Heels Over Head is a stand alone M/M sports book by Elyse Springer that I really enjoyed. This is a book where the two characters are completely distinctive. Although it takes quite awhile to warm up to Jeremy you can’t help but feel for the guy and his intense desire to get his family to care about him and respect him and his sport. Brandon is easy to love and is a wonderful character that you definitely had me rooting for him.
Jeremy is a diver who is training for the Olympics. He’s been training for 15 years and it’s the most important thing in his life. This is not something he hides and he’s very up front that diving is the only thing in his life that he cares about until he meets Brandon and even then diving is still the most important thing for almost all of the book. Jeremy has convinced himself that if he can just win an Olympic medal his family will respect/care about him and so he lives for this. Brandon has a ton of raw talent but he’s never really seriously trained and winning doesn’t mean much to him. He’s proud of who he is and lives an easy going life style. His family disowned him when he came out at the age of 18 and so he is very independent.
This book takes place over 24 months. The first few months it’s hard to like Jeremy but stick with it and it will be worth it. Brandon does the heavy lifting in this relationship as he slowly breaks through the shame that Jeremy has placed on himself and teaches him that he can take diving seriously and still have a little fun. Brandon’s easy going, fun and compassionate personality is opposite of Jeremy’s very structured, rigid and sometimes selfish personality. Although we start to see Jeremy soften throughout the book.
Normally I roll my eyes at a character that has never really even kissed anyone else but with Jeremy’s all consuming drive and his deep shame for being attracted to men it was very easy to believe. The sex scenes between the two were sweet and yet very hot – I really loved them.
The secondary characters added a lot to the book. I liked the fact that the coach was really a father-like figure although none of the athletes realize how much. Val’s side story with her struggle to deal with her Olympic parent’s expectations added a lot and I loved her – she was a really good friend to both men. Even Brandon’s best friend Aaron added to the book. Then of course there was Jeremy’s family who I absolutely hated and they were so dismissive of Jeremy’s status as an amazing athlete that it was almost OTT. I wanted so much for Jeremy to stop caring whether he had the approval of his family but I also understand just how much a child will do to get the love/acceptance of a parent.
I was completely invested in the story between Brandon and Jeremy and although I think Brandon forgave Jeremy a little easily I can also understand why he did. Jeremy was so emotionally/socially stunted that the overtures from him were a much bigger deal then they would be from someone who wasn’t. Surprisingly enough I even enjoyed learning about all the diving and it was obvious that the research was done on the sport. There was just the right amount of technical information without becoming overwhelming or boring.
I really wish this book had an epilogue. Four charms for this sports centered M/M book that was released today 5/29/17.