by Rebecca J Caffery
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Pub Date 06 Feb 2023 | Archive Date 19 Jan 2023
Three weeks at the Olympic Village.
Two Gymnasts who've been rivals for half a decade.
One tonne of sexual tension.
Forced to share a room at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, Oliver and Lucas are less than happy. After five years of fighting, the team needs them to learn to work together if they stand any chance of medalling.
To make matters worse, Lucas, king of lone wolves, has absolutely no desire to become best friends with the three musketeers who make up the rest of the male British Gymnastics Team.
So when the press becomes intrusive towards Lucas and Oliver finally steps in to defend him, things are looking up. Until that sliver of common ground truly demonstrates how thin the line between love and hate really can be.
However, when their fighting turns to kissing which results in headlines in every newspaper and potential heartbreak for the pair, it isn’t just gold on the line -- it's their hearts.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 118 members
Words cannot explain how much I loved this, but I’m going to try. This book was like Red, White, and Royal Blue meets Head Over Heels, both of which I love. It’s an enemies to lovers sports romance with a bit of a sexual awakening storyline.
I love the inside look this provided into the world of competitive Men’s gymnastics. I’ve always been fascinated with both the sport and the culture as there’s so much to it both physically and mentally that those of us in the outside can’t even begin to understand. This book did an amazing job showing us a lot of what’s involved for these elite athletes-the pressure, the physical demands, the emotional stress, and the mental game. Apart from spotlighting elite athletes, this book also shines a light on what it’s like to be a QUEER elite athlete. Throughout the course of book we watch these characters struggle with not only the demands of their sport, but struggles of a more personal variety including sexual identity and keep their personal lives out of the media.
Both Lucas and Oliver really warmed my heart and were just SUCH easier characters to love. I loved watching their relationship progress throughout the course of the book and I was on the edge of my seat until the very end. This book showed us high highs and low lows and took me on a JOURNEY and I love every second!!
I was given an ARC by NetGalley and Backlit PR. All opinions are my own.
4.5/5 stars! This book was so good for the 1o-year-old me that obsessively watched the Olympic gymnasts and fantasized about one of them becoming my boyfriend. I loved reading this story. Lucas and Oliver were so lovely and I enjoyed seeing Lucas' character development throughout this story. It was the perfect length as well and had me reading with a smile on my face. Looking forward to more entries by this author in the future. The only issue with this story is that the cover design looks like a very poorly constructed ripoff of Red, White, and Royal Blue. I think the author would find better success with a new cover. But the story was wonderful.
I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
Stories about rivals who end up lovers are like catnip to me. These two British fellas have been enemies for years and end up on the same small men's gymnastic team at the Olympics. They're both initially thrilled of course to be roommates as they get ready to compete in Paris on top of everything else. Slowly they figure out that they maybe don't have the whole picture of the other and end up becoming friends and then more. Neither of them especially needs the media attention so it's a lot of secretive schmoozing.
The only thing I didn't love about this was that I'm not incredibly familiar with gymnastics lingo and had to Youtube what everything meant because we just jumped right in there. If I was more familiar with the sport, I would have been able to context clue my way through it. But that might be 100% a me problem so don't hold it against the book. I would not say it has any more or less lingo than any other sports romance I've read lately, it was just unfamiliar.
Thank you to Netgalley, Rebecca J Caffery, and The Wild Rose Press, Inc. for a copy in exchange for an honest review. My opinions are my own.
I have been wanting an olympic romance book for so long and this book delivered me exactly that. Oliver and Lucas are adorable and I need more of them. I loved seeing all of the different small ways that they fell in love with each other.
I need a book about Tom and Alicia.
I received an arc through netgalley.
(The book has way too many b99 references and I hate that but it's a personal thing)
Thank you Wild Rose Press and NetGalley for this eARC, these opinions are my own. I loved this book! Lucas and Oliver are both on the Great Britain Olympic gymnastic team. They are both competing in the 2024 Olympics, the only problem is the can’t stand each other. But when their ability to win gold will depend on them playing nice and working as a team can they do it? And what happens if something unexpected starts to develop between them? During the first 25% of the book I did struggle but it had nothing to do with the writing or the story, I think it’s just that after that point I was so hooked that it made getting their seem a little slow! I loved the dynamic between Lucas and Oliver and their back and forth was perfect! Add it some really fun supporting characters and I couldn’t put the book down. Their journey of how they do in the competition was intriguing and nerve wracking! Rebecca Caffery wrote a lovely story about lust, anger, angst, love, competition, and complications! This book put me in all my romantic feels and reminded me why I love enemies to lovers! I can’t wait to read this again when it comes out!
3.75 out of 5
Thank you to NetGally for the arc, in exchange for an honest review 📚.
Give me a cute sports romance read any day! This is a fast and lighthearted read. If you need a pick-me-up book I've found it right here.
Lucas and Oliver have never gotten along. Lucas is too focused on his career for friends, and Oliver is still stuck on things that have happened in his past. But when they are forced to room together before competing at the Olympics, things start to change.
This story has got allll the good tropes: enemies to lovers, forced proximity, secret romance. And there is a strong sprinkle of spice in hers.
I would have like a little bit more character depth. They had so much going on in their lives and past that I felt wasn't touched on enough. They are both good, likeble characters... But it did feel a bit like "hey we're here, we're queer, pants off" for a moment there.
I also am not a massive fan of the cover. I feel like it doesn't do the story justice.
This book is perfect for fans of Red White & Royal Blue, and Boyfriend Material.
I will posting a review of this book on both my Instagram, Goodreads and TikTok accounts within the next week. My handle for all of these medias is "Tahliareadstoomuch".
Oliver and Lucas are have been gymnastic rivals forever. They are forced to share a room in the 2024 Paris Olympic. The team needs them to work together to get a medal though.... Hate to turns to love and attraction...
Reminds me a bit of Red, White and Royal.... The same fun, romance and sass. Love both characters. I love gymnastics so this was especially exciting to me. A fun read.
Thanks to the publisher for the arc.
Oliver and Lucas do not like each other. But they are teammates on Great Britain's gymnastics Olympic team. They are roommates over the next three weeks in the Olympic village, where Oliver comes to terms with his bisexuality and he and Lucas start a physical relationship.
This book was incredible. But I think because I was a former gymnast I understood a lot of the nuance gymnastics vernacular where someone who's never participated in the sport could easily get lost. There were a couple of typos. But I got lost in the story and it was a sweet sweet read.
Thank you wild rose press inc., Rebecca j caffery, and NetGalley for the arc.
Sweet, heartwarming and full of excitement, Olympic Enemies was a great read.
With wonderful characters and an engaging plotline, this story gives an intriguing glimpse into the world of Olympic athletes and competitive gymnastics - an underappreciated genre in the sport romance tropes. I loved watching Lucas breaking out of his shell, while Oliver's personal growth and maturing journey was captivating.
4 stars and a gold medal
This story sent me into the wormhole of watching gymnastic Olympic videos on Youtube, and I have no regrets.
I'm torn regarding how to rate this. I've been looking forward to it for some time, and I expected it to be my catnip. In the end, though, I found it just okay (I'm rounding up from 3.5 stars). I was reading an advance copy, so I hope most of the spelling/punctuation errors will be fixed before publication. But I had trouble caring about the characters through most of the book, and that's not something proofreading can address. I did end up shedding a tear over the finale, but even so, I felt this book could have been so much more than it was. It felt like a really promising early draft to me.
My thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy of this book.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
The book was a great mix between, fun, lighthearted, sexy, sporty, and also delved into deeper topics like death and grief. And it flowed together well. There was humor in there as well that made me laugh. It had just the right amount of angst too that isn’t too painful but also tugged at your heartstrings.
I could have used a little more of Lucas and Oliver being rivals and fighting in the beginning. Since it’s a shorter book it makes sense that it didn’t last super long, but I still felt that it jumped pretty quickly from them hating each other to hooking up. They did have good tension even as they were rivals which helped.
I was not expecting this book to be as steamy as it was. They had so much chemistry though, it was so good to read. They worked so naturally together, and it was fun to see the back and forth of: we couldn’t stand each other, to, I think you’re hot, to, friends with benefits, to, I want something more. I like that they had banter even after they started hooking up and falling for each other, and still found each other annoying at times, but it was less actual anger and more lighthearted.
I love the family relationships as well. Lucas was so close with his family. I always love to see that, especially because I’m so close to my family. As well as seeing how much Oliver cared about his grandparents and how much they loved and supported him. It was so sweet. I like how easily Lucas was accepted into Oliver’s friend group because I loved Julius and Tom as well. Their friendship was so fun to read about. You could tell how close they were as friends. It was shown, not just told they are best friends, which you don’t always see, so I really liked that.
Sometimes the writing didn’t always add up. It is just an arc copy so maybe it will get fixed. Like for example, there was one scene that went back and forth between if it was in the morning or at night. A previous page said daylight was showing in their room from the window. But then Oliver said he didn’t want to go work out before sunrise. Then after that Tom asked to go on a late night run and asked if they wanted to go the next morning. It would be little things like that, that showed continuity errors.
There were a few things I thought weren’t done perfectly; forgiveness coming to easily at the end or things like that, but it wasn’t enough to make the book bad for me personally. Brayden was a character that didn’t seem like he needed to be added into the story. I wasn’t really sure why that plot line was added. The characters didn’t like him, but no mention of why and nothing was ever resolved between him and the other characters. He was someone that could have been taken out of the book and absolutely nothing would have changed.
I don’t like the cover art either. That doesn’t have anything to do with the actual contents of the books, but I am still not a fan of it.
I could have used more of a satisfying ending, maybe one more chapter or even an epilogue of their life together after the Olympics. It ended very up abruptly and I would have loved to see what happens to them in the future. I wanted to see how they would make their relationship work when they went back home. It was touched on what could happen, but I wanted to actually see that. We did get a lot of romance throughout the book, so it wasn’t like they were pining over each other the whole time and never actually “dated” so you technically didn’t need that extra content at the end of the book to see the couple together, but it still would have been nice.
There were things that could have been written better, but my enjoyment level of the romance as I was reading it was high. Lucas and Oliver were so cute and fit so well together, you couldn’t help but root for them.
I will be posting my review to my Goodreads account on 1-5-23 that is linked on my profile, and on Amazon on the release date of the book, which I will add the link to my review when it is posted!
4.5 stars. There’s just something about the Olympics that makes me SOB. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were a few typos but nothing could prevent me from being fully engrossed in Lucas and Oliver’s story. I loved both of these boys so much, and I thought the author did such a great job of portraying what it’s like to be a queer athlete. A quick, light-hearted read that doesn’t take itself too seriously and makes you feel all the feels.
Thank you to the author and Netgalley for the eARC!
Overall, this is a wonderful story and the way Lucas and Oliver come together is sweet.
And while I did enjoy the book and didn't want to put it down, the last 25% or so of the book seemed less put together than the rest. Some random plot issues, like saying something would happen at 8am and then the next character saying it is happening at 8:30am and the error is not part of the book plot. This isn't the only one, but they are all minor like this.
The last quarter of the book also felt rushed and like some of the plot was out of order. Without giving much away, the inevitable argument/hurt/issues the characters have leave one MC really upset. But in the next couple scenes the hurt MC doesn't share any internal battle or upset and is just acting normal around the other MC. And then after these scenes both MCs seem to address what happened internally. It felt like something was missing from the internal dialogue of one or both MCs to help the reader seamlessly through the narrative.
Again, it's a sweet book and I'd absolutely recommend it when it releases.
Thanks for the opportunity to read this book!
I liked this so much more than I thought I would! Oliver and Lucas are Olympic gymnasts competing for England. Oliver is the captain and very into team-building. Lucas is aloof and reserved. They hate each other until they hook up, and both perform well afterwards, so hthey decide to continue quietly hooking up, but just hooking up—no feelings. We all know where this leads.
The best parts of this book is the Inside Baseball (Inside Pommel?) look at gymnastics and all the details of the competition. Oliver and Lucas connect in large part because they’re two of a very small group who have dedicated their life to gymnastics and achieved so much, which could also slip away at any time. That comes across well.
It’s a little hard to picture the future for Oliver and Lucas, but that’s customary of most New Age romances since they’re so young. Still, I liked this and would read more from this author.
I got an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Overall, I enjoyed this book! The premise was interesting the characters were cute together.
I often find myself shying away from books that have sports because, well, I know nothing about sports. But since the sport in question is gymnastics I had no problem learning quickly what the lingo meant and following what was happening in the arena. The setting of this being in the Olympic Village was also really fun and fresh, especially following our most recent olympics where, due to social media, we got a closer look at what it’s like behind the scenes there.
Romance wise, this story worked well for me. It was enemies to lovers but not the unbearable they actually hate each other kind, more of the unspoken tension they just don’t understand each other kind. It also didn’t fall into the usual tropes I see in these kinds of books, throughout the whole thing it was always clear to us the reader and also to the characters that they cared about each other. Lucas really was a shining light for me in this book, out of all the characters he felt the most fleshed out and complex to me, because of this though I found myself not warming up to Oliver for a while - He was really set on changing Lucas into an extrovert when he just wasn’t and as someone who honestly prefers my own company and relates to Lucas a lot, that was frustrating to have to read.
In the end, though I didn’t exactly agree with the way Lucas and his introversion was treated by others, it was a sweet book and I would recommend it to anyone who had enjoyed Casey McQuiston or Alexis Hall’s work.
Thank you to Netgalley, The Wild Rose Press, Inc. and Rebecca J Caffery for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
NOTE: Netgalley was unable to post review to goodreads due to no ISBN. I will be posting separately and providing a link.
I have so many thoughts I don't even know where to begin. I'm an avid fan of sports romances and the plot sounded like something that would be right up my alley. I guess in a way it was but then it was also not. Although the pace is rather weird, the story managed to keep me interested in the actual sport, it didn't just brush it to the side in favor of the romance, instead, it created such an amazing atmosphere while describing the practices that even while missing half of it due to the technical descriptions I still found myself immersed in it.
However, everything else felt a bit flat, not precisely bad, just flat. For instance, the characters' personalities seemed to be... well, not entirely developed. They were not completely unlikable but it felt like the author only cared about giving actual depth to the two main characters and even then their actions would sometimes come across as straight-up illogical.
I understand human beings are complex and their feelings don't always have to make sense, but when a book is narrated in first-person I truly expect to understand their feelings and motivations a little bit better. Frankly, I couldn't even tell you when the transition between their so-called animosity and the actual relationship happened (if you could even call that a transition). It's like it came out of nowhere, it was rushed, there was no build-up, no tension leading up to it, one moment they were fighting, the next they wanna sleep together. What am I supposed to do then? Just go with the flow?
To this I wanna add that I feel like the characters don't even have their own narrative voices, what I mean by this is that I often forgot whose perspective I was reading through and couldn't for the life of my tell based solely on their voices because they're simply indistinguishable. I needed to keep going and wait to see any references or go back and check the beginning of the chapter. So yeah... that could've been better
[About the secondary characters, can anyone tell me what the character of Brayden was even created for? he was supposed to be the one on the team who was -if only a little bit- closer to Lucas prior to the story, yet once he actually showed up, with no further explanation, he was just painted as an annoyance and completely ignored. What was that about? Also, I don't want to go on a rant but characters like Lucy, Alicia, Estelle, etc. should've been developed and should've had more interactions, I feel like all I know about them I've learned through the boys' perspectives, which isn't ideal (hide spoiler)]
Regarding the main topics, I personally would have loved to see an in-depth exploration of the motive of grief. [It would've made sense to have at least a single paragraph just about Amber. She was supposedly so damn important to Oliver, yet I still don't know much of her? (hide spoiler)] Julius and Oliver both live with it, I was constantly told it was present in them, but I never truly felt their grief. At the end of the day, I understand things like death are often used in these kinds of works as plot devices but it just felt empty at times.
There were some issues with the grammar and expression as well but this being an arc I'm guessing it's just the lack of an editor that I'm sensing.
Finally, after being such a downer I feel like I have to clear up why I DID like the book since I gave it 3 stars. Well, the thing is it actually does what it intends pretty well. It's entertaining, it's sweet, it's just undoubtedly a quick fun read. If you want to sit in the evening with a cup of tea and read something that will not change your life but will surely make you laugh and feel all warm inside then this may still be your book! I do not regret the time I spent reading it and would love to see what the result may be if the author just polishes it a bit.
What a way to start my 2023 reading off! This was cheesy, cute, and a wonderful way to end my work week. There were some editing issues that I'm sure will be worked out (some words missing or wrong words) and there were times where I felt a little weird about Oliver and if he was really over Amber. But I think it all came together nicely in the end. It was low angst and a light enemies to lovers. Solid 4/5, I will be buying this book once it comes out.
In a year where we have no Olympics following the back to back Winter/Summer Olympic rush of the last two years, Olympic Enemies is such a gift. The story seems simple at first - two guys on the same team absolutely can't stand each other but are forced to be roommates and sparks inevitably fly. But the story has so many more layers than that. It tactfully and thoughtfully handles grief, what it means to be private in the public eye, the tough decisions we are all making, the drive to win gold at any cost. And honestly, I was delighted by every single sweet moment that unfolded. Our main characters had great chemistry and rich backstories; so did their teammates and the other friends we got snippets of along the way. I found myself really rooting for them once they started to catch feelings and already rooting for them on their gold medal journeys. Being set in Paris, having the obsessive training and drive of athletes to ground the story added texture that was easy to get lost in. The romance was swoonworthy, even when our characters were trying to figure everything out for themselves and their careers and their lives.
I am a sucker for Olympics books, so Olympic Enemies caught my attention. I really enjoyed the initial reasons that Oliver and Lucas did not get along and it was very different from a lot of enemies to lovers books, but a perfectly reasonable reason to dislike one another. It was charming to read them overcoming those differences and falling for one another over the course of their competition. I appreciated the representation this book offered for queer athletes and the statements it made about the public and private lives of those in the spotlight.
Actual rating- 4.5 stars
I absolutely loved this book! The romance, the setting, the friendships, all chef's kiss amazing.
The book started with Lucas and Oliver having to share a room at the Olympics not particularly liking each other. I went into this thinking it was an enemies to lovers book, but it really felt more like there wasn't enough effort put into getting to know each other compared to being enemies.
I absolutely adored the friendship that the team had with each other, it really was an unbreakable friendship and as the book continued on, it was really apparent.
As the characters made mistakes, they did their best to fix it immediately and I really loved seeing that as it's not really seen like that very often. Especially when it's side characters who made these mistakes. It was all just really well written and I really enjoyed it.
Thank you to NetGalley and The Wild Rose Press for an eARC copy of this book.
this book wasn't as bad as people made it out to be. did it have its faults? yes. however, i enjoyed the overall romance and plot. i thought that lucas and oliver made a good couple, and i loved their friendship with julius and tom. i wish we saw more of lucas's sister or best friend, but it made sense that we saw mostly julius and tom because that was who was with them every second of the day.
my only two qualms were the pacing and the grammar mistakes. hopefully, seeing as this book is getting published in a month, the grammar mistakes have been looked over and fixed. it's nothing big, just some small mistakes that can easily be understood regardless, but they are something that should be fixed before any book is released into the world.
the pacing was quite fast. this book is marketed to readers as enemies-to-lovers, which it is, but it doesn't have a good in between stage that makes enemies-to-lovers work. in the beginning when they are enemies, they are going at each other's throats. it's a little too strong to be a mutual dislike and is more a hate. it's hard to make that work since enemies-to-lovers is actually more of a dislike-to-lovers, which appeals to people and allows them to see how these two characters could learn to love each other. in this book, because the "enemies" stage is so strong, it's necessary to have a stage in between where they learn to like each other before delving into love. it is missing that part and moves right into them being lovers, which felt too abrupt to me. it worked out in the end, but i didn't like how fast the beginning moved. plus, the third-act breakup was just not done as well as it could have been. it happened really fast and ended even faster.
this book was 290 pages. it's not like it's a long book; it could have had more pages and more time to fully explore some of the stages of oliver and lucas's relationship.
i still liked it. i wouldn't go back to reread it, but i enjoyed it while reading it the first time.
Rebecca Caffery brilliantly creates a story that of Lucas & Oliver, enemies to lovers, that has you not wanting their story to end! I love the concept of Olympic Enemies & how the two overcome the obstacles that are put in their life to only grow closer together & into each others lives. It’s through our pain that we can find relief & those around us that help us through difficult times. I greatly enjoyed how the topic of Oliver being outed by the press & the anger he experienced from that moment, because it’s a precious moment that some are forced out. A very happy read & loved the the inclusion for the upcoming Olympics. Here’s to hoping that we can see more of Lucas & Oliver! I know we aren’t supposed to judge a book by the cover but having curly hair myself my only gripe is that Lucas’s curly hair is constantly referenced yet neither of the characters on the cover have curly hair.
Thank you NetGalley & Wild Rose Press for this eARC!
Thank you to Wild Rose and netgalley for an ARC copy of Olympic Enemies for an honest review.
This was my first m/m romance and I adored Lucas and Oliver.
My favorite part of this book was them building their relationship from hatred to love. The author captured all the sweet moments perfectly and I liked how it was more sweet over spice and them trying to get a grasp on their feelings for one another. Although the bathroom scene had me cackling out loud 😉
In the beginning I did have a bit of a hard time telling the voices apart but otherwise this story left me with a huge smile on my face when I was done.
If you're looking for a quick m/m sweet romance this book is worth the read.
Olympic enemies was a delightful book that had a great amount of character development throughout the entire story. Throughout the novel the author told a story of 2 people that were enemies at the beginning of the book to a HEA at the end. Their relationship grew over time and their characters were flawed but lovable. Something that was different that I enjoyed was the relationship between teammates at the Olympics. This author did a great job of having characters that actually talk to each other about traumatic events that have happened to them in the past. Overall, this is a great enemies to lovers read.
This book had a lot of potential, and there were a lot of things I enjoyed about it, but ultimately, it didn't live up to its potential for me. I enjoyed the setting and the plot. The story certainly has a fun premise, and I liked the execution. But I found the writing to be a little rocky, and I especially felt like the pacing of the romance was off, which is mainly where the book lost me. They would go from fighting to being nice to each other to having sex super quickly, and sometimes they went right back into fighting, and every time their fights had barely any substance, it all felt a little forced. Because of this, I didn't really like their dynamic, and I wasn't convinced by the romance.
This book was so cute. I loved the relationship between the characters. I really hope this author writes a second book in this series. Because I would love to see what happens next for these characters. Such a cute read.
Lucas is fine with being the one member of the Great Britain men's gymnastics Olympic team who isn't close with the others. He's in grad school and supporting his family, and he really doesn't like the team captain Oliver, so he's fine sticking to himself. Until they get to the Olympics and he's made to room with Oliver. As usual, the two butt heads pretty hard... until one of their altercations finds Lucas backed against the wall, with Oliver inches from his face, looking like he wants to kiss Lucas. Oliver knows that Lucas is gay, and that he himself is bisexual (though nobody else knows it), but what he hadn't realized until now is that some of the tension between the two of them is attraction... and that he really wants to act on it.
Over the next couple of weeks, Lucas and Oliver settle into an arrangement they're calling friends with benefits. But they both start to feel like maybe there's something more between them.
I wish there had been just a little more time spent on that tipping point between them hating each other and deciding to go for it-- it felt a bit rushed, and I would have loved to see a bit more of each of them struggling a little to accept the change. Other than that, though, I really liked this book. It was fun, and sweet, and had some really strong external conflict that bled into the relationship itself in a really organic way. I'm not usually a fan of the third act breakup but this one felt organic and the RIGHT kind of frustrating.
In Olympic Enemies, we follow two male gymnasts, Oliver and Lucas, as they prepare to compete in the Paris 2024 Olympics. Despite their contentious relationship as teammates for Great Britain, Oliver and Lucas are assigned as roommates and spend the next three weeks learning more about each other, leading to an understanding and eventually developing into a heartfelt relationship.
I really enjoyed Oliver and Lucas as the main characters, and as someone who religiously watched gymnastics every Olympics, this setting was perfect! I loved that the story was dual POV, and I thought that the writing flowed easily.
I usually don't mind cultural references in contemporary romances, but the Brooklyn Nine-Nine references felt like there were on every other page and took me out of the narrative at times. The switch from arguing to kissing was also very abrupt and there could've been more time developing a friendship between Lucas and Oliver before they took that leap.
Hopefully, we get a sequel with Tom and Alicia!
Thank you to The Wild Rose Press and Netgalley for a copy of the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
An enemies to lovers queer love story of Olympic hopefuls. I love everything gymnastics and to have a love story within it was amazing. Lucas and Oliver were teammates and roommates at the Olympics. They never got along until they were paired up as roommates. The romance and friendship unfolded in a beautiful way. I loved Lucas and Oliver together. They were so cute together. The emotional, physical and mental hardships to be an athlete and being queer was understandably difficult. Which was sad. Love is love.
Now to the parts where I’m in the minority for sure on my review.
I had a few oh no about the rest of the story. One was that the scenes were not consistent. For instance they were going to the gym to practice and then they were off to their room without actually practicing their skills. For Olympic hopefuls that seemed unlikely especially with their coaches around. Also since I’m a huge fan of gymnastics I know how the Olympics showcase the events. The author decided to switch them around and I wasn’t a big fan of that. I started to pick apart some of the apparatus skills or events because she wasn’t correct on some of them. Which took away the joy in reading this story. There was also a degrading word used for being small that I won’t repeat but it was very offensive. I understand I may be sensitive to the word but why use it to describe someone who was 5 ft tall? Again, that was my opinion.
The ending felt unfinished. Like I would love to know what happened to Lucas and Oliver in six months time.
Overall, I enjoyed the love story itself but everything else was a bit of a mess and I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I would have loved to.
I received this ARC from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.
Oliver and Lucas don't get along—they never have. Lucas has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wales and resents the fact that his gymnastics teammates haven't had to do as much has he has to get by; Oliver, as team captain, resents the fact that Lucas doesn't want to be best mates with the rest of the team.
I'm no gymnastics expert: I took a gymnastics class as a kid and was fast-tracked into the "you are too incompetent to ever turn a cartwheel" group (literally, they taught us "modified cartwheels" because they didn't think we had the talent for anything more complex), and that was the end of my gymnastics career. But I have a soft spot for gymnastics books, and it's rare to find one about men's gymnastics. The difference is fascinating to me for a couple of reasons, starting with that gymnastics is a rare sport in which women get more attention than men...but also because male gymnasts, who are usually older than female gymnasts, often get a very different training approach—they're allowed to have things like friends, and opinions, and maybe even occasional carbs. (They have some sport-specific similarities, too, like small stature—successful gymnasts tend to be on the short side because being short makes rotating midair easier. Something to do with center of gravity and other physics-related things!)
So here we have a book about two male gymnasts (plus their teammates), complete with pommel horse and rings. It will resonate well with fans of enemies-to-lovers books, I think; there's a great deal of screaming at each other and smoldering gazes before they get on with the boinking. For people more interested in gymnastics, though, I'd probably take a pass—it was hard to believe that these Olympic athletes in a body-focused sport were, well, Olympic athletes in a body-focused sport. A bit too much gorging on fast food, getting drunk as a skunk just days before competition, and the coach(!) covering for Oliver and Lucas when they bailed on practice(!), at least for my tastes. This is a book in which the heroes are tall and strapping, as befits a romance novel, but not necessarily as befits a book about gymnasts. My priority is the characters flipping through the air, but if your priority is the characters flipping out, flipping each other off, and then flipping naked into bed, this might be a better fit for you.
Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a free review copy through NetGalley.
I liked this book. It was light, sweet had some nice relationship growth and moments of real vulnerability. I appreciated that is was very low drama and really focused more on the teamwork aspect of the sport and the vulnerability of coming out.
Nice, fun, quick read.
As a former athlete and someone who religiously watches the summer Olympics, I was super excited when I read the book description. The plot was unique and I’m always a sucker for a good enemies to lovers trope.
Unfortunately, this book just didn’t deliver the way I was hoping it would. To me, it read a bit like a fan fiction and the relationship between Lucas and Oliver had my head spinning. Every time I thought their relationship and communication was solidifying, something new would happen and any progress they made was gone.
I also felt the author introduced a lot of events in Lucas’ and Oliver’s lives that warranted further exploration and would have aided in character development, but just wasn’t done (see my full review on Goodreads and StoryGraph for more details with spoilers).
This was a fast paced read and I finished it in 2 days. I would recommend it to someone who enjoys fanfics and the Olympics. There was definitely character growth for both Oliver and Lucas, which I really enjoyed. I also liked the side characters (for the post part).
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Backlit PR for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
[Thanks to NetGalley for proving me with an arc!]
Maybe a little bit generous, but so what? This book made me feel things and I loved it!!!
This was such a sweet read! I think the author developed a proper amount of depth for all the characters that made them incredibly lovable. There was chemistry since the beginning for the two main male characters, and they played off each other really well throughout the book, it got spicier quicker than I imagined, but it wasn’t very descriptive and more or less just said what event had occurred. I liked the friendship that worked throughout the book and I think the banter had me smiling most of the way through the book as well. I loved the Olympic backdrop throughout the book, and while I can’t vouch for understanding any of the gymnastics from a non-gymnastics perspective, it read really well, and it wasn’t too terribly confusing, but not knowing certain gymnastic terminology. The journey the two men took was cute and inspiring, and I look forward to seeing more from this author. 4.5⭐️, 2🌶
Serious issue with the cover however. If the book describes Lucas’ curls and how much Oliver loves them, why is his hair straight on the cover?!
I loved this book so much. This has always been one of my favorite tropes, even though it can get a bit overused. However, Rebecca wrote it perfectly.
The friendships between the characters grew into something I ended up loving. Well... I guess between Oliver and Lucas it was more than friendship, but never the less, I loved it.
Thank you to NetGalley for an eARC copy of this book.
When I saw the description/blurb on this book I instantly wanted to read it. MM, enemies to lovers, and the Olympics. What more could you ask for? While I did enjoy the story, I did also feel like parts of it weren't as developed as they could have been. The side characters in this book were great and I felt like individually Oliver and Lucas were great, but it almost felt like they got together too quickly/easily. Their was just some little spark missing from their connection that I was looking for. I felt like the plot was strong, and maybe needed to be developed a bit more but it was a great plotline.
I did feel like some of the book was hard to understand exactly what was being said, but that was because I felt that the characters used a lot of British slang-which completely made sense for the book seeing as it was the men's GB gymnastics team. It was just something I noticed.
I believe this is one of the author's first few books they have written, and I thought it was a strong start. I look forward to seeing them continue to grow as an author and would definitely read more from them again!
I really enjoyed this one. Excellent pacing, likeable characters, believable romance, and a unique setting. I quite enjoyed the blend of sports and Olympic pagentry with contemporary romance (and I am NOT a sports person). The Olympic Village made for a fun and unique setting, however, I felt that their location in Paris was a bit wasted. Beyond only a couple outings, the characters barely explored any of the city they were in. Maybe this is normal for Olympic athletes with their busy training schedule, but I think the romance of Paris could have better used. Beyond that, my only other critique is that the sex life of our main characters felt pretty unrealistic. I get that they're young and in love, and in peak physical shape, but they seemed to be getting it on every time they were alone, which was a lot. Don't get me wrong, I love the spice, but it didn't feel as realistic to me as the actual enemies to friends-with-benefits to boyfriend romance did. Overall, I really enjoyed this read. It made me laugh out loud at times, smile at the cute moments (and squirm at the cutest). It was a great beach read and exactly what I was looking for on vacation.
"Olympic Enemies" by Rebecca J. Caffery is a captivating story of two gymnasts, Lucas and Oliver, who have been rivals for five years and are forced to room together at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The concept of enemies-to-lovers is explored in the novel, and the author does a fantastic job of illustrating how the two main characters go from being enemies to falling in love.
Lucas and Oliver have a strong dislike for one another at the beginning of the novel. They are clearly still at odds with each other, as seen by the tangible tension between them. They gradually start to open up to one another, though, and learn how to collaborate for the benefit of the team as the story goes on.
The way the author grows the bond between the two main characters is one of the book's strongest features. It handles the change from hatred to love truthfully and gracefully. Throughout the novel, the reader can sense the sexual tension between Lucas and Oliver, and it's obvious that they are attracted to one another even when they are acting irrationally.
The plot is made richer and more intricate by the addition of the other characters, especially Julius and Tom, who make up the remaining members of the British gymnastics team. Each of them has a distinct personality and life story, and their relationships with Lucas and Oliver are well-established. One of the best parts of the book is the interactions between the four of them.
The book's training and competition sections are both written nicely. The reader can feel the anxiety and excitement as the characters train for the Olympics because the author does a fantastic job of depicting the physical and mental demands of gymnastics.
Overall, "Olympic Enemies" is a good read with excellent writing. The story is interesting, and the characters are likeable. The reader is left wanting more of Lucas and Oliver's narrative because of how well the theme of enemies-to-lovers is handled. The book has a good pace; it flows swiftly and easily. This book is absolutely worth reading if you're looking for a story with strong characters and an intriguing relationship.
Thank you so much Rebecca J. Caffery and NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for my honest review.
I don't read much sports romance, but I requested this on NetGalley because I always love watching the gymnastics during the Olympics. There was no way I could pass up the chance to read a romance story with Olympic gymnasts that was both queer and enemies to lovers. The tropes in this book were right up my alley (forced proximity, shared bed, rivals, opposites attract, secret relationship), but the execution faltered a bit and left me somewhat underwhelmed.
Specifically, the writing and pacing were quite rough at times. I had to read some of it multiple times to grasp the meaning of certain sentences, and there were some inconsistencies in the story. For example, one of the characters started worrying about whether the love interest had spilled about their relationship to some friends even though a page earlier he was recollecting that one of the friends walked in while the two of them were in bed together. Why was he worrying so much if at least one of them knew already? There was also an instance where Lucas's sister couldn't get off work because she was a nurse, and then later in the story she's able to attend the games because someone gave her the money even though it was implied earlier she had to stay to work her shifts. Little things like those inconsistencies just irked me and took me out of the story. In general, the pacing was a bit off, as well, and I had a hard time following the timeline at certain points.
The romance was cute with a moderate amount of steam. The author seemed a bit obsessed about the characters running their fingers through each others' hair because it was mentioned in almost every scene with any type of intimacy. The pace of the relationship was a bit strange, as well. I don't know if I'd call it insta-love since they'd known, and hated, each other for five years, but they jumped in bed together pretty quickly once they were stuck in a room together. I would've enjoyed a bit more build up and sexual tension at first, but once they were together I enjoyed their dynamic and seeing how their relationship grew.
As for the characters, I liked them and enjoyed their respective plots outside of the romance. They each had personal things they were dealing with, and their relationship helped them grow and face those things in a healthier way. Lucas and Oliver really did complement each other very well, but their alternating POVs were too similar in voice to really tell them apart. This made them seem less three-dimensional than they could have been. The rest of the cast was good, as well, but they were all fairly one-dimensional.
The final issue I had with this book was its descriptiveness, or lack thereof. If I didn't know what the Olympics or gymnastics routines were like, the descriptions in this book would have likely left me confused. It used a lot of technical sports language without much accompanying explanation. I was able to fill in the blanks in my head, but I doubt everyone will be able to do that if they're not familiar with the subject matter to some degree.
All of that being said, I did still have fun reading this one. If you are looking for a quick, easy sports romance that is entertaining despite its flaws, you might like this book, especially if you are looking for bi male rep and a coming out story too. I loved the idea of this book and wish everything had been perfect, but I still enjoyed following these boys around Paris even though the story didn't feel like it reached its full potential. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.
I adore the enemies to lovers trope, and this read exceeded my expectations. Long-time athletic competitors and teammates with oil and water personalities forced to be roommates?!? 🥵. The tension (and match shouting) was off the chart between Lucas and Oliver! I loved the collar-grabbing and lick-lipping tension, but was completely enamored by each man’s backstory and family connections. This was a fun setting sport’s romance that literally had me near tears by the end. Kudos to the author for creating such fun lead main characters with enough depth and heart to have you googling the names of gymnastics flips and ordering team GB merch. 😂.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Caffery put together a romance novel that, while it did follow the path that most romance novels take, covered a different perspective. We got an inside glimpse at life at the Olympics. We felt the pain of the characters as drama, injuries, and love unfolded.
My biggest downside was the fact that I myself am not a gymnast. I struggled a bit with all the terms, like the names of the tricks (for lack of a better word). I would have appreciated a bit more detail on what those were so that I may have been better able to picture them.
Overall, it was a quick and delightful read and I would recommend to anyone looking for a queer romance. Well done.
Olympic Enemies by Rebecca J. Caffery is the first book I read of this author.
It is an enemies to lovers story, a sweet and easy read.
It depicts the story of Oliver and Lucas, two British gymnasts competing in the 2024 Olympics.
Lucas is introvert and diligent. He has two degrees and is writing his Master’s dissertation while being one of the best gymnasts on floor routine. Oliver is the team captain. They cannot stand each other but they have to share a room while being at the Olympics.
As they spend time together, they realize that they feel an attraction for each other. It was nice observing how Lucas got out of his comfort zone to pursuit his feelings and realizing that Oliver would be not only a hookup but someone to share a promising future.
The side characters are also enjoyable. Tom and Julius are amazing and Alicia is awesome.
I enjoyed this book and I recommend it.
I received an ARC from NetGallery for free, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest review and recommendation.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars rounded up.
This really was a fun and spicy enemies to lovers romance! I enjoyed the characters and the friendships, and appreciated the queer representation in the olympic world. The author did a great job depicting what it must feel like to be in the olympic village in the midst of such a life changing experience; I seriously held my breath as she described some of the competitions! The only thing that bothered me was the pacing. They went from enemies to lovers so fast and I would like to have seen a little more build up between them. Regardless, this was a great read and I look forward to more from this author!
"Olympic Enemies" is a sort of enemies-to-lovers gay romance between fellow gymnasts Lucas and Oliver. The novel alternates between both of their POVs, and although it feels similar in names and dynamics to Alexis Hall's "Boyfriend Material" series, I think the comparison pretty much stops after the first couple of chapter. In my opinion, the book's main weakness is that it has a tough time developing the so called "one tonne sexual tension" it speaks of in its blurb. The novel is on the steamier spectrum but the steamy scenes fade to black before I can really get into them. The ending is a little abrupt too, especially when the drama takes over most of the story. I like drama, but I think a little bit of slow burn thrown into the mix could have done wonders.
I had super high expectations for this one and while I did enjoy it in parts, it didn't live up to those expectations.
The story and writing felt a little too abrupt. You're slammed into the story with very little build-up and things seem to plow on with very little nuance. It made it hard to properly connect to the plot and the characters. I am by no means an expert in Olympic gymnasts and how the competition works outside of a casual interest but the setup rang a little false to me. A lot of the way the team and dynamics/competition seemed to be structured oddly to me and not overly well researched but again I'm not an expert so that could just be how I've perceived it.
I had some issues with the characters; namely, Lucas who I just could not connect with at all until near the very end of the book. Oliver, I liked better but I was increasingly frustrated with his storyline. This novel is, at its core a romance. Which is possibly my biggest fault with it. I didn't buy the romance at all. It went from 'enemies' to lovers way too fast and with no real connection and then just plowed on. For a large part of the novel felt incredibly one-sided and had one character doing all the heavy lifting.
There were parts of this I liked and I loved the friendship between the gymnasts (excluding Lucas for most of it) and there were little bits of dialogue I snorted at. Overall this was just an okay book for me and I felt let down despite this being a fairly easy and flow y read for me.
Olympic Enemies is a sweet romance following Olympic teammates Lucas and Oliver who have a long-standing animosity due to very different personalities. Lucas is driven and solely focused on his own pursuits. Oliver is team captain and the life of the party. Their tension comes to a head when they are roommates at the Olympics and once they give in to their attraction, they find themselves falling for each other.
I found Lucas and Oliver to both be characters that I could relate to and root for. However, I would have appreciated a bit more character development. Once they start hooking up with each other, both boys tend to accept the other’s viewpoint very quickly. They are fighting frequently and then as soon as they start hooking up, they are suddenly very open to seeing things the other boy’s way and meeting each other in the middle without that really being explored very well in either POV. I found the shift from enemies to lovers to be very sudden and jarring. The beginning part of the book as a whole felt very rushed. I would have appreciated much more development both for our characters and for their relationship. The side characters were enjoyable but not particularly memorable.
Overall, this was a sweet and enjoyable sports romance. However, I had some issues with the pacing and the lack of relationship and character development. I enjoyed this book but was expecting more from it.
As a former gymnast, I loved this book so much. I related to the MCs Oliver and Lucas on a deep level. I know the pressure and the timelines of being a gymnast on such a high stage. The rivals to lovers trope always makes my heart soar, and this book is no different. The side characters are interesting and I wanted to know more about them. Oliver's need to take care of the people around him was something deeply personal to me. This book speaks on anxiety, grief, sexuality, and friendship. I loved it.
The book is about the GB gymnastics team going to the Olympics in Paris.
The two MCs, despite being teammates, hate their guts at the beginning, and are forced to room together.
Lucas is a gay athlete, out but very private, a loner that doesn’t mix with the others, works hard and is very focused on his performance.
Oliver is the team captain, the classic “nice guy”: bright, social, and determined to break Lucas’ bubble and bring out the team spirit in him despite their issues.
We will follow them through ups and downs until the end of the competition.
I’m very fond of sports and sport romance, so I enjoyed the story and the setting, but the book needs some more editing because there are several inconsistencies in the writing, and some scenes just don’t make sense, for example they go to the gym to train, and then go back to the dorms without training at all.
The switch from enemies to lovers is very sudden, and other than the physical attraction, could use some more explanation.
Despite the differences in character, the two MCs narrative is very similar, and sometimes I lost sight of who was who.
Some things are not accurate: any athlete could tell that it’s unrealistic to change a routine on a whim, without consulting the coaches, or that anyone could hide a serious injury from the team staff while training and competing at this level.
They also drink alcohol and eat junk food all the time, Lucas being the weird guy because he doesn’t… seriously?
The story has potential, the characters are likable and have a good dynamic, but the whole book has a “work in progress” vibe.
Thank you to NetGallery and the publisher for giving me an ARC copy of this in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you NetGallery and Backlit PR for the advance copy!
I love sports romance books. Considering I am the least athletic person, you would think this is unusual. I love the competition, intensity and dedication that athletes need to put into their sport. This book is the best kind of sports romance. Two rival gymnastics on the same Olympic team stuck together as roommates. They couldn’t be more opposite Lucas is serious, dedicated and keeps to himself. Oliver (ohhhhhh Oliver) is dedicated, the leader of the team and totally attracted to Lucas!
Honestly, I read this in a day! I loved the characters and I loved their other Friends on the team! I loved how Lucas was all about his family and well Oliver was all about getting close to Lucas. This reminded me of Boyfriend Material and Red, White and Royal Blue! That is a VERY high compliment.
The release date is February 6th! I highly recommend this book! I can’t wait for @rjcafferyauthor next book!
This started out really strong and had a very high potential.
This book had everything I could've wanted.
- Enemies to lovers
- both MCs are athletes
- roommates while at the Olympics
- A friend group
I enjoyed it but only if I ignore the continuity and grammatical errors. It was such a sweet romance and it could've easily made it to one of my all time favorites but I can't help feeling the writing wasn't anywhere near perfect.
Even though this is an ARC so things might still be changed, I feel like this book needs to go through a lot more rounds of edits. It doesn't feel at all polished. There are grammatical errors, continuity errors and more. There are parts where the writing is so choppy, just jumping from one scene to the next without taking the readers through it. There are parts where things don't make any sense especially the conflict at the end. It made me feel nothing at all because the execution was so bad, and it read as if the MCs were unreliable narrators and didn't know what was going through their own minds.
I'll still recommend it to people in the hopes that the released version will be a lot better in these terms since these were my only problems with the book.
This is a dual point of view between the two leads, which I always love in a romance with getting both sides of the story.
Gymnastics books are rare & as gymnastics was basically my first love for 15 years, I get ecstatic when I find one!
I will say occasionally the way gymnastics moves were described was strange to me, but perhaps that’s my being an American thing & we describe them differently?! Also, as they competed they didn’t follow Olympic order of the events, which seems odd. & not to be pedantic, but the order in which team & event finals unfolded didn’t follow the Olympic pattern. I have never been to the Olympics but I have watched avidly for years & as a competitive gymnast of over a decade, these moments took me out of the story.
There was an instance described where one of the leads pushed the other one against the wall in anger & that didn’t feel safe, sound or necessary, nor did it create a solid foundation for a relationship, enemies or not.I did keep reading & the switch from hostile enemies to lovers happened extremely quickly.
As I kept reading, I did enjoy the last third of the book & how everything happened. There were some great bits that conveyed important things, which I don’t want to spoil.
I wanted to love this so much & I thought the concept was amazing, but it just wasn’t quite right for me personally.
Massive thanks to NetGalley & The Wild Rose Press for the arc, which I voluntarily read & reviewed.
Trigger warnings: This book mentions &/or contains brief mentions of death of loved one who is pregnant, grief, injury & forced coming out via leaked photos.
I rounded up to 3 stars.
Enemies to lovers. Gymnastics. LGBTQIA representation. It was exactly what you think it’s going to be. It kept my interest and I enjoyed it.
Could use a good editor, though. (Weary and Wary are not synonymous.)
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review it
This book was so cute. I truly enjoyed Ollie and Lucas’s story of becoming enemies to lovers. I have family who do gymnastics, so I was very impressed by the terminology used. I will definitely be recommending to my followers!
I've always loved the Olympic games and was excited to find a story written about athletes at the Games. This is a queer sports romance following two British gymnasts who have not gotten along and are forced to share a room in the Village. Their story is nothing short of inspirational as they navigate their growing feelings for each other and the stress of competing at such a high level. All the supporting characters are developed nicely and you will come out of this with a definite soft spot for all the Team GB guys and the coaches too. I loved this book and I hope the author makes this a series or at the very least, gives us a sequel so we can catch up with Oliver and Lucas in the future.
Many thanks to NetGalley and The Wild Rose Press for the eARC of this book. I loved it!
Thank you to Wild Rose Press INC and Netgalley for sending me an advanced copy of Olympic Enemies in exchange for an honest review.
Olympic Enemies centers around Lucas and Oliver, both members of the British men's gymnastics team, Olympic-bound for Paris in 2024. Oliver and Lucas have hated each other for the last five years even though they have been to several Worlds competitions together. In order to win gold in Paris, they may not have a choice but to set aside their differences and come together.
Lucas was a very interesting character that I personally felt connected to because he is very family-orientated and he is extremely dedicated not only to gymanastics, but to academics as well. This isn't something you find in books very often so I loved that aspect. On the flip side, you have Oliver who is a complete social butterfly and whose entire life revolves around gymnastics and his two best friends, Tom and Julius.
One of the best parts of the book for me was how I went from absolutely hating Oliver in the beginning to him easily becoming one of my favorite characters. He had such great character development and his relationships not only with Lucas but also with his friends of five years all got a lot better.
While I absolutely loved the progression of Lucas and Oliver's relationship, I felt like it almost happened too fast for how long the book was. It would have been nice to learn a little bit more about their relationship before the events of this book. I feel like it would have rounded out their relationship a bit better. Even with this factor, my heart absolutely broke for them in the third act. While it felt completely natural, the way it happened made me so sad for them because they had worked so hard to get to where they were.
However, by the end of the book, I was absolutely squealing! This book ended in the best way and I hope we get to see some more of Lucas and Oliver. I would love to know what happens to them after the end of the Paris Olympics.
Overall, I would give this book a strong 4 stars and would defiinitely read another book if the author chooses to write one. I would also recommend this book to fans of Red, White, and Royal Blue!
Lucas and Oliver are both gymnasts who have been enemies throughout their careers. Now that they’re both on the team for the 2024 Paris Olympics, they will have to work together. As if that wasn’t enough proximity already, they are roommates.
And they were roommates…
This book got me out of my reading slump. It’s been a while since I’ve wanted to discard all responsibilities in life and keep on reading. Lucas and Oliver were really fun to read about. I’m always game for a sports romance and an enemies-to-lovers plot only sweetens the deal.
However, I found it to be a fast switch from hate to love and I personally would’ve liked to see some more time spent becoming softer around each other before being lovers.
Nevertheless, I had a great time.
Many thanks to NetGalley and author/publisher for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review
(Review will be posted on Goodreads and The Storygraph on the 20th of January. Links are added.)
Olympic Enemies by Rebecca J Caffery
This book was SO MUCH FUN to read! I really love Gymnastics and I found both Oliver and Lucas(and their whole team) to be so loveable. This book struck the perfect balance of handling serious topics, providing comedic relief, and adding in just the right amount of spice and I really love LGBTQ+ romances and the representation they provide. This book is currently in the running for my favorite book from January so far and I think this story really has a little something for everyone!
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I have a lot to say about this book.
I find very important the message that transmits, and I appreciate that it gives visibility to LGTBIQ+ athletes. More authors should do. It seems that when coming out of the closet, his achievements disappear and become “that gay athlete” and not “that athlete who got a gold medal”. Media focus only on “what it’s like to be gay in the world of sports” not on the effort that goes into getting high. You’re just gay. That’s the criticism that this book makes, and that is why I find it so special and so necessary.
Oliver and Lucas are endearing and watching their evolution has been a roller coaster of emotions. Watch them go from, for my very short taste, enemies to lovers to lovers, seeing how the relationship begins little by little, how they meet and help each other improve and discover new facets of live. Spice scenes also gave their point to the story. They were well described but I wish they were more described 😈.
The supporting characters are also a 100/10, while reading I felt that I knew them, that they were my friends. Provided very good moments of humor and helped develop our partner.
I could have enjoyed more if I had more vocabulary about gymnastics because there were parts where I didn’t understand at all what they said. But I did like it a lot, and would have liked it better if I had more pages to continue enjoying this story.
I highly recommend it!
This was a solid romance novel. The enemies to lovers romance was totally believable and the characters had great chemistry. The side characters were dimensional and contributed to the plot and banter of the story in great ways. I think that it displays the struggles of coming out as an athlete well. There are some parts of the sports elements of the story that don't feel quite accurate. I'm not a professional gymnast or Olympian but even I know some of these things wouldn't happen and that's not the order the competitions are run in. Still, was an enjoyable read!
This was such a cute and very easy read. It does feel a bit flat and the buildup is nonexistent. The characters are a bit plain but likeable. However it fits the rom-com vibes and it wasn't a major issue. I really loved Lucas! I recommend the book to those who like romance books and sports. It does feel a bit technical at times with the vocabulary used but it's readable. A must read for those looking for lgbtq+ representation.
This was adorable. I am a sucker for sports romances, and especially international competition based ones. Everyone living together for a couple weeks? Sign me up!
Off the bat I did notice there were some grammar mistakes, but as this is an ARC, I’m hoping that’ll be cleaned up.
I fell in love with Ollie and Lucas and their journey together! I do think it was a bit instant, but not in a bad way. Just in a way that when you look back, you can see that Ollie had probably felt this way for awhile.
I also loved the side characters and I am a bit put out that they weren’t explored any more, at all. Would have loved Tom to have gotten a bit of a plot, and to have seen Julius tell Ollie about the pregnancy. I think an epilogue of sorts would have made sense in this book.
Overall, it was a cute read and I’m glad I read it!
*I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley and my reviews are completely my own*
I picked up this book because I adore both rivals to lovers and also the Olympics, especially the gymnastics. It focuses more on the relationship between the two main characters, Oliver and Lucas, than the Olympics or gymnastics itself though, which can feel more like a setting and sometimes plot device rather than a central part of the story. The romance itself was fairly cute though and I enjoyed it for the most part although sometimes I had to remind myself that I was reading about men and not boys, as they seemed a tad immature and somewhat separated from the more senior adults in the novel.
There is a great base story here but I do think it could do with some more editing and perhaps a new cover. The balance between the athletes personal lives and their training at an Olympic level seemed somewhat skewed although I’m guessing their amount of training was probably not written about as much in favour of how they spent their free time in the Olympic village and Paris, despite the fact that the two men would have been sharing a training room almost all day every day. Sometimes I also got the POV’s between Lucas and Oliver mixed up if I happened to put the book down in the middle of a chapter, they can come off as fairly similar at times despite the story trying to tell us how different they are from each other.
It’s a quick and easy read though and if you enjoy the things mentioned in the synopsis, being mostly romance, gymnastics and the Olympics, then I’d recommend giving it a try.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me an ARC in exchange for my unbiased review and opinion!
I throughly enjoyed reading this! Short chapters, interesting characters, enemies to lovers, gay and bi-sexual rep, gymnastics and more!
I think the author described the Olympics quite well, from Opening Ceremonies to medal ceremonies. And didn’t dwell too much on them. This is a new adult fiction novel, not non-fiction on the Olympics.
The dual POV threw me off a bit at first because I had the characters figured out but I easily caught on and then loved seeing both sides.
If you liked Boyfriend Material and Red, White and Royal Blue, you’ll love this!
Have you ever wondered what the lovechild of Red, white and Royal Blue and Boyfriend Material would look like?
Olympic Enemies follows Lucas and Oliver, two British Gymnasts who have been rival gymnasts for the past five years but are currently on the same team for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. As a consequence, they are aware that they will see each other everyday. Little do they know they will also have to share a room in the Olympic Village, which will lead them to the inevitable: face everything unspoken between them.
Even though the promise of the story is both entertaining and exciting and I overall enjoyed the book, Olympic Enemies was badly executed. I am going to set forth my views in Olympic Enemies and how it should have been improved.
Firstly, the narrative pacing. From the beginning, the reader can feel that the author was determined to rush the story through so Lucas and Oliver would kiss. However, the fast pace of the narrative remained a part of the book, especially the last couple of chapters in which I felt overwhelmed with the amount of events that occurred and I had to process. To my mind, the author could have prevented this by adding scenes in which the reader could dive more into the developing of Lucas and Olivers' relationship. Furthermore, I believe the last chapters should have been longer since the reader needed a moment to take a breath within that part of the novel.
Secondly, the book's abrupt ending. Although I liked the way the novel has ended, it strikes me that the author could have added one more chapter or an epilogue where she offered an insight of Lucas and Oliver's life together after the Olympics.
Thirdly, the main characters' narrative voices. Throughout the reading process of the book, I found it difficult to distinguish which of the two characters were speaking. Sometimes I had to double check if I was following the story by the correct character's POV. Were I the author, I would improve the characters' narrative voices by giving each characters some expressions that will make them distinguishable for the reader or exploiting the characters' personalities to the full.
Last but not least, the lack of editing of the book since grammatical mistakes can be spotted easily while reading it.
Despite all this, I believe the promise of the story is both entertaining and easy to read. Moreover, there were some sweet moments between Lucas and Oliver that made my heart soar. Therefore, I would recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a sweet and interesting book.
Thank you to Netgalley, Rebecca J Caffery, and The Wild Rose Press, Inc. for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this LGBTQ Romance! I didn't know if I would enjoy it a ton because I know zero about gymnastics, but I had no problem getting into this book and enjoying the characters as well as I could tackle a general understanding of the sport from what the author wrote. Would recommend! The enemies to lovers was also very well written!
Okay so this book was so good.
I absolutely loved it and will be getting myself a physical copy when it comes out in my local bookstore.
Thank you netgalley for providing the arc.
While I enjoyed the romance between Lucas and Oliver, it could have been a bit longer to strengthen the storylines and the lax editing made it a bit harder to enjoy. It was a quick read and fast paced which sucked me it but it faltered with the flow and lack of detail in some areas. There was some potential for real gems in the story but then those passages were kind of left in the wind which was a big stumbling block for me. I really felt this book had more potential but it started to fall a bit flat at the end, I also would have liked for their "enemies" era to go a bit longer and be more fleshed out before they become lovers.
I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley for providing an honest review.
Olympic Enemies es una historia de amistad, sueños y sí, de amor.
En detalles técnicos, la narración resulta fluida y adictiva. Es una novela cuyo desarrollo está lleno de momentos adorables y muy divertidos. Desde la página número uno se puede sentir una tensión palpable entre los personajes principales, que sin dudas solo hace que las cosas se vuelvan más interesantes.
Además, siendo fan de las temáticas literarias deportivas y los Juegos Olímpicos, sentí que -a nivel personal- era una muy buena combinación de todos los elementos que hacen que me enamore de un libro. Y que a su vez, tocaba temas muy sensibles referente a los mismos, con los que las personas se pueden identificar de cualquier manera.
Sinceramente me pareció una muy buena opción para los fanáticos de Red, White and Royal Blue, y/o de series como Young Royals.
Mi única observación es, bueno, en realidad la portada no me encanta, pero supongo que eso ya es otro asunto.
Forever on the hunt for something that will give the same feels as RWRB? The good news is that this comes close!
Lucas and Oliver are teammates competing at the Paris Olympics and are roomed together, which is great except they hate each other. I think you can fill in the trope blanks from there.
Overall, I enjoyed it, this was better than other sport romances because of a personal attachment to the Olympics so I really loved that. However, I felt the plot jumped around a lot without really getting to the meat of what was going on, while also really telling the reader what is happening instead of showing us. Also, I read this as an ARC so there were quite a few errors I noticed, but I’m sure these would have been cleaned up for publishing.
Overall / would recommend!
I will talk about this on my podcast next month. Olympic Enemies was an adorable and fun sports romance book. I wish there was some diversity within the main cast of characters. Other than that it’s a fun book.
If you like sports romances this is the book for you, it gave me the best fuzzy feels. They gravitated towards each other so well, I laughed, cried and watching many many gymnastics videos after this. I appreciate the moves being described with detail it made it easier for me to visualize. Caffery did a great job giving an insight to the pain and ambition of being an athlete.
(It is FTB so if you're looking for fully detailed smut scenes it won't be here but it's still a great read and she's very descriptive with everything else!)
This was a fun, queer, enemies to lovers story centered around gymnast teammates at the 2024 Paris Olympic games. Lucas and Ollie are polar opposites, which leads them to constantly bump heads the entire 5 years they have competed together. Now, with gold medals on the line, they need to shape up and get their acts together and start playing nice if they want any chance of winning. Olympic Enemies was a cute romance surrounding two boys living the greatest moments of their lives, while simultaneously falling in love, despite outside forces trying to tear them apart. I enjoyed the story, the pacing, and the characters. There were a lot of technical terms involving gymnastics that went over my head, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book.
*Review posted on Goodreads on 1/23
The romance in this book was very cute! i love the rivals to teammates to friends to lovers stepping stone that happens throughout the book and i really enjoyed the duel pov so we could get insight into both characters.
i feel as though the olympic/athletic side of things possibly could’ve been researched more to make it more authentic to olympic athletes.
overall, it was a fun sports romance with some great characters!
Today’s *spoiler free* review is brought to you by YZ🍀
📌 𝑶𝒗𝒆𝒓𝒂𝒍𝒍 𝑽𝒆𝒓𝒅𝒊𝒄𝒕: A WordWanderlust’s ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Read
📁 𝑮𝒆𝒏𝒓𝒆: LGBTQ, YA Romance Comedy, BL/MLM, Athletes
📚 𝑻𝒉𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉𝒕𝒔: I remember requesting this on NetGalley because the description of the book seemed so interesting and I was not disappointed. I have never read a book that features professional athletes before so it was interesting to explore such a genre for the first time.
This was an easy read, I managed to devour it within 5 hours! I particularly enjoyed the romantic tension between the two male leads. Olympic Enemies was rather smutty for me, smuttier than the usual BL books I’ve read to be honest. If you are into some descriptive sexual action, this is the book for you haha.
I really enjoyed the sporty parts of this book. I have always been fascinated with gymnastics and some of the iconic moves being described really helped to engage my reading interests. There was a good balance between the sporting side of things and the more romantic one - I really appreciated this delicate balance.
Overall, this was a really pleasant read. The characters were likeable despite their flaws. I felt like I understood their internal struggles as queer individuals coming to terms with their sexuality, especially as popular national athletes subjected to the scrutiny of the public eye. The ending was a tad bit rushed but this was no biggie for me. Somehow, I think this book is well-suited for a sequel - it kinda gave me the same vibes as Alexis Hall’s Boyfriend Material!
If you have some time to spare, I suggest giving this book a shot!
For more genuine and unfiltered reviews, follow us @wordwanderlust!
🧡eARC Review🧡 Olympic Enemies by @rjcafferyauthor 🤸🤸♀️🤸♂️🥇🥈🥉
Thank you to Rebecca and @thewildrosepress for providing me with a copy for review 😁.
First things first, I really don't like Enemies to Lover but it is in the title of the book so I did my best to park those reservations.
I really enjoyed my time with this book. It was fun. I enjoyed watching Lucas open up, to him becoming more with Olympic success and as a human being.
I really enjoyed Ollie once all the fake (confused?) hate towards Lucas was out of the way, which is pretty early on.
This is when I go back to the Enemies to Lovers issues. There is more than enough chemistry between Lucas and Ollie to make up for my issues with it - because who doesn't love more time in a story enjoying the 'happy' couple.
But the relationship/sex/intimacy develops far too quickly. The pair are together by about 30-40% through. I was sitting there at the 50% mark wondering what the second half of the book could actually be about.
Is it perfect? no. But what is? It was fun, I had a great time and really that is all you can ask for. Plus, if you love gymnastics then you will love it!
Releasing 6 February 2023.
I was sent this book by Net Galley and Wild Rose Press for free in exchange for a honest review.
When I first heard about this book, I was super excited for a rivals to lovers sports book, as sports romance is one of my favorite genres. However, I quickly had a few problems. Primarily, I disliked how we never saw why they were rivals, and as soon as they kissed, they suddenly got over all their animosity. Another problem I had was that I got the impression the author did not do enough research into gymnastics. For instance, every character was around 6 foot, which is extremely tall for an Olympic gymnast. Finally, I felt the book needed another round of editing, as there were frequently grammar mistakes.
If you are looking for a quick sports romance, this might be worth picking up, but it is not great by any means.
I finished this book in one night and really enjoyed it. The premise is interesting and it was what got my attention in the first place, the whole theme of the Olympics, the Olympic village, the competitions and the press make the story especially attractive.
However, what I really liked were the protagonists. Lucas is an intelligent and talented boy, but he has problems socializing, he tends to isolate himself from the group and that causes him problems with his team. Oliver is the complete opposite, he is outgoing, works very well in a team and is a bit of a jerk, but he means well. This contrast of personalities is one of my favorite tropes in fiction and the author does a good job with Oliver and Lucas, who also have a lot of chemistry.
The book reads quickly and makes good use of all the elements it raises throughout the story, however, the title can be a bit misleading, as the main characters get along badly for just a few chapters before solving their problems and starting a relationship. If you are looking for an “enemies to lovers” or a “rivals to lovers”, this book probably won't meet your expectations. Also, I'm going to be honest, I don't think the athletics thing is that realistic, so if you're a big fan you might be disappointed by this too.
In my case, it was a small disappointment, but once I got over that idea I was able to enjoy reading much more. The narrative is great, the characters are adorable, the story can be raw at times, yet it's still a spicy romance that's thoroughly enjoyed.
We follow Lucas and Oliver in a dual POV as they compete in the 2024 olympics for Great Britain in gymnastics. The book starts off with a chapter from Lucas’s POV. We see his resentment for Oliver and I’m expecting us to find out why. But then reading the next chapter from Oliver’s POV we see no reason why anyone would hate him. He seems like a great team captain who cares about his teammates. Usually in an enemy to lover book there is a clear reason why one party hates the other party and there was none of that in this book. Other than referencing some arguments they had previously with no justification there’s no reason for Lucas and Oliver to hate each other. We kept being told that they don’t like each other and can’t stand to be in the same room yet their actions show something completely different. Even their thought unless it is specifically “I hate Lucas” or “I hate Oliver” tell us a different story.
They have been teammates for 5 years. I question the plausibility of this not happening sooner. I’m sure they’ve gone to competitions together before and had to have shared rooms. The whole enmities part of the book just missed the mark especially since they get together so quickly. There’s no tension. There’s no “I shouldn’t be feeling this”. I feel like this is a popular trope the author just wanted to check off to draw people (e.g., me) to read the book.
One thing the book does well though is the sports aspect. I know nothing about gymnastics but Caffery does a good job of adding a bit of technical description followed by description of how the movements flow together and the beauty of gymnastics. Regardless of the apparatus I never felt like I was at a disadvantageous not knowing anything about the sport. I wish there was a bit more breakdown of what the scores meant though. She touches on adding a multiplier for difficulty and taking points off for errors but when someone scores a 15.5 or a 16.2 I have no idea how much difficulty or expertise separates these 2 scores.
Overall though I enjoyed the book when not viewing it as enemies to lovers. It’s definitely predictable at times but I felt like the familiar script didn’t take away from the book.
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