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Riding the Board

Riding the Board - Cate Ashwood 3.5 Stars

Blake Emmerich had his sights set on the 2016 Olympics in Brazil when his synchronised diving partner suffered a career ending accident whilst performing at the Nationals. Shaken by the incident, and without a diving partner, he decides to take a year off and hasn't been in the water since. But his coach has other ideas and organises a new partner for Blake. Enter solo diving champion, Nick Freeman. Nick is looking to add synchronised diving to his events as a good move for his career. He brings with him a reputation as a standoffish prick and Blake is not happy! Unfortunately for Blake, his body disagrees with him and seems to like Nick just fine! When their dislike of each other carries on too far during practise, their exasperated coach cuffs them together for a week in the hope that learning to work with the restrictions of being cuffed together will also teach them to work together in diving.

It's established from the start that Nick is a prick. The fact that we are repeatedly told that by the author wasn't really necessary. And yes, Nick really was a prick at the start. But it would have been better to just let the reader see that with his actions and behaviour rather than unnecessarily reinforcing it by being told as well. Fortunately, a couple of days into their forced proximity, and after a very rough start, Nick's attitude does improve when his attempt at some well needed sleep by getting some 'release' first, necessitate in Blake getting up close and personal. Well, he needed the hand that just happened to be cuffed to Blake! But will their newfound passion for each other translate to their diving? Or will it all fall apart again in the morning?

"That second you jump from the tower or when you're riding the board and everything lines up for the perfect dive? There's nothing better than that," he said, grinning. "Well, almost nothing."
- Nick

Cute little story, although there were a couple of little inconsistencies, which should have been picked up in editing: one being Blake's age. Although neither characters' ages were specifically mentioned, it seems unlikely that a ten year old Nick would have been watching an already well known professionally competing Blake and who is still competing at an Olympic level now. Either Blake was very young himself when he was competing and being seen by the ten year old Nick, or Nick is very young at the time of this story, but I definitely got the impression that they were not that far apart in age. Both characters ended up being quite likeable, but it would have been nice to see some more change in Nick's interactions with Blake outside of sex. It'd also have been nice to get to know him a little better. Nick, especially, felt fairly under developed. While the premise may be a little unlikely, it was fun and sexy, so really, who cares! All in all, it was fun and sexy. And the sex scenes were hot!