By Lucia Franco
I apologize in advance if my review offends some, but these are my true feelings about the book. This review does contain a few spoilers.
After a very involved conversation with a good friend over this book, I had to read it to see for myself what all the fuss was about.
After reading All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, I was challenged with similar content as far as underage sex, but it was something I could overlook based on the 13-year-old’s character and how she was raised. In this book we have Adrianna, a 15-year-old who is fairly mature for her age. She’s practically emancipated from her parents because they’re never around and Adrianna spends the majority of her time in gymnastics training. She does love her parents, but doesn’t have much guidance from them at all due to their absence. Now, Adrianna has decided that she wants to up her game and begin training at a new facility. Her dad finds her a gym where the coach is actually one of his friends. She’ll be living here a few hours from home and training 40+ hours a week as she works to be part of the World Cup elite team. After taking one look at her new coach (Kova), she about falls to the floor. He’s that gorgeous–very different from Adrianna’s past coaches.
This book was ‘meh’ for me at best, probably because of the age gap between Kova and Adrianna. I couldn’t get into their ‘romance’ which really isn’t a romance at all because there’s zero love. Plus, I just flat-out didn’t like these characters and thought Adrianna was disrespectful and incredibly annoying. Kova who’s 32 years old isn’t much more mature than Adrianna either; in fact, he’s incredibly irresponsible and cheats on his other girlfriend while repeatedly offering the morning after pill to Adrianna so she doesn’t get pregnant. Also, he thinks by waiting to have sex with Adrianna until she’s 16 puts him in the safe zone, but he’s wrong. Sure, consenting age is 16, but from what the law says, 32 years old is not within the legal age bracket.
I personally found certain sexual descriptions disgusting too and it was hard to endure. Adrianna’s parents are jerks and her mom doesn’t even care when she gets an injury. The only character that was bearable here was Hayden, Adrianna’s teammate and friend. So, you can see why I just really didn’t enjoy this book.
The blurb is deceivingly disastrous too. Why wasn’t it mentioned in the blurb that Adrianna was only 15 years old going on 16? If there were a disclaimer, people could choose whether or not to read it. I feel like that’s an important detail that was left out with controversial behavior such as this.
I’ve read this entire book from front to back. If I were to rate it based on the writing alone I’d give it four stars, but it doesn’t seem right to rate it that high because this wasn’t a book I truly enjoyed. Books are entertainment, and here we are with a story that seems very relevant. These things happen, whether they’re right or wrong, and I’m not sure the author is promoting underage sex by writing a story such as this. The underage law was mentioned multiple times in the story. To me, when you write a story like this, It doesn’t mean you condone these behaviors, but with this being categorized as an erotic romance, I can understand how some see it that way and feel that a precedent is being set.
When reading books like this I remind myself of other stories or genres like crime and murder. Murder is illegal as well and people still get away with it all the time. There are many stories with troubling content like rape, and child abuse as well, just like in the movies. These aren’t favorites for me which is why I don’t read them that often. While this book isn’t for me, I’m not going to beat the author down for writing it. The author writes well; however, the story was a bit drawn out at 600+ pages. I won’t be continuing with this series; however, I might check out more books by this author in the future.
This book has been removed from Amazon for the time being, but can still be found on Goodreads:
- Paperback, 608 pages
- Published September 1st 2016 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (first published August 28th 2016)
- ISBN: 1536882941 (ISBN13: 9781536882940)
- Language: English
- Series: Off Balance #1
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.
Thanks for reading my review. Have you read this book? Feel free to leave your comments below.