Inked Avenue Reviews… “Balance” by Lucia Franco

//Balance by Lucia Franco//

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I have extremely mixed feelings when it comes to this novel. It took me a few days to read it because of school starting up, {insert eye-roll} and it took me a few days to think about how I felt about it, and honestly I still don’t know. As a reader nothing intrigues me more than a forbidden romance. Just the mention of one and my finger is itching to hit the One Click button. However, Balance is unlike any forbidden romance I’ve ever read, and there is nothing wrong with that, but to say I’m surprised and shocked would be an understatement.

The novel starts off so freaking amazing with likable characters and an alluring story line that pulls you in and refuses to let go until the very end. The passion and determination Adrianna has for gymnastics was inspiring and you can tell she would stop at nothing until her performance was perfect. I also loved and appreciated the background that was given to the readers to better understand the difficulty of the sport. The build up and angst between Adrianna and Kova was pulse pounding, and the way Franco created their taboo relationship made the dark forbidden romance seem oh so deliciously good.

I was eating every word of this novel up, loving everything about it, until about 50 – 60% of the way in. I understand that nothing about Adrianna and Kova’s relationship is going to be easy or normal, but I hated how he treated her. His constant hot and cold routine was only sexy at the beginning, and got old faster than Adrianna’s warm up. How he kept blaming all his feelings on her was absurd, and the fact that he was never there for her and that he strung her along the whole book was maddening. Talk about a hot mess. Then, during the final chapters, he changed in my mind completely. He became this manipulative person that only ever thought about himself and didn’t seem to care about her at all. I feel like the ending cheapened and tarnished their relationship because of jealously.

What I wish I could have seen was more sweet and romantic moments between the two. The driving force in their relationship was attraction and lust not love and care, and that was their downfall. I understand at the beginning there needs to be that angsty build up, but I feel like it should have grown into something softer and loving, however, that never happened. Honestly, I wanted her to be with Hayden. He was sweet and loving and truly cared about her. He built up her confidence and made her feel like she could succeed, while Kova constantly belittled and degraded her.

I am keeping in mind the fact that this is only book one in the series and a lot could change in the next book, so I’m going to keep an open mind. However, I hope that, in the end, Adrianna chooses Hayden. Overall, I did enjoy the novel and will definitely read book two, the writing was amazing, and the story was alluring but equally maddening forcing me to give it three feathers. I can’t wait for book two.

XX,

Jennifer


unnamed (13)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.


//Author Bio//

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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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