Relay (Changing Lanes #1)
by Layla Reyne
My Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Sports Romance
Age Category: New Adult/ Adult
Type of romance: MM
A last chance at swimming gold, a second chance at lasting love.
Devoted son and brother.
Alex has it all, and all the demands that go with being the best.
The last thing he needs on his crowded plate—and on his team—is his closeted ex.
Dane is swimming’s biggest star.
Carefully crafted from crib to pool, his fame feeds his celebrity parents’ empire.
He dropped the act once—the summer he fell in love with Alex.
Ten years later, the performance is crushing his soul.
So is resisting the man he still loves.
As the team struggles to gel, Alex and Dane clash in and out of the pool.
Forgive and forget is easier said than done.
But something has to give, if Alex and Dane want a shot at gold.
And a second chance at love.
Team captain and team celebrity square off in this enemies to lovers, second chance MM sports romance between two elite swimmers fighting against their hearts and fighting for Olympic gold.
Relay is a MM sports romance book. Having enjoyed some of Layla Reyne’s other books I was excited to start this series as I seem to prefer her contemporary romance books over her suspense ones. I really enjoyed this one, it had a great second chance romance and I especially liked seeing Dane figure out what he really wanted and stand up to his parents. Alex was such a good guy and was there for everyone and seeing someone be there for him was awesome.
This whole story is set against the back drop of an upcoming Olympics. Dane and Alex both make it to the Olympic team, but after their breakup years ago they don’t really get along. The first part of the book is mostly them clashing, getting on each other’s nerves and snapping at the other, but from the start it was clear that it is their way of dealing with the hurt of their breakup and the longing they still feel. I did struggle a bit more with that part as I am not a big fan of the whole enemies to lovers dynamic, but I liked how it was clear their hurt and clashing was because they care so much. Dane is the poster boy, his parents having trained him to be perfect for his role of interacting with the press and getting sponsorships. He seems to have everything, but his family is cold and calculated. While Alex comes from a close tightly knit family.
I liked reading about Alex and Dane, the way they come from different families and backgrounds, but both face their own struggles. Alex struggles with not being there more for his family while his mom is undergoing chemo. While Dane struggles with the expectations being placed upon him and not being able to be who he really is. Dane has some great character development throughout this book, I loved that first scene where he doesn’t follow the script and lets a real piece of himself shine through. And then after that he slowly fights for more and finds his way, finding out who he really wants to be and how to live his life.
I thought Alex and Dane made for a great couple and I liked seeing them get their second chance. Throughout the book we get enough of an idea of what happened all those years ago and how that still influences them today. I liked seeing them have the courage to give their romance another try and the way they both fight for it. How Dane turned his back on Alex once and at first struggles finding his way, but then really being there for Alex. I thought they made for a great couple and I loved seeing them fight for one another and their romance.
There are some great side characters too, from the rest of the Olympic team and their coach to Alex’s family. And I am excited that the next book will follow another couple and continues the team’s journey to the Olympics.
I don’t think I ever read a book about swimming and I had to look up a few terms at first to familiarize with what that all meant, but after that it was smooth reading. The swimming is mostly the setting and influences some of the plot, but it’s not like the whole book is about the swimming. It’s more about the romance. Even so I thought it was interesting to read about the swimming and the way they prep for the Olympics.
To summarize: This was a great second chance romance. I liked the swimming theme and the way it’s set with the team preparing for the Olympics. The romance starts off with Alex and Dane at odds at one another, they don’t get along well after their breakup years ago. Then slowly they find their way back together again. I really liked Dane figuring out what he wanted from his life and standing up to his parents, he has some great character development throughout this book. I liked Alex and Dane’s romance and seeing them together, they made for a great couple. Especially once they’re both all in and committed to the other. I look forward to reading the next book.
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