If you’re looking for a sports romance that is chock full of chemistry and characters that will make you swoon, then the book you are searching for is Thrust by Rachel Spangler. And no, the title does not mean what that little devil is whispering in your ear. The sport in this love story is fencing. This is about sexy ladies with swords. Well, maybe that little devil isn’t completely wrong.
The two main characters in this story have known each other since their time on the same varsity fencing team. Jess Kidman was only thirteen at the time, but was allowed on the team because of her fencing skills. She had a major crush on eighteen-year-old Lauren Standish, the team captain, but the age difference then was too great for the two to be anything more than teammates. Fast forward ten years, and Jess is now at the top of her sport and headed for the Tokyo Olympics, but she needs a coach to help her get ready. She heads back to Buffalo where Lauren is working as a coach in a small fencing venue. Lauren wants to redeem a promise Lauren made to her ten years ago, and ask Lauren for help preparing for the Olympics.
Rachel Spangler is known for writing excellent romances with characters that have so much chemistry between them it’s a wonder the pages of the books don’t burst into flames. This is definitely true for Jess and Lauren, and the attraction they have for each other. They are some of the best-developed characters I’ve seen in a while. Jess’ personality is exactly what I would expect from a top athlete with the skills and talent she has always had. Lauren is the perfect foil (See what I did there?) for Jess even with the trauma she has endured in the ten years apart. The secondary characters are equally well-developed, especially Kristie, Lauren’s best friend. The story is well-paced and interesting with just the right amount of conflict. The author also did a heck of a job researching the sport of fencing, and writing about it so convincingly. The romance…well, this is Rachel Spangler so the romance is perfect.
I’ve marked this novel as a favorite of mine. It has my highest recommendation. I received an ARC from the author for an honest review.