Vince Dawson is a down-on-his-luck ex-diving coach licking his wounds outside Austin, Texas, when he observes a lithe young man doing crazy dives for beer at a community pool. Turns out Austin Brody is a natural, and a career welder with no interest in being more. Well, until Vince gets to talking with him.
Vince had gotten run out of his job as the assistant head coach of the women’s U.S. Diving Team based on the spurious allegations of a young girl. Didn’t matter that Vince was openly gay; he was asked to resign. But, he knows talent when he sees it, and Austin has it in spades. As much as Vince wants to coach him, he knows that Austin would likely have a better chance at endorsements if he didn’t have Vince attached for the ride. While he’s a great coach, he’s got a target on him now and that’s not fantastic.
Thing is, Austin’s not so worried about Vince’s reputation. He thinks this diving thing is more lark than anything. After all, Austin has a career as a welder and he’s an adult. He can make his own decisions, and that includes crushing on Vince, a young-ish silver fox of a man. Austin knows he’s gay, but he’s never been with a man before. He’s happy to have such a sexy guide into these new and exciting experiences.
For me, this was a low angst read. There’s lots of diving lore and that was fun to experience, as I’ve long been a fan of the sport. Austin is a sweet guy and Vince is only mildly gruff. He takes Austin under his wing and they both work to make Austin a marketable diver who can get the kind of sponsorship that would enable him to train full-time and compete at the highest levels. Their relationship is playful and fun for both, with a deep connection that builds with the competition. It was also strengthened by some medical issues, as Vince and Austin learn to manage Austin’s diabetes in the face of his training regimen.
I’d expected some level of crisis to develop, and that didn’t seem to manifest strongly. Which was fine. Sometimes it’s great to have a book that just coasts along on higher notes without all the gut-wrenching drama. And, whoo-boy. Vince and Austin don’t beat around any shrubs in pursuit of pleasure, though I half expected Vince to shy away from that sort of unprofessional behavior, based on his history. He rationalizes, citing how he’d never exclusively coached adults before, and Austin is all grown up when they meet. Either way, the sexytimes are a perfect ten from this judge.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.