Monday, August 29, 2016

Review: Balance by Lucia Franco

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.

5 stars
Review by Jen Skewes

I am not even sure where to start.  I finished this book a few days ago and my mind is still stuck on this book.  For the most part I went into this book blind. I knew it was a taboo romance, which I love but this book is so much more than a gymnast falling for her coach.   This is the epitome of taboo romances.  It will completely test your morals.  It will make you see things like you never thought your would see them.  This story may not be for some but I will say that the best way to go in,  is completely blind and with an open mind.  It is by far the best way to experience Kova and Ria’s powerful and passionate story.

Adrianna is a young gymnast whose goal is to make it to the Olympics.  She eats, sleeps and breathes gymnastics.  She moves 3 hours away from her home to get the best training that she can get.  She is not a quitter and will do whatever it takes to get to the next level.  No matter how much the pain may be she will fight and fight with everything she has. She is strong and determined and nothing will stand in her way, no matter what.  Her coach is arrogant, and just a plain asshole at times.  He works her hard and seems to pick on her constantly, pointing out the negatives, rather than the positives.    Making her feel like she is not worthy of being there.  But then there is the sexy side to him because let’s face it the man is gorgeous.  But when it is just Kova and Ria there is another side to him, one that she cannot stop thinking about.  The connection between the two of them is undeniable.   But if she isn’t careful Kova will be her ruin.  But she may very well be his as well.  

This is a forbidden romance like I have never read before.  I will not say any more about it but will say that Ms. Franco wrote this story in a way that it just felt so right.  The intimate scenes between Kova and Ria were so raw and so intense that I did not give a crap how forbidden their romance was.  I felt every bit of their connection and passion.  The passion and intensity that you felt when they were together just made it all feel so perfect and just so dam right.  You felt their connection, and you experienced it all with them. 

It wasn’t just their passion in the bedroom though.  No, these two had a connection that was fierce, from the stares across the gym floor to the heated arguments between them.  Everything about the two of them was so intense that at times I didn’t know if I wanted to hug them or slap them. 

Kova completely tested me on so many levels.  That man can make your head spin and give you whiplash like no other.  There were moments when I myself wanted to jump on him and kiss him but then there were the moments where he became that asshole again and I wanted nothing more than to throat punch him.  He is such a confusing man but in the end I completely fell for him.  His passion and his drive was so god dam sexy that I could not help but love the man.  But I still wondered what was really going on in his head.  I still needed to know so much more about this man who drove me crazy. 

Adrianna is a tough girl who knows what she wants and goes for it.  I have to say at times I wanted to scream at her for pushing too hard but at the same time applaud her for actions.  I felt everything with her. Her pain and hurt was my pain and hurt.   And it wasn’t just about her and Kova. It was about the intense training that ripped her apart day in and day out, both emotionally and physically.

Ms. Franco did an outstanding job with this book.  She completely blew me away.   For one the knowledge and understanding of the sport itself and the intense training that goes with it was written so perfectly.  It truly gave you and understanding as to what gymnasts go through. The writing was flawless.  And yes this book was a little on the long side but not once did this book drag on.  As a matter of fact I could not and did not want to put this book down.  From the moment I entered into the world of Kova and Ria I could not let go.  This book was filled with passion and the fact that Ms. Franco can take a situation that is so wrong and make it feel so right just shows what an amazing writer she it.  This is by far on of the best books I have read this year.  An now I will patiently wait for the next book.  Ok maybe not so patiently because I really need the next book Now!!

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