Book Reviews

Personal Best (Book 3) by Sean Michael at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / May/December / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 22-March-2019

Book Blurb

Swimmer Mike Gauliet is on his way to an Olympic berth, sitting on the edge of fulfilling his potential and achieving the dreams his coach and lover, Jessy Turner, has for both of them.

 

All Mike wants to think about is swimming his laps faster than anyone else. Too bad things aren’t going exactly according to plan. Mike’s getting threats, and he’s afraid to tell Jessy and determined to handle things alone.

 

When the threats escalate to the point where Mike can’t hide them, though, Jessy takes over, moving Mike to a new training location, promising to keep him safe. Mike and Jessy try to go on with business as usual, but someone has such hatred for Mike that it seeps into their everyday life, straining their relationship, making Mike wonder if he even wants to swim anymore. Danger lurks around every corner, in and out of the pool, and while Mike and Jessy work with the police to discover the culprit, one attack leaves their life in shambles. Can Mike and Jessy find their attacker and get Mike back on track to a championship?

 

 

First edition published by Torquere Press, February 2008.


Book Review

Intense competition is an integral part of professional sports, and I can only try to imagine the kind of powerful emotions it can create among the top contenders for major competitions, especially when there is a chance of making it on to the Olympic team. Ultratalented swimmer Mike and his coach, Jessy, are better together than ever on both the personal and the professional front. Mike is becoming more self-sufficient with every year and Jessy has relaxed some of the stricter rules now that they are lovers, but the “coaching magic” is still as much a part of how they relate as the kinkier explorations of who they are in the bedroom and playroom. Between their (very frequent) escapades and the suspense around an extremely creepy stalker, this was another exciting installment of the series that had my full attention as much as its first incarnation many years ago.

Mike has learned to follow the rules (mostly), has become more confident, and trusts Jessy like no one else. But some old habits die hard – and hiding “bad stuff” from Jessy is one of them. So when the threatening notes start popping up, Mike’s first instinct is to try to handle them himself, and that basically means ignoring them and hoping they will go away. That way he doesn’t have to admit he is scared and that makes him feel strong. *sigh* By the time he admits something is wrong he is already in way over his head.

Jessy is trying hard to keep the balance between coach and lover, and he has pretty much figured out how that works now. Mike, his happiness, and his success as a swimmer are Jessy’s world, so when all of that is threatened, Jessy has a hard time dealing with his anger. He knows who the culprit is pretty much from the start, but there is not enough evidence for the police to do anything until it is basically too late.

It was interesting to see how far Mike and Jessy have come and how well they deal with things as long as their roles are defined and they can follow a routine. But the events in this novel challenge their well-structured equilibrium, and with their roles suddenly reversed, things go off the rails and they both struggle. The strength of their feelings is the one thing they can both count on though, and they use that to their advantage. It’s touch-and-go for a while, but I kept rooting for them.

If you like intense relationships with a touch of playful kink, if you want to see two men fight for what they both want despite the obstacles, and if you’re looking for a read full of very hot sex, deep feelings, and a challenge that almost destroys everything they have built together, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. I loved rereading it and, though it looks like it might be the final volume, hope there will be more!

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 197 pages/52330 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-March-2019
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/personal-best-3-by-sean-michael-10317-b