Title: The Summer Games: Out of Bounds
Author: R.S. Grey
Release Date: Aug 1, 2016
Out of Bounds is nothing like I was expecting. Having read and loved all of R.S. Grey’s books, I was not expecting this darker tone from the second book in the Summer Games series. This unexpected stylistic change did not prevent my love for the story, especially because, as a reader, I am drawn to darker characters and stories. So, really, Out of Bounds is right up my alley.
The characters in this story are incredibly flawed and complex. Erik is truly the epitome of a hero you love to hate. I cannot count the times I was angry with him for how he treated Brie and played with her emotions. I was frustrated with his inability not to toy with her. On the other side is Brie, and I was just as equally frustrated with her for baiting him and often acting in an immature fashion just to toy with him, too. The reason that I love them anyway is because they are characterized as real people with flaws and insecurities, and I love to read about these types of people. Additionally, Erik and Brie both have issues from their past weighing them down and that have had a considerable impact on who they have become and how they behave throughout the story. This aspect of their characterization also allows me to sympathize and be okay with their behavior during the course of the story. Another reason I am able to love them is because they make each other better, which sounds unlikely based on my previous comments but is true none-the-less. The two main characters are incredibly alike. Their similarities push them to challenge each other, and they awake something in each other, whether that is to feel emotions or to awaken sexually. At the end of the day, they are better together.
The secondary cast of characters are also great, as always. These characters are used expertly by R.S. Grey to decrease the tension between Erik and Brie. Lexi provides comic relief with her antics and crazy comments. Rosie’s innocence is incredibly sweet and also allows for some crazy and hilarious conversations when the “teach” her about boys. Not only do the group of girls lessen the tension of the book, but the girls’ relationships also serve to highlight the more adult and serious nature of Erik and Brie’s relationship. There are also some additional athletes (Hudson, please?) we get introduced to during the Games, so I am certainly excited to see where book 3 in the series is going to take the reader.
As I stated, this story has a much darker tone, and the relationship of the characters is much darker, often described by the author as toxic. The plot in this story will have you pulling your hair out in frustration, anger, heartbreak, and finally joy, but these are always the best kind of stories for me. Even with the darker relationship, R.S. Grey creates an enthralling journey for these two characters that sucks the reader into the story, and I promise that at the end of the story you will be happy with the plot progression.
On a side note, the sex and foreplay in this book is scorching hot. The emotion these two bring to each scene is hot, and Out of Bounds is quite possibly the steamiest book I have ever read by this author. There is one scene in particular, and you will know when you get there, that will have you blinking your eyes and checking over your shoulder to make sure no one can see your screen or book. I had to go back and re-read because I thought it was a dream and I missed that detail, but I didn’t. It is real and it is hot!
R.S. Grey is one of my go-to-authors. I love her writing, her characters, and her plot lines. With her, you get more than just good story with good characters, you get excellent writing. Everything she writes is gold, and Out of Bounds will be another smash hit in the Summer Games series. I am certainly anxiously awaiting the next book in the series, well, let’s be honest, really any book by her.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
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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.