Liza Petrov’s entire life has been about skating and winning her sport’s top prize – Olympic gold. She’s stayed sheltered inside her bubble, not daring to stray from her destined path.
Until she meets Braden Patrick.
He makes her heart flutter with possibility, and for the first time she gets a taste of a normal teenage life. She longs to have both the boy and the gold, but stepping outside her bubble comes with a price. As Liza begins to question both her future and her past, can she stay focused on the present and realize her ultimate dream?
Liza, daughter of Sergei and stepdaughter of Em from LIFE ON THE EDGE, gets her own story. At 18, she’s preparing for the Winter Olympics, her life resembling anything but a typical teen one. Until she meets Braden, a dreamy college freshman from UMass. It took me nearly half of the book to really get into it. The first half is almost completely devoid of any serious conflict, and I couldn’t even really identify the antagonist. But once the skating portion really got going at about the 50% point, the story took off.
Liza decides she can’t risk her Olympic dreams by giving into her feelings for a boy, so she keeps him at arm’s length. That doesn’t keep her from being possessive and jealous, though, when other girls pay attention to him. Braden decides to wait for Liza as she focuses on skating, ignoring the attention from may attractive girls, including his childhood BFF, Sam. Liza attempts to paint Sam as the bad guy, but I just never could see her that way. I found her quite sympathetic. So while the romance didn’t have me swooning, the skating sure did. The story hits the mark when Liza takes the ice in Detroit. Tensions ramp up between Liza and Kathy, one of her coaches.
While I think the main plot is the romance, the skating is probably a stronger plot. Liza’s grit and determination, her discipline and professionalism are front and center as she works her way through the competitions leading up to the Olympics. There is plenty of drama, conflict, and feels when it comes to this part of the story. The romance doesn’t fall flat by any means, it just wasn’t my favorite part of the story.
While I needed time to warm up to Liza, once I did, I rooted for her fully. She still had moments where she got on my nerves, but when it came to reaching her skating goals, I was behind her one hundred percent. Braden is definitely likeable enough, but he wasn’t developed to the point that I fully got a sense of him. There were times he came across as flat. The characters that I enjoyed the most, even though I didn’t particularly like them, were Kathy and Liza’s mom. Both were controlling in different ways, but I really felt as if I had a sense of who they were and why they did the things they did.
What Didn’t Work for Me
1. Lack of Conflict. The lack of conflict in the first half of the book made it difficult for me to stick with at times.
2. Braden. I never got a good sense of his character.
3. Liza’s Angst. While pushing Braden away with one hand, she hated on every girl who paid attention to him. It seemed childish for someone of her age and with her level of maturity.
What I Enjoyed About GOLD RUSH
1. Skating. I love the competitive skating part of the story. The descriptions are detailed and draw me in.
2. Competitive Liza. When she’s not pining away for a boy she can’t even decide if she wants, she’s a fierce competitive with drive, who knows what she wants and goes after it full bore.
3. Kathy. This was more of a love-hate relationship, but she’s the true antagonist in the story, so I needed her. I would have liked more of her though.
4. Sam. I liked Sam a lot. No, I didn’t want her to end up with Braden, but I didn’t see her as a romantic rival, either. I saw her as a girl who was in love with a boy not in love with her. That’s a sympathetic character no matter which way you look at it.
5. The ending. No spoilers 🙂
GOLD RUSH has a solid sports storyline that carries the weaker romance across the finish line.
About the Book
Title: GOLD RUSH
Author: Jennifer Comeaux
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Sports Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Smashwords
About the Author
Jennifer Comeaux is a tax accountant by day, writer by night. There aren’t any ice rinks near her home in south Louisiana, but she’s a diehard figure skating fan and loves to write stories of romance set in the world of competitive skating. One of her favorite pastimes is travelling to competitions, where she can experience all the glitz and drama that inspire her writing. Jennifer loves to hear from readers! Visit jennifercomeaux.blogspot.com for contact information and to learn more about her books.
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