Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Book Review: Ara Grigorian | Game of Love

Hello folks, and welcome to my stop on the official 'Game of Love' Blog Tour. I have a few of things for you to read today which all revolve around this book from Ara Grigorian. First things first from the press release I was sent, here is a little something about the author himself:

Armenian by heritage, born in Iran, lived in Barcelona, and escaped 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…

He received an engineering degree from California State University Northridge and earned his MBA from the University of Southern California. Today, he is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. 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).

But something was amiss until his wife read him the riot act. “Will you stop talking about wanting to be a writer and just do it?” So with her support (and mandate), and their two boys serving as his muse, he wrote stories.

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. 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.

Ara is represented by Stacey Donaghy.

Find Ara Grigorian Online:

Now onto the book in question. According to the blurb:

'Game of Love 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. With him, she learns to trust and love…at precisely the worst time in her career. The pressure from her home country, fans, and even the Prime Minister to be the first British woman to win in nearly four decades weighs heavily. As Wimbledon begins, fabricated and sensationalized news about them spreads, fueling the paparazzi, and hurting her performance. Now, she must reconsider everything, because in the high-stakes game of love, anyone can be the enemy within…even lovers and even friends.

In the Game of Love, winner takes all.'


I was sent this book from 'Curiosity Quills Press' as part of the official 'Game of Love' blog tour and for an honest review.

Those of you who know me are aware of the fact that I have little interest in the world of sport, but what does grab my attention is a good story about love and romance. So while sceptical I still gave this book a chance.
This wouldn't be a true story of romantic collision without the necessary obstacles our couple-to-be in question inevitably has to face. One of the obstacles that I felt was Gemma's celebrity as a profession tennis player and star. The paparazzi follow her every move so as you can imagine trying to tend to a blossoming relationship is difficult at best. However Andre, the love interest is not only the end game but also a true test of Gemma's self identity and the one who maybe could bring Gemma to become who she was always meant to be.
The chemistry between the two is both entertaining and natural, and there are some wonderfully charming moments between the two characters. As a writer myself something I find I am always stuck over is choice of perspective, but what Ara does within this novel is construct a wonderful interchange between third person perspectives as if we are taking turns at looking at each side of the characters stories. It sounds complicated but it really isn't, and I found the writing style easy to slip into comfortably which in turn allows the reader to get to know the characters and story on a much easier and friendly basis. My favourite interaction between our two protagonists is the one involving a rather 'scolding' introduction involving coffee and a bag that creates the 'catalyst' for the relationship to begin.

What's wonderful about this relationship is that Andre has no idea who Gemma is in regards to her fame. He is American and as she is British so he has no predetermined definition of who he thinks she is. So when we see her through Andre's eyes, you really are getting a true portrayal without the rose tinted glasses of celebrity.
I seem to have not really focussed on the sport side of things purely because it didn't captivate me as much as I thought. This isn't down to the writer's skill or the story it's just I never really find sport that interesting. However, with that being said, the intensity felt around Gemma's career was definitely there and added to the story in a way I couldn't imagine sport to actually do.
This is a great debut from an Author who I accept we will be hearing a lot more about in the future.

I gave this a sporting 7/10

Genre: new-adult, contemporary-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Re-Release : May 4, 2015

Cover Artist: EugeneTeplitsky

Find Online: AmazonUS | Amazon UK | Goodreads

I will also have an exclusive except from the 'Game of Love' going live on the 16th May 2015. So keep your eyes peeled. Game. Set. Match. 

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