Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer

Jeremy Reeve is one of the best divers in the world, and he’s worked hard to get where he is. He intends to keep pushing himself with one very clear goal in mind: winning gold at the summer Olympics in two years. That medal might be the only way to earn his father’s respect as an athlete.

Brandon Evans is everything Jeremy isn’t: carefree, outgoing, and openly gay. With his bright-blue eyes and dramatic tattoos, he’s a temptation that Jeremy refuses to acknowledge. But Jeremy can’t ignore how talented Brandon is—or that Brandon has no interest in using his diving skills to compete.

They’re opposites who are forced to work together as teammates, but Jeremy’s fear of his own sexuality and Brandon’s disinterest in anything “not fun” may end their partnership before it begins. Until a single moment changes everything, and they help each other discover that “team” can also mean family and love.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I really loved the complex characters and the diving in this book. I found the details of Jeremy’s Olympic training regime fascinating and I loved the relationships between the three divers.

Jeremy is a very difficult character to like. His discipline and drive make him a world class athlete, but he comes across as cold and robotic for much of the story. In contrast, Brandon’s friendly and playful personality masks difficult secrets.

The relationship between Jeremy and Brandon builds painfully slowly. It takes Brandon an achingly long time to even build a friendship with Jeremy. This is a low heat romance that focuses more on Brandon, Jeremy, and Valerie’s personal and Olympic journeys than on the relationship that develops between Brandon and Jeremy.

Valerie, the third character in this story, is also wonderful. She has a twisted, complicated relationship with her parents and the sport they want her to excel at. I really enjoyed her journey in this story and I loved the positive portrayal of her as an Ace character.

With so much careful character development in this book, I hated the way Jeremy’s family is reduced to easy stereotypes. I also struggled with the pacing of this book. It covers a very long period of time in the lead up to the Olympics and there a few times that the story really dragged. I wanted more focus on competitions and more romance. The events near the end of the book as the Olympics drew near were exciting, but more of the book was spent detailing increasingly monotonous daily training sessions at the start.

These characters are brilliant and I loved the way the author immersed me in the world of competitive diving. I can’t imagine how much research was done for this story, but I really appreciated the details.

Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, El spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.

She’s always happy to chat with other readers, and you can find her online.

Connect with Elyse

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer to read and review.

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