Elite Gymnastics is only for the best of the best.
The pressure is intense.
The skills necessary are daunting.
Injuries can’t exist.
But to be the best…to reach the pinnacle in gymnastics, gymnasts must not only qualify for the Summer Olympics, but also do everything possible to bring home the gold and become a household name because that’s what makes EVERYTHING worth the pain…worth the sacrifices…worth the loneliness that comes with spending over 12 hours in a gym 365 days of the year.
Brie Watson and her new gymnastic coach for the Olympics, Erik Winter, do not need any distractions. They both have a lot riding on the Summer Olympics in Rio. Brie’s goal for gold is about so much more than just her – she’s living out her dream as an elite gymnast due to her mom’s sacrifices and selflessness, so Brie wants to repay her mother by helping her to no longer struggle or work so hard. Erik Winter has always been in his father’s shadow, as a gymnast and now as a coach, and what makes things worse is that Erik and his father do not get along nor do they see eye to eye on what Erik should be doing with his 5 Olympic gymnasts.
There’s a lot on the line for both Brie and Erik, so the fact that they push one another’s buttons and play games with each other that will never have a clear winner is not something they have any business doing – too bad the fact that they are playing with fire is not going to stop them, though, because neither of them will back down…neither of them will surrender – they’ve lit a fuse that will only be extinguished with one of them walking away and losing their heart or both of them realizing that what started off as a distraction…as a game…has turned into something that neither is willing to give up despite the risks they’re taking by being together.
Out of Bounds is quite a bit different than R.S. Grey’s usual storylines, which works well because Brie and Erik are not her typical characters. This story is filled with a heavy dose of ANGST, and while Brie and Erik’s actions and reactions drove me absolutely mad and frustrated me to no end, eliciting that kind of response from readers is exactly what makes Grey a well-rounded writer – one who makes her readers feel absolutely EVERYTHING that her characters experience and regardless of which way those feelings sway, what’s clear is that what the characters go through resonate with readers right to their core.
I’ll admit…for most of the story, I couldn’t handle Erik’s hot/cold demeanor. His distant and indifferent attitude towards Brie didn’t sit well with me but neither did Brie’s need to continue to play this twisted game with Erik – a game that could ruin her in multiple ways. What made me be a bit more patient than I usually would be with a douche canoe of a character is the fact that R.S. Grey gives readers Erik’s perspective, so we see behind his frosty personality and understand a bit better why he acts the way that he does. I never completely thawed towards Erik, but I could recognize his struggle better with the insight Grey provides.
Brie has her own issues throughout the story, but because she had more to lose, I guess it was easier for me to understand why she would distance herself from Erik but then cling to any kind of meaningful interaction between them. The fact that she’s quite a bit younger than Erik also plays a role in her reactions, which is obvious by some of her more thoughtless actions.
Brie and Erik’s story is a whirlwind of emotions…the highs and lows that they experience both as athletes as well as lovers are complex and emotionally charged, which only adds to the investment that readers will have for the book. Everything about the storyline is explosive and that energy runs throughout the months leading up to Rio and the days of competition, setting Brie and Erik up to go for the gold in both their professional and personal lives, hoping they don’t end up off of the winners’ podium and out of each other’s lives.
A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
4.5 Poison Apples