Book Spotlight: Relay by Layla Reyne (Changing Lanes #1)

(Changing Lanes #1)
by Layla Reyne
Release Date: January 8, 2018

About Relay
Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.

Read my five-plus-starred review of Relay.

Add Relay on Goodreads.

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About the Changing Lanes series
A chance at gold or a chance at love? Members of the US Men’s Swim Team fight for both in this sports romance duology following two couples on one medley relay team as they train and compete in the world’s biggest sporting event: the Olympics. To reach the top of the podium, they’ll need to depend on one another and be willing to change lanes—in their lives and hearts, and in the biggest race of their athletic careers.

Learn more about the Changing Lanes series on Riptide Publishing.

An Excerpt from Relay
“How’s it feel to be a first-time Olympian?”

He slicked back his wet hair, biceps flexing. Cameras clicked and spectators tittered. He hated his role as swimming’s current poster boy, so much of the image a lie that turned his stomach, but it served his purpose in this instant. Alex canted his head toward him, listening.

“Great!” Dane replied. “I can’t wait to represent Team USA.”

“Do you think you’ll win your other events?”

He smiled big and drew out his Southern accent, amping up the charm. “Well now, that’s certainly the plan.”

“We sure hope so,” his publicist said. By we, Roger meant the sponsors, who counted on their wares being displayed as much as possible, and his mother, who would in turn feature those products on one of her many shows. A vicious cycle, always turning.

“Will you be team captain?”

Motion in Dane’s periphery—Alex approaching.

“That’s voted on by the team,” Dane said. “But I’d sure be honored if they chose me.” Truth be told, he hadn’t even considered the captaincy, assuming it’d go to Mo or Alex, but he’d play up the possibility to get a rise out of Alex.

“Will you be swimming on the relay teams?”

Before Dane could answer, Alex joined their group, standing at the outer edge, and directly addressed the reporters. “Relay teams are drawn from the top six qualifiers in each event. Lineups will be decided after Trials and announced at Media Day. We’ll look forward to seeing you then.”

“Alex, are you going to win your races?” one of the reporters asked.

Alex glanced over their heads at Dane, barely concealed fury swirling in those bottomless brown eyes. “What was it you said, Ellis? Well now, that’s certainly the plan.”

He had the good grace not to mime the accent. Dane’s manners, however, were lacking. “Buena suerte,” he replied, snidely wishing him luck in diction-perfect Spanish.

Alex’s nostrils flared and red streaked across his cut cheekbones, but before hostilities escalated further, event staffers surrounded the group, indicating their five minutes were up.

“Dane, honey,” his mother drawled. “We’ll see you in San Antonio.” She tugged him down for a kiss on the cheek, pausing long enough for the cameras.

Roger stepped forward, handing out business cards. “Dane and Reverend and Mrs. Ellis will be available for interviews in San Antonio.”

That sounded like more than just Media Day. Dane groaned internally.

“If you’ll follow me,” Roger carried on, “I’ll get those scheduled.”

Dane’s father gave him another cold, hard handshake, then Roger and the staffers whisked the road show away, leaving only Dane and Alex locked in a stare down.

Do not bring that shit with you to Colorado,” Alex gritted out.

“I don’t control my parents.”

Alex took two long strides toward him, and Dane’s blood revved at his closeness, then chilled with his next words. “Oh, I’m well aware it’s the other way around.”

Dane’s bravado waned. “Alex . . .”

“And that’s not the shit I’m talking about. I know I’ll never get the real you.” Direct hit, right to the gut. “But at least leave the poster boy at home. Bring me the swimmer; anything else and we’re going to have problems.”

“Problems are unavoidable.”

Alex’s dark gaze swept his body, leaving a trail of fire in its wake. “Don’t I know it.”

“If I bring you the swimmer,” Dane said, “am I on the relay teams?”

“Coach makes that call, not me.”

“I want on medley.” Team USA had lost the medley relay gold by the slimmest of margins at the last Games, and Dane had cursed from his recovery room an ocean away. If he’d only been there. Well, he was here now, and they wouldn’t lose it with him swimming anchor.

Alex’s eyes hardened, glittering. “We can’t always get what we want.”

“But we get what we need?” Dane retorted, unable to resist.

He should have.

“Not that either,” Alex replied, an iceberg of anger in those three words. He turned on his heel and stalked back to Bas, leaving Dane to sink, shivering all the way to his soul.

About Layla Reyne
2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bicoastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. When she's not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Connect with Layla

To celebrate the release of Relay, one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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  1. Thank you for the excerpt!
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  2. Thanks for the excerpt and review!
    jlshannon74 at

  3. Thanks for the excerpt. I have been waiting for this book, it sounds so good.
    heath0043 at gmail dot com

  4. The butting of heads of these two reminds me of Neil & Kevin from Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic. They really are quite something else. ;)

  5. This book sounds like something I’d really enjoy reading, thank you for sharing!
    nikolina1812 @ yahoo . com

  6. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the excerpt!

  7. Congrats, Layla, and thanks for the post. I love swimming & diving as well as 2nd chances. It sounds like both were dealt with authentically, making for a good story. -
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com


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