The Next Competitor, Keira Andrews

keysmash book review the next competitor keira andrews featured image

If he risks his heart, can he keep his head in the game?

To win gold, figure skater Alex Grady must train harder than the competition morning, noon, and night. He’s obsessed with mastering another quadruple jump, and due to the lack of filter between his mouth and brain, doesn’t have a lot of friends. As for a boyfriend, forget it. So what if he’s still a virgin at twenty? The Olympics are only every four years—everything else can wait. Relationships are messy and complicated anyway, and he has zero room in his life for romance.

So it’s ridiculous when Alex finds himself checking out his boring new training mate Matt Savelli. Calm, collected “Captain Cardboard” is a nice guy, but even if Alex had time to date, Matt’s so not his type. Yet beneath Matt’s wholesome surface, there’s a dirty, sexy man who awakens a desire Alex has never experienced and can’t deny…

Note: This gay romance from Keira Andrews features opposites attracting, new adult angst, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

I would read a million books about figure skaters falling in love. It’s always been one of my favorite Olympic events, though I’m crap at keeping up with the sport in non-Olympic years, and there’s something about ice rinks and skates that just draws me in. Keira has always been a skating devotee, and her knowledge of the intricacies of the sport really make Alex and Matt’s story shine.

The story is all told from Alex’s first person POV, which is a rarity. It helped endear this slightly bitchy character to the reader, giving us a glimpse behind the facade he presents. It doesn’t excuse some of the things he says of course – he really does lack a brain-to-mouth filter – but knowing how Alex feels about them takes some of the sting out. He has a bit of the Johnny Weir about him, though he definitely cares what other people think of him, despite the way he acts.

Despite the fact that we don’t get inside Matt’s head with his POV, he was my absolute fave in this story. Maybe it’s because he’s Italian, or because he’s a good Canadian boy. Mostly I think it’s because he sees through to the goodness in Alex, and always believes in him. He brings out the best in Alex, softens his sharp edges.

I love when characters are driven by one specific accomplishment, in this case Alex’s dream of Olympic gold. The single-mindedness, especially of an athlete training for the Olympics, provides so much opportunity for conflict. Then we get to see what happens when either they achieve that dream and deal with the aftermath of no longer having it, or they fail and handle the fallout of that. The realizations Alex has throughout his journey are particularly satisfying.

This book definitely deserves a gold medal. Top marks for everything, especially chemistry. They score for that, right? 😉

[Buy on Amazon]

Liz Keysmash
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Liz Keysmash

Liz has a ginger kitty named Thackery Binx who chirps like a bird and plays fetch like a dog. She reads a lot of slash, and writes a bit as well. She thinks she’s a good cook, she brews beer, she's a total nerd about baseball, she reads YA fiction, she has recently rediscovered her love of pop music, she swears like a sailor.
Liz Keysmash
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  • leckadams

    I’m picky about books that are based on sports, but from what you say I think I would enjoy this one especially if she is a skating person in general.