Edge Of Glory by Rachel Spangler is a lesson in positive frustration. It is frustrating because after being a fan of Spangler’s for two years, she still surprises me with her talent for story-telling in a new and thrilling way. What makes it so positive? I know she has no intention of slowing down, and this tale highlights just how much she will continue to create stories that will move readers who enjoy fiction about women loving women.
Olympic snowboarder Corey LaCroix and Skier Elise Brandeis are racing towards the 2018 Winter Olympics on the razor’s edge of a mountain. Whether they are victorious or will be defeated is up to the mountain. However, the heat that is building between them could be the factor that decides their future on the snow as well as in the bedroom. As the stakes become higher, professionally and personally, will their hearts be able to survive the breakneck speed? Or will the mountain claim their love along with their dreams for gold?
Athletes are a very special kind of breed in this world, and it can be difficult to truly capture the personality of one athlete, much less two athletes, in the same story. Especially if the two athletes are in different sports. Spangler, however, pulls this off masterfully by giving Corey and Elise each a mentality that benefits the other.
Corey’s attitude is “live in the moment.” Concentrate on the “now” and don’t worry about what may happen later. Elise’s mentality is the opposite. She sees beyond the race, beyond the finish line to the inevitable win and the ultimate rewards that come with that accomplishment. When the two women meet, they obviously clash in their styles, but they soon realize that each can benefit from the other’s way of thinking. Elise becomes more focused by “living in the now” and blocking out all the noise and chatter that tends to put more tension on her during a run. Whereas Corey is able to utilize Elise’s ability to look ahead to fuel her desire and push herself to be a fierce competitor in the next race, the next tournament, and eventually make her way to the podium.
The Writing Style
I have always loved the way Spangler writes her two protagonists. In each of her stories, she has both women display a central principle that arises at a time to cause dramatic tension between them. What makes these principles unique is they make neither character entirely right nor entirely wrong in their arguments. Each character is given validity so the reader doesn’t have to choose sides. In addition, it makes the resolution more palpable and logical and allows the characters to have a plausible reconciliation.
I love how authentic Spangler is in terms of describing the life of an athlete in training. Most people don’t realize how repetitive and imperative it is to be on top of exercise regimens, dietary restrictions, and curfews all in the name of “training.” You have scheduled down times and travel itineraries that have to be strictly abided by to get an athlete from Point A to Point B. All of this is in preparation to get them on top of the podium and a gold medal around their neck. It’s a wonderful peak inside this world to give a better understanding that the athletes we revere have to work just as hard as the rest of us at what they love to reach their target.
Spangler has created more work for me, unfortunately. After reading about Corey, Elise, skiing and snowboarding, I’m going to have to revise my Top 10 Sports Romance List very soon.
The timing of this book couldn’t be more perfect. Not only do you get another amazing story from Spangler, but it’s a good book to prepare for the excitement of the 2018 Olympic games. I know this book has made me excited to watch snowboarding and skiing next year. And, hopefully, it will be a preview of the many stories that will come out of the Olympics about two women who compete and love together.
Excerpt from Edge Of Glory by Rachel Spangler
Corey blew out a heavy exhale and flexed all the appropriate muscles, trying not to groan as a couple of them protested the shift. She only intended to check her arm positioning in the forward mirrors, but when she lifted her head, she caught a full-screen, high-def panoramic of Elise’s ass in the air. The view offered the best pain relief she’d ever experienced, as in – pain? What pain?
“Lowering down into plank, hands shoulder-width apart. Keep your neck neutral.”
Corey obeyed every cue except the neutral part. She couldn’t remain neutral about anything with Elise’s body, long and strong, directly in front of her. Damn. Aside from Holly’s earlier assessment of her dirtbaggery, she didn’t often ogle women to the extent she seemed to have fixated on Elise. She’d done yoga for years, and while she’d given the occasional nod of respect to a fellow practitioner, no twinge of arousal had lasted for more than a second, and certainly not on this level…
“Once again pushing up, find your downward dog, trying to settle those heels a little lower this time.”
Corey allowed herself another breath to watch in awe as Elise made the transition fluidly.
“Lord, have mercy,” she mumbled, causing Elise to shoot her a look between her legs.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781612941097
- Publisher: Bywater Books