Game of Love by Ara Grigorian
Contemporary Romance/Sports Romance
Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)
P.S. I love this book cover!
Quick & Dirty summary: Gemma Lennon should be used to the hype. After all, she’s been a professional tennis player for years, but critics love to say that she’s never reached her full potential and doubt she ever will. After a disastrous and public fail at the Australian Open, Gemma is determined to focus on fulfilling her goal and Wimbledon is in her sights. What Gemma couldn’t have counted on was smart and sexy Andre Reyes coming into her life. Against her better judgment, Gemma decides to try the impossible and be successful in tennis and successful in love.
I love Andre Reyes. He really makes the novel for me, partially because he is so smart, but also because he’s not the typical alpha character. He seems more sensitive to Gemma’s needs and insecurities, and he’s also willing to re-think his own life goals. My least favorite part is Gemma’s neuroticism. I have a feeling all professional athletes have to be neurotic to some degree or another, otherwise they’d never be able to perform at that level, but I became a little annoyed towards the end of the book. In fact, I love Andre even more for putting up with Gemma because I’m not sure I could have done it had I been in that situation.
That being said, Ara Grigorian does an amazing job writing a sports romance. You really get a feel for what Gemma goes through on the tennis court and that’s not an easy feat for a writer. I especially loved the use of rhythmic and repetitive writing to capture the pacing of play on the court. If you like tennis at all, you would enjoy this book if only for that reason.
What makes this book one that I enjoyed, besides the solid writing, is the way both main characters develop as the plot progresses and the way the supporting characters help to provide the conflict and support that drives the changes. These are not flat characters who remain unchanging. Like love in real life, love in this novel challenges them, and I love reading about how people navigate those unexpected issues.
Is it worth buying? (Kindle $4.99)
If you like tennis then this book is definitely for you. If you have Kindle Unlimited then this book is definitely for you. And if you’ve ever felt pressure to ignore your personal life in an attempt to focus on your professional life then this book is for you.
Something else you might enjoy:
If you like sports romance and the stress of the high profile life, you might get a kick out of Rachel Gibson’s Nothing But Trouble. It’s the 5th book in her Chinooks Hockey Series, but it can be read as a standalone. I haven’t read any other tennis romance novels yet so if you have one you’d like to recommend I’m game!