It’ll take more than medals to mend their relationship.
Diabetic gymnast and team alternate Sol Ashvili had one thing on his agenda when the 2016 Rio Olympics wrapped up—confess to his teammate and best friend Tony Thomas that he’d been in love with him for years. But Tony took a major deduction in Sol’s heart when he jetted out of Rio and turned his back on an almost-finished college degree, international gymnastics meets… and Sol. The first two Sol could forgive—barely. The last? Not a chance.
Tony’s crowd-pleasing, no-holds-barred, high-octane gymnastics style stole its nickname from a legendary gymnastics move—the Thomas Flair. After the 2016 Games, he vaulted into a career as an internet celebrity, specializing in extreme sports and risky stunts. When Tony decides to battle his way into competition shape to earn a spot on the 2020 Olympic team, he has to survive the most extreme risk of all: facing Sol again.
For the sake of the team and the reputation of US men’s gymnastics, Sol and Tony must leave the past behind and get a grip on working together. And as the Games draw closer, they realize that being more than teammates might be the only way they can truly fly high and stick the landing.
The Thomas Flair is a 64,000-word friends to enemies to lovers second-chance rom-com set around the Tokyo Olympics that might have been, featuring a thrill-seeker who needs reining in, a perfectionist who needs to let go, redemption, rowdy teammates, and a few risky moves that will never make it into the Code of Points.
It’s a shame that the Olympics are postponed as I am sure this book would get a lot more traction as I am sure it was designed to do. Still worth a read.
Friends to enemies to friends to lovers. Sol and Tony have been best friends since meeting at the gymnastics gym for the first time as kids. They were practically inseparable. Until right after the 2016 Olympic games when Tony was chosen to take over for a hurt gymnast and Sol was still an alternate. Tony had some guilt with that and walked away before the Olympics were even over. Without a backward glance or a goodbye.
Four years later and Sol is getting ready for the Olympic trials. And wanting good PR for the team, Tony is invited to try out, even though he has mostly been off the circuit, instead hosting an extreme sports Youtube channel.
For one thing, the author really knows her stuff- or did awesome research- about gymnastics. Floor exercise wasn’t mentioned much- but the “exciting” events of high bar, etc were central. She even brought up the uniforms and maybe that is one of the reasons that men’s gymnastics isn’t nearly as popular as women’s.
Sol is also a diabetic. It was the reason he got into gymnastics in the first place. And while it plays a significant role in the story, it doesn’t over power the story either.
It doesn’t take that long for Sol and Tony to make up and take their relationship up a notch. They were cute together, even if they both used FAR too many gymnastics terms during and about sex. Little bit cringy and eye rolling.
Overall, it was a fun book to read and would be great to read if the Olympics were actually going on. I hope it gets a boost next year when (hopefully) the Games are played.
3.5 Pieces of Eye Candy