Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Review: Bargain Reads - Game, Set, Match - Nana Malone

Off the court, tennis star Jason Cartwright's playboy image is taking a public beating. On the court, he's down forty-love. A knee injury is shutting down his game, and the paparazzi are splashing his love life on every magazine. A comeback is in order, but the makeover he needs to save his faltering career is in the hands of the woman he loved and left fifteen years ago. 
While single-mom, Izzy Connors, sees people for who they really are through the lens of her camera, even without it, she knows Jason isn't the star he appears to be. Although his charm and good looks haven't dimmed since he broke her heart, all she sees is his wasted talent and playboy lifestyle. 
Can Izzy put the past behind her and help Jason get his game, and his image, back on track? Or will the click of her camera shatter his world as well as his heart?

"Free book" - are there any sweeter words? I say not. Anyway, this month's bargain read is Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone available free on the Kindle. This month is a bit of a tight one so a free book was more than welcome. Initially I was a bit weary I must admit, it didn't really sound like my kinda thing at all but a free book is a free book.

Unfortunately, I think I was right Game, Set, Match just wasn't for me. A few of you have been asking where my latest bargain reads review has been since I announced over a fortnight ago that I'd started reading it - well, it's honestly taken me this long to finish it. Normally I devour books in a day or two at most and the fact that I could easily put down Game, Set, Match speaks volumes in itself.

Something which isn't explored in the synopsis of the novel is Izzy's custody and adoption battle over her son Nick, who is actually the biological son of her friend, Sabrina. This side plot to the main romance comes across as the main plot of the novel and I can't understand why it is so blatantly left out of the synopsis. Admittedly had it been included in the blurb I may never have actually picked up this book at all. While I understand that romance novels need to have a bit of meat to them this plot line didn't appeal to me and, while easier said than done, I just really wanted Izzy to deal with Sabrina swiftly instead of pussy footing around for Nick's sake - clearly I'm not a patient person and would not handle this situation well at all.

Izzy initially comes across as the martyrish heroine, self-sacrificing foster mother to Nick with few flaws. Nick, although a minor character, feels much more substantial and realistic, I get the feeling Malone is all to familiar with teenage moods. As the plot progresses Izzy does get a bit more character and stamina but I think it may have come a little too late for me. I fully understand the complex relationship between Izzy, Nick and Sabrina but it is one that I can't really relate too and I just wanted it dealt with.

Jason's character is inextricably linked to Paul Bettany's in Wimbledon for me, that is the extent of my tennis knowledge apparently (Although, Wimbledon 2013, come on Murray! Is anyone else excited?). Some of Jason's actions in the novel baffled me but he is clearly the white knight of the tale and his relationship with Izzy is of the lovely slow-burning, kinda college sweethearts, type with the added complication of the Sabrina-Izzy-Jason, plus Nick, tangle.

There were no laugh out loud moments for me in Game, Set, Match but it was an diverting read nonetheless. Well written the book was a bit predictable but nothing more than usual, the main thread of the story wasn't for me but I appreciated the complex real-life issues that Malone tackles within the book.

While I don't necessarily think there was anything wrong with the novel I just didn't enjoy it, I hope some of you still give it a go as Nana Malone looks to be a promising author and trying out a new author with a free book you've got nothing to lose!

Let me know what you think of Game, Set, Match and if there are any other bargain reads you'd like me to give a go.

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