Author: Lucia Franco
Series: Off Balance Series #1
Published on: August 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 469
Format: eBook, Paperback
Related Books: You'll Think Of Me
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.
WARNING: This novel contains explicit content.
Let me preface my review by saying this.
1. Yes, I knew this book was a forbidden romance before I started reading it.
2. Yes, I knew this book was a about a coach and his gymnast AND yes I knew there was significant age difference.
3. Yes, I can handle forbidden, taboo, *insert whichever appropriate adjective here* romances and yes I do like them.
Now that I have that out of the way. Balance was high on my TBR list, but I just did not enjoy it liked I had hoped to. None of the above are the reasons why I didn’t enjoy Balance, if anything those were the reasons that I was initially drawn to the story. Lucia did a great job crafting the world of a young gymnast. Adrianna didn’t live, act, or behavior like most 15/16 year old girls. She lived on own, trained hard, and for the most part knew what she wanted in life. Kova was a interesting charachter. He was intense and he didn’t coddle or baby any of his gymnasts, but man did he get results. He was a passionate person. I admired his intensity and even though was a bit of an a**, I didn’t mind it, it was just who he was.
The first 50% of this book I was eagerly anticipating what would happen between Kova and Adrianna. They both understood each other’s passion for gymnastics and they found it easy to open up to one another. Their connection wasn’t anything illicit (at first) but after spending 50+ hours a week with a person, it is hard not to grow close to one another. I found myself wanting to see them together. Was that wrong? Probably. Did I question my moral judgement? Yes, but at first there was something about the two. There were many, many, MANY times that I had to remind myself of Adrianna’s age. I began to anticipate their stolen glances, the hesitant touches, the kisses, all of those things, BUT the second half of the book did not live up to the first.
Balance was a story concept that could have been a fantastic forbidden romance. It somehow lost its steam. The story seemed too focused on being so sexy, salacious, and drama filled, that the “forbidden” concept felt lost within the story. By the second half I just wanted more. I wasn’t feeling their connection like I had before. I honestly wish we could have had some insight into what was going on in Kova’s head. For a man that was supposedly conflicted about his actions and desires, the way he talked and acted towards Adrianna didn’t match up. I didn’t feel any real hesitancy on his behalf. I knew this was a erotic novel but it was honestly too much at times. I wanted a little more push and pull, a little more tenderness and I didn’t get that.
By the end of the book I hated Kova. What I once liked about him now all seemed manipulative and crass. The jury is still out on my feelings for Adrianna. I lost mad respect for her when View Spoiler »she didn’t get what she wanted (yes ok, Kova was being a total DICK), but the fact that she could easily throw it in his face that she could get him on statutory rape and “everyone believes a girl who cries rape”. This did not sit well with me AT ALL. « Hide Spoiler. Regardless of my feelings, Lucia did write a book that kept me reading (even if I wanted to throw my kindle). Will I read the next one? Maybe. Part of me wants to know where this story goes. Plus, I am interested in seeing HOW and IF Lucia can redeem the characters.