Series: Off Balance #1
on August 28, 2016
Genres: Romance, Sports
Adrianna Rossi is no stranger to the rigorous demands required of her body. Years of pain and determination make her one of the best. Olympic glory is the ultimate goal, and she'll do anything to achieve it. Even if that means leaving home to attend World Cup Academy of Gymnastics, a training center that serves one purpose—producing champions.
Perfection, precision, and dedication are required of his athletes. When two time Olympian Konstantin Kournakova is persuaded into training the young hopeful, he immediately regrets it. She doesn't come close to his high standards. As the relentless pursuit of her dream keeps her striving, a passion is ignited within him.
Kova's power and domination, coupled with Adrianna's fierce tenacity, reveal there is more for her body to learn. Every interaction can be misconstrued, but there’s no mistaking the darkening of his gaze, the lingering of his touch, or the illicit image of his bare skin pressed against hers. Integrity is on the line. One toe off the beam and their forbidden desires could ruin everything they’ve worked for, throwing it all off balance.
Have you ever read a story that is so taboo that you feel a bit conflicted? I mean, I am a huge sucker for these romances…like they are my book crack. So, while reading Balance, I kept saying to myself I really shouldn’t be enjoying this. But damnit, I couldn’t help it!
Adrianna is fifteen year old (in the story she does eventually turn sixteen) gymnast who is trying to achieve her goals to join the Olympics. She has a few things going against her, mainly her age and the fact that she is lacking the skills that most gymnasts have already at that age. To better perfect her craft, her parents agree to send her to World Cup, a gym that will help her get to where she needs to be gymnastics-wise. When she gets there she meets Kova, her thirty-two year old coach. He is the one thing that can be her undoing….
Kova, was a complete jerk through and through. He was unrelenting when it came to coaching. I am not sure how Adrianna took it day in and day out. His hot and cold demeanor would be too much for me to handle. But I truly believe it was her love for the sport that kept her there. Her determination to be better and make it to the Olympics was commendable. Also, I really think that Adrianna was a bit wise beyond her years. She seemed way more mature than your typical fifteen and sixteen year old girl.
“I was sixteen.
He was thirty-two.
There were many laws we would break if we took another step.”
But then again there were a few things that really bothered me.
First of all, there was a lack of birth control. I know this is a fictional story and whatnot, but there was no discussion whatsoever. Then the way it was rectified not once, but twice was a bit unnerving. This may not bother most, but it really bothered me.
Secondly, as I said above, Kova was a complete jerk. But I think a lot of that was his own defense mechanism for dealing with his own feelings for Adrianna. But the last ten percent I feel like he upped his meanness twofold. It was like a whole different person emerged.
“We will both be our ruin if we do not stop while we are ahead.”
Now to the good stuff! Like I said above, this is a seriously taboo read. This romance is not for everyone. Truly, I’m a bit ashamed of myself that I enjoyed the romance aspect of it. I seriously thought it was super HOT! The chemistry between the two was palpable and I couldn’t get enough of it.
I think Lucia Franco did a great job and really knows her gymnastics. Many times I find myself DNFing books that really push the lines and this was an exception. I think the subject matter was handled really well and I cannot wait for the next one in this series. And yes, there is a cliffhanger… I’d rate it about a six on the cliffhanger scale. I would’ve given this one four and a half stars if it weren’t for the two things above. BUT, I still think it is a great taboo book that will have you questioning yourself before and after cold showers, stiff drinks, and a smoke.