Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU

Free On KU
Free On KU

Off Balance by L. E. Royal


L. E. Royal is a must-read author for us. Well-realised characters, rocking chemistry, convincing relationships -- her books have it all.

Maya Scott is the newest employee with the Mars Fund. At twenty-two, Maya hasn't had an easy life. And there is one person, Robert Holt, determined to kick her down and keep her there. Holt also happens to be the grandfather of Maya's three year old daughter, Livvie. In a dick move, Holt managed to wrangle Liv's custody from the scared and confused teenager that Maya was when Liv was born. Ever since then, Maya is struggling to prove herself stable and capable and get her daughter back. 

Maya has an unfortunate and embarrassing first encounter with her boss, Elena Mars. Elena suffers from cerebral palsy but doesn't let that slow her down in any way. She is driven and tough, and works herself and her team hard. 

Liv proves to be an unexpected bridge between Maya and Elena and neither the fourteen years between them nor the vast gap between their financial statuses matters.

Maya and Elena are brilliantly written. Individually, they have all the complexes and complexities that make then entirely real and together their relationship has depths and dimensions that makes it just simply awesome.

Elena's difficulties and struggles are inescapable, incomparable and cannot be overstated. But Maya's difficulties and struggles, though of a different kind, are also as real and as valid. The beautiful part is how each one is there for the other in the way they are needed. How they both make an effort to learn about the place the other is in and what they can do to support -- Maya reading about cerebral palsy and Elena reading about toddler development goals are the obvious examples.

We absolutely love the part where Maya tells Elena that she doesn't entirely understand Elena's condition, but wants to and asks her to talk to her. In the flow of the story, this was incredibly beautiful. In fact, all the ways that Maya shows her love for Elena is heart-squeezingly gorgeous. The less obvious part of loving is that Elena let's Maya love her like the way she does. Uncontrollable physical difficulties have a huge mental and emotional toll. The defensiveness and need-to-prove one's self-sufficiency can be insurmountable hurdles. It requires Maya kind of expansive and unwavering love to overcome this hurdle. And it requires a leap of faith from Elena to allow it. We also loved the parts where Maya and Elena have disagreements and fights that play out in line the complexes they have as individuals. That is very insightful writing.

Liv and Maya's non-binary best friend and their girlfriend are delightful supporting characters. 

This one is definitely romantic erotica -- lots of fabulous sexy times driven by feelings and the relationship between the leading ladies. 

Royal gives us a book that has all the feels, amazing chemistry, multi-dimensional characters, hot sex, an adorable child and, Maya.

This book is most recommended.


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