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Book Review
Game of Love
By Ara Grigorian
Reviewed by Rich Neher

Ara Grigorian on his web site:

Armenian by heritage, born in Iran, lived in Barcelona, and escaped to New York until he found his home in Los Angeles, Ara’s first eleven years were both busy and confusing. The fruit salad of languages would slow down his genetically encoded need to tell stories. Until then, an alter ego would be required…

Ara Grigorian is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from University of Southern California where he specialized in marketing and entrepreneurship. True to the Hollywood life, Ara wrote for a children's television pilot that could have made him rich (but didn't) and nearly sold a video game to a major publisher (who closed shop days later). Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contemporary romance stories targeted to adult and new adult readers.
He is an alumnus of both the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and Southern California Writers' Conference (where he also serves as a workshop leader). Ara is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and its Los Angeles chapter.

SYNOPSIS

LOVE IN TENNIS IS NOTHING, BUT IN LIFE IT IS EVERYTHING

Game of Love by Ara Grigorian [Curiosity Quill Press, May 4, 2015, $16.99] is set in the high-stakes world of professional tennis where fortune and fame can be decided by a single point. Gemma Lennon has spent nearly all of her 21 years focused on one thing: Winning a Grand Slam. After a disastrous and very public scandal and subsequent loss at the Australian Open, Gemma is now laser-focused on winning the French Open.

Nothing and no one will derail her shot at winning – until a heated chance encounter with brilliant and sexy Andre Reyes threatens to throw her off her game. Breaking her own rules, Gemma begins a whirlwind romance with Andre who shows her that love and a life off the court might be the real prize.

That is, until their secret romance is leaked to the press by an unknown informer, making headlines across the globe, putting Gemma and Andre in the crosshairs of the swarming paparazzi and Andre in danger of losing a lucrative consulting contract. With time running out and their relationship threatening to implode, Andre uses his expertise to expose the informant – and discovers that Gemma may not be the real target, after all. In the Game of Love, winner takes all.

MY TAKE

Not a lot of writers are taking on the difficult task of setting their story up in the world of professional tennis. I am still nauseated by the last tennis novel I read, Ilie Nastase's cheesy 1986 "Break Point", where a guy tried to buy the men's tour and attempted to assassinate the top 8 players. My first guess was this author comes from exactly that professional tennis world. But Ara told me he discovered tennis late in high school when Andre and Pete became the names dominating the sport. He tried to play, but didn't have the skills nor the money to take lessons. So he watched the sport on TV and loved the drama that each tournament brought to the audience. As tennis family with both kids playing USTA Junior Team Tennis, they go to Indian Wells each March. When he started writing this novel, the research he had to do to make the book true to the sport, made him an even bigger fan. Ara says, "I do try to play with my kids, but I'm starting to discover I don't like getting manhandled by a twelve year old!"

I truly enjoyed reading Game of Love and I admire the amount of detail the writer put into it. Fascinated by the life of Gemma Lennon, one of the top female players in the world (and a Brit!), I accompanied her on her journey from the Australian Open to the French Open to Wimbledon, watching her life in London, Paris, and Malibu, California. Fearing for her safety when chased by paparazzi and hoping for her sanity when the romance with that American brainiac unreveled. I couldn't put that book down and not only because part of it played in some coastal areas of Southern California I do know quite well. The world of professional tennis is fascinating for me and combining that subject with high tech counter terrorism and romance is something Ara Grigorian did extremely well.

Game of Love may well be the best Christmas gift for adult tennis players and also non-tennis players this year. The book hit the bestseller list on two of Amazon's categories (Sports and Suspense). Also, on Sept 1st, the novel won the prestigious Gold award from the Readers' Favorite International book award for 2015 in the category of Sports Fiction.

The book is available in paperback, Kindle, Nook, iPad form. Amazon

 

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