Review: Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone

game-set-matchReviewed by Shelly

Love trying for a second chance, but there’re some nefarious folks in the way.

This isn’t my first story by this author and I wanted to try this one to see if the writing was different/better. Izzy Connors is a professional photographer raising the teenaged son of a woman who used to be her friend. Jason Cartwright is Izzy’s latest assignment. He’s a hot shot tennis player whose on the court wins are often galvanized by his off the court antics. Jason likes the ladies. He likes them a lot and the paparazzi loves the playboy that he is.

Izzy and Jason have a past. During college, Izzy fell in love with the attentive Jason but forces, tornado Sabrina, kept them apart. I don’t usually give secondary characters this much attention, but I’m going to make an exception. Remember when I said that Izzy is raising a ‘used to be friend’s’ kid. Meet Sabrina – said friend. Sabrina is a hot mess. She’s a drug addict, in and out of rehab. Sometimes my sympathy will allow for some nonsense, but this chick was beyond that. Being in and out of rehab suggests to me that either she’s not going or she’s not serious – either way her life choices are clearly not in the world of be responsible, get a job and raise your kid. She’s just out of her latest stint in rehab and comes to pay an unwelcomed visit to Izzy and Nick (the teenaged son). Only this time, it’s not just her; she’s brought friends. Sabrina’s habit is so bad that her dealers are gunning (literally) for her because she owes them. But I digress.

Once Izzy sees Jason and vice versa, things start heating up between them. The heat isn’t really the good kind though, not according to Izzy. Oh wait, I forgot to tell you. Izzy is actually dating a guy, Simon, at the time of her and Jason’s reunion. Simon is also her agent and although Izzy clearly doesn’t have romantic feeling towards him, they’re dating. Here’s where I have a problem. Izzy cheats on Simon. There’s no justification for that. She and Jason got to ‘second base’ – that’s cheating. I don’t like that in my romance stories.

After much back and forth with Izzy not trusting Jason because his love life usually ends up in the tabloids and that small thing that happened when they were in college. During a romantic moment, Jason got a phone call, said he had to leave but will be ‘right back’ and never came back. Izzy’s carried that around with her for 15 years. Jason had a hard road ahead of him and I’m not sure their communication was conducive to getting to know each other as they are now. Izzy raising a child not of her womb, having a fulfilling yet time consuming career and Jason fighting to return to the court after a major injury, having a fulfilling yet time consuming career. To be together, they would have to work hard at it. But nothing worth having is easy.

I wanted to like this so much. I’m a sucker for a good IR which I think this should have been, but the writing felt choppy. Many of the scenes weren’t smooth and I’m not sure what happened in a few instances until I read that it happened instead of showing me. Even with all that, after about the first 25% the story pace did pick up and the dialogue started flowing and things kept moving along. Gosh, I didn’t like the ending. I mean I really didn’t because there’s no way that would have been resolved that easily. Absolutely no way. They got their HEA but I didn’t think it was worthy of their story.

Happy reading folks!

Rating: C

Click to purchase: Amazon

Game, Set, Match
by Nana Malone
Release Date: August 20, 2012

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