I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by MLR Press Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Reviewed by Cassie
Paralympic swimmer Ben Edwards has put aside the search for Mr. Right in order to concentrate on his sport. His dream of making the Olympic team in time for the London 2012 Olympics is at hand, and he’s got a good chance to win a medal. All he has to do is concentrate for a few more weeks.
Then he meets his high school best friend’s future brother-in-law, and all bets are off. Nick’s gorgeous, gay, and interested. No matter how many times Ben tells himself there couldn’t be a worse time to try to start a relationship, his heart doesn’t seem to want to listen. Will family stress and his new relationship cost Ben the medal he’s dreamed of for so many years?
Tumble Turn is a funny, sweet tale of love coming when it’s least expected. Ben made a great narrator. He’s amusing, self-deprecating, and a little neurotic. Although he has cerebral palsy, he doesn’t let his condition define or limit him. He deals with the symptoms of CP the same way he handles everything else: with good humor and determination. After hearing that the Olympics would be held in London in 2012, Ben has spent the past seven years training. He wants to compete on the Paralympic teams for several swimming events. His personal life has been on the back burner. When his old school friend Matty introduces Ben to his girlfriend’s attractive, gay brother, Nick is tempted, but he’s not in a good position to start anything. Unfortunately for Ben, neither his heart nor Nick seem to care. Ben’s soon very distracted from his training by thoughts of Nick. When Nick finds out, however, he comes up with an ingenious plan to keep Ben on track…
One of the best things about Tumble Turn is Ben’s first-person narration. He’s so entertaining. Not being British myself, I loved the liberal sprinkling of British sayings and slang. Normally I would have been irritated by the lack of information about Nick, but this way it’s easier to understand Ben’s insecurities. This really is Ben’s story, and that’s a good thing. The secondary characters, especially Ben’s mom, who had an unending rivalry with Matty’s mom, were people I’d love to meet. I learned about the Paralympics, too, which was another plus. Overall, Tumble Turn Is a quick, enjoyable, and sweet read that will appeal to fans of sports stories, heroes who overcome odds, or sweet romance. While I’ve been a fan of Charlie Cochrane’s historicals for a long time, with Tumble Turn she shows an equally deft hand with contemporary romance.