Monday, May 2, 2016

Christie's review: The Summer Games (Settling the Score#1) by R.S. Grey

Title: Settling the Score
Series: The Summer Games #1
Author: R.S. Grey
Release date: May 2, 2016
Cliffhanger: No


As an Olympic rookie, Andie Foster has spent far more time in her cleats than between the sheets. For 21 years, her Friday nights have consisted of blocking shots rather than taking them. But now that she's landed in Rio, she's ready to see for herself if the rumors about the Olympic Village are true:

The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs... The committee passes out condoms like candy... The games continue long after the medals have been handed out... As Andie walks the line between rumor and reality, she's forced into the path of Frederick Archibald, a decorated Olympic swimmer and owner of a sexy British accent--too bad he's unavailable in a way that "it's complicated" doesn't even begin to explain.

In other words: off limits.

It doesn't matter that he has abs that could bring peace to the Middle East and a smile that makes even the Queen blush; Andie fully intends on keeping her focus on the soccer field. But the Village is small. Suffocating. Everywhere Andie goes, Freddie happens to be there--shirtless, wet from the pool, and determined to show her a whole new meaning of the phrase "international affairs".

The games, my records, the press-none of it seemed important if only I could have Andie.

Well, I'm a little torn in writing this review. There were some things I truly loved and appreciated about Summer Games, some things I felt were okay, and others that I would have preferred had gone differently. Anytime I'm conflicted, I go with an average rating right down the middle and that's what happened here. I can really see this book as being a huge hit with a lot of people, but due to my personal reading tastes, some things detracted from my overall enjoyment of an otherwise entertaining and sexy read.

Let's start with the positives.

What did I love about Summer Games? The setting. The atmosphere of the Olympic games was an absolute treat for me to read about. One of my favorite sub-genres to read is Sports romance and I have to say, I've never read a book similar to this one where both the H/h are Olympic athletes at the top of their game. Anytime I read something new and fresh, it automatically gets points for originality.

The book started off on a high note. I was loving the heroine Andie, her thoughts and bantering between Becca and Kinsley had me engaged from page one. I was quickly flipping through the pages to see what kinds of shenanigans she was going to embroil herself in.

With an opener like this, how can you not want to read more?

The committee passes out condoms like candy.
The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs.
The games continue long after the gold medals are handed out.

Andie is arriving at the Olympic games ready to spread her wings and let loose after training for years to make it to the women's U.S. soccer team. She's missed out on enjoying her youth. Boys and parties have been non-existant and she wants to reward herself with a little bit of fun. She never expected the whirlwind that occurs when she encounters one very British, very charming, and very unavailable Frederick Archibald.

The sight of him begged a rousing "good heavens" with a polite undertone of "new pair of panties, please".

Freddie comes from a very high society lineage, we're talking English Duke here, though he wants no part of it. His passion is swimming, not dealing with the responsibilities that were thrust on him. (view spoiler)

This is where the forbidden romance thread begins between Andie and Freddie. They are both immediately smitten and feeling overwhelmingly drawn together, but it's a temptation that they know they shouldn't succumb to.

For some, their relationship will skate the line of inappropriate as they are knowingly flirting with scandal. Freddie is not free to date, but the struggle to stay away from each other was an exhausting one. It didn't give me more than a prickle of unease as their situation landed them in a grey area. When certain factors come to light later on, it becomes more clear that these two were certainly not causing devastation with their actions. And I must say, these two were so adorable and the tension built between them was expertly done. I couldn't wait to see them fall prey to their desire.

I was enjoying the book immensely until Caroline entered the scene. I really could have rated this book a little higher if not for her. To me, there was enough of a conflict just due to the fact that she existed. She was a major roadblock in their happiness just for being an unwelcome part of his life. There was also the added conflict that tied in with it. Andie's career and reputation. She was risking everything, putting everything on the line for this man and it was a logical step to take in the plot. The drama involving Caroline however was not needed and frankly felt over the top for my tastes. It lasted too long and I was fighting the urge to flip past the craziness.

After the huge resolution occurred in the story, it was smooth sailing and I found myself completely concentrated on discovering Freddie and Andie's happy ending. The conclusion, most especially the epilogues (yes there were two!) were enough to warm my heart and leave me feeling very satisfied. Though there some issues with the direction of the plot, overall I found Summer Games to be a light and pleasant read with plenty of humor to put a smile on your face. I recommend this to anyone looking for a fast and fun Sports Romance that's a little different than what you'll find in the genre.


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