Title: The Next Competitor
Author: Keira Andrews
Characters: Alex Grady, Matt Savelli
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
To win gold, figure skater Alex Grady must train harder than the competition morning, noon, and night. He’s obsessed with mastering another quadruple jump, and due to the lack of filter between his mouth and brain, doesn’t have a lot of friends. As for a boyfriend, forget it. So what if he’s still a virgin at twenty? The Olympics are only every four years—everything else can wait. Relationships are messy and complicated anyway, and he has zero room in his life for romance.
So it’s ridiculous when Alex finds himself checking out his boring new training mate Matt Savelli. Calm, collected “Captain Cardboard” is a nice guy, but even if Alex had time to date, Matt’s so not his type. Yet beneath Matt’s wholesome surface, there’s a dirty, sexy man who awakens a desire Alex has never experienced and can’t deny…
I admit I was very anxious to read The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews. I love figure skating and I’ve also enjoyed several books by this author, so I came into reading this story with high expectations. Maybe it was because of these expectations that I felt a little let down by the story our hero, Alex had to tell.
First, I want to say that Keira Andrews is a great storyteller. She clearly knows her chops on writing a well-thought out story and romance. It is very obvious that she has done a lot of research on figure skating, and as a reader, I appreciated the competitive world Alex and Matt live in.
I am sorry to say that I never really liked the main hero. He’s a bit of a brat and he’s pretty egotistical. Now, I understood that Alex has to be this way because of the hard work and training he puts in on a daily basis. Alex lives and breathes figure skating. His drive to get the gold at the Olympics is a noble one, but his ‘I’m better than you‘ attitude began to grate on my nerves. Alex also has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth and it’s because of this, he hurts others. Now, this is something I can forgive most of the time because we all make mistakes, but because Alex seems to never really learn to work at NOT hurting others *particularly Matt with his hurtful words* the things he says and does end up bothering me. Now please don’t get me wrong, there are some redeeming qualities to Alex too, but in the end they weren’t enough for me to get fully behind him as a likeable hero.
Out of the two men, I have to admit I totally loved Matt. He’s a warm and generous man. I liked his drive and his willingness to work hard without everything going to his ego. He is a genuine nice guy that you can’t keep from rooting for. I thought in some ways he deserved better than Alex…especially when Alex says hurtful things to him.
I did like the technical aspect of the story. Through Ms. Andrews descriptive storytelling ability, I was able to picture the figure skating in my mind as clearly as if I were watching it live.
In the end I wanted more from this couple. I have a feeling the next four years will be a challenge for them to stay together. Alex’s drive to win the gold is his main priority, so it will be interesting to see if even after four years, Alex will be able to put Matt first.
Reviewed By: Gabbi
Click HERE to purchase The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews