Giveaway + Review: Game. Set. Match by Jennifer Iacopelli [INT]

May 2, 2013 / 5 Comments / Review, Uncategorized

Game. Set. Match. (Outerbanks Tennis Academy #1)

by Jennifer Iacopelli
Publisher: Coliloquy, LLC
Source: eBook sent by author; part of the OBX blog tour
Publication date: May 1st 2013
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Nestled along the coastline of North Carolina, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the best elite tennis training facility in the world. Head Coach, Dominic Kingston has assembled some of the finest talent in the sport. From the game’s biggest stars to athletes scraping and clawing to achieve their dreams, OBX is full of ego, drama and romance. Only the strong survive in this pressure cooker of competition, on and off the court.

Penny Harrison, the biggest rising star in tennis, is determined to win the French Open and beat her rival, the world’s number one player, Zina Lutrova. There’s just one problem, the only person who’s ever been able to shake her laser-like focus is her new training partner. Alex Russell, tennis’s resident bad boy, is at OBX recovering from a knee injury suffered after he crashed his motorcycle (with an Aussie supermodel on the back). He’s hoping to regain his former place at the top of men’s tennis and Penny’s heart, while he’s at it.

Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. Her parents have seven Grand Slam championships and she’s desperate to live up to their legacy. Her best friend is Teddy Harrison, Penny’s twin brother, and that’s all they’ve ever been, friends. Then one stupid, alcohol-laced kiss makes everything super awkward just as she as she starts prepping for the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic.

The Classic is what draws Indiana Gaffney out of the hole she crawled into after her mom’s death. Even though she’s new to OBX, a win at the Classic is definitely possible. She has a big serve and killer forehand, but the rest of her game isn’t quite up to scratch and it doesn’t help that Jasmine Randazzo and her little minions are stuck-up bitches or that Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and oldest brother, is too hot for words, not to mention way too old for her.

Who will rise? Who will fall?

Told from rotating points of view, GAME. SET. MATCH. is a ‘new adult’ novel about three girls with one goal: to be the best tennis player in the world.

Author Bio:

Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave…ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor’s degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master’s in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.


[Note: This is a New Adult book – there aren’t super explicit scenes, but there’s definitely some steaminess that’s more than PG-rated. I would call this a 16 & up book]

Game. Set. Match reminded me a lot of one of my favourite ABC Family shows, Make It Or Break It, which was about four elite women’s gymnasts who were really just teenagers trying to live with a massive amount of talent and pressure.

In GSM, there are three viewpoint characters, Indiana Gaffney, the newcomer with a killer serve; Jasmine Randazzo, a strong, steady player who struggles to live up to her parents’ legacy; and Penny Harrison, fresh juniors champion and rising star. All of them are dealing with the same kind of pressure as the MIOBI girls, but the difference is, these girls are a bit older, and there are a lot less rules about who or what they do with their time.

Who is the big question here. There are some seriously hot guys around, and Jennifer Iacopelli can write lust. This is a sexy book, guys. I definitely felt tingles.

This is the kind of book where you’re going to have favourites. Even though every girl character was definitely strong and sassy, I wouldn’t be surprised if Indy was everyone’s fave. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself, and she’s got a ton of potential. Jasmine, on the other hand, starts out a little bit snippy and mean-girl-ish. I predicted that she would soften, but I didn’t predict how, and I do like the way things turned out for her.

My personal favourite was Penny, who was a strong, kick-arse girl determined to do right by the world. It didn’t hurt that her romance was easily my favourite – Alex is SMOKIN’, guys, and it’s hard not to want to fall into his arms completely.

I really appreciated that the author didn’t always assume I knew everything about tennis, and explained most things, but also didn’t explain the basics of tennis. I liked that I had to dig into my own memory for how the game worked, but some of the intricacies were fine-tuned for me. That said, I also like that we didn’t go into every single detail of every match. The pace was really fast, and the focus was always on moving the characters and plot forward as opposed to just tennis.

While GSM was a bit predictable at times (tennis mean-girls? I knew that would happen), I thought Jennifer Iacopelli balanced the romance, the multiple stories, and the connections between them nicely. I really felt like she subscribed to the “always-leave-them-wanting-more” mantra when it came to moving between the storylines. There were a lot of mini-cliffhangers, and while there isn’t really one at the end, I’m invested enough that I’ll definitely be picking up OBX2 when it comes out!


Sassy Female Characters: Check out these photosand tell me you don’t think those girls look sassy. On the page, they’re pretty cool ladies. Especially Indy. That girl has a mouth on her.

Had to put Arrow in – he’s so Alex!

Smokin’ Hot Guys: This is New Adult, so there are guys without anything on in this book. And let me just say that I am totally okay with that. More Alex, please! (Also, Jack sounds pretty hot, too).

Roland Garros, French Open

Gorgeous settings: I was surprised by how much I liked the tennis academy setting – with the heat and the beach and the clay…I could feel the oppressiveness of that heat, and the beauty of the Atlantic. And then there’s a little bit of description of Paris that made me want to go…but this time, to watch tennis at Roland Garros!

The Final Word:

Game. Set. Match. is a jolt of adrenaline book, the speed of the plot matching the speed of the serves that Indy shoots at her opponents. Okay, that was a little cheesy, but honestly, if you’re looking for a fun, action-packed summer romance with sassy girls, that picks up your heart rate, this is a good one.

Giveaway! This is a big one, guys!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you guys excited to read GAME. SET. MATCH? Are you sports-book fans like I am, or do you prefer to actually play? How do you feel about *steamy* romance? Let me know in the comments? 

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5 responses to “Giveaway + Review: Game. Set. Match by Jennifer Iacopelli [INT]

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