Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Publication date: January 8, 2018
Length: 255 pages
Reviewed by Erin
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.
Welcome to the RELAY Blog Tour, presented by Layla Reyne and Riptide Publishing! RELAY, by Layla Reyne, is Book 1 of the Changing Lanes sports romance series featuring Olympic swimmers. RELAY is an enemies-to-lovers, second chance romance between Alex, the team captain, and his closeted ex, Dane, swimming’s biggest star. Read on to learn more about RELAY, Changing Lanes, and Layla Reyne!
So unless you live under a rock or don't pay attention to things in Romacelandia, you know that Layla Reyne burst onto the scene in 2017 amidst a hale of gunfire, epic car chases, and an explosion or two. Her Agents Irish and Whiskey series immediately catapulted to my (and many others) list of favorite books of 2017 and she can write the hell out of romantic suspense. Turns out, she's just as fantastic at contemporary romance as her new release, Relay, shows. Set in the world of Olympic swimming, Relay is a second chance love story with a bit of enemies back to lovers thrown in ... both of which I adore and in Layla's VERY capable hands meant for one fabulous book!
Alex Cantu is the captain of the men's swimming team headed for the Olympics. It's a position he's worked for his whole life and swimming is everything to him. At one point, so was Dane Ellis. A summer away at swim camp found Alex and Dane in the midst of a hot and heavy relationship that ended when Dane dumped Alex and broke his heart. Now it's ten years later and Alex is focused on winning gold and helping to keep his family's farm up and going while his mom battles cancer. The last thing he needs or wants is for Dane to be on the team, no matter that Dane is one of the best.
Dane Ellis has been groomed and manipulated his whole life by his parents. A television preacher father and a television shopping guru mother means Dane's life has never been his own ... it's all about appearance and what someone else can do for him (and by extension, his parents). He's never been happier than during his brief but explosive time with Alex. Now that they're to be teammates, he wants nothing more than to mend fences and even more than that, capture the magic he's only shared with Alex. I've gotta tell y'all ... the tension between these two is something else. You can't help but feel for Dane because his parents are truly horrible people but you can also see where Alex is coming from. He's hurt and angry and still wants Dane, even though he tries so hard not to.
I rooted for Alex and Dane right from the get go. Even when Alex is stubborn and Dane is defensive, you know they're fighting a losing battle. I really loved the other guys on the team, too, especially Bas and Jacob who star in book 2 (*hearty eyes*). The whole team dynamic was awesome and you could definitely feel the tension as the climax hit. And gah, the romance! When Alex and Dane finally give in and admit their feelings for the other haven't changed ... can anyone say on fire? It's so good, you guys.
Layla Reyne has quickly moved to the top of my favorite author list. Her style of writing, the character development, the banter, the angst ... it's a perfect mix. I can't get enough of it. I'm already dying for book 2, Medley, and already know I'll be begging Layla for more. You will too so be ready to fall in love with her and her guys. It's a guarantee you will!
About Changing Lanes
A chance at gold or a chance at love? Members of the US Men’s Swim Team fight for both in this sports romance duology following two couples on one medley relay team as they train and compete in the world’s biggest sporting event: the Olympics. To reach the top of the podium, they’ll need to depend on one another and be willing to change lanes—in their lives and hearts, and in the biggest race of their athletic careers.
About Layla Reyne
2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bicoastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. When she's not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.
FB Profile: www.facebook.com/laylareynebooks
FB Fan Page: www.facebook.com/laylareyne
FB Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216903272072959/
To celebrate the release of Relay, one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!