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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
Professional tennis player Gemma Lemmon has been preparing her entire career to win a Grand Slam. Her chance at the Australian Open was diverted thanks to an injury that almost ended her career, but four months later the British darling of tennis is back on track and primed to win the French Open. Then she meets another prodigy in the form of the dark and handsome Andre Reyes. In Game of Love by Ara Grigorian, Gemma and Andre meet and sparks fly. Ara Grigorian did a fantastic job creating two overachieving characters whose paths have been set from a young age, which makes them so intriguing. Neither Andre nor Gemma have ever had a true moment of freedom, yet their take on ‘what matters’ differs greatly and forms the main conflict in this story.
I loved that Andre is the one trying to convince Gemma that there is more to life than winning trophies and that love is the true prize. It was refreshing that Ara Grigorian chose to make the female the professional athlete and therefore the perceived ‘stronger’ one of the pair. Game of Love is a great tennis love story. I loved that she had to deal with all the speculation about her readiness to win a Slam, the pressure of an entire nation resting on her shoulders, all while she’s learning about love for the first time. The insight into the pressure on Gemma from coaches, trainers, and even the Prime Minister, adds a level of realism to this story that pushes the plot forward in an exciting way. But it is the love story here that prevails, and the push and pull between Gemma and Andre is at the heart of this tale. Game of Love is what a good sports romance should be; fast paced, strategic, emotional, and endlessly fascinating.