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Wet Olympians

Different Strokes

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When his regular masseuse is called away on a family emergency, Tomas does not expect Darren, her temporary replacement, to be such an attractive distraction. Tomas has always been a serious, no-nonsense type of swimmer; after all, elite competition leaves no room for unprofessional conduct. However, he finds it extremely difficult to stay on the right side of the professional line with Darren tending to his needs.

69 pages, ebook

First published December 10, 2013

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About the author

Nico Jaye

21 books181 followers
Nico Jaye is a fan of all things HEA and has dragged her romance collection along for her moves from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Chicago to New York and back. She thinks reading is awesome and loves that she can hang out night after night with crinoline-wearing debutantes, brawny firemen in suspenders, and werewolf shifters with Scottish brogues. An overall feline enthusiast, Nico secretly (or not so secretly?) adores Hello Kitty, cat GIFs, spontaneous traveling, pretending to be crafty, emoticons, hot menfolk, and parenthetical statements (not necessarily in that order). Her favorite stories are those that marry smut and fluff (a.k.a. smuff) into a gooey ball of HEA and fuzzies.

You can find Nico chit chatting about cats, popcorn for dinner, impulse trips to Iceland, and crocheting four scarves in one night at any of the following:

Website: www.nicojaye.com
Twitter: @nicojaye
Facebook Profile: Nico Jaye
Facebook Page: Author Nico Jaye
Pinterest: NicoJaye
Tumblr (NSFW): nicojaye

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 62 reviews
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,843 reviews5,558 followers
November 28, 2013
**3.5 stars**

Me likey! This was a very cute debut novella from author Nico Jaye. I thought a few things could have used improvement but it was sweet and hot and a very enjoyable short.

I'll start with the things that I liked. I have a weakness for awkward main characters- you know, the guys that stumble over themselves or have social anxiety, stuff like that. I loved how Tomas was a tough nut to crack, stoic to a fault, and socially insecure, though he seemed so together on the outside. I thought it was an interesting twist from the cocky jocks that I often see in sports-themed books. I liked the chemistry between Darren and Tomas and the slow burn courtship. When they finally hooked up, the lovin' was HOT and left me wanting more! I also liked the duel POVs, though I thought that the transitions between POVs could have been smoother (but that could have been an issue with my review copy).

So what could the author have improved on? Well, I think that the story got better as it went along. I thought that the beginning felt a bit... fumbly? Things tightened up as the story progressed but it was still a little tell-y and not as much show-y. I often have this problem with novellas: Because of their length, I feel like things tend to feel a bit pushed along. I also could have used more sex scenes (I'm a dirty girl!) that showed things being taken to the next level, BUT that would have required a longer book (the sex was in nice proportion to the length of the story).

All in all, a very enjoyable low angst read and a great intro to an author to watch!

**Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review**

Profile Image for SheReadsALot.
1,838 reviews1,183 followers
August 9, 2016

Nico Jaye's "Different Strokes" is a sweet short story between a socially awkward competitive swimmer Tomas Lundquist and a massage therapist, Darren Wright. The story take place a little over a year but we get vignettes of the men interacting for a few of the major holidays (I liked that). I'm a fan of those taciturn heroes that sometimes struggle to let their true feelings known. Tomas was ideal with his looks and demeanor. (I see you Triple B aka Big Blonde Beast)

I mean seriously, have you seen male competitive swimmers' bodies:

Nice, big, muscle bound bodies, sluicing through the water like sexy blades. *bites lip*

Darren and Tomas figure their way out into a relationship though they struggled with not talking. They did find the time to steam up a kitchen counter. Yeow! Then miracles of miracles, they finally understood one another through talking. Talking, folks...it works.

All in all a good story with likable characters. I'll agree with some of the previous reviews. There was the issue of telling more than showing. I had no major issues with this story. Quick in-between read with a satisfying ending.

Plus you know...this:

Profile Image for Sara .
1,413 reviews155 followers
December 6, 2013
Different Strokes how do I love thee…let me count the ways…Wait, is that too flowery? Too fluffy to be the beginning of a review? Deal with it. This was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time. I had this book pre-ordered already but I am a greedy selfish cow so when I saw it on NetGalley I jumped on this baby and was tickled when I was approved.

From the moment I met Tomas I was giddy. I loved being in his head and when this gorgeous man sees Darren I was a goner.
In a season of miracles and gifts, that man…he looked like an angel.

How can you go wrong with that? You can’t, you just can’t. I love the way the story is set up; we get our meet cute and then you are left waiting but not for long. I adored Darren, just adored him as he is preparing for her first massage session with the reputation that IS Tomas Lundquist. I was smiling through it all, a bit fat grin on my face as I read this story and hugged my Nook. It was wonderful and yes it was fluffy. So damn fluffy that I am still wrapped up in it and I don’t want out.

The push and pull with these boys was well done. I would have loved to witness a more hands on experience with the massage sessions, really would have loved to make sure Darren got that first request done well…really well. *ahem* My mind wanders far into the gutter with that but hey, Tomas said it so I totally blame him. Oh and Tomas, six words that came out of your mouth, so unexpected but so damn HOT! Dayum boy! You done good!

Different Strokes was a lovely read, a simply lovely read. I loved how the men got to know each other and how they both held onto their integrity throughout the attraction. Tomas and Darren were fantastic with learning the steps to the dance that will let them get what they want. Ooh the dance and kitchen counters and confessions…Le Sigh.
“I’m not sure if I’ll be good at this.”

“Just do what feels natural.”

If you like your boys full of sweetness with a side of sexy and hold the angst, then I suggest you add this to your list.

*ARC provided by Less Than Three Press via NetGalley*
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,355 reviews137 followers
September 6, 2016
I like sweet.
I like fluff.
I especially like sweet fluff.
Sometimes I crave sticky syrupy romance. I’ll be the first to admit it…I’ve got a sweet tooth and I’m proud of it. Tomas and Darren easily slip into this dreamy wish come true niche.
If you’re looking for angst, stress or heartbreak…
this is not for you.
If you are like me and wistful beautiful tales of falling in love tickles your fancy....than this is definitely what you need.

Focused, determined, and disciplined…he’s a man with one thing on his mind. He’s got his eye on the prize. Olympic swimmer, and gold medalist to boot, his life revolves around his talent. He’s never had the freedom to let loose, date and enjoy simple pleasures. A chance encounter with his massage therapist’s co-worker at a holiday party sparks an interest. Too bad, so sad, he’s not available. A couple of months later when he is forced to drop his pants and submit to him as his temporary masseuse, the spark begins to flame. When he finds out Darren is no longer attached, the flame burns hotter. How long can he uphold his professional responsibilities when he’s dying to take things into the pleasure category with the sexy masseur he desperately covets?
For the first time, the prize he desires is not made of gold.

Fun, full-of-life, and uplifting…he’s purely charming. You know those people that light up the room when they enter? It’s as if they bring the sunshine inside? Yep. This is Darren. He’s easy to love and his energy and affection is contagious. Living a simpler life, he finds his new client gawk-worthy, but completely out of his league. When he gets conflicting signals from his new aquatic obsession he finds himself spinning. Tomas is confusing to say the least. Sometimes words make things too complex and you just want to feel, just breath in the moment. Inhale. Exhale.
Can he stop asking himself why and go with the emotions on the table?

I simply adored Darren and though I didn’t fall for Tomas immediately, he won me over by the end. I was standing at the finish line cheering for him and his happily-ever-after. The characters were solid, their story was delightful and the writing was strong. My only gripe would be it was perhaps a bit excessively descriptive at times. This is not a typical complaint of mine, but I believe it was where the focus was honed in that caused the slight distraction.
It was short and sweet and left me aching for more.
I cannot wait for whatever comes next from Ms. Jaye!

*3.5 slipping-spinning-swaying stars*
Profile Image for Ami.
5,771 reviews501 followers
December 10, 2013
Hmmm ... for the most part, this novella was quite fluffy sweet. But at the same time, it also fell on the "more telling, less showing" spectrum of writing, which wasn't particularly a favorite of mine.

I especially loved Darren, he was adorable with his insecurities – that he thought Tomas was out of his reach. I loved how he talked to himself to stay in control when he had to touch Tomas's body to give the swimmer a massage. And I loved his friendship with his 'brother-from-a-different-mother' Will.

Tomas, unfortunately, it took awhile for me to warm up to him. Even until the end, I didn't particularly like him. Maybe because I thought he was a bit hot-and-cold towards Darren, and his lack of communication made Darren confused (and made me slightly annoyed with him). Since the story also included his POV, at least I knew it was because Tomas didn't have experience with relationships and was afraid of making the wrong moves.

The dual POVs were nice ... but I was having issues with the "told not shown" style. It made me feel less involved with these characters. When it said that they had good conversation, I wanted to know what that was. When it said that Tomas discovered they had a lot in common, well, I wanted to actually read about it. All those good things that said made these two guys clicked were summed up into paragraphs, and that made me cranky.

So it was an okay read but not particularly offering something that stood out against other stories I have read lately. However, if you were looking for a sweet story with less smut and low drama, this could be an option.

The ARC is provided by the author for an exchange of fair and honest review. No high rating is required for any ARC received.
Profile Image for JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust.
345 reviews578 followers
August 20, 2014
******3.5 "BACK(door) STROKE" STARS *********

The title definitely has my name written all over it. God, how I wished the story had screamed my name A LOT more often.......Yes, I'm a stroking addict.....whom shall never seek treatment.

Enjoyable , light hearted, cutesy story . Great for a m/m newbie-----> which I am NOT. If you're looking for quick, entertaining, tingly, but not ready to jump someone's bones horny type read, this is the book for you :-)

P.S. Thank you Anne for my fabulous gift....
Profile Image for Ann.
1,452 reviews125 followers
December 13, 2013
I love Nico's words. No surprise there and this story was no exception.
Darren is so obviously sweet and loving, but I really liked Tomas. Sure, he was a hardass to Darren at first, but he's lived his entire life as an incredibly focused and competitive person. With all his training, he doesn't have the luxury of a normal dating life and not just anyone would be a match for him.
Darren was the best gift Tomas could ever receive and he could finally let go of some of that control and enjoy life outside the pool.
I'd love to read more about these characters, they were a perfect match.
Profile Image for Jo.
172 reviews69 followers
October 7, 2015
I loved this book. There is no way I can be unbiased because I love Nico Jaye's writing. She has a way creating characters that even when they vary they all have an underlying sweetness to them that just makes you want to take them home and spend an evening with them in any way you can. They are a roaring fire on a cold day with a cup of hot chocolate the kind with a mountain of whip cream…mmmmmmm…. That is how this book makes you feel. Her writing is funny and real. As I was reading the book there were so many things that just made me quiver and giggle. I have a weakness for athletes in my books but I don't really care for sports and Nico has a genius for writing scenes that are true to athletics while still holding us non-sporty's interests. The chemistry between Thomas and Darren is wonderful and honestly she had me at glutes... read the book you will get the joke.... There is instant attraction between Tomas and Darren but the relationship is built slowly through the pages of the story. By the time they share that first kiss you are there in that moment with them.

Make sure you check out the chapter titles they alone are worth a full out laugh..

Love the book Ms. Jaye please keep writing.
Profile Image for Marc | Rainbow Gold Reviews.
481 reviews50 followers
December 12, 2013
Hi guys,

I just got a copy of this book for an honest review and thought I'd read the first chapter to get a feeling for the story, before going to bed. It's now 5:15 am in Germany and I just finished the book, even though I have to be up early tomor... today. Oops. I could probably just stay up ;)

Well, anyway, since I'm here and you may be here?- I'm just gonna share my though right now while the reading is fresh ;)

If you want to see more of my reviews, please check out http://brandilynreviewsbooks.com/

The Facts: The 18,000 word short story was released yesterday (12/11/2013) by Less Than Three Press LLC.

The cover: I really like it:) It may be because I was a swimmer myself in High School and the sight of a pool just brings out positive memories for me or the fact that it's fricking cold outside and this sexy cover makes me want to travel to Australia, because it's actually warm there right now, but the cover really drew me in and made me curious about the book. It's clear that Thomas, the swimmer, is the guy on the left; but both guys have beautiful back musculature to admire and drool over, while the pool just creates a serene atmosphere. The font of the title fits perfectly into the background, without disappearing!

The title: It's really quick and effective. Easy to remember and while it doesn't pertain to the story in any significant way, Thomas is a swimmer and can use different strokes.

The story: First of all, I loved that each chapter had a title. As there were often important time jumps between the chapters, it felt good to have a title that put me in the right mood for each chapter. The short story by it's nature is not really long and by telling a story over a longer time span, some character depth was necessarily sacrificed. Even as we never really see the characters hit it off, we can see the results of their bonding and gain a glimpse into both of their heads. They are both sympathetic characters and I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of who they were. Thomas, the famous and ambitious athlete with the perfectly sculptured body has put so much work and training into his sport and becoming the best that he doesn't really have a social life. He is very goal oriented and usually achieves what he sets his mind to, but in the face of his desires for his employe he seems rather like an innocent puppy then a competitive gold-medal winner. He is incredible cute when he doesn't exactly know what he is supposed to do and made me grin quite often throughout the story.

Darren is a hot, skilled masseuse, but we never get a lot of info on him. He's an incredibly likable character, though. EVen as both struggle against the mutual attraction, considering their professional relationship, the bond of attraction they both feel can not be denied for long.The most satisfying thing about this cute tale for me was that the guys actually talked about their problems when they miscommunicated and it just made me so happy that these nice guys didn't have to draw misconceptions out in a contrived manner that always seems very artificial and yet is often used.

The story really isn't very sexual, so if you want to read about a lot of hot sex, go read "Bound By Blood". I was actually glad of this, though, because with limited space I would rather have the story be about the growing emotional bond and the question of how and when they finally get together than see the 18000 words be purely about sex. The sexual tension is so much more interesting in a short story like this in my opinion.

I did notice that at times the descriptions seemed rather stiff (and by that I don't mean descriptions the bulges tenting their pants :P)- while the formating made everything easy to read, the writing sometimes tried to be too perfect and as a result the character's observations didn't seem completely authentic. Further the dashes really distracted me. They were the long kind, the em dashes, connecting two words directly, instead of the en dashes I'm used to that are smaller and have a space to each word they connect. There are instances where the long kind is called for, but here they often seemed wrong or maybe just to plenteous?

In any case, this is a really cute little story, perfect between larger books. Definitively something I can and will recommend. :)
Profile Image for Karen.
1,859 reviews85 followers
March 26, 2016
Ok first off confession time, I bought this book because it was written by one of my friends here on GoodReads and I've always believed in being supportive of my friends. So I bought the book. Now having said that here is where the support ends and the honesty as a reader comes in.

I loved this story, Tomas is a serious competitive swimmer and his commitment to his sport is unwavering. This dedication has taught him to be single-minded in his focus when he wants something and until now being the best at what he does has been all he has wanted. Until Darren, one look at this gorgeous man and he knows he wants something besides to be the best at swimming, but Darren has a boyfriend so best to just move on. Darren is a massage therapist and partner to Christina, Tomas's regular therapist. Nearly a year has gone by and time and circumstances have conspired to bring these two men together again and Darren is no longer a part of a couple. Tomas is no longer willing to just walk away, but can he make Darren see that he wants a relationship beyond what they currently have?

These two men were so wonderful together, from their first kiss to the last word in this book I was drawn in and read into the wee hours of the night unwilling to leave them alone until I'd reached the end only then could I turn off my e-reader and get some sleep.

Different Strokes is a very sweet love story about two men taking a chance and finding happiness and really who doesn't enjoy a story that leaves you smiling and hoping that everyone takes that chance, the one that leads to happiness and love.

My only real problem with all of this was I really, really liked Darren's friend Will, so I'm hoping maybe at some point that the author is planning on giving Will his own story? I think he has a lot of potential, hint, hint and I know I'll be more than happy to see the name Nico Jaye on future releases even if it's not about Will (But Will would be really nice and I bet he's demanding his own book isn't he? He seems the sort, lol) Well done, very well done.
Profile Image for Sunny.
1,012 reviews121 followers
August 11, 2016
Heather's review matched my thoughts perfectly. My own one word summary? Adorable. Yes, this was a nice fluffy blanket, perfect for warm snuggles.

I would have liked more showing, especially with the massages, but I thoroughly enjoyed what we did get to see. I also liked getting each MC's POV. Darren stole my heart without any effort, but Tomas would have been a harder sell if I didn't know his thoughts as well.

My main complaint: It was too short!

3.5, rounded up :)

Profile Image for Lori.
Author 2 books98 followers
February 18, 2014
My expectations were high with this book, having read some previous shorts from Nico Jaye I knew I enjoyed her writing style and her sneaky sense of humour. I knew I liked her characterisation and plot-lines, but had I set my hopes too high?

No way, she didn't let me down. It had all I would want from a novella. Two great characters who were different enough so as to be individual instead of interchangeable, a story-line that I hadn't read a million times (I loved the masseuse idea - someone touching you all over but in a professional way, when you are attracted to that person where is there to hide?) and best of all the slow, yet hot, romance building between Tomas and Darren.

honestly, I started this book thinking I'd read a couple of pages then put it away for later, as it was I was very nearly late picking the children up from school as I just couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read the next book by this author.
Profile Image for Pjm12.
1,852 reviews41 followers
December 9, 2013
A light, quick, flirty read with two contrasting, adorable main characters. Because of Tomas' social inadequacies, Darren is a bit puzzled as to his intentions.

The angst is easily smoothed over, the narrative moves directly and the HEA is lovely.

This copy was provided by the publisher via Netgalley with thanks. Out December 11.
November 29, 2013
This was cute and pretty much angst-free. Tomas, a competitive swimmer, meets Darren at a Christmas party thrown by Tomas' massage therapist. Tomas finds himself drawn to Darren, but Darren is spoken for. Fast forward a few months, and Tomas finds Darren (now single!) on his doorstep, massage table in hand.

I enjoyed the story and found both MCs (socially awkward, uptight Tomas and kind, optimistic Darren) to be endearing. I would have liked the story to be longer (much longer). There was a lot of telling ( with one paragraph providing an overview of a few weeks). We're told that the two guys get to know one another over the course of a few months, but we're privy to only a couple of those interactions, so the relationship seems to jump rather than develop.

Because of the length, the smexy scenes were also very limited, and the conflict was reduced to "there's this misunderstanding because we're not communicating."

Even so, this was a light, fun read; it took me less than an hour to get through it. Just expect a sweet, bite-sized cupcake vs. a whole feast.

(Thanks to the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.)
Profile Image for AnnaLund.
271 reviews54 followers
October 17, 2013
Goodreads TOS-compliant review: (I think, let me know when they tell us what the rules are).
"The book I just read is about two (or three) lovely people, written in beautiful language, by a very good and prolific author. I liked it very, very much.
It is for sale on Amazon.”
For my honest and true view of the same book, please read …MORE

DISCLAIMER: As of today my reviews will all have this pretty face, so that all and everyone on Goodreads can stay happy and beatific. I’ll let you know if I change my mind.
Profile Image for Nico Jaye.
Author 21 books181 followers
Shelved as 'wrote-it-o__o-gasp'
September 3, 2018
Second edition on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited! :D

P.S. And new coverrrr! ^__^
Profile Image for Brandilyn.
1,126 reviews44 followers
January 4, 2016
See full review here:

I adored this book. It is the story of unrequited lust at first sight and slow burn romance as told in 6 vignettes. The vignette style can be done well and can be done badly. Jaye does it right. Each vignette is a pivotal moment in the relationship between Tomas and Darren with enough clues to what happens in between, but the monotony of day to day interactions is left to the reader’s imagination.

When Tomas first meets Darren, He feels an instant attraction but Darren is not available. Rather than torture himself, Tomas takes himself out of the situation. Fast forward a year and they meet again, but still they must each refrain from each other. I loved that, even though it was lust at first site (at least on Tomas’ part), both men were upstanding, professional, and responsible for their actions. I loved that when they final did get together, It was obviously more than just great sex. I loved that the kitchen sex scene was one of the hottest I have read this year.

I waffled between 4 and 5 stars for this one. Usually for a 5* review I have to cry, or at least get choked up at some point in the story (or feel some other emotion equally strongly). This was a very low angst romance, but it was told so well that I had to give Ms. Jaye the credit.

I would like to thank Less Than Three Press and NetGalley for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Mandy*reads obsessively* .
2,203 reviews326 followers
December 24, 2013

This is such a cute little story.

We have Darren, a nice happy guy. He's a massage therapist and jumps in for his business partner and Tomas's usual therapist when she is called away on a family emergency.
Tomas is goal driven, he has to be, to be such a successful athlete. So once he decides to woo Darren, he plans.
The problem is that although he really is a sweetheart, and wants to do it all the right way, he doesn't understand how it might look to Darren.
I love when stories have both POV and I love when the guys talk about things and clear up misunderstandings that way!
This book has both of those things! :)
It's low in the sex department too, which I also liked, when a story is short I don't need to packed full of sex and no story.
All in all a sweet cute little read.
Just right for today.
Profile Image for Natasha.
528 reviews255 followers
January 6, 2014

How did I forget to write a review for this? Oops. I read it a while ago. My bad.

My favorite Nico Jaye book, definitely. Cute, loving, and surprisingly a fantastically fluffy read. I usually don't like fluff. Of any sort. I even like hairless cats.
But this book was great.

It had just the right amount of sexual tension, teasing, playfulness, no one doing stupid shit, and hotness.
Loved the characters. They were adorable and had big personalities.

Job well done. Stamp of approval.
Profile Image for Katrina Passick Lumsden.
1,779 reviews12.8k followers
March 27, 2015
Jaye kinda let me down with this one. The build up was awkward, the romance stilted, the ending completely unsatisfying.
Profile Image for Chris, the Dalek King.
1,167 reviews146 followers
May 16, 2014
I have to say this was probably the most problematic bingo category i have ever had to deal with. I mean, it shouldn't have been this hard, I only had to find an author with a 'N' name. But for some reason nothing was striking me as the least bit interesting. I must have tried out ten different books before I basically threw up my hands in defeat and just went with the one that was shortest, out of the books I already owned.

And I was pleasantly surprised by what I got in return.

Tomas does not do that whole socializing thing very well. In fact the only reason he got dragged that Christmas party was because he had a bet with his massage therapist that he couldn't even stay at a party for two hours. And if there is one thing that Tomas does best (beside that whole swimming thing) it is win any challenge thrown his way. It is at this party that he first meets Darren (unfortunately accompanied by his surly boyfriend). And well if there is one thing that Tomas knows, it is that pursuing the hot (and taken) massage therapist is a bad, bad, bad idea.

When, months later, his regular massage therapist has to leave town, and Darren takes her spot, Tomas is still convinced lusting after the man is a bad idea. Except now he's a bad idea that gets to put his hands all over Tomas' naked body. His slick, hard, body.
Tomas led the way back up the stairs. His mind was a bit fuzzy after that incredible massage at the hands of the miracle worker known as Darren Wright, but he definitely remembered one thing: he had, quite blatantly and for all intents and purposes, demanded that the man grope his ass.

Tomas bit back his groan of embarrassment.

Had he really done that?

Yes. Yes, he had.

And even if Darren's boyfriend is a thing of the past, and even if the feelings may just be returned...it is still a bad idea. Professional ethics and shit like that.


This really was a nice story. Tomas and Darren where incredibly hot together, and while I would have loved to have seen some more of them in between chapters (and time gaps), the way it was structured didn't leave me feeling all that left out. I'll miss what we didn't get to see, but I didn't have a hard time believing what they were feeling because it was very well written in the story that we were given.

And I was pleased to see that they actually stuck to their guns about the whole professional thing. Not that I wouldn't have cheered on a little below the belt and above the thighs massaging, but they both believed strongly that they needed to act like professionals, so they did. Darren definitely needs to do some off the books massaging for his hot boyfriend, now though. Even if only in my dirty dirty mind. :P

For a short story, this was pretty good. There were parts were I wish I got to see more, but for the most part I just sat back and enjoyed the show. The nice characters, some hot dancing, and skin on skin action--not to mention the highly improper use of kitchen counters--made the story a lot of fun. This was the first story I've ever read by Nico Jaye, but I will have to pick up some of her other stuff, because I liked this one.
Profile Image for Debra.
1,984 reviews230 followers
January 5, 2014
This was a cute, very short story. I liked the characters and the dual points of view. Both men have their insecurities about a potential relationship and it takes a while for them to get their act together. I just felt that I wasn't really as pulled in to the story as I wanted to be. There was more telling of what happened, then actually seeing the men together, but the times they were together were alternately sweet and hot.
Profile Image for Nic.
Author 35 books346 followers
January 27, 2023
Looking for something a little on the light and fluffy side? Like the idea of a gorgeous swimmer and hot masseuse? Then this book is probably perfect for you!

Different Strokes tells the story of Tomas, a very focused Olympic swimmer and Darren, his very attractive, replacement masseuse. Both men are immediately drawn to each other but their professional integrity keeps them apart. Tomas doesn't want to mess around with someone he views as an employee, so counts down the time till his regular masseuse comes back, while Darren needs to maintain his professional distance so as not to ruin his company's reputation.

The story follows the men as they deal with their attraction. In typical fashion, neither are aware of what the other is feeling and the story is built around doubt and insecurity. I wanted less soul searching and doing the right thing and more action!

There is one very hot scene that takes place on the kitchen counter, when they finally can't resist the lure of one another but there was such a missed opportunity to make the most of the whole massage set up. Yes, it was mentioned but I wanted the whole experience of Darren's thoughts as he touched the man he desired and Tomas reaction as Darren puts his hands all over him!

All-in-all, this was a nice, quick read with very likable characters.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in return for my honest review.

I publish all my m/m reviews on my blog so if you want to see all my m/m reviews in one place come visit at Because Two Men Are Better Than One!
Profile Image for Connie.
423 reviews3 followers
August 24, 2016
I was just browsing around GR and I came across this blog post and I totally felt in love with these boys, how cute are they?

well, as cute as the cartoons are the boys in the pages are even cuter.

Tomas is so competitive, focus, one thing in mind and that is swimming, get to Rio Olympic games in his best shape.
Darren is just so lay back, totally different, focus yes, but relax. He loves his job and enjoys doing it but he also has a life he enjoys living.

And that is exactly what he needs to show Tomas, that he can have it both too.

I loved Tomas inner monologues, I literally laughed out loud with him. For all he is self absorbed he is pretty insecure too. Feelings are not his thing at all.
Darren is pretty straightforward, and for all that Tomas confuses him, he also knows that his heart is in the right place, so he will go for that boy with everything he has.

These are sweet, adorable, no major drama going one aside from the gross miscommunication issues.

You will feel like hugging them and/or smacking them in the head LOL

Nico Jaye's voice is fresh, new, different, and I look forward to read more from her.

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley
Profile Image for Jeannie Zelos.
2,795 reviews50 followers
December 12, 2013
Different Strokes. Nico Jaye
Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.
I love the build up to a romance, that whole is he/she interested...the way looks and glances, and simple touches can say so much when well written. Books don't need to have in your face graphic sex to be sensual and erotic, and this little novella is a perfect example. Its a great short – I’m not usually a fan of novellas but sometimes they're perfect, if you've just a short time or you're a slow reader for example. I enjoyed this, meeting Tomas and Darren, learning what’s behind their thoughts and gestures, and how easy it is for one person to mean something very different to how its interpreted.
Ended in a terrific way, when they finally got on the same wave length, (unintended pun there !!) and Darren learned that Tomas wasn't just a standoffish person, wasn't trying to let him down but was just feeling his way. Tomas seemed such a confident person but I enjoyed how we saw what he really was behind that mask, and equally Darren seemed so open and upfront and yet when it mattered to him he was cautious and more closed. Fun read, I’d guess at around 70 pages as I don't have length or price info.

Stars: four

ARC supplied via Netgalley
Profile Image for Kelly.
419 reviews20 followers
November 12, 2018
Different Strokes

Nico Jaye

This book was provided for free by the author in exchange for an honest review via the MMRG Don’t Buy My Love Program. 

Thomas is an Olympic swimmer with zero social skills. When his regular massage therapist goes to stay with her sick mom, Darren steps in for a few weeks. 

There is a clear attraction on Darren's part but Thomas runs like warm and cold respectively. 

This is good for a short read, but I wasn't feeling Thomas. There's shy and there's robotic. Darren was more patient than I would have been. After weeks of almost zero emotion Thomas goes with a grand gesture -- here, take my extra car, I'm fixing yours. Oh... uh sure. 

I didn't feel the emotional connection until the very end. 

I liked Darren, I just wasn't feeling Thomas. But, if you like athletes, take a look. 

Profile Image for Lisa J..
313 reviews18 followers
August 5, 2016
I've enjoyed all of this author's previous works, but I just couldn't get into this one. There was a lot of telling, and I felt like I was viewing this relationship from a distance. Just when the couple finally has a meaningful conversation on page, the book was over. The Olympic swimmer aspect was something different, and I liked how the book was broken up into vignettes of sort; the birthday one was my favorite.
Profile Image for Didi.
1,535 reviews86 followers
March 22, 2015
2.5 stars

This is a cute story, but I find it just... okay.
Tomas was very by the book and aloof kind of guy, while Darren a bit on the clueless and shy side. Their slow budding romance was awkwardly progressing, which was part of the charm. Still, the story flow felt stilted somehow and didn't click with me the way I thought it would.
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