Title: Blind Landing (Series: Flipped #1)
Author: Carrie Aarons
Rating: 4 Stars
Heat Rating: 3.5 Stars
All The Feels Rating: 3.5 Stars
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: August 4, 2016
ARC received in exchange for an honest review
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?
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.”
With the 2016 summer Olympics approaching, this is a great book to really get you in the spirit. It’s also a great book even if you could careless about the games, and just want a romantic book to read. Blind Landing is a quick read, funny, sweet and sexy- with a hero you can’t help but fall for.
Natalia Grekov is training to make her dream come true- compete, and win, in the Olympics. However, she is experiencing an emotion she isn’t used to, fear. It’s in the back of her mind, reminding her of what could go wrong. With her every move being watched to see if she makes the team, she tries to push it away. Determined and focused, gymnastics are the only thing on her mind. Well, sort of.
Spencer Russell is the play boy of gymnastics, even if he can’t compete anymore. An injury has crushed his dreams of the Olympics, and now he spends his time coaching others to get to theirs. He’s too charming, too attractive, and too cocky for his own good. But he also has a softer side, that starts to show when he helps Natalia get over her fear. There is also the sizzling sexual tension between them but they would both rather ignore it. At least, for a while.
One thing I really enjoyed about Blind Landing was that even though I have a very limited knowledge of gymnastics, I never felt lost with the details. You can tell Aaron’s knows her stuff when it comes to the sport, however it doesn’t feel too heavy or complicated. You can follow along easily and it isn’t overbearing.
Spencer is the best thing about this book. He is the typical bad boy that trips over a girl, turning him to a romantic sap. Even though that type of hero has been done a lot, I felt that Spencer had a strong, unique voice. I love how hilarious and sarcastic he is, mixed along with his romantic moments. If you enjoy banter between love interests, you will enjoy some of that in this book. Natalia and Spencer really go back and fourth, pushing each other.
I’m not sure why, but I didn’t connect as well to Natalia. There is nothing I can pin point about her that makes her that way though, I just felt like something was missing with her. The extra oomph so to speak.
I thought the writing was great and it flowed nicely. I loved some of the secondary characters and would be interested in their stories. At times the plot was predictable and corny, but I don’t mind that. There were just a few instances that felt a little dramatic to me, but all in all I really enjoyed it.
Trust me, you want to meet Spencer!
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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.