Code of Conduct by Cheyenne Blue

I am a total sports junkie, love it! So, when I get a chance to read sports based novel I almost always jump at the opportunity. I will not lie, the cover of this book grabbed my eye and totally sold me on this one. I have never formally played tennis but I am fascinated by the game. Code of Conduct by Cheyenne Blue is a book that puts tennis front and center. It’s not used just as a backdrop that has no bearing on a romance-first story; professional tennis makes the two main characters who they are and drives the plot.

Viva Jones is a professional tennis player who has had an amazing career, a career she does not want to end. Unfortunately, years of being an elite athlete have taken its toll and her body is failing her. Viva’s body is screaming for a break, her head tells her it’s time to retire but her heart doesn’t know how to walk away from the sport that she loves and is truly her life’s passion.

Gabriela Mendaro is a silver badge tennis umpire. She is just one rung away for the very coveted top position as a gold badge. Very few women reach this pinnacle and Gabriela has her sight on becoming one. A chance meeting with Viva cannot derail her career. There is a slew of ethical issues with an umpire and a player being friends, not to mention anything more. Unfortunately for Gabriela, her draw to Viva is hard to deny no matter the repercussions.
This slow burn romance is one that keeps you on your toes. The two protagonists have a nice chemistry and the whole we shouldn’t be together, just adds more spark to the fire. Overall the story is well balanced. I tend to think some sports-focused romance books tend to be too heavy-handed in the athletic aspect of the book often overshadowing character development and/or the romantic connection between the leading ladies. This is absolutely not the case with this book. Blue writes a great story, one where you are rooting for a happy ever after.

4 out of 5 stars

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Match Point by RL Burgess

Tennis! What a fantastic game. I absolutely love sports, so, when I get a find sports based novel I almost always jump at the opportunity. I have a very limited knowledge of tennis, but I am still fascinated by the game. Match Point is a book that puts tennis front and center. It’s not used just as a backdrop that has no bearing on a romance-first story; tennis makes the two main characters who they are and drives the plot.

Jodi Richards gave up everything for love. She let go of her professional tennis career, to be there 100% for the woman she loved. Unfortunately, after five years together her partner, Tara, decided Jodi wasn’t enough for her. So after five years being away from her passion, Jodi has decided to get back into the sport she loves, and chase her dream of making a comeback and playing at the US Open.

Miranda Ciccone has just been hired by Jodi’s tennis coach, Jason, to come on the team to assist him in getting Jodi to ready for professional play. She has been coaching the juniors for years, and this is her big break into coaching at the professional level. Too bad Miranda has developed a huge crush on the tennis superstar, Jodi.

The thing about sports related books is sometimes there is too much detail into the actual game. This is not the case for Match Point. I thought the author did a fine job of balancing the story, and giving just enough details in relation to the tennis matches. Where I found faults in the book was more in regards to transitions. The story telling jumped around a little with flashbacks or change of moods, and I at times had to wonder, wait how did we get here? The transitions were not smooth to say the least. Overall the story was enjoyable and the romance between the two leads was agreeable. I think this book would have been better served with about five more chapters of dialogue, but if you have read my reviews before I have said time and time again books in this genre get cut short for whatever reason. If you love tennis or sports this will be right up your ally.

3 out of 5 stars

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Break Point by Yolanda Wallace

The book, Break Point, is a historical romance set in the two years before the official start of WWII. The story follows the lives of two female amateur tennis players and the struggles they must face in this unsettled time. If you are a sports fan book will definitely appeal to you.

Mieke von Bismark is the number one female tennis player in the world. She doesn’t need to turn pro, she is German royalty. She is a countess and a fierce competitor. Winning is her top priority on the court and nothing else matters more. Mieke’s life is altered when she becomes noticed by the furor, Adolf Hitler. In Hitler’s mind, her wins on the court, are a testament to her superior Aryan breeding. The problem for Mieke is that she is a lesbian in a time that that could land you in a concentration camp. The Nazi’s have spoken and she is forced to win in order to keep her life.

Helen Wheeler is other protagonist to this story. She is the number two female tennis player. She is on the precipice of turning pro, the only thing she needs to do is sign the contract. That is until Agent Lanier of the FBI shows up at her door. The FBI needs more information as to why a tennis player is meeting with Hitler. They force Helen into finding out why, using the past as their leverage. Helen and Meike used to be partners on the court and off.

I thought this book was a well written tale. I enjoyed to sports influence to a history romance novel. I thought both characters were interesting, and I enjoyed seeing their perspective of life in the late 1930’s. Sports based novels tend to give too much info on the game. Yolanda Wallace did a good job of not making the book too much about the actual sport, and its nuances. I will say the love story was good, but it didn’t ring my bell. If you had a strong past with a former lover, who suddenly broke up with you, I feel like the tension would be stronger. I just didn’t feel any true romance based emotions between these two characters. The last 30% of this book really amps up and takes you on a bit of a wild ride. Overall, this a good quality read.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
  •  www.boldstrokesbooks.com

Break Point
by Yolanda Wallace
Link: http://amzn.com/B015DC4T2E