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Relay

Changing Lanes, Book 1
Narrated by: Nick J. Russo
Series: Changing Lanes Series, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 13 mins
Categories: Romance, Sports
4.6 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Summary

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.

©2018 Layla Reyne (P)2020 Layla Reyne

What listeners say about Relay

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full marks from me

Initially I was frustrated, because the 2 MC's needed their heards knocked together. Then i understood more of the story. As is the way of books. lol! Thank I got angry on behalf of the MC's, so yes, it was well written and performed brilliantly by Nick. I was fully invested in the boys happy ending, I would have loved an epilogue that gave a glimpse into their happy ending, but maybe we'll see them in future books? Maybe.

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So good!!!

I loved this! Dane and Alex have sizzling chemistry whether they're fighting or kissing and making up. Dane just wants to get out from under his parents oppression and finally live for himself. In order to do that, he'll have to put it all on the line to prove his remorse for breaking his own heart along with Alex's years ago and hope he'll be forgiven alongside fighting for a top spot on the Olympic swim team. A tale of love, regret and redemption that ends in a HFN. I can't wait to finish this duology and see them get their much deserved HEA. Nick J. Russo did a splendid job of bringing all this emotional angst to life.

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Enemies to lovers done right

This is my first Layla Reyne book and I have to say I enjoyed it. Enemies to lovers – when done well – is one of my favorite tropes. I love watching the evolution of a relationship from adversaries to men who really care about each other. Alex is the captain of the Men’s Olympic swim team for the United States. He was voted on by his teammates and he knows the awesome responsibility he holds. Dane is resentful, to say the least, and when he’s not put on a relay team that anger boils over. The men fight and someone gets hurt. That propels the men together even more, leading to more dissention. But Alex and Dane have a secret – they were roommates and in love when they were sixteen. But they parted on bad terms and that resentment – at least on Alex’s part – has grown. Now they are facing the biggest challenge of their lives and they need to work together. This was a good story with solid characterization and I very much like how it set up the second book in the series. On the narration side, Nick J. Russo always does a competent job and he did so again with this book. I’m hoping the next book comes to audio shortly.

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Going for Gold

I absolutely loved this story of swimmers preparing for the Olympics while also facing personal struggles, illness, dysfunctional family, and unrequited and denied love. I loved Alex from the start. He is such a nurturer and giver. An all around sweet and stand-up character. He is gay, Hispanic, and proud of it, and - oh - also the fastest backstroke swimmer in the world. But he doesn't trade on any of that and prefers to stay out of the limelight and let his swimming do the talking. Dane on the other hand...well he started out as mostly a selfish prick. He's a star swimmer. coached by Mom and Dad to be a media sensation, preen in the spotlight, and make the most of endorsements. He and Alex were lovers once, but Dane walked away because he CAN'T be gay. He had a ways to go to figure out what was truly important to him, and if fame, money, and parental approval were more important than being himself, living his life, and having love. The story was terrific with enough tension, surprises, angst, betrayal, and internal struggles, as well as a few really hot scenes between Alex and Dane, to keep me enthralled. The side characters were great, too. I hope we get more of Sebastian and Jacob in a future story. I also hope this story will continue on and take us to the Olympics, The narration is fantastic. Nick Russo does an A+ job giving the characters distinct voices and showcasing their emotions. I received a free copy of this audiobook and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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I love sports books especially when I'm clueless.

I love stories about redemption and forgiveness. I like that Dane and Alex come from different sides. I love angst in stories and this one had the right amount. I really loved the relationship develop over the story. It was a great book to listen to, I really enjoyed the narrator’s voice and pace. I would definitely recommend this audio.

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Great story, great narration!

With no Olympic Games being held this summer due to COVID-19 the timing for the audio release of Relay couldn't be better. I love watching the swimming events on TV and the next best thing is reading/listening to romance books with Olympic themes. I haven't read a lot of books by Layla Reyne but those that I have read I've loved and Relay is no exception. She writes in several different MM romance genres and is well known for her romantic suspense books. She also wrote a fantastic foodie romance called Dine With Me that I really loved. Nick J. Russo did his usual great job with his performance of Relay. His voice is pleasant to listen to and the various voices he uses makes it easy to distinguish the different characters. I understand that he'll also be performing the sequel, Medley and I'm really looking forward to listening to it. I love second chance romance stories and this one is really great. It's been 10 years since Dan and Alex connected at a summer training and things ended badly so Relay also has a bit of an enemies-to-lovers feel to it, especially in the beginning. The story touched me in a lot of ways. Dane is kind of a poor little rich boy and once it was revealed what his parents were doing to him, I wanted to give them a piece of my mind. In the beginning his teammates aren't fond of him and that just made me sad. Alex has his own troubles juggling a lot of things. His mother is sick so he's trying to earn money to help with expenses for his family. He feels a great responsibility as captain of the men's Olympic Swim Team. His feeling towards Dane impact his leadership at first, and how the team treats Dane, but he finally steps up and puts things right. There are some really tense moments when Alex's eligibility for the team is in jeopardy but it's a romance so things work out in the end. I really wanted to listen to Relay straight through but I started it too late in the evening and had to save a few chapters until the next morning. It really is a great story and I'm so glad I listened to it. A complimentary copy of this audiobook was provided to me by Gay Romance Reviews but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author and/or narrator. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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Sweet and sporty

A great story by Layla Reyne, interesting characters I did not want to leave. Hope book 2 will soon be available on Audible. Nick J Russo is one of my favorite narrators and was amazing as always. This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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Jumping into the Deep End

Relay is the first book in the Changing Lanes duology, a two book series focusing on the U.S. Olympic swim team as they train and get ready to compete in the upcoming competitions. I’m not a big sports fan myself, and I’m not really interested in all the details of the sports, but I love the drama and excitement that surrounds athletes as they strive to be the very best. Dane is the media darling of the Olympic swim team. His entire image has been carefully controlled by his parents who use his fame and good looks to sell products and generate a profit for the family businesses. No where in this meticulously planned branding is there room for Dane to be himself and come out as gay. Alex doesn’t the spotlight; all he needs is a pool and his team. Alex doesn’t have the same privilege upbringing as Dane, but he’s also not forced in a closet pretending to be something he’s not. Dane has spent 26 years being told what to do and how to act by his parents, but the one thing his parents can’t control is heart. When Dane and Alex meet again as teammates for the Olympic swim team, there’s no stopping the sparks of attraction between them; however, they will have to overcome the obstacles and setbacks Dane’s parents and other detractors throw in front of them before they can get their happy ever after. I really enjoyed this book, but as I stated above, I’m not a sports fan. I do respect the dedication and work elite athletes put into honing their body for their sport. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised by how well Layla Reyne did with balancing the sport aspect of the plot with the romance and drama. I still was able to enjoy the excitement that comes with athletes training and prepping for their big day, but I wasn’t over inundated with too many minute details that might have bogged down the plot. The plot was exciting with some twists and turns I was not expecting. There were moments where I was raging with Dane against his parents, who I instantly and continuously despised with all my heart. However, I did feel like the ending was a little fast, but I hope the second book picks up immediately from where the first book ended. Nick J. Russo narrates the audiobook and does a great job with it. I love Nick’s voice and it was a perfect fit for this contemporary romance with a cast of different characters. Nick’s voice was smooth and each character was distinct. I had no trouble telling who was talking and following along with the audio. I enjoyed listening to this audiobook immensely. The overall production of the audiobook was well done with no glitches.

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Enjoyable

A good book set in the world of Olympic swimmers, it’s a second chance romance with a hell of a lot of drama and I enjoyed it. Nick does an excellent joe with the narration, really bring out the emotions of when things were going down. It is a HFN which sets up nicely for the next book.

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Worth the listen

While I really enjoyed this audio book, and found both Alex and Dane both interesting characters, both charming and charismatic, and I could see where the attraction came from. Their story starts out with them breaking world swimming records on their way to the Olympics in Spain. There's been a rivalry unlike any other between Alex and Dane for a decade, since they met at swim camp and fell in love, then Dane walked away. But, there's always more to the story than just bitterness and resentment. Now that they are both going to the Olympics, they are going to have to work together to get the team where it needs to be to win gold in the relay events. Again, at first, I found the story a totally fun and believable lovers to enemies and possibly back, but I felt like it lost steam along the way with all the push back from Dane's parents. It seemed the relationship became more about fighting with his parents and proving a point than about a future with Alex. I think a little more in the romance or the why's of the relationship was warranted in the end and I would have loved to have seen that. I don't think it's even possible for Nick J. Russo to narrate anything less than his best. This was outstanding.

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  • Janet L Hunt
  • 04-08-20

great story

Alex and Dane got their second chance, just as they should have! I loved everything about this. The story was great and the narration was awesome. Nick J Russo is a great narrator!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Zinnia Rodriguez
  • 07-08-20

In synch

Loved this audio book version. Great narrator. Another great story from Layla Reyne. This lovers to enemies to lovers story is engaging and the characters are interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Blackmermaid
  • 04-08-20

Second Chances

Second chance stories are not my favorite, but I wanted to try a story by this author. Plus, when I saw the narrator was Nick J. Russo, I couldn't pass it up. Overall, I enjoyed the story, and I look forward to the next one in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sharonica
  • 04-08-20

"Medals aren't everything" 💕

Relay: Changing Lanes Book #1 MMy Thoughts and Review: If you are looking for a story that is ninety percent Olympic focused ten percent romance, you need to look elsewhere. However, if you are looking for a second-chances, enemies to lovers, rich-man/ poor-man, coming out, hurt/ comfort, slow-burn, "lookout Nancy Kerrigan, I may have spotted Tanya Harding around the corner," then this is definitely the book for you. The characters are fleshed out, and with Russo narrating, this story is lively, full of humor, grief, angst, and eventually joy and happiness. The ride is rocky between the MCs, Dane and Alex, with their very emotional and somewhat hostile break-up, from ten years ago, dripping over into the USA swimming team's training camp. Tempers stay locked and loaded, and it's the members on their team who feel each shot as it leaves the barrel any time the safety is off. How much these two stubborn men will lose before they put their demons to rest is/ was actually good for some personal introspection. I always love, hate, and in the end appreciate when the author tugs at something inside me. This is a really good reminder of not being able to undo those things we say or do in haste, anger, fear, jealousy, or ignorance. Excellent story. I highly recommend this audiobook! The Story: 4.50 🌟🌟🌟🌟.✨ The Narration: 5.00 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Overall: 4.75 🌟🌟🌟🌟.✨ 4.75 chase-away-the-pain-together-stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟.✨ I received an audio copy of this book from GRR in exchange for my review. ⚔

1 person found this helpful

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  • Samantha T
  • 02-08-20

Relay

It's been a while since I read this book but this audio brought it all right back. It was just as good as the first time if not better. Nick Russo isn't a narrator I listen to often but I think that's about to change. I really enjoyed his narration of Relay and I would definitely recommend this audio.

1 person found this helpful

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  • KBR
  • 30-07-20

Relay - a very good story with a great narrator

Relay is a great story/listen. I enjoyed Dane and Alex together and independently. The plot is good, at times a bit stretching but not to the point it takes away from the story. I'll listen to more books from this author, especially if part of this world. The narration was on point, and Nick J. Russo did a great job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Alex
  • 29-07-20

Engaging Characters

I love a good sports romance, this one was a fun read. Both characters made me feel for them and want them to succeed and their relationship was beautifully developed with loads of history and realistic motivations. Great romance with lots of heart, just the right amount of focus on swimming. Throw in some computer hacking, fun to dislike villains, and Olympic medals on the line, and it was a great entertaining read. Already downloaded the ebook for the sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chris Redfield
  • 27-07-20

I was given a copy to review,giving honest opinion

I was given a free copy of this audio book and I am giving an honest and unbiased review. I really liked the two main characters,Dane and "Alex",Alejandro,two young 20 something,U.S. Men's Swim Team, swimmers,who first fell in love,when they met at age sixteen. Ten years later,Dane and Alex,through tough times fall in love all over again,now older,while on the same,U.S. Men's Swim Team. Dane now twenty six,is a golden boy who has been holding a torch for his ex,Alex. Dane's public and private life is controlled,by his father,an evangelical pastor and his mother a former beauty queen,who sells things on tv home shopping networks. Dane finds it hard to come out and accept himself,or let his heart open to his first love,Alex. Dane and Alex have a love hate relationship,more on Dane's part than on Alex's. Dane keeps Alex at arms length. Eventually,Dane gives Alex and himself a chance to try to have a relationship and that is when this book really picks up and where both characters shine. Dane eventually stands up to both of both of his parents,comes out and fights for his love with Alex. At times I got frustrated with Dane and Alex. But,I'm happy that in the end,Dane grew as a young man and got the courage to stand up for himself and to let himself love Alex. Dane is somewhat unlikable at first,but I'm glad that I gave this story a chance. In closing,I liked this book a lot,and I look forward to listening to it again in the future.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Love222
  • 25-07-20

Great 2nd Chance

This is a great second chance. I really enjoyed thevsyory when I read it and Russo IMO brought it to life wonderfully.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SK
  • 22-08-20

Alex and Dane

I listened to this on audible.com. I really enjoyed the audio version. The narrator was good. Crisp, clear, distinguishable voices. Alex and Dane meet as teenagers and have one of those magical summers. Life intervenes and it all goes to hell. Later in life they meet up again and find that compromise is required for them to move forward. Life happens again. This is a well done story with depth and character development.