Monday, April 23, 2018

Release Blitz: Execution by Lucia Franco

Title: Execution
Series: Off Balance #2
Author: Lucia Franco
Genre: Forbidden Romance Over 18 years
Publication Date: April 23, 2018


The move to World Cup Academy of Gymnastics is the greatest challenge Adrianna has encountered. Punished for Coach Kova's overwhelming desires, she's reeling with resentment while she sits out the first meet of the season. As Adrianna fights to regain her focus, he pushes her body to the extreme, leaving her mentally and physically exhausted.

Kova underestimates Adrianna's endurance, and gravitates more toward her, despite his internal battle raging within to stay away. They try to disentangle themselves, but the tension between coach and gymnast mounts, engulfing them both in a forbidden world of deception and passion.

The one place where they should never feel alive, is where they find complete absolution. But one slip, one wrong landing, a missed grip, and everything they built can come tumbling down, damaging both their professional and personal lives.




5 Stars
Review by Jen Skewes

Wow!!  Lucia Franco what in world did you just do to me?  My God, woman you just put me through one heck of a roller coaster ride.  But I LOVED it!!!  I am not even sure that I have the words to describe what this book did to me.   I have waited a long time for this book and it was completely worth it.  The emotions that I felt while reading this book, the ups and downs, the heart break, the angst, the drama, and the passion between Kova and Ria was worth every minute that I waited for Execution!!

Execution picks up right where we let off.  Kova has taken Ria out of the competition for reasons that make him seem like a complete jerk.  Hayden has found out about their relationship and right now everything is one big mess.  Will Hayden be able to keep their secret?  What will happen with Kova and Ria?  Is that woman that we all despise still in the picture?  I am sure you have all the questions that I had.  But truthfully going into any detail about what happens in this book will completely ruin the experience.  Just go in blind and experience this ride for yourself. 

This series is about a taboo romance, not only is Kova her gymnastics coach but he is a lot older than her.  This is the epitome of taboo.  Now I have a daughter and if I found out she was sleeping with her coach who was also ten plus years older than her, the guy would be dead.  But, and I have said this in my review of Balance, when it came to Ria and Kova I did not care how wrong it was.  Everything about them just felt so right.  When they are together you feel every bit of passion between the two of them.  I felt how deeply they cared for each other.  I felt that what was between them was so much more than sex, what they had went so much deeper than that.

Kova is a complicated man, and a man of a few emotions.  But with Ria he was different.  I think I fell for this man even more in this book.  I didn’t see him as this older man who was taking advantage of , no, I saw a man who felt something for this girl that he hasn’t felt.  I saw a man who loved her even if he could never admit it.  A man who needed her in a way he hasn’t needed anyone.  A man who struggled so much with the guilt he felt for being with her.  He knew it was wrong but when he was with her it all felt so right. 

Ria is young and maybe a little na├»ve at times, but at the same time she is more mature that some girls are at her age.  What she felt towards Kova was not teenage lust for an older man whom she was attracted to.   For Ria, this was real.  She needed Kova in so many ways.  I think they both needed each other. 

Never once during this book did I feel like this was wrong.  And yes deep down I know it is wrong for so many reasons.  But when the two of them are together you just forget how wrong it is because you feel what they have and it is both beautiful and heart breaking at the same time.  The fact that I can feel this way about their relationship just speaks volumes about how brilliant of a writer Lucia Franco is.  This book was everything!!!

Execution is a long book, and I may have taken a little longer to read it than I normally would but I think I wanted to take my time and savor every moment. At times I was so afraid of what would happen next, I felt like I held my breath the entire time.  And therefore needed to take a breath at times and step away, but only for a few moments because at the same time I did not want to let go.  This book is full of drama and angst.  It put my heart through the wringer more than once.  I cried, I smiled, I felt every but of passion, love and pain with these characters. While I felt like I held my breath the entire time, when it was over my heart was in my throat.  The next morning I still could not get this book out of my head and still felt the emotion of how this book left me.  This will be one heck of a book hangover that I am not sure when it will end.  It was a roller coaster ride filled with twists and turns, ups and down, emotions all over the place, but so worth every minute. I am so nervous to see what will happen next but cannot wait.  I will be patiently waiting!!!! 






"Tighten up, Adrianna. Squeeze your thighs and butt. Everything needs to be firm so you do not sway. The tighter you hold yourself, the less you fall. You cannot loosen for one second. I do not want to see anything jiggle on you. Keep your focus." He paused. "By the way, your mother gave me a ring yesterday. Such a lovely woman she is. So caring of her daughter."
I stopped and looked down at him, letting out a gush of air I hadn't realized I was holding.
"Uh huh. Start over."
I ignored him. I couldn't believe Mom called him. "What did she say?"
"Start over."
"What did she say, Kova?" I pushed, snapping at him. I probably looked like a psycho to him, but he held firm and wouldn't speak until I started up again. I huffed under my breath and jumped. Typical Kova. He always had to get his way. My coach was an exasperating man.
"Just that she wanted to know how her precious daughter was doing. I told her you were getting there but still had a long way to go."
I lowered my eyelids. "Of course you did. What else?"
"She said she was concerned about your diet and wanted to make sure you were eating nutritious meals. She mentioned when you went home for the holidays you let go and ate everything in sight. She wanted to make sure you are not still on that same path. Something about you had to buy new clothes because your old ones did not fit."
My heartbeat sped up, and my lips parted. The animosity in her words rang like a siren in my head of things she'd said to me that I did wrong in her eyes. Moisture beaded above my top lip. I gripped the jump rope handles tighter, my skin burning against the plastic. I jumped faster and harder.
Kova was still speaking but I only caught the tail end of a few words. I wasn't processing any of it; all I could focus on was the fact that my mom had called him and fabricated lies and he listened like a good little sheep. She took vindictive to a whole new level and I had to wonder why she was trying in vain to sabotage my gymnastics career. She wanted to ruin me for the sake of ruining me. It was the only plausible reason I could come up with and a side of her I hadn't yet seen. I was her daughter, she was my mother. I didn't understand her attitude toward me.
A prickling sting deflated my chest and my breathing grew strenuous. I slowed down until I stopped completely. My arms dropped to my sides, and I stood with one foot positioned slightly in front of the other, staring in a blank trance at nothing but feeling everything.
A muffled cry burst from my lips and I threw the rope to the floor. Kova jerked back. Tears filled my eyes and my heart ached, not because I was sad, I was, but more so because I was so irate and filled with resentment that my own mother would purposely set out to hurt me. I hopped down, formed a fist, and dropped it down on the balance beam as hard as I could. I shoved at the side of it trying to push it over, shoving my weight against it, which could never happen. It was too heavy, but it felt good fighting against something.
"God! I hate her! Hate her with a passion!"
"Hey," Kova said softly, coming up behind me, but I couldn't stop.
"I can't stand her! No matter what I do, it's never enough. I never over ate anything, and I bought new clothes because I lost weight. Because we had stupid parties she forced me to attend. She is such a liar." I kept my back to Kova so he wouldn't see the tears in my eyes. "And you played right into it, making me sound like I'm hopeless, like an amateur who still needs years of work, and even that might not be enough. You gave her exactly what she wanted and she fed off that, I know she did. She has it out for me, always has, always will. Nothing I do will be right for her."
A fat tear slipped from the corner of my eye, and I walked away. I didn't take more than a few steps when Kova clutched my arm in his hand.
"Stop," he said gently. "Ria, I told her you still had a way to go because the truth is I am not ready to let you go yet."
I didn't know how to respond to that.
"Just give me a few minutes, Kova." I yanked my arm away and pushed at his chest. "I'll be right back."
Kova grabbed my wrist. "Stop. Listen to me."
I shook my head. "Please, just let me be for a sec and I'll be fine."
"Adrianna."
"Kova! Just leave me alone!" I screamed.
But he didn’t. Kova pulled me to his chest and I immediately fought against him.
"Get it out," he said. I shoved at him and cried harder, giving him everything I could. I hated that he was doing this to me and appreciated it at the same time. "Fight harder, hit me if you have to, just get it out." I struggled between crying and shoving, but Kova didn’t let go, and something in me cracked.
My efforts slowed, and I covered my face and let the tears flow. I poured everything out against his chest. Everything I held in over the past year. From my mom and her backhanded compliments, to the rigorous training I demanded of my body, to the illicit affair I had with my coach. I cried over everything, and he let me.
"Shhh… just let it out," Kova said, rubbing soothing circles on my back. "It is okay."
When my cries and hiccups subsided, I sniffled and expelled a huge breath. I felt like a burden had been lifted from my shoulders and I could breathe again.
Stepping back, Kova tried to lift my chin, but I kept my gaze cemented to the floor. I was too embarrassed. I didn't like crying to begin with, and I sure as shit didn't want to show him my tears. Tears showed weakness, and I wasn't weak.
He tried to lift my chin again, and when I didn’t budge, he sighed and got down on one knee so he was eye level with me.
"Jerk." A sad chuckle escaped my lips. "You always find a way to get what you want."









A competitive athlete for over ten years, Lucia Franco currently resides in sunny South Florida with her husband and two boys. Paranormal romance was her first love, but she has a soft spot in her heart for small-town and reunion romance stories.

When Lucia is not hard at work on her next novel, you can find her relaxing with her toes in the sand at a nearby beach.

Find out more about Lucia at authorluciafranco.com. Make sure to join her newsletter to receive exclusive updates and more!



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