Let the Games Begin

Flatiron. Jul. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250354532. pap. $19.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
DEBUT Recent uni graduate and second-generation immigrant Olivia Nkomo has dreamed of the Olympics since childhood, so being hired for an internship with Great Britain’s delegation to the summer games feels like the reward for all of her hard work. An unexpected reversal of fortune threatens her life’s carefully plotted trajectory, however, and Zeke Moyo, one of Britain’s star sprinters, bears the brunt of her frustration. When they meet again under more auspicious circumstances, their mutual attraction fills their interactions with a far more pleasant type of tension. Olivia finds unexpected answers about her future, even as Zeke’s prospects grow increasingly opaque. In the midst of his third Olympic games, he has to navigate his career, his growing closeness with Olivia, and the presence of his ex-girlfriend, also a superstar Olympian. Olivia and Zeke’s shared British Zimbabwean heritage bridges some of the distance that exists between their positions in the Olympic and social hierarchies, and Mazarura deftly navigates the realities that shape her characters’ lives, maintaining humor even when discussing serious topics.
VERDICT A perfect Olympic-year read. This debut rom-com sparkles and is sure to delight contemporary-romance fans, particularly those who love reading about athletes, celebrities, and tenacious underdog heroines.
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