The Summer Games: Settling the Score by R.S. Grey
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Publication Date: April 19th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: 434
Format: kindle book
Source: purchased

As an Olympic rookie, Andie Foster has spent far more time in her cleats than between the sheets. For 21 years, her Friday nights have consisted of blocking shots rather than taking them. But now that she's landed in Rio, she's ready to see for herself if the rumors about the Olympic Village are true: The athletes are all sex-crazed maniacs… The committee passes out condoms like candy… The games continue long after the medals have been handed out… As Andie walks the line between rumor and reality, she's forced into the path of Frederick Archibald, a decorated Olympic swimmer and owner of a sexy British accent-too bad he's unavailable in a way that "it's complicated" doesn't even begin to explain. In other words: "off limits." It doesn't matter that he has abs that could bring peace to the Middle East and a smile that makes even the Queen blush; Andie fully intends on keeping her focus on the soccer field. But the Village is small. "Suffocating." Everywhere Andie goes, Freddie happens to be there-shirtless, wet from the pool, and determined to show her a whole new meaning of the phrase "international affairs.""

I am definitely in the minority here judging by the reviews this book has received.  And, maybe it’s me not the story.  But, to be honest, I was hoping for so much more when I picked up this book.  The premise – shenanigans at the Olympics – was enticing.  The prospect of romance blooming between two elite athletes, the complications that would come with splitting their focus between love and the responsibilities to their countries, and the anticipation of how these two might have to keep things a secret had me anxious to dig in.  And, although the writing was good and there were some fun situations and steamy romance, there were too many things about this book that didn’t hit the mark for me.

Although there are quite a few reasons for my rating, the biggest reason for my disappointment was the characters.  Andie and Freddie’s insta-love happened after one or two very short meetings.  All of a sudden both were acting as if they had this intense, deep relationship.  And, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate inta-love as much as some other people do.  I get that books are short and developing feelings quickly may be necessary.  However, when one of the characters is betrothed to someone else, I would think that it would take a few more meetings for that character to decide to focus on someone else.  Freddie had been promised in marriage to someone by his family and he was not happy about it.  However, he could have dealt with it in a different fashion – it felt, for a long time in this book, like he wasn’t actually doing anything about changing his situation, like he wasn’t fighting for the girl he wanted.  And, even though Andie knew he was taken, she would think about how inappropriate it was in one scene but act as if it wasn’t an issue in the next.  I needed her to be stronger, to make her displeasure know to Freddie so he’d do something more quickly.

The secondary characters didn’t do much to save the story either.  Andie’s roommates gave me whiplash…first trying to keep her away from boys and then, a chapter later, trying to sign her up for online dating so she could get some action with other athletes.  They were supposed to be older than her, mature influences in her life, yet they acted like teenagers instead of adults.   The situation with Caroline was too predictable and she felt like a character from a soap opera.  To be honest, the only sassy, feisty character in this book was Freddie’s sister, Georgie.  She was strong and fierce and the story could have used more characters like her.  If she gets her own book, I might even be tempted to read it.

I could keep going but I think you get why I feel the way I feel.  So, here’s how I want to end this review.  The beauty of books is that everyone who reads them will have a different opinion.  This book had great potential but it was not for me.  However, you might want to give it a chance.  After all, a great book, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.


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