Review: Heels Over Head by Elyse Springer

Monday, May 29, 2017

Title: Heels Over Head
Author: Elyse Springer
Genre: MM Romance
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: May 29th, 2017

 Jeremy Reeve is one of the best divers in the world, and he’s worked hard to get where he is. He intends to keep pushing himself with one very clear goal in mind: winning gold at the summer Olympics in two years. That medal might be the only way to earn his father’s respect as an athlete.

Brandon Evans is everything Jeremy isn’t: carefree, outgoing, and openly gay. With his bright-blue eyes and dramatic tattoos, he’s a temptation that Jeremy refuses to acknowledge. But Jeremy can’t ignore how talented Brandon is—or that Brandon has no interest in using his diving skills to compete.

They’re opposites who are forced to work together as teammates, but Jeremy’s fear of his own sexuality and Brandon’s disinterest in anything “not fun” may end their partnership before it begins. Until a single moment changes everything, and they help each other discover that “team” can also mean family and love.

Jeremy is a very focused and dedicated diver with goals to one day compete in the Olympics.  He trains with one of the best trainers in the world and keeps his eye on the prize.  That is, until Brandon walks into their training one day and his trainer decides to take him on as well.  Jeremy is not only annoyed because now the trainer will have to split the focus between the two of them, but also because Brandon represents everything that he pushes away inside of himself.  Brandon is out and proud and is just all about a good time.  Jeremy comes from a family that uses the term "fag" to describe anyone they find weak, and they constantly harass him for being in a sport for "fairies".  Because of this, Jeremy has always pushed himself to be the greatest because he wants his family to finally be proud of him and respect him.  He doesn't like any distractions from his goal, and Brandon is a big distraction.  They are both instantly attracted to one another, but Jeremy treat Brandon poorly to keep him at arms length.  

Eventually their training coach wants them to start training together to compete in a synchronized diving event, which means they will have to work closely together. Brandon is determined to break down his walls and have Jeremy take him seriously.  Jeremy finds himself unable to keep pushing him away but also torn by his need to win the Olympic gold to make his family proud.

I had some trouble with this one, if I'm being honest.  The pacing felt really off for me.  At times the story would really drag on and then other times were were jumping ahead months when I really wanted to see what was going to happen in that moment.  It was a little frustrating.  I also had a really hard time liking Jeremy through most of this book.  He's just so nasty and cold to everyone around him, even his supposed best friend.  He even goes as far as to say that if it came down to picking an Olympic medal over his relationship with Brandon, he would chose the medal....and this wasn't something he said early on.  That was said rather late in the story.  I couldn't root for him.

The highlights of the story for me were Brandon and Valerie.  Brandon was the shining light in this one for me.  He tried to always remain positive, and he was really tough.  Even when things got really difficult for him he didn't break down and he figured out what his next step was going to be.  He was stubborn about asking for help, but I can really relate to that.  Valerie was another diver that their coach ended up taking on, and also Jeremy's only real friend.  I liked that she always looked out for both Jeremy and Brandon, and genuinely worried about them hurting each other.

I have to say that I thought the story also ended really abruptly.  I wanted to know what happened!  We hear about the Olympics the entire book and then we don't even get to know how it goes?!  An epilogue would have been great, because at the end I would say they are at the HFN stage, not a true HEA.  I've said it a million times and I can't help it, but I like things to be wrapped up neatly at the end of the story and I didn't think we got that.

* I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  *

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  1. Ooh an Olympic diver! That's new. I'm sorry that the pacing was off though. And I'm with you on endings. I need a HEA, especially in romance. HFN drive me insane at times too!

    1. Yeah, I haven't read too many stories about an Olympic diver so that was a fresh idea. I definitely like the HEA ending in romances the HFN endings just aren't as satisfying.

  2. I agree that Jeremy was a jerk at times, but I loved learning more about diving and I really loved the friendship elements too!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. I always love how much I learn from romances. People just think they are filled with fluff but there is a lot of detail and new information to learn too. I did enjoy the friendships too!

  3. I get what you mean about the ending - I have this one to read soon! I really liked the book, but it did seem to cover a lot of wrong. It was a bit of a long one. And while I didn't always LOVE Jeremy, I could see how his upbringing and previous lack of experience with love could make him push Brandon anyway. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I always love seeing what other people think of the books I read, but I rarely see reviews for m/m fiction. :)


    1. I don't see too many other reviews for mm romances either so it's always fun when someone else has read the same thing as me. I definitely see where you are coming from with Jeremy too.

  4. I like the sounds of this from the blurb, but yeah, I hear you on pacing -- it can make or break a book for me.


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