Sunday, November 3, 2013

New Release from Rocky Ridge Books - Spokes by P.D. Singer

I don't read many sports-type novels, for many assume I already know the rules about football, baseball, etc., and I find myself hopelessy lost and unable to unravel key plot elements. However, I've just finished one that manages to expertly weave details about competitive bicycle racing in with a gripping story of two men from completely different backgrounds meeting and trying to find common ground. There is love, there is loss, there are edge-of-your-seat moments, all encompassed in a beautifully written story. No infodump here, though a handly glossary of racing terms is included.

My favorite passage in the whole book, one that can make me cry just recalling the words, appears below. By the time you reach these words in the book, you'll know that, when racing, a group that breaks away from the rest of the racers is called the fuga bidone. The peloton is the main body of riders that the fuga bidone leaves behind. The words are a touching tribute to fallen comrades.

“They are the fuga bidone, Christopher. They broke away. They’re too far ahead to reel in,” Luca whispered, his voice breaking into the wind that licked the mountain top. “We are the peloton.”
“We’ll see them again at the finish line.”
From the gorgeous Colorado Rockies, to the trecherous Italian Alps, we ride along with Christopher and Luca, in pursuit of their dreams. With this novel I laughed, I cried (boy, how I cried!), and in the end, was left with the warm, fuzzy desire to read this book again, to reconnect with our two heroes. And a vastly greater knowledge of bicycling.

Pro cyclist Luca Biondi lives for the race. For the star of Team Antano-Clark, victory lies within his grasp—if he can outdistance 200 other hopefuls, avoid suspicion from race officials, and keep his lieutenant more friend than foe. Luca also has secrets, and eyes for amateur cyclist and journalist Christopher Nye.

Christopher understands Luca’s need to keep their relationship under wraps, but chafes at hiding in the shadows of his lover’s career. He’s ready to cheer Luca’s victories, but he knows too well how triumph can turn to tears. While Christopher’s heart sees Luca the man, his inner journalist—and his editor—sees the cycling world’s biggest scoop.

From the jagged curves of the Colorado Rockies to the viciously steep Belgian hills, Luca can ride out any bumps—except rumors.

A few words in the wrong ear could crash everything. With miles between them, hints of scandal, and Luca’s fierce need to guard his reputation, a journalist might have to let go of the biggest story of his career or risk forcing his lover to abandon the race. Christopher and Luca face a path more treacherous than any road to the summit in the Italian Alps.

Available now from Rocky Ridge Books.

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