REVIEW: Release by Lucia Franco

by - 7:00 AM

“I wish I was a better man for you.”

Back of the book blurb:

After Kova’s devastating betrayal, Adrianna must become her own champion and place her Olympic dream ahead of all else. In doing so, she ignores the warning signs as both the extreme training and unending heartbreak begin to take their toll.

  There is no atoning for what Kova did. The vow he made cannot be undone. With boundaries set and lines clearly defined, Kova will now have to be the one to relinquish control in order to regain Adrianna’s trust.

  Though the dynamics shift between coach and gymnast, nothing can prepare them for the agonizing truth that is to come. Fighting for a dream becomes only half the battle when Adrianna’s fate is sealed, leaving them both with their biggest challenge yet.

Chase’s thoughts:

Publication Date: May 2nd, 2019

Available for Purchase:

My rating:

            First, I want to say THANK YOU to Lucia Franco and Jill Mac for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was literally freaking out at work when the book appeared on my Kindle. Release is one of my most anticipated reads of 2019 and I am so grateful I was able to read an advanced copy!

            This is sort of going to be unconventional just because I didn’t formally review the first two novels in the series (Balance and Execution), so I am going to try to incorporate feelings for the series as a whole as well as feelings for Release individually.

            Release (and the entire Off Balance series) is an extremely taboo romance between a gymnast and her much older coach. If taboo of any sort is not for you, please do not continue this review and/or read the series. I, however, have been addicted to Ria and Kova since the beginning of book one and I am still so completely wrapped up in their story.

“He was Konstantin Kournakova and I was Adrianna Rossi. He was my coach, and I was his gymnast. Nothing more.”

            Again, Release is the third installment of the Off Balance series. I devoured Release so fast because I have been waiting for it since last year when I finished Execution with that brutal cliffhanger. Release picks up right where Execution leaves off, when Adrianna finds out a devastating detail about Kova.

Lucia Franco is the master at writing these behemoth length novels yet keeping the reader’s attention with every single word. I know, for me personally, sometimes longer books (not to mention a very long series) can seem drawn out and boring. Not the Off Balance series. I think it’s so wickedly delicious and extremely captivating that I literally cherish each and every word because this series, Kova and Ria, and just the world in general, has its claws so deep inside me that I couldn’t give it up even if I tried.

“I wished he didn’t have the power to make me cry.”

            I really enjoy Ria’s voice. I’ve had (read: forced) a couple friends to read this series because I’m obsessed and one of their complaints was that Ria doesn’t sound like a 16-year-old. I disagree. There’s a naivety about her, especially when it comes to her and Kova’s relationship, that just screams 16-year-old. On the opposite end of that, though, Ria also had to grow up extremely fast—she’s on the fast track to the Olympics as well as having a very complicated relationship with her dysfunctional family. That’s going to lead her to sounding a bit more mature than a 16-year-old, which is what happens. She’s mature, but still, the naivety does show and I think that’s what Lucia masters in these novels: that balance (no pun intended). Ria isn’t too immature to where she’s annoying, but she also isn’t too mature to where I could never believe that she’s 16.

“I just want you to need me.”

            It’s going to sound crazy, but I absolutely love the toxicity of Kova and Ria’s relationship. Not even the fact that it’s extremely taboo, but like, there’s something so intoxicating about two people who are so deeply in it together that they are willing to let the other person destroy them just to be close to their lover, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Kova and Ria are on the path to total self-destruction, but they don’t care because they have this need in them that they can’t ignore when it comes to each other. It’s easy to say this because it’s in a fictional book, but still… I am so drawn into their own toxicity that it’s like watching a horrible car accident that I just can’t seem to look away from.

            That definitely speaks to the way to Lucia Franco writes. She’s writing this extremely complicated and messed up relationship and yet I am so invested that it hurts. Lucia has created something so addicting that at this point, she could ask me to walk across broken glass without shoes and I would absolutely agree, so long that she kept writing words.

“Sometimes I fear I will miss you for the rest of my life, to the point I ache with sickness just thinking about it.”

            We all know that I live for angst, which is what the Off Balance series is chock full of. The longing, the dreams, the wishes are all so tangible that it invokes something so exciting inside of me. I can literally constantly feel what Ria is feeling and how she reacts to Kova and her situation. It’s so rare (especially these days with me being so busy) for a story to pull me in so much so that I feel like I’m quite literally living it.

            It was so hard to start a book so soon after finishing Release because I just wanted to live in Kova and Ria’s world for a little longer, but book blogging duties are calling! That’s what rereading is for, though, and I can assure you, I will be rereading these books until Twist comes out because… again with the cliffhangers. I am devastated at that ending.

            Release is the third installment in the intoxicating Off Balance series. It is a wonderfully delicious, scandalous, captivating addition to an already addicting series and yes, I would sell my soul to Lucia Franco. She is that powerful.

Happy Reading!

The Wandereader

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