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Medley (Changing Lanes Book 2) Kindle Edition
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This isn't just a romance, it's a family, it's friendship, it's love. Love of a sport, of the Games, of men. This book has everything. It's not just a sports romance, or an M/M romance, it's about two people who are thrust together in a high stakes situation and cling to one another to make it out. I loved seeing everything from the rest of Dane and Alex's story, to how Bas and Jacob went from friends-to-lovers. They were supposed to be Mentor/Mentee only. They weren't supposed to kind a kindred soul in the other. But they did. And that is what Layla Reyne is good at. She's good at breaking down character walls and insecurities and making the reader believe that they are meant to love each other.
I loved this duology, these characters are so real. The love is great. The drama is just dramatic enough to make things interesting but not overdone. I selfishly want more of these characters but am happy with the way things turned out, not just for Bas and Jacob but for Dane and Alex as well. Because they are separate, but one. This book helped emphasis what it means to be on a team like the Olympic Medley Relay, how close and familiar you get to your fellow swimmers, to your loved ones. It's brilliant, really.
This one features the Pup, i.e., the rookie, Jacob, and Bas, who's likely at his last Olympic games. It was clear from book 1 that there was something pretty strong between them, and I had high expectations of this tale. Unfortunately it ended up being only OK, though I had hopes it might be building up to something pretty big, but then the reason for Bas not wanting a relationship was revealed, and it all felt rather...'Really? That's your reason??' And I'm not the only one who felt this way, as his mother did, too, and to me, she debunked things for Bas in a really logical way, but then the same convo ensued with Bas and his friends, and it was only then that finally, Bas saw the light. It just felt too insipid a reason for not wanting a relationship, and Bas was too young to be so allegedly jaded - I didn't really get a hint of any hugely impacting experience that might have made his thought pattern believable. So, I didn't really buy his stance, I'm afraid.
What I didn't like about the tale is that the author sort of went there, but didn't go there, with bisexuality, which is receiving a fair bit of attention in LGBT circles and books. Bi-erasure is a thing that has bisexuals up in arms, with the talk of cake and eating it and wanting a bigger slice, etc., and this book kind of attempted to clarify that, but it rang a bit hollow. The mention of transgender people and non-binary people being added to the pool that might be attractive to Jacob (who happened to be virgo intacta, yet knew his sexuality without a doubt) just felt a little too 'planted' in order to be PC, and didn't feel integral to how Jacob was portrayed. It kind of felt that the book was sort of ticking the boxes with all things PC, but not making them a real part of the tale. I am all for positive messages coming across in books, especially for the LGBT community but not when it comes across as what felt kind of like lip service. And yes, there was the obligatory prejudiced person, who was shown the error of their ways, and who suddenly became an ally...
The tale ends in what seems a long-term HFN, but possibly not a HEA, as Jacob is only 19 and Bas is a fair bit older. Normally I don't love this in my romances, but it was keeping the tale real. I don't outright recall any more guys who might be potential leads in a future tale of this series, though a couple of jokester types had a disagreement that got made into more than it was, so perhaps they might be the future leads?
I don't think I'll be reading more from this series, though the author's AIW series is decent, and I am interested in picking up Cameron's book, from a spin-off series, due out in the summer.
I received an ARC for my reading pleasure.
The complication? Well, Bas has feelings for Jacob and Jacob has feeling for Bas. Both bisexual, they share an understanding of how people don't get what that really means. I liked the inclusion of the women swimmers in this part of the storyline. And since they are rooming together during the practices before the Olympics, Bas feels the need to deny his feelings for Jacob, thinking they will impact their ability to bring home the gold. Until one fateful night when Bas gives Jacob what he wants and needs, leaving Jacob devastated and unsure the next day. His confidence in tatters, Jacob enters the Olympic competition ripe for head games from the competition and he get those head games from Bas's ex.
Only Bas can fix this and it takes him a while to see that. I really loved these two guys and what they went through in the midst of the Olympic games. They are both trying to do the right thing and yet everything turns out wrong. While there is a definite sexual spark between them, what I loved the most about this story is how these two men felt about each other, and how much they cared about doing the right thing. It was great to see how Alex and Dane (the main characters in Relay, the first book in the series) contribute to Jacob and Bas's getting together too.
I loved the Olympic aspects of the story and how the incredible pressure during the games was part of the story. And Jacob's home life and his father's issues were a very touching part of this story, especially since Bas really got how much it all meant to Jacob.
Medley worked for me as a sports romance. I really liked Jacob and Bas (and the whole swim team) and I was rooting for Bas to get his act together when that was what he needed to do. Medley works well as a standalone, but you probably want to check out Relay too.
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This is what I liked:
* Good storyline that progresses in a slow...Read more
A friends to lovers, angsty story with drama and smoking hot moments. I liked Bas and Jacob, their relationship is sweet and sexy as they have great...Read more