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Cecilia‘s review of Love on the Tracks by Tamsen Parker
Contemporary Sports Romance published by Swerve (SMP) 05 Dec 17

I very, very rarely read contemporary romance, even though one might argue that I write it. Confusing, I know. And I’m even less likely to pick up a book featuring (GASP) younger characters, because, now that I’m 40, I’m out of bothers and I want these damn kids off my lawn. But I dig Tamsen Parker’s politics, I’ve heard good things about her books, I have a couple of her (ahem) more intense novels on my Kindle, so why not jump into this Olympic-themed novella before the 2018 Winter Games?

So first off I’ll note that because I’m pretty much the human female version of Old Man Yells At Cloud, I’d consider this almost a new adult read (Rowan is 20, Zane is 26). Which gives Parker a ton of credit, because, while I rarely read contemporary, I run away from NA like that NOPE octopus gif. It’s just not really my bag. But sports? Adorableness? Celeb on celeb crush? “Fake” dating arrangement? And it’s all in novella form?



Rowan is expected/hoping to medal in luge at the Snow and Ice Games. She’s got a huge crush on Zane Rivera, one of the singers for super hot-boy band License to Game. He reads an article about her, notices that she mentions her megacrush, and decides he wants to make this shit happen. They meet, it’s a great photo op for both of them, and they concoct a media-friendly “hey, let’s date but not really because of course nothing could really come of it right” scheme.


Rowan and Zane are cute. Adorkable at times. Enough so that you forget that they’re theoretically in high-pressure professions, have to be on all the time, and are relatively attractive to boot. And the sex is wonderfully and refreshingly real. I dig realistic sex with honest convos that I can see happening in real life. I don’t need them hanging from the chandelier or fucking upside down or whatever. I want them talking about what they like and what they don’t like, and I especially want a wee bit of that sweet, sweet post-coital bliss.

If I had one complaint it’s that I did feel that their luuuuuurve was a bit rushed. But it’s a novella, so obviously you gotta bring it all together quickly. And, having once been in my twenties, I do remember that overwhelming physical connection that manifests itself in deep emotional attachment quicker than you can imagine. Of course, I broke up with the guy like two months later, but I am sure Rowan and Zane will totally not be like that. Because they’re much better suited than I was with that guy, who hated The Sound of Music. Honestly, who hates The Sound of Music?

But I digress. This is a solid start to what appears to be a lighthearted, minimally angsty series. Get me passes to all the events because I want more.

Grade: B


Welcome to the Snow and Ice Games where the competition is fierce and the romance is HOT.

Rowan Andrews is the unexpected darling of the Denver Snow and Ice Games. Luge has never captured the American public’s imagination as much as figure skating or even hockey, but her outsized personality and dare-devil ways have got everyone’s eyes glued to the track. Including a certain chart-topping heartthrob.

Zane Rivera is the lead singer of License to Game, the hottest band in the country. When Zane finds out Rowan Andrews has had some complimentary things to say about him, he arranges to meet her while he’s in Denver enjoying the games. And when a photo of him kissing Rowan on the cheek goes viral, they both see the advantages of faking a relationship for the publicity.

After Rowan’s injured in her final race, their relationship starts to feel all too real to Zane. But is this rock star ready to fall in love?

No excerpt available.