Review: Spokes by P.D. Singer

Pro cyclist Luca Biondi lives for the race. For the star of Team Antano-Clark, victory lies within his grasp—if he can outdistance 200 other hopefuls, avoid suspicion from race officials, and keep his lieutenant more friend than foe. Luca also has secrets, and eyes for amateur cyclist and journalist Christopher Nye.

Christopher understands Luca’s need to keep their relationship under wraps, but chafes at hiding in the shadows of his lover’s career. He’s ready to cheer Luca’s victories, but he knows too well how triumph can turn to tears. While Christopher’s heart sees Luca the man, his inner journalist—and his editor—sees the cycling world’s biggest scoop.

From the jagged curves of the Colorado Rockies to the viciously steep Belgian hills, Luca can ride out any bumps—except rumors.

A few words in the wrong ear could crash everything. With miles between them, hints of scandal, and Luca’s fierce need to guard his reputation, a journalist might have to let go of the biggest story of his career or risk forcing his lover to abandon the race. Christopher and Luca face a path more treacherous than any road to the summit in the Italian Alps.

When reading a book there are so many reasons for feeling a connection to the story or characters. Sometimes they touch our hearts, other times our souls and then we have books like Spokes which tweak the curious part of my brain... that analytical part of us that wants to know more even on a topic I had zero knowledge or interest in before I started reading. The story was good and I really enjoyed the development of the relationship between professional Italian cyclist Luca and Christopher who is a part-time journalist for a cycling magazine. Luca (bellissimo) slight clue as to what I said but totally sexy right... that was Luca through the whole story.. he talked and I heard broken Italian accented English that had me sighing through most of the story like those silly tween girls at boy band concerts. That is why I love my literary crushes all of my silliness is only witnessed by me.

P. D. Singer did an amazing writing job not only did I  understand all of the cycling references I  wanted to know more about all of the intricacies involved in the sport. I felt like I was in some holographic image following along through all the beautiful trail rides in Colorado and in Europe Singer's words let my imagination soar through those mountains with the riders.

I do have to admit though at one point in the story she has Christopher struggle to keep up with the professionals and stated that it felt like he was using training wheels on a tricycle in comparison ......which made me laugh as I looked at my exercise bike currently being used as a coat rack... I did feel the urge to clean it off and use it.... Urge people not actual intention... let's keep this real.

Singer also includes a glossary of terms, but honestly I really didn't need it past the first chapter she does an amazing job of allowing the reader to figure what is what while reading without instructing or breaking character. It is like you are taking cycling for dummies and you get a great romance story while learning.

The story though is not diminished in any way. Luca is closeted, and yes like other athletes, if he comes out he risks losing his family, fans, career and teammates but unlike other sports in this one it could also mean his life. All it would take is one elbow or wrong push and he could literally go off a cliff. I had no idea how dangerous cycling was... I mean come on it is riding a bicycle. Yeah at over 40-50 miles per hour down mountain sides with no guardrails...not to mention deaths due to carless motorists. There is even a shrine to cyclists in Italy - il Santuario del la Madonna del Ghisallo-pilgrimages are made in remembrance of those who have fallen.. by the description of plaques and other items it is way too many.

There is also a thread to the story in which I thought Ms. Singer made a character error. She had Christopher constantly ask if he could quote Luca on a comment he made regarding his training or products he uses. I kept thinking this could be misinterpreted as someone who is using Luca for a story. It doesn't make Christopher look good and I couldn't tell if that is what Ms. Singer intended but I should have had faith it all makes sense to the storyline.

Two of the most fascinating things I discovered thanks to Ms. singer was that cyclists have to use lube to prevent bicycle shorts from chafing their nether region... in fact all activities in that area are delicate because they can not be sore while racing or it could impact their performance... that blew my mind.. it makes sense and yet... wow... like I had all kinds of questions regarding relationship activities especially for gay cyclists since professional cyclists seem to tour , train and compete almost constantly.

Even if you do not like or understand cycling you should read this book, it opened up a whole new venue of interest for me and for any cycling aficionados this will be pure nirvana.

No comments:

Post a Comment