Author: Carrie Aarons
Title: "Blind landing"
Book 1 in series Flipped
Main characters: Spencer "Spence" Russell and Natalia "Nat" Grekov
Fear stops dreams in their tracks before they even have a chance. Then again, so do injuries.
Natalia Grekov was born to win Olympic gold. As the USA’s top gymnast, she’s calm, confident and ready to make her country proud in just two short months. And her elite athlete lifestyle includes no time for distractions—especially men. When a disastrous fall in practice puts her dreams at risk, it seems the only person who can help her is the one person she wants nothing from.
Spencer Russell is gymnastics’ bad boy. A cocky, laid-back charmer with abs of steel and a witty mouth, he waltzes around the U.S. Gymnastics Training Camp like he owns the place—even though he doesn't anymore. After an injury sidelined his career and any chance at Olympic glory, he’s now just a coach, helping other gymnasts reach their goals. Serious is not a word in Spencer’s vocabulary. But when Natalia tumbles into his life, he's suddenly sincerely interested in helping the blonde beauty in any way he can.
Can they vault over the obstacles standing in their way? Or will Spencer be the distraction that causes Natalia's chance at gold to crash and burn?
I got my hands on the ARC of this book, which was very exciting for me, cause it was one of my highly anticipated reads of august :) I gave it 5 full amazing stars, and that was 4,5 for Spence and Nat and 0,5 for all the possibilities of future books cause I loved soooo many secondary characters :) more details in a moment, but before I can concentrate on them, let us take a second to just look at this cover... GAH!!! it's so stunning :) seriously, I fell in love with it the moment I saw it :) but back to the contents of the book... I loved it :) now let me tell you why... :)
I'm gonna start with our main couple :) Spencer is a gymnast-turned-couch after an injury that ended his career... he's open, direct, talkative and a total flirt :) I loved him... he's just arrogant enough that you can't help but smile, but not enough that it bothers you :) he's definitely go-with-the-flow kind of a person, always trying to stay positive :) Natalia is the daughter of polish immigrants, which was very cool for me, cause I'm polish too :) and I never get to read about characters from my country :) that was just a small additional plus from me, more of a curious turns of events ;) ok, moving on... ;) she's actually a bit like him... fearless, brave and open :) fun, but definitely focused on her goal :) the trials for the Olympics, that's just a few months away :) she's one of the best gymnast and after years of sacrifices she and her family made, she has only one thought and goal in mind... gold medal :) usually I connect with one of the main characters more when I read a book, but in this case I loved them both equally :) maybe because they were actually similar ;) their personalities really matched and I loved to see their interactions... now a bit more about them... ;)
They met in a training facility, where he's one of the coaches... :) and even though there was definitely some very interesting chemistry between them, nothing more happened... at least not at first... :) because of her focus on that medal, she don't want anything or anyone to make her loose it... not to mention that getting it on with a coach is a no-no ;) so instead, they decide to be flirty friends... ;) I just love that term... ;) acknowledging the attraction between them, but deciding not to act on it :) and it works quite well... until he uncovers her little secret... because Nat have a problem... a problem with fear, which is worse for her, because it's the first situation like that in her life... so he offers to help her get rid of it, before anyone else realize how serious it is... and let me tell you... those hours spent together in secret from anyone else... the more they work together and get to know each other more, the hotter the attraction grows... ;) and I have to honestly say, that I loved them together... don't get me wrong, they were amazing as individual characters but together... *fans herself* they were fantastic :)
Now about those secondary characters I mentioned earlier... I am actually surprised about the amount of people that I fell in love with in this book... I mean seriously, you could pick anyone of them and give me their story and I would love it... but I do have to admit that a certain single father stole my heart... ;) fingers crossed he'll get his story at some point... I'm not sure when, but I do know that the lovely Carrie is working on a sequel... :) there were also a few gymnasts that definitely grabbed my attention... again, I won't give you names, but that is totally me being vague on purpose... :) the book itself is not super long, so I want you to have a few surprises along the way... but I definitely caught a hint here, a glimpse there about one possible couple... maybe even two.. ;) I am very curious if you will catch them as well :)
This was my fourth book written by the lovely Carrie Aarons and I expect her to always deliver on the writing style... she has yet to disappoint me :) this story was written in 2 POVs, and I am always a fan of that, to be able to get inside of the heads of both main characters, to better understand them :) and don't worry, if you know nothing about gymnastics, like yours truly, you can absolutely enjoyed this book :) but I have to say, that it really shows that the author has experience in this sport... the way she describes all the good and bad sides of it... the way she portrays Nat... even without any knowledge whatsoever, I was able to understand the passion and the drive behind a person putting herself / himself through all of that... all the pain for the body and soul, just so you can achieve that one dream... you can feel the emotions, the love and passion from the pages... but that is exactly what I expect from Carrie's stories... she really pours her heart into these books... you may not love all of them, you may have troubles with characters from time to time, but you can't deny, the raw and honest words you find in all of her stories :) I have to applaud her for creating a book that really pulled me into the world of gymnastics... :) I finished it in one evening :) I really wanted to find some quotes for you because there were so many of them in this book but... well... once I started it, I got immersed into it immediately, and before I knew what was happening I was at the end and... well... I have no excuse, really... ;) just that the book was so great that I forgot about everything else completely... and that is actually a compliment for the author, so I'm going with that ;) definitely give this book a try, it's a fast and fun read, that will make you laugh out loud and gasp in surprise... not to mention all of those little, emotional moments that will hit you in all of the feels when you least expect it :) definitely a must read :)
Novak claps again and I look over in his direction. “Thank you for being able to join us this morning, Spencer.”
Turning towards the gym’s front doors, I watch Spence, as he told me to call him last night, stroll in clad in his typical wardrobe of sandals and workout shorts.
And nothing else.
Jesus, he’s sexy. With all of those carved-out-of-stone muscles and short brown buzz cut, it’s like he should be in a Marines uniform instead of in a chalk-covered gym. He looks like he just rolled out of bed three seconds ago, and I squirm in my split. Which only adds to my building frustration as the carpet and my leotard create friction below my waistline.
“Oh, no problem, boss. Anything for you guys.” He gives a lopsided grin and jumps onto a stack of mats, lounging with one elbow propping him up. It’s as if he’s constantly posing for a non-existent camera, like he’s the star model for a shoot in Gymnastics Monthly.
Actually, I think he did have a five-page spread a couple years back and I have it somewhere in my desk at home.
“Grace, Julia, Natalia, Peyton, Quinn and Lila … you are headed to the bars gym for the first part of practice today. Spencer, I will be assessing the men on pommel horse for the first part of the day, so you will be helping with the girl’s bar workout.”
My stomach flips. Bars is my best event, I’m not nervous about that. I could do my routine, which is one of the hardest of anyone at Filipek’s, in my sleep.
But having Spence watching me with those green eyes? Tracking my body as it spins and flies through the air? It makes the butterflies in my stomach explode.
I know he likes me, genuinely likes me. I know because he told me. And I genuinely like him too. We also find each other hot, or else we wouldn’t have gotten naked together in the Atlantic Ocean last night. That’s obvious.
But I don’t do boyfriends. Especially not boyfriends who are gymnasts. And don’t even get me started on the gymnast turned coach thing. Even if he isn’t my coach. Point is, I don’t even do hookups. Sure, I have in the past, but most of the time I find that the sex isn’t worth it and things just get awkward. Most would call me more adult than my years in this thought-process, but being an elite athlete means having to grow up fast. My biography might read nineteen, but I’ve been told I have the maturity and life view of a thirty-year-old. Talk about being jaded.
The whole relationship thing, no matter what form it’s in, is just too messy. And as much as I hate Filipek and everything he stands for, I need to focus to achieve my goals. I’m not here to fulfill anyone else’s dreams, just my own. And partially my families.
I don’t have time for Spencer Russell. And what’s more, I have a feeling Spencer Russell does not have time or interest for girlfriends either.
Spence salutes Novak, taunting him and crossing the line just a little more than anyone would dare where he’s concerned.
Then he turns to our group. “All right chicas, let’s get moving. Someone remind me again, what’s this low bar for?”
The rest of our group giggles and bats their eyes at Spencer, but I just roll mine. His humor about the difference between the men’s high bar and the women’s uneven bars is the oldest joke in the book.
“Why don’t you watch and learn? We’ll show you what real gymnastics looks like.”
a Rafflecopter giveaway About the author:
Author of romance novels such as Red Card and the Captive Heart Duet, Carrie Aarons writes sexy, swoony and sarcastic characters who won't get out of her head until she puts them down on a page.
Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book. She loves spinning tales that include dapper men, women with attitude, and the occasional hunky athlete.
When she isn't in what her husband calls a "writing coma", Carrie is freeing up her jam-packed DVR, starting her latest DIY project, or planning her next travel adventure. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, who is more than happy to watch sports while his wife plots love stories.