I despise Erik Winter.
He’s arrogant and cruel—a man I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy—and by some twisted turn of fate, he’s my new Olympic gymnastics coach.
I’ve had to contend with gruff coaches in the past, but Erik is far worse. His stern demeanor complements a body built for intimidation, and his reprimands come from a mouth so cunning, I know it could strip me of my defenses—if I let it.
Though each of us would love to be rid of the other forever, we are bound to each other by need and necessity. I’m his rising star, his best shot at proving himself to his critics. And without a coach, I have zero chance of winning gold in Rio.
The easiest way forward would be to wave a white flag and make peace with the man I’ll be sharing close quarters with for the foreseeable future, but he is intent on war.
Fine. By. Me.
If he pushes me, I’ll push back harder. If he wants to test me, to play with my head, I’ll show him just how many boundaries I’m willing to cross. Because I know it’s not a choice between winning or warring—not if you can have them both. At the end of it all, I plan on leaving Rio with gold around my neck and his icy heart in the palm of my hand.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Genre: Sports Romance (18+ years)
Series: Book 2 in The Summer Games, can be read on it’s own
My good friend Andie, whom I met on Instagram (check out her feed, it’s absolutely stunning!) has been encouraging me to pick up R.S. Grey’s books for quite some time now. I had seen and heard a lot of mixed reviews on one of her books so I wasn’t feeling the pull to dive right in. I’m here to say… DON’T LET OTHERS OPINIONS DICTATE YOUR LIFE!!! Wow, was I missing out on an amazing author. In July I decided I wanted to start THE SUMMER GAMES since well, it was almost time for the Olympics and book two was set to release at the beginning on August. I downloaded SCORING WILDER and SETTLING THE SCORE on audiobook and listened to them every spare minute my ears had. These books did not disappoint. R.S. Grey creates such depth with each character. The stories were well thought out and a unique type of sports romance/romantic comedy. Not only that, but those first two books had Harry Potter references. Any author who slips in a good HP reference instantly wins my love!
“Gymnastics is the sport with a strong marriage between body and mind. Your body hesitates in fear and cries out in pain while your mind wills it to push beyond what should be possible.”
Okay so back to Grey’s latest release, THE SUMMER GAMES: OUT OF BOUNDS. I was drawn to this book because the female protagonist has the same name as me AND it’s about a gymnast, which was always my favorite sport to go watch growing up. The second book in the Summer Games series was definitely more angsty than the other two that I read. The sexual tension was strong between Erik and Brie. This led to some pretty freaking steamy scenes. OUT OF BOUNDS is told from a dual POV. Switching between their perspectives is essential to this plot. Otherwise we would be left feeling like the other is just a complete and total ass!
“His jaw was a weakness of mine, so sharp I preferred when it was softened with stubble. Without facial hair, his face was too handsome, too smooth and inviting.”
Brie is desperate to win gold to help her family. She can’t let herself focus on her Coach. A relationship with him could ruin everything she’s worked so hard to create. But the pull she feels toward him is so strong she can’t fight it. She’s closed herself off from creating real and lasting relationships because she’s been burned by people she loved and cared about and is now terrified of losing someone again.
“Those damn eyes. If they weren’t slicing me in two, they were begging me closer, promising to devour me.”
Erik is trying to carve out his own way in life. Trying to make a name for himself after dropping out of the Olympics 10 years earlier. No one knows exactly why he left. Was it an injury? Was it drugs? Was the pressure too much? The story to why he left will shock you. He doesn’t want to be attracted to Brie. She infuriates him and knows all the right buttons to both make him mad and turn him on. This cat and mouse game they have needs to stop.
“Brie needed to learn that I had boundaries. She couldn’t bulldoze through the rules I’d set out for her and expect me to be okay with it.”
R.S. Grey definitely tested boundaries with this book (see what I did there?). I saw a couple pretty negative reviews because of a specific scene that she wrote. Personally I feel like it was a pretty bold move on her part. But I can also see where some readers’ may not have been a fan of this particular kind of … interaction. That being said, if you enjoy a good sports romance, with bits of humor, tons of angst and a HEA, I would highly recommend that you pick this one up. And what better time than now when we are in the middle of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games! Although this is book 2 in THE SUMMER GAMES series it's the first book in a series where I can say this is a standalone. You do NOT have to read any of the other books prior to reading OUT OF BOUNDS. There are no minor spoilers or plot details that will be spoiled by reading this book first.
“I was playing with fire – no. I wasn’t just playing with fire; I was rolling in it. I was so confident I wouldn’t get burned, I didn’t realize how deep into the flames I’d fallen”
I am a lover of books, chocolate, reality TV, black labs, and cold weather. Seriously, if I had it my way, I would be curled up on the couch with all of those things... everyday.
I live in Texas where I spend my free time writing and reading. My favorite authors include Mindy Kaling & Jonathan Safran Foer. I'm a comedy geek and love all things "funny". Women like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Mindy Kaling are definitely the biggest inspirations for my writing, though I think my work tends to skew a bit smuttier than theirs.