Spangler, Rachel. “Edge of Glory”, Bywater Books, 2017.
I am constantly surprised at the diversity of the books published by Bywater Books and it is equally surprising that I have enjoyed every book from the press that I have read. I was not sure what to expect in a love story about lesbians training for the Olympics and I soon realized that this is a very special book with wonderful descriptions and the thrill of competition. More than that, it is a story about friendship and how it grows and develops.
We meet Corey LaCroix, an Olympic snowboarder, and skier Elise Brandies who both feel very much at home in the snow and cold temperatures where they feel safe. Things, however, heat up… (but we will get to that).
Elise is a cold woman who lives life as if it is a business and she knows that she is to be the best alpine ski racer in the world. However, she has already lost Olympic medals on two occasions and this has considerably hurt her ego. As if that does not bother her enough, she has also had to have several knee surgeries and her When she is finally cleared by her doctors, she is determined to make the greatest comeback that has ever been seen and she is not about to let anything hinder that. Compromise is not a word that is in her vocabulary and she demands total control of herself and the environment she is in. What we see that she doesn’t is her vulnerability.
Corey is now at the end of her career, having turned thirty. She has had an illustrious career and was the best at Boardercross since the sport became a main event. She loves life and has been and remains a hard worker. However, she feels unsure about the upcoming Olympics. She is not sure that she can beat the competition and she knows that regardless of how hard she works, her chances are not what they once were. She really wants to add another medal to her collection (and she wants to meet Elise). She is well aware of Elise’s personality and she takes that as part of the game.
Because she is such a nice person she has been lucky in being noticed by other women and she seems to take everything as it comes, even Elise’s overt nastiness. The tabloids have unfortunately not been kind to her. (It takes quite an author to create two such distinct characters and Rachel Spangler is one such writer). It is interesting that we see the two women going opposite ways in regards to each other but then…………. Romance comes but it does so slowly. This is a character driven novel and it challenges us in that we sense that Elise and Corey will eventually become a couple but they must first get to know each other and build trust. When that romance comes, it is very special. I can say the same about this book; it is very special. I am no expert on romance between women even though I review many lesbian novels and this one of the best of them.