I’m a bit of a tennis fan, so when this popped up on my Kindle recommendations just a day or two after Andy Murray announced his imminent retirement, and I was lying in bed with a cold in need of some comforting fluff, I didn’t need to think twice.
Tennis Mom is a powerful, black single mother of a rising young tennis ace. Tennis Pro is an ageing (like early 30s ageing), white, journeyman tennis player, eeking out the last years of her professional career for the sheer joy of the game. They are both American, but the drama plays out in the glamorous international tournaments of the tennis world.
Tennis Mom’s daughter is coached by the guy who used to coach Tennis Pro, and he sees potential for the two players to help each other’s careers by practicing together, and even playing doubles together. Which would be great, if not for the mysterious trauma that means Tennis Pro will ‘never play doubles again’.
Then Tennis Pro sees Tennis Mom across a deserted tennis court and has a bit of a change of heart, and gets slightly talked into it, and realises that winning things might be a good thing, even if it is doubles. But what is this mystery? What are these rumours about Tennis Pro? Why, seriously oh why, does Tennis Mom not just Google her like any normal person would especially when told to by Tennis Pro, and especially when Tennis Pro is becoming a role model for her precious daughter? Anyway, Tennis Mom doesn’t use Google. Or ask the coach. Or ask any of the other people on the tour. Or find out about Tennis Pro at any point in the process of joining the professional tennis tour. So, all this means she learns who the real Tennis Pro is, and falls for her. Surprise! Then Tennis Pro tells Tennis Mom about the angsty past and it’s all fine, because Rumours and Media Are Not To Be Believed.
Anyway, lots of attraction, and tension about whether Tennis Pro can get over her angst, and over the objections of Tennis Mom’s daughter, and handle the crazy media. And Tennis Mom has been single since refusing to marry her daughter’s father 17 odd years ago, so really does she actually want a relationship? And then there’s the tennis ace’s father, who is slightly around and just an irritatingly perfect man (that’s actual how he’s described, but I was a bit mystified about why he hadn’t married and had kids if he was so amazing). And is the daughter a raging homophobe? And what about when Tennis Pro has to play against Tennis Mom’s daughter in the singles?!
Then there’s some irresistible snogging, some fun sex, some explosive angst and storming around, and a predictable but happy ever after.
On the whole, totally readable hokum, just absolutely riddled with tennis implausibilities. I immediately decided to ignore them all (yes, this picky review is me ignoring them!), and the book was far more enjoyable for that.