Title: Relay (Changing Lanes #1)
Author: Layla Reyne
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 8th 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary, Suspense, Sports Romance
Page Count: 237 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.
Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.
Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.
I have to admit that the cover whore in me was immediately intrigued- cause, well gorgeous cover! Then the blurb finished hooking me in.
Relay by Layla Reyne was different than I anticipated but in a right way. I was expecting a fluffier enemies to lovers story. You know, some UST that eventually led to an HEA, but what we got was way more than that.
-Dane and Alex. These men came from two different places, but once they came together, it was… beautiful.
-Enemies to lovers. I love sexual tension, and this book had some severe UST. Hate lust FTW!
-The flashbacks. We were given flashbacks of Alex’s, and Dane’s past from both their perspectives and they helped see the full picture of how they got where they were. I’m not always a fan of flashbacks, but they worked in this case.
-Suspense! It kind of came out of nowhere, but I rolled with it and found myself actually intrigued.
-There was some martyrdom and sometimes that can be a turnoff, but it didn’t bother me in this story.
-I found the writing engaging and smooth.
My only niggle was the conflict/miscommunication. It felt a little contrived.
All in all, this was a great read. It delivered the whole package.
-Outstanding character development
-A strong hfn ending
-And an excellent set up for the next book in the series!
4 Solid Stars!