Today I am really excited to be a part of the Book Blitz/Blog Tour for Game. Set. Match. by Jennifer Iacopelli! I am a huge, giant tennis fan, so this book is right up my alley. Add to that a soft spot for romances, and an adoration for strong female characters, and it’s like this book was made just for me. Click on the banner above to see the full list of tour stops, and continue reading to see my review. You can also enter to win some seriously cool prizes, including a Kindle Paperwhite (I own one of these and it is amazing!) and lots of #OBXer swag!
Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world’s most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant.
Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus?
Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she’s hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after…until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.
With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up.
With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.
I have been looking forward to Game. Set. Match. for a long time. I absolutely love tennis, so when I saw that this book would be set around the sport, I was instantly hooked and knew I had to read it. I was super excited to be chosen as part of the book blitz/blog tour, because I was so anxious to read the book that I didn’t want to wait for its release. I am happy to report that everything I wanted this book to include – three strong female characters, three swoon-worthy boys, and lots and LOTS of tennis – was brought into existence by the author and I was pretty much instantly enamored with the story, characters and setting.
This book is told via three alternating points of view. We have Penny, who is the established player (although still young herself), Jasmine, whose parents were tennis superstars, and Indy, whose mom just passed away. Out of the three, I think I connected the most with Indy, as her journey to OBX (which is the nickname for the tennis academy) seemed the most realistic. She has a lot to deal with throughout the book, and I just found her extremely sympathetic. However, I also had a fondness for Penny, mostly because of her scenes with her male counterpart, Alex. There was a lot of chemistry between the two of them, and I liked the way Penny had to navigate her feelings for him while still staying focused on her training. Really, though, all three girls were very strong characters, and each were developed in a way that the reader really comes to care about all three of them.
Considering that this is labeled New Adult, I was very happy to see that some of the typical NA tropes weren’t used. There’s no sex, first of all; it’s mentioned, but isn’t explicitly written into the text. There’s a bit of a bad boy – Alex – in this book, but you don’t get the usual situations that seem to go hand in hand with a character of this sort. All of the romances were sweet, and the boys equally deserving of fanfare. My favorite overall relationship was Alex and Penny, simply because of the steps they had to take to get together, but I also really enjoyed Indy’s journey to get together with her beau of choice. This is the relationship I’m most curious about, simply because there are some issues between the two of them that will have to be resolved.
Considering that this is technically a tennis book, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the sport in this review. The tennis in this book is amazing. I was eating up all of the practice scenes, as well as the match play. I loved the look inside the girls’ heads as they were competing; it’s the mental aspect that I personally find so compelling in the matches I watch, so to get to experience that through this book was especially interesting to me personally. The tennis scenes were easily my favorites in the entire book.
Game. Set. Match. is an extremely well done debut novel. If you like sports, you should definitely pick it up, but even if you’re uncertain about the tennis aspect, the girls and the romances should be enough of a draw to keep you engaged. I know that I, for one, shall be eagerly awaiting any future installments!
An e-galley was provided by the author for blog tour purposes.
There are some seriously cool prizes attached to this tour! Please go HERE to Rafflecopter to win:
- Your choice of a Kindle Paperwhite, Nook SimpleTouch, or an Amazon or B&N Giftcard worth $120
-  OBX Swag Bags (Bag, t-shirt, wristband and signed bookmark)
-  signed bookmarks
Awesome, right? Again, go HERE to enter! Giveaway is open internationally so make sure you check it out. Good luck!
About the Author:
Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave…ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master’s in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.