Title: Fighting to Win
Series: The Elite: Book One
Author: Nicole Flockton
Genre: Adult, Sports Romance
Published: August 10, 2016
Julia Ashland walked away from Mitch Osborn when a scandal rocked her world following the diving world championships. Now she’s face to face with him again at the biggest event of the year – the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Not only must she fight her attraction to him, she has to fight to prove she earned her position on the diving team.
Mitch Osborn is the darling of the swimming world. Competing at his third Olympics his focus is on increasing his personal gold medal tally not rekindling a relationship with Julia—the woman who publicly humiliated him with another member of the swim team.
Now thrown back together at the Olympics, will their competitive natures take hold or will they be fighting to win each other’s hearts once more.
One word, and like the elite athlete she was, Julia Ashland obeyed her coach’s command.
Breathing deeply, she kept her eyes focused on the timing clock affixed to the wall at the other end of the swimming arena. She wiggled her toes, the diving platform rough against the bottom of her feet, before arching her back, arms stretched wide as she fell into the abyss below.
She smoothly brought her arms directly above her head and hit the water with the precision of a bullet piercing a target. The shock of the cool pool water washed over her as she sank from the momentum of her dive.
A couple of strong kicks turned her from hitting the bottom to heading back to the surface.
Adrenaline pumped through her veins as she stroked to the side of the pool. Hefting herself out, she walked over to the table that held her chamois.
Now came the nerve-wracking bit—her coach’s critique.
Mick had been with her for so many years that she shouldn’t get worried about his comments. Unfortunately, she did. Even though the dive she’d executed was a warm up. A basic swan dive. A dive she’d done a million times. She felt like she’d nailed it. Mick would find something to comment on, no doubt about it.
Arch your back more.
Your fingers weren’t touching.
Your big toe was out of alignment.
Little things, but every one so important in the grand scheme of things. Those tiny imperfections could mean the difference between getting an 8.5 score and getting a 6.5.
The difference between a gold medal and silver medal in the Rio Olympics. Probably the last Olympics she’d attend; at twenty-four, she was considered in her prime.
Last year, riding high after a gold medal performance at the World Championships in Russia, she’d been a favorite to win gold at Rio. Now, after the scandal, her chances of winning any medal was slim.
I adored this story. Truly, I did. But I like Ms. Flockton’s stories…period. Here’s a list of what I liked: (much easier for me)
1. Julia – Loved her. She was strong and she had a very good reason to keep Mitch away. It made sense to me and provided the needed plot point thread throughout the story.
2. Mitch – Can I have him? He reminded me of his athletic ability to Michael Phelps. Plus, he NEVER gave up on Julia.
3. Brooke – Perfect roommate and friend. Plus, she drooled over an Australian swimmer, Dane. Who remembers the Sydney Olympics in 2000? I still do. Ian Thorpe…enough said.
4. Dane – The Aussie swimmer. We don’t get to meet him but I’m sure we will later on in the series. Again…Ian Thorpe. 🙂
5. Brett & Trina – much needed for the drama and angst. They had their own personalities and only enhanced the romance.
6. Rio – As I watched the Olympics and then read the book, I could picture the events and venues. I love it when the author can transport me to the setting of the book.
7. The pacing – It was tightly paced and was never rushed. Of course, I love Ms. Flockton’s writing but for such a shorter book, she never slowed down and kept me turning the pages until I finished. Then, disappointment when it was over.
8. Smexy time – Yes, there is only one time but boy howdy… 😉
Overall, I LOVED this book and I can’t wait to read the others in the series. I’m an Olympics junkie, especially swimming and diving. Ms. Flockton delivers in her first outing in the series. One question, though…how long do I have to wait for the next one? I’m NOT a patient person at times.
Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.
On her first school report her teacher noted “Nicole likes to tell her own stories”. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.
Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.