Sebastian Stewart let his personal life get in the way of his Olympic dreams four years ago, and it not only affected his swimming, but the success of his medley relay team. This time around Bas is determined to keep focused on his swimming and helping his team, including mentoring the newbie, Jacob Burrows. The problem is, Bas finds Jacob incredibly appealing, and Jacob seems to return his interest, but Bas knows getting involved with Jacob is a bad idea.
As the guys put in their final weeks of training and head to Madrid for the Games, the connection between Bas and Jacob continues to grow. On top of that, Jacob is overwhelmed by his first Olympic experience and turns to Bas for support. Bas wants nothing more than to be there for Jacob, and Jacob definitely wants Bas, but Bas worries that he can’t be what Jacob needs and is determined to stay away. However, what Jacob really needs is Bas, and now Bas must decide if he is willing to take a chance and be there for Jacob and trust that they can have a future together.
Medley is the follow up to the excellent Relay by Layla Reyne and serves as part two of the duology. Each book focuses on two of the four swimmers on the medley relay team and while the romances are separated into the two books, overall the pair of stories completes the Olympic journey for these men. So you could read this one as a stand alone, but it will be much richer in combination with Relay.
I really enjoyed the glimpses we got of Bas and Jacob in the first book, so I was very excited to see them here. There is clearly an attraction between the two men, but also a mentor connection as Bas looks out for Jacob and guides him on his Olympic journey. Bas acted badly at the last Olympics and blew things for himself, as well as for his medley teammates. With three of the four men likely facing their last Olympics, Bas is determined not to ruin things again, even if that keeps him from what he and Jacob both so clearly want. Bas just doesn’t think he can be what Jacob needs, so he feels like it is better not to start things at all. And Jacob has a lot of doubts about his own self worth and his appeal, and not understanding Bas’ concerns, he is certain that Bas just isn’t interested in a gawky young virgin like him. So the guys both struggle with wanting what they think they can’t have, and it Bas’ case, kind of standing in the way of his own happiness.
I liked both of these men a lot and enjoyed them together. I will say I did wish these guys would talk to each other a bit more. We don’t find out what happened in the last Games until more than halfway through the book, and then we don’t really learn why Bas is so afraid of a relationship until even longer than that. So I feel like there is a lot of these guys wanting each other but staying away for various reasons, and it does go on a bit overlong for me. But I found them to be a sweet couple and I loved the way it all pulls together in the end.
I also really enjoyed the sports elements in the story. I would say this is “sports light” as while we do see the guys at the Olympics and preparing for the Games, their training and competition is not the main focus. But I really enjoyed the swimming components, as well as the behinds the scenes look at Olympic athletes.
So overall I found this a nice follow up to Relay and I enjoyed the way the two books came together here. The stories are a really fun set and I enjoyed getting to see Bas and Jacob finally find their way together.