Review: Cold War by Keira Andrews

After an explosive locker room confrontation with his Russian rival ends in the most surprising and intense sex of his life, American pairs skater Dev Avira needs to refocus. He’s worked for years to win Olympic gold, and he can’t let himself—or his partner—down. Distraction in the form of steely and smoldering Mikhail Reznikov is the last thing he needs as he prepares for the biggest competition of his life.

But with the Games only days away, they can’t keep their hands off each other. Dev soon learns that beneath Mikhail’s arrogant and aloof exterior is Misha, a passionate man who warms Dev’s heart and scorches his bed. They're both determined to win, but for Misha his freedom could be on the line. Can Dev put his deepening feelings on ice as he goes for gold?

I was very excited to read "Cold War" when I saw the cover. I'm not what you'd call a sports-nista (I can imagine a few of the other unicorns attesting to this) but I like watching figure skaters. So you know I'm excited when the Winter Olympics comes around. Don't think I become glued to the TV set during this time of the year, I'm an amateur at best. But after reading one of last year's buzz books (Leta Blake's Training Season) which featured a figure skater main character, I  saw the appeal of romance starring a skating athlete. When I saw that Leta Blake's writing partner, Keira Andrews was coming out with a figure skater MM romance, you can believe I was all over it.

Is this book another Training Season? NO! And I'm happy too because Training Season is totally separate from Cold War. (We do get a brief Matty Marcus mention - I smiled and agreed with Dev.)

Cold War is a novella about two competing pairs' figure skaters, Dev (America) and Mikhail or Misha (Russia). They are gearing up for the Winter Olympics and both men and their skating partners want gold. They have worked for this very hard and made sacrifices, for one of them even being forced into a closet. The reader is introduced to the competitive world of skating that will not leave you lost if you are not an avid skating fan.

This is an enemies to lovers theme (a favorite theme of mine) but it's not angst heavy. It's lighter than I expected. The story gets straight to the matter at hand, Dev and Mikhail don't like each other but that doesn't mean they can't get off together. They were both gay but could not let their dalliance known due to their skating careers. Dev is the underdog skater paired with a sassy redhead best friend, Bailey and Mikhail (Misha) is the ice king paired with his fellow automaton skater, Kisa.

Dev started off hating the man but Misha didn't really come off as someone to hate. He didn't really seem cold. Once Dev and the reader got to know Misha, it is shown that he's deeper than he seems. The enemy lines get blurred once the lust is brought in. And boy was it brought in. (*whispers* the locker room and bathroom stall...yum)

What I really enjoyed? 

- The multiculturalism: I loved that there was an Indian American main character and the culture embrace in the story was not heavy handed.

- The smut: Very hot. For the amount of story, we get some hot scenes including some nice rimming and fingering and...*wipes mouth* let's just say Dev and Misha can heat up the e-reader screen. For vanilla sex, it was hot. No corn mazes, folks. You're safe. ;D
"I want to fuck you every way I can. I want your ass and your mouth and your cock. I want to come all over you. I want you to come all over me."
- The pairs' skating talk: I admit I'm an amateur when it comes to watching so I appreciate not having to search for skating terms and the like while reading. It was easy to understand, so non-skating fans can give this book a try as well. And I was swept up into the competition, that I rooted and yelled (I even closed my eyes for a bit during one particular scene) for both teams at the it was an actual skating team on my television screen.

- The spotlight brought to Russia's anti-gay laws: It was done tastefully. And it sucks. The end.

My...concerns (if you will):

- The beginning chemistry - Dev and Misha heat up the scenes when crossing the forbidden sex line. It's hot. I get it. But in the beginning, these men hated each other. I question their intensity for starting their sexual relationship in the beginning. Maybe another scene (or two), to show Dev's love/hate for Mikhail. It was sort of 1..2..BAM! They're boinking now. As the story progressed, I began to understand (mostly). But I wanted to know more of what drove these two men together. We just get the candy coated shell, I want the filling too.

I spied there will be a sequel coming out later this year. I like this a lot and will keep my eye out for it. I really liked Dev and Misha...maybe we can get a little deeper with those two?

Light, easy, sexy fun that ends with a light HEA/ heavy HFN finish. I'm down for round two.

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