Spencer’s dream has always been to rock climb. He’s been training and competing and is now climbing in the Olympics in Tokyo. Spencer knows his limitations though, and while he’s thrilled to be there, he doesn’t expect to medal. But Spencer stays on schedule and trains and does everything his coach tells him to. It has worked for him mostly, but he can’t help but be jealous of Flynn, who makes being a top climber seem effortless.
Flynn is good at climbing and loves it, but he doesn’t want to compete anymore. He has other plans and the Olympics are his last competition. While Flynn is focused on climbing, he’s also focused on getting Spencer’s attention. The two met years ago when Spencer took the time to give Flynn some pointers and Flynn fell hard for the man. But he can’t seem to get Spencer to notice him. Flynn has no idea that Spencer has been crushing on him for years, as well, and in their quest for Olympic medals, they both may come out winners.
Books about athletes and the Olympics are definitely something I like, and add in rock climbing as a sport that is not often written about and I was of course interested. The book is told from the POVs of both Spencer and Flynn, two rock climbers with different methods and different climbing goals, but the same goal of winning each other’s heart, although neither thinks that is truly a possibility.
Spencer has a rigorous training schedule and a strict coach and his strategy and moves are carefully plotted out, whereas Flynn does not have a coach and has a more carefree attitude. It was easy to get to know both men and how they approached competing in the Olympics. It was also clear how they each felt about each other. But the emotion to all of that stayed on the page for me and there was no sizzle to their interactions. Also, some of their dialogue came off as cheesy or awkward to me and it was more difficult to become immersed in their interactions.
The book takes place mostly in Tokyo and, while they do see some sights, I never got the feeling of being transported through the words. There was a lot of time with the men rock climbing, as well, which is something I always look for in a sports book and, while it was great to see that, much of the description of the climbing came off as clinical without the passion of the sport behind it. Once the men became intimate, Flynn was ready to have them married and Spencer still couldn’t even believe that Flynn was interested in him and there was that edge of this book not syncing for me. The side characters seemed to be there to give the men others to interact with, but none of them made much of an impact.
Once the men are together, their ending was sweet, but overall, the book lacked the emotion and passion I was looking for in the personal relationships, as well as the rock climbing.