Series: The Summer Games #2
Published by Amazon Digital Services on July 30th 2016
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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.
If I’d only known this is what athletes get up to in the Olympic village, I would have really tried to have done better in physical education class just to get in that mass of writhing but sculpted bodies. ‘Out of Bounds’ is yet another book about the antics and the competitive spirit of athletes and is thankfully a standalone, so book one’s characters and their shenanigans aren’t part of this developing story arc at all. And I suppose the release of the book is never more appropriate, considering we stand at the cusp of the Rio Olympics, waiting for the elite few to mesmerise the world and then party it all up later (this bit, I’m still a little bitter about).
There’s a huge element of the forbidden here which I completely ate up; the coach-trainee relationship and not least, the huge age gap that never seemed wider when both Erik Winter and Brie Watson come into close contact with each other. I generally liked Brie’s no-nonsense attitude towards training and her quest for gold; her solid reason for wanting to support her mother resonated with me strongly and she didn’t quite behave in any way out of line than what I expected girls of her age to behave, especially those who’d never quite had a chance to grow up normally among cliques and friends in school. Yet it was hard to reconcile this Brie with the angsty, hormonal teen she became each time she was with Erik – juvenile, spitting and pushy – as her behaviour made the nine-year gap between them insurmountable. The man himself was difficult to read and like with his on/off, hot/cold attitude and it wasn’t easy to see him as anything other than someone who played with Brie in hurtful and sometimes spiteful ways, which is primarily the reason why their relationship never quite caught on for me. There were constant push-pulls and insults and anger that inflamed lust, yet it never felt as though they’d never moved past toxic and superficial to trust and understanding – which made the declarations of love at the end unbelievable because I’d never really felt it in the first place.
‘Out of Bounds’ isn’t the most memorable sports NA book I’ve read, though compared to the abysmal read I had of the first installment, I’d go as far as to say this is way above the cut after being burnt by the first.