Edge of Glory by Rachel Spangler

Well, Rachel Spangler did it. What you ask, what did she do? Wrote the best damn book ever, that’s what she did. In the past few weeks, I have read some of the best books all year. A year, quite frankly wasn’t that impressive in the lesbian romance genre. Somehow fall became explosive with amazing tales with fabulous characters in dazzling plots. It seems like every book I have read since September has just been so fantastic they make you literally stop and swoon. Greatness, followed by greatness. This book is different though, it is absolutely is one of the best books of the year but more than that, it is easily one of the best romance books I have EVER read.

First off I love the Olympics and pretty much all sports in general. With that being said, what I don’t want is ever read a how-to on playing said sport. Don’t worry, Rachel Spangler isn’t going to give you the ins and outs of downhill skiing or a dissertation on how to ride a snowboard. No way, she took me down the side of the mountain let me feel and see what the character does. You read this book you literally feel like your racing down the side of a mountain being pulled by G-forces as your stapped to two polycarbonate sticks. I was wrapped in those moments, spellbound. She doesn’t just write the sports aspect amazing well, no that’s not why we are here. The romance is the main attraction, and well, it’s just magical.

Elise Brandeis is an ice queen and then some. She is all business and her business is being the best alpine ski racer that the US and the world have ever seen. She has missed the Olympic podium twice by two-tenths of a second. Talk about painful. Now she has new obstacle to overcome, her body. After blowing out her knee, and multiple surgeries later, Elise is finally cleared to make the comeback of all comebacks. Never one for niceties, no one is going to stand in her way, even if they are trying to help.

Elise is a high-strung prima donna whose unwilling to compromise ever. She wants complete and total control of both her own body and her environment. She never wants to compromise or seem weak and it’s all to mask her vulnerability. She’s a unique character, and one I really enjoyed.

Corey LaCroix at the age of 30 is at the end of her career. She has been the best at Boardercross since the sport got onto the main stage. Corey is hardworking, loyal and lives her life 100% in the moment. Happy go lucky to a tee. This year is an Olympic year and Corey is feeling like her legs don’t have enough to fight off the competition. As hard as she works it may not be enough, but what she wants more than anything is another medal and a shot with the pricky Elise Brandis.

Time and time again Corey comes off as the loveable jock who takes all of the competitive pressure and Elise’s venom in stride. She is also a world-class motivator when she can get her skiing counterpart to listen. Corey has her weakness too, her rise to fame got her plenty of attention from women and tabloids and that past is not something she wants to be repeated.

So what you have is an epic story of conquering all odds combined with an epic love story. These two magnetic forces push each other away until the magnet is finally flipped over and they see each other’s true character. What Spangler does better than most is she creates these multi-faceted characters that jump off the page. Their individual back-stories are dynamic, their chemistry is palatable and you just can’t help but root for them and their success. This book is everything you could ever want. I truly loved this one. This will easily stand at the top of my all-time favorites.

5 stars, hell all the stars. I love this book!


Gravity by Juliann Rich

Whether we love sports or not, most of us a drawn to the Olympics in some sort or fashion. We find ourselves drawn to sports that we have very little knowledge of, fascinated by the athlete’s backstories and their single-minded pursuit of their dream. So take this subject and throw in a romance, well, yeah I’m totally going read that.

Ellie Engebretsen is a seventeen year old Olympic hopeful in the ski jump. Finally, the Olympic committee has agreed to allow women to compete in this event. (Side note: women have been ski jumping for over 100 years, but it was finally included in the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.) Her father competed years ago in this discipline ad has been grooming her since birth to be the next champion of the sport. When we meet Ellie she is recovering from a broken heart. Her girlfriend has run off with a fellow teammate, who happens to be a guy. To make matters worse she runs into them sucking face all over her mountain in Lutsen, Minnesota.

Enter Kate Moreau. Kate becomes Ellie’s rebound fixation. These two meet, hookup and are never supposed to see each other again. Yeah, okay, totally doesn’t happen that way. Kate ends up moving to Lutsen and taking a part-time job at the Engebretsen’s pro shop. Kate is tough, keeping her heart locked away. Abandoned by her father, and being raised by her free spirit mother, Kate doesn’t take anything from anyone. Self-reliant and fearless are two easy ways to sum this teen up.

So what did I think? This one is kind of a conundrum to me. The writing overall is done fairly well. I thought the relationship development was kind of shallow, but not bad. What stuck out to me the most, and I wrestled with, was the dialogue. Ellie for a seventeen-year-old is way over the top crass. I couldn’t buy that this was a teenager. I think her dialogue kept throwing me out of the story. The final chapters were way over dramatic, unnecessary conflict that didn’t make the story more enjoyable. Now with that being said, I would still read another book by Juliann Rich, I am interested to see how her other characters will be developed.

2.75 out of 5

by Juliann Rich
Link: https://amzn.com/1626394830