Title: An Ace in the Tiebreak
Series: International Men of Sport #8
Author: TA Chase, Devon Rhodes
Length: Novel (183 pages)
Publisher: Totally Bound (October 9, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5Hearts
Blurb: When Robin has to save his career and choose between two very different men, he has to try not to double-fault… while hoping for an ace.
Professional tennis player Robin Keller has a love/hate relationship with most everything in his life – his game, his tennis rival and sometimes hook-up Danie Coetzee, the pills and alcohol he uses to get through his days. Nothing seems to be going right anymore, and when he hits rock bottom after the French Open, drastic changes are the only option.
Quinn Damaris has a well-earned reputation for turning around the careers of the athletes he acts as chef for, and he can tell from the first meeting that Robin is going to be a challenge. As a double amputee, he’s not a man to back down just because the road is rough.
He didn’t count on anything starting between them, especially when the way he realises Robin is gay is when he sees him with Danie. Robin will have to make a choice. Is Quinn kidding himself to think that a tennis star could fall for a man who isn’t whole?
Product Link: https://www.totallybound.com/an-ace-in-the-tiebreak
Review: Okay, I will admit it now. Sport themed books are my guilty pleasure. An odd choice for someone who only follows basketball and knows vague enough rules to get along with a handful of other sports. An Ace in the Tiebreaker is a standalone book in TA Chase and Devon Rhode’s series, International Men of Sports. I absolutely adored this book. I was barely a third of the way through this book when I knew that I have to read the previous seven titles.
Robin Keller is close to becoming a washed out tennis player because he has taken his health and his career for granted. His coach and manager are two very likable gentlemen, who decide to take steps to prevent this before anything else could have besides having a disastrous tournament.
Their solution is in the form of Quinn Damaris (in my head I got this amusing Irish-Greek thing going on whenever I read the name). Quinn is an absolute sweetheart, though he is a very determined realist who has the best intentions in mind for his client. His life experiences have certainly shaped him, made him stronger, and this shows in everything except his love life before meeting Robin.
As stated in the blurb, Quinn is also an amputee. I hope people do not misinterpret what I mean when I say this: a story where at least one main character has a disability intrigues me. However, it’s not on a sick level or me thinking, “Ha, ha, I’m better off than some fictional character that can’t see”. It’s actually, because I find these characters are heroes and I find it empowering to read such stories.
The story itself has a gentle touch to it as well as the thrill to want Robin to succeed. It’s kind of like the same rush you get when you watch your team on TV or watch a fictional team win in a movie. I also thoroughly enjoyed the writing style used by the authors, it was so easy to read and follow that it felt like I devoured all 166 pages all too quickly.
The setting of the book is amazing and this is where the writing style plays a big part. I really loved the idea of Quinn’s mountaintop home in Colorado, US; and Robin’s home in Lucerne, Switzerland. Then there are the various tournaments and arenas, including France, England, US and Australia. It’s basically a tour of the pro tennis circuit, but we’re given enough detail that the plot doesn’t feel rushed because these tournaments are, for the most part, between major scenes with our main characters.
But it’s not only the story I love. The cast of supporting characters were also wonderful. There was no evil plot or evil nemesis to overcome, which was nice for a change. Robin’s one real rival and bed-buddy, to put it politely, is a realist in terms of their roles in each other’s lives and is generally supportive of Robin. Jerome is another tennis player and provides a bit of comic relief, although he enables some of Robin’s issues and so there are a number of serious moment featuring him.
As I said earlier, too, I liked Robin’s coach and manager; they had a very stern fatherly-favourite teacher feel of their relationship with Robin. However, my absolute favourite minor character is Quinn’s big brother Morgan. I could gush for many, many words about how much I adore his character, but I won’t. All I will say is that Morgan Damaris is awesome.
* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *