Tuesday, May 7, 2013

BLOG TOUR - REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Game. Set. Match. (Outerbanks Tennis Academy #1) by Jennifer Iacopelli

Nestled along the coastline of North Carolina, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the best elite tennis training facility in the world. Head Coach, Dominic Kingston has assembled some of the finest talent in the sport. From the game's biggest stars to athletes scraping and clawing to achieve their dreams, OBX is full of ego, drama and romance. Only the strong survive in this pressure cooker of competition, on and off the court.

Penny Harrison, the biggest rising star in tennis, is determined to win the French Open and beat her rival, the world’s number one player, Zina Lutrova. There’s just one problem, the only person who’s ever been able to shake her laser-like focus is her new training partner. Alex Russell, tennis’s resident bad boy, is at OBX recovering from a knee injury suffered after he crashed his motorcycle (with an Aussie supermodel on the back). He's hoping to regain his former place at the top of men’s tennis and Penny’s heart, while he’s at it.

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. Her parents have seven Grand Slam championships and she’s desperate to live up to their legacy. Her best friend is Teddy Harrison, Penny’s twin brother, and that’s all they’ve ever been, friends. Then one stupid, alcohol-laced kiss makes everything super awkward just as she as she starts prepping for the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

The Classic is what draws Indiana Gaffney out of the hole she crawled into after her mom’s death. Even though she’s new to OBX, a win at the Classic is definitely possible. She has a big serve and killer forehand, but the rest of her game isn’t quite up to scratch and it doesn’t help that Jasmine Randazzo and her little minions are stuck-up bitches or that Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and oldest brother, is too hot for words, not to mention way too old for her.

Who will rise? Who will fall?

Told from rotating points of view, GAME. SET. MATCH. is a 'new adult' novel about three girls with one goal: to be the best tennis player in the world.

Book Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Author Bio:
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.

Links: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Youtube / Pinterest

My Thoughts:

Once you have her down, you can't let her up again. Never give an opponent hope.

The match, win or lose, would be the greatest moment of her life and she was going to enjoy it.

Tennis. I love it!!! I am in fact an absolute sports freak. Whenever I read a book it is more often than not that I picture tennis players as the characters. I'm not sure why or how that started, but I suppose it simply came from my love of the game.

Game. Set. Match is set mostly at OBX Tennis Academy and on the courts of the tennis tour and is told from the perspective of our three main leading females, Penny, Jasmine and Indy, and is a book bursting with the competitiveness of sport, the richness of friendships and the possibilites of not just one romance but three.

I have to say that I'm having a really hard time choosing whose team I'm on. All three girls are awesome!! At first I really had no like for Jasmine at all. She is abrupt and quite full of her own self importance and I just didn't connect with her at all. But as the story progressed I began to get her more and more and by the time I had finished reading I loved her. Penny is just sweet and caring. She was a great friend. And then there is Indy who tells it like it is. I think with Indy you always know where you stand with her. And she was just so down to earth. If I was really pressed to choose a team, I think I would sway towards Indy. I think her journey was the one that I connected to the most.

Indy's mouth went dry at finally being noticed. Friggin' Penny Harrison said hello to her.

He wore a pair of long tennis shorts, but nothing else, the waistband just below his well defined abs, the blue ink of a tattoo, words in a fancy script etched across his left ribcage. He was definitely hotter in person than he was on TV.

As for our male interests, the two that stood out for me were Jack and Alex. For almost all of the book I was Team Alex. British, tattooed and perceived as a bad boy. That right there is my perfect book boyfriend. I was drawn to him from the get go. But he is so much deeper than what we first think. He is just perfect. 

No one called her Indiana except her dad and it grated on her nerves whenever he did, but the way Jack said it, his voice soft and deep, she wanted to hear him say her name all day long.

And then on the other side of the net is Jack. He was withdrawn and distant for most of the book. But he has his reasons. Once he decided to let go he was OMG swoony!!! So, can I be incredibly greedy and just have both Alex and Jack because it would just be cruel to make me give up one of them... No? Oh, okay... then I'm going to give my heart to Alex. But I definitely want to spend more time getting to know Jack.

Stepping out of the car, the sounds of the game she loved filled her ears from over the high fence surrounding the forty five court complex, the solid thwack of balls hitting racket strings, sharp instruction from coaches, the pounding of feet on the hard court.

And if all of that wasn't enough then there is the tennis. I loved every bit of that!! The practices, the training, the matches, the competition between the players. It was a prominent part of the story but never overpowered all the other aspects. So even if you are not a keen tennis fan you will still fall in love with the characters and the story.

Everything fit and blended together perfectly and seamlessly throughout the story. One thing didn't overpower the other. The tennis, the romance, the angst and the fantastic writing of Jennifer Iacopelli make Game. Set. Match. a must read. 

5/5 Stars!!

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