Match Set Series, Book #1
Heat Factor: Lots of sexytimes
Character Chemistry: He’s so sweet on her and she wants it so badly
Plot: Tennis players with history struggle through some stuff
Overall: So sweet
Ah, sports romance. The romance above all others that involves the “I can’t be distracted so I can’t have a relationship” trope. Love. Set. Match. is no different, so the question becomes, is the reason for the skittishness compelling? Is the story compelling?
I really enjoyed this read. It had the right level of emotional angst plus the right level of drama. Which is to say, not too much of either.
Emerson Grace is a very, very good tennis player. Unfortunately, she’s coming off a minor knee injury, her beloved grandfather’s death, and a bad breakup in which she was cast as the villain. Her ex-boyfriend just happens to be the number one ranked player in tennis. Also, some sexy photos she took with her ex have been splashed all over the media. She really wants a Grand Slam. She does not need any distractions, especially not in the form of Rob Ashton, tennis golden boy who broke her heart seven years ago.
After a shoulder injury eighteen months ago, Rob can no longer play tennis, so he’s taken a job at a news network so he can stay close to the game. He also hopes he can improve the tone of the reporting to the benefit of the sport. AND he’s realized he was an absolute idiot seven years ago when he listened to his father and dumped Emerson. But she’s pretty much thrice burned, what with having so many men in her life flake out on her, so Rob has an uphill battle there.
There’s some family drama in here that’s not terribly unusual for literature, and if that were the only thing going on, the story wouldn’t be anything special. But it’s not. Emerson also has a stalker – due to the whole ex situation – and that story line wasn’t necessarily my favorite but undeniably contributed a good level of drama for the story. If you have a really hard time with suspension of disbelief you might have a hard time with it, but if you have a hard time with suspension of disbelief…what do you read?
No, no, the sexy pictures were what caught me, and it set the tone for the whole romance. I didn’t think I was going to be down with Lunsford’s handling of this situation, but she pulled it together in a way that made me feel a little “Heck, yes!”
You see, Emerson took some sexy pictures in some very expensive La Perla underwear with her ex boyfriend, and after they broke up those photos were leaked to the press. Emerson is excoriated in the media, and it all gets to her. Why did she take those pictures? Didn’t she know better? She’s so slutty. And she’s in the middle of it, and she’s regretting it, and wouldn’t all that nonsense beat anybody down? Even the most confident person?
But Lunsford doesn’t leave it at that. While Rob’s colleagues contribute to the mudslinging, Rob says what really any decent human being should say in these circumstances. Emerson’s not a slut, such a descriptor is sexist and inappropriate. She’s a woman who trusts her partner (because obviously she did not take these photos of herself), and it’s not ridiculous to share that intimacy when both partners in the relationship travel a lot for their jobs. That kind of thinking is not feminist and does not belong in the 21st century. Yeah she has to do some damage control with her sponsors after this hits the fan (which is so real life but feels like total bs because see above), but Emerson’s not ashamed, although it does add to her concerns about having a relationship with Rob.
And so the rest of the story flows from there, and it’s fun. And really sweet. Le sigh.
I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.
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