Published: 23rd October 2016
Author: Carrie Aarons
We were the seconds after a grip released the bar, body floating through the air with nervous wonder. Would we successfully grab it again, or would we hit the mat, shattered and defeated?
Peyton Adams learned a long time ago that selfish and detached is the only way to be in life. What most people call shameless or obnoxious behavior, she considers key to getting where she needs to go. Most disapproving of all? USA Gymnastics’ golden boy with an eight-pack, Jared Hargrove. After being cut from the women’s team right before Rio, Peyton is back on the post-Summer Games tour. Not only is she the only one without a gold medal, but her history with Jared won’t stay buried for long.
Control and good manners; the two things drilled into Jared Hargrove’s head from birth. As a four-time gold medalist, he’s always obeyed the rules and reaped the reward. Well, except for the whirlwind week four years ago in London when wild-child Peyton Adams finally got under his skin, and into his bed. She broke his heart, and he hasn’t removed the ice wall around it since. Now she’s back to redeem herself to the world of gymnastics, and it seems, to push his buttons more than ever.
After years of resentment and heartache, can they repair a relationship so badly broken that most people wouldn’t even try? Or will they continue to fall, grasping at any last emotion before they finally collapse?
Goes down as another off my 2016 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book that would make a good movie or TV series. Definitely think this would make an interesting TV series to see what all of them get up to.
We start this book just as the last one finished off with Peyton being called in to fill the gap they have for the Olympic Champions State Tour and Jared not being very happy about it. From the first book you got a very clear impression that there was a lot more to their story than meets the eye. Turns out that they first got together back at the London Olympics four years previous. We finally get a glimpse at how they started, but not how they broke up – yet. When you get to them rehashing it all its brutal on both parts. Tensions are high between these two but passion is what fuels most of it because once they let go of the past and live in the present they are beyond hot together.
When they say you could cut the tension with a knife I think they meant that literally when you look at Jared and Peyton. You know there is more to the story – everyone around them does too – it just takes a little while to put everything out there. With being the golden couple of gymnastics they have been partnered together for the duration of the Champion Tour, something neither are very happy about but its what the world wants to see even if its torture for them. After a few weeks into the four-month tour though it’s not just them that are tense from their fighting but everyone around them because of it. Peyton is the one to hold out an olive branch by basically saying look I know we hate each other but can we at least be civil until this is over. Works for a little while, even to the point of subtle flirting on and off the stage, but when at one of their tour stops a guy asks her out in front of him you can almost see her wanting a reaction and him barely holding it in. Its a few days after that she gets the reaction and that’s only after he’s back to acting like a bit of a dick to her again. His manners are a bit lacking when he is annoyed. You want her man you claim her because she clearly wants you!
Ok so both sides know that the chemistry is the one thing that didn’t go away after the heartache. Which can clearly be seen when Peyton meets Jared on a beach in a barely there bikini. When she says she basically wore it for him he all but drags her into a tent to have his wicked way with her – sexual frustration for our poor Jared. Days before they said they would take things slow this time but now look at them. Well that is before a memory from the past slams into Jared’s mind making him stop and run. Peyton knows the only way forward is to bring everything from past to the surface, it’s the only way they can move forward. So she goes to his place – where he had been hiding out mind you – and just tells him to let go and just say everything he wants/needs to say. For a moment you think he won’t but boy does he give what for; not that she holds back one bit either. When you hear some of the things he said to her back when they started/ended you just want to punch him in the face. So you do feel a bit better when he says he wanted to punch himself too. As soon as everything is in the open you can see both their walls crumble to the ground and what’s on the other side is nothing but love and some very hot passion. They have four years to make up for and they sure do like to try and catch up. The balance has been restored to a point between them in private but when things go public they get a bit of a mixed reaction from family and some not so nice fans, especially after their stop in Vegas. He’s calming her wild ways a little and she’s loosening him up, a perfect match for each other.
Loved when they were called together for a make a wish kid to take her to dinner. It was the turning point for them starting over. The place they really saw each other in a new light, one they wanted to continue with. Thought his family was a loud house of chaos around Christmas and I loved it. Peyton too as its something she had never had before. She used to think the only love she could have or deserve was adulation from fans but when she accepts Jared’s she starts to see things more clearly. Lets hope they both keep their eyes open clearly for the future. I also liked that you got to catch up with Spence and Nat throughout and I get the feeling the next story will focus on Duke and Julia – well here’s hoping anyway.
4 out of 5 stars
I received this ARC from Give Me Books for my honest review.