Mackenzie Walton. She pushed me to make each sex scene more romantic, and each emotional moment sweeter and more impactful. Without her expert feedback the book wouldn’t include what are now some of my favourite scenes. In fact, the ENTIRE ‘Part Two’ section wouldn’t exist, nor would the epilogue. Those were both added after the first manuscript I submitted. The book is, I think, so much stronger with those added chapters.
(Also added late was Ilya’s little sex game when Shane was on the phone with Hayden, but that was just for me).
I do have a couple of deleted scenes that I could post on this blog if anyone is interested. I wrote a few different epilogues and there were also some scenes from earlier in the book that didn’t make it into any version of a finished manuscript. I had planned to write some free short stories with Shane and Ilya this summer, but instead I am focusing on writing more novels. I am not a fast writer, I’m afraid, and my dream is to have this series wrapped up by the end of next year.
Secretly, I always hoped I would get a chance to write a sequel to Heated Rivalry, but I didn’t want to be presumptuous. There’s a reason why I left the ending where it was. It was like wrapping up a season of a television show that you aren’t sure will be renewed—I tried to leave Shand and Ilya in a good place in case I never got the chance to finish their story.
I don’t have any solid news on that front, but I can say that I am planning a sequel now. There are three more books planned in this series. The first of the three, Tough Guy, is finished and will be published by Carina Press. The release date, cover, and blurb should all be revealed very soon. Tough Guy is Ryan Price’s book, it’s set in Toronto, and Ilya and Shane will both appear in it. I’ll write another post about that book when there’s more to share. I love the cover and the blurb, and I can’t wait for them to be revealed!
The fourth and fifth books in the series will be Ilya and Shane’s second book, and Kyle’s book (you remember Kyle the bartender from Game Changer? That guy). Kyle’s book will be set in New York and will revisit characters from Game Changer. And that’s all I can tell you about those books for now, except the end of Tough Guy will set up the second Ilya and Shane book.
As you may have heard, Game Changer, Heated Rivalry AND Tough Guy will all be available as audiobooks! The first two will be released in October. All three are being produced by Tantor Media and the first two at least will be read by Tor Thom. I can’t wait to hear them! I am completely removed from the audiobook production process, so the final product will be a total surprise to me. I am a huge audiobook fan, though, so this is a dream come true.
No plans for print copies of any of the books right now but I do have a few promotional copies that I give away sometimes, usually on Instagram. That’s the best place to get up-to-date info from me, by the way. I’ve taken a big step back from Twitter but I am pretty active on Instagram @rachelreidwrites
Also, it doesn’t hurt to let Carina know what you would like to see print copies of the books.
Thank you again to everyone who has taken the time to read my books (I know there are endless amazing m/m romance novels to choose from out there; I’m working on a mountain of a TBR list myself), and especially to those who have left reviews and reached out to me to let me know they enjoyed my writing. It really means a lot to me. I don’t think there’s a better feeling than having someone tell you they love a character you created.
I will try to update this more frequently. Definitely I will post about Tough Guy soon, and about the audiobooks when there is more info to share.