Authors: Lucia Franco
Copyright © 2016 by Lucia Franco
Edited by Nadine Winningham
Cover Design by Romantic Book Affairs
Photography by Madison Mooring Photography
Cover Models Ethan Jose and Haley Scaman
Interior Design and Formatting by:
E.M. Tippetts Book Designs
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Table of Contents
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.
Alyssa West, thank you for supporting—and loving—my crazy and wild idea for the Off Balance series, probably more than anyone. You’ve been by my side since the beginning, continuously encouraging me, and allowing me to bounce tons of ideas off you. I could never thank you enough.
Kova is all yours.
“Any coach who has been coaching for ten years and says he never fell in love with an athlete or vice versa is lying.”
Much like a student teacher novel, Balance is a forbidden romance story between a gymnast and a coach. If you find that genre of novels to be not to your liking in any way, shape, or form, Balance is not for you.
This novel is purely fictional and does not reflect on real life events. Gymnastics is a very hands on sport that involves a lot of close contact with an instructor. My main goal was to focus on the beauty of the actual sport, but also show what goes on behind closed doors and how working with a coach for nearly forty hours a week can transpire into something more. This story is meant to push you, take you outside your comfort zone. I hope you take the plunge and look outside the box before making judgment.
Balance contains explicit content some may find offensive. It is intended only for readers 18 years and older. If graphic language and underage, consensual sex are bothersome to you, I highly suggest not reading this novel. Reader discretion is advised.
A category of gymnastics that includes all the events. The all-around champion of an event earns the highest total score from all events combined.
A Yurchenko-style vault, meaning the gymnast performs a round-off onto the board, a back handspring onto the vault with a two and a half twisting layout back flip.
A push off the bar with hips and lifts the body to straighten the shoulders and finish in handstand.
Points taken off a gymnast’s score for errors. Most deductions are pre-determined, such as a 0.5 deduction for a fall from an apparatus or a 0.1 deduction for stepping out of bounds on the floor exercise.
The last skill in a gymnastics routine. For most events the method used to get off of the event apparatus.
International Elite, the highest level of gymnastics.
The performance of a routine. Form, style, and technique used to complete the skills constitute the level of execution of an exercise. Bent knees, poor toe point and an arched or loosely-held body position are all examples of poor execution.
Performed on bars, a swing in which the body is fully extended and moving through a 360 degree rotation around the bar.
A full-twisting double back tuck, with the twist happening in the first back flip.
It can be done in a tucked, piked, or layout position and is used in both men’s and women’s gymnastics.
Free Hip Circle
Performed on the uneven bars or high bar, the body circles around the bar without the body touching the bar. There are both front hip circles and back hip circles.
Springing off the hands by putting the weight on the arms and using a strong push from the shoulders. Can be done either forward or backward, usually a connecting movement. This skill can be performed on floor, vault, and beam.
A termed used by coaches to inform the gymnasts they want them to drive their heels harder up and over on the front side of a handspring vault or front handspring on floor. Stronger heel drives create more rotation and potential for block and power.
A mount where the gymnast jumps off a spring board while keeping their arms straight, pushes off of the low bar, and catches the high bar.
Performed by men on the rings, it is an upside down cross.
A strength move performed by men on the rings. The gymnast holds the rings straight out on either side of their body while holding themselves up. Arms are perpendicular to the body.