Title: Edge of Glory
Author: Magan Vernon
Series: Friendship, Texas #1
Release Date: July 12, 2016
“Welcome to Conti’s. I’m Lia and I’ll nguhhhhhhhhhhhhh.”
I froze. Directly facing me was Olympic swimmer, Jay Morningstar…and I just made an idiot of myself.
The rest of the table looked up to see me standing there with my mouth practically gaping. His coach, who I recognized from TV interviews, and even two other swimmers from the Olympic team. They didn’t say anything, they didn’t even blink.
I couldn’t even put together my words and Jay Morningstar was just staring at me with that Wheaties box smile and those icy blue eyes.
What was I supposed to say? Sorry I just made a weird noise, it’s just that I have a poster of you on my wall where you are wearing nothing more than your gold medals, a smile, and a pair of man panties?
Edge of Glory was my first novel from Magan Vernon and it certainly did not disappoint. This story is a fun, sassy adventure in celebrity crushes, overprotective parents, and Italian food that will give you all sorts of feels and leave you grinning. Jay and Lia were the most unlikely pair, but they had a connection that was instant and palpable. I was intrigued (and a little jealous) at the prospect of the sheltered fangirl capturing the affections of the Olympic superstar and enjoyed the delightful awkwardness that arose from their first few meetings. Jay and Lia’s story is a lighthearted read that definitely airs on the side of insta-love, so be prepared for the overwhelming sweetness of this couple. But don’t worry, Magan Vernon compliments all of the cuteness with a slowly developing chemistry that becomes something decidedly sizzling. Lia and Jay’s sparkling connection definitely made it easy to root for this unexpected couple and I found myself invested in their happily ever after in no time at all.
“He looks at you the way he looks at a swimming pool. Like he’s excited to dive right in.”
Lia was a fun character to explore. She wasn’t the typical heroine and I think I loved her even more for that. She was quirky and insecure, harboring a quiet passion for life that had her ready and willing to break out of her shell and step outside of the life she’d always known. She was obviously hardworking and intelligent, continuing to care about work, school, family, and her relationship with her best friend even after becoming involved with Jay. She was real and grounded, making it easy to connect with her. I adored Lia’s relationship with her family. The unconditional love and occasional frustration making her seem incredibly genuine and providing plenty of amusing and oftentimes embarrassing moments for Lia. While Magan Vernon certainly gives Lia plenty of reasons to lack self-confidence, I would have definitely liked to see more growth from this character in terms of her self-worth and security in her relationship with Jay. Instead her doubt, disbelief, and mistrust seems to last right up until the end making her sudden turnaround seem a bit sudden.
“The best things in life aren’t easy. Sometimes we have to work harder. Push harder. It takes time, but in the end, it’s always worth it.”
Jay was definitely swoon-worthy. I mean, who doesn’t love a sexy swimmer? While I could easily say it was his gold medal muscles and his Olympic sized… pool that did me in, I fell hard for the respect and care he showed towards Lia. His patience and determination to do things right with her had my heart fluttering so his undeniable yum factor was simply icing on the cake. Jay did have his moments where I really wanted to smack him, specifically at his sister’s wedding. Knowing how inexperienced Lia was in general, I definitely would have liked for him to make more of an effort to help her deal with the spotlight, especially since he was reeling from the repercussions of his own misadventures with fame. I also wish we could have explored Jay’s past a bit more. My knowledge of him outside of swimming felt very superficial which made it hard to fully connect to the character. I did love Jay’s relationship with his teammates. Their easy banter and good-natured teasing made me grin. Not only was their dynamic highly entertaining, but it also gave Jay an authenticity I could appreciate.
“The feelings may fade eventually, but if it’s true love, it never goes away. No matter what they do or what you do to try and stop it. Love doesn’t fade.”
Magan Vernon writes with a palpable passion. I could feel how much of herself she put into Lia and it helped me to connect with the story even though it was the stuff of every fan’s daydreams. Having never read a book by this author, I enjoyed getting to know her voice. It was smart, sassy, and refreshing, making for a heartfelt and charming reading experience. Edge of Glory isn’t a fast-paced, action-packed story, so it’s definitely more geared towards being a sweet weekend read. There was plenty of emotion laced throughout the book and Magan Vernon certainly had my heart aching and skipping a few beats as I experienced Lia and Jay’s journey. The colorful cast of secondary characters filled out the story perfectly and provided plenty of humor and heart. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. Edge of Glory was a great mix of dreams and reality, sexy and sweet, awkward and adorable. The feeling of contentment Magan Vernon left me with means I’ll definitely be checking out more from this author.
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Don’t miss the rest of the series:
Rumor Has It (Friendship, Texas #2)
Meeting Virginia (Friendship, Texas #3)
Part of Me (Friendship, Texas #4)
The One That Got Away (Friendship, Texas #5)