Against the Current by Elaine Ashford

Against the Current by Elaine Ashford
Publisher: LoveLight Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (94 pages)
Other: M/M, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Honeysuckle

What happens when your teammate is also your biggest rival … and the hottest guy you know?

A cocky, charismatic bad boy…

Miles Hann is the best freestyler on his college swim team. He works hard, and plays harder. He’s got no complaints…except for his new teammate.

Jake gets on his last nerve. First he criticizes Miles’ form, then beats his time during practice. It wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t so unnervingly sexy–Miles doesn’t know whether to punch him or kiss him.

Too bad Jake is straight.

A quiet, determined Adonis…

Jake Anderson won’t compromise his swimming for anyone, even hotshot Miles. But he doesn’t mean to get under the other man’s skin…he’d rather be right up against it. His steely self-control seems to melt when Miles is around.

Too bad Miles is straight and can’t stand him. Jake can’t stop imagining what it would be like if they both lost control–together.

Turbulent waters…

No one’s more surprised than Miles and Jake when their rivalry becomes something much more intimate. But keeping what they’ve found is like swimming upstream. Can they prevail against the forces pushing them apart, or is a real relationship forever out of their reach?

Competition can breed rivals but it can also disguise interest. Miles and Jake are determined to convince themselves and their team mates that they don’t like each other. Not even a little bit. To slightly mis-quote Hamlet’s mother, “the (men) doth protest too much, methinks”.

When winning is at stake, it felt completely natural that Miles and Jake would act like rival swimming jocks to each other’s faces but then secretly be attracted to the very arrogance and athleticism they act like they hate. It was actually kind of funny. I could see them scowling at each other but it was really just frustration. They were totally attracted to each other but was so sure the other was straight. Until the party. The scene on the deck is intense, as first kisses often are, but once they both see the green light to take it further, it went from intense to smoking up my screen in 2.5 seconds. It was like all that pent up frustration had finally reached the point of no return.

These guys are in college and I liked that the author didn’t act like the only thing they had going on after they hook up was hooking up. Real life meant school, swim practice, friends and stress. Lots of stress. Miles and Jake are very similar but how they handled the stress of the upcoming competition is what set them apart. Everybody reacts a little differently to stress. It was a nice bit of conflict for the characters but thankfully it wasn’t drawn out forever. Real issue but also real resolution.

I’m a little curious about the other members of the swim team. Eli especially. He seemed attracted to Miles at one point but maybe not. I know a couple of the other guys were already in relationships but there’s more stories to tell. The only girl on the team, Allie, is a hoot.

Against the Current is well written and flows well. It’s told from a first person POV alternating between Miles or Jakes head but it’s not difficult to tell who’s in the drivers seat. Each chapter has a POV heading. I did notice a couple of places where the author switched POV mid-chapter for a line or two but it wasn’t enough to pull me out of the story completely. Minor issue.

This is a feel good story for the most part. It’s long enough to not feel rushed but short enough to be read in a couple of hours. Overall, I’d call it satisfying and from an author I’d read again.

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