Stretching limits to achieve goals.
Elin is the world number one women’s tennis player. She has a team of people surrounding her to make sure she performs at the top of her game. Everything in her life has been about winning. She is on track to tie for the most slams and even has the possibility of breaking that record. But she is worn down and wanting to retire. She is mostly continuing on to please her mother, who is also her long time coach. Toni, falls into her life and perhaps gives her the nudge she needs to make some positive changes.
First of all, this is a tennis story with a side of romance. While the theme was always there and driving things along, there was a lot of time that that Elin and Toni spend apart. This is to be expected because the job requires so much travel. And although separated for a lot of it, I thought Keeley did a great job of keeping a connection going.
I think I will always have to mention Keeley’s debut novel, The Music and the Mirror. It is one of my all time favorites. This book reminded me of that in a way. In that first book, the topic was ballet. And I was immersed in that world even though I knew nothing of it. Same here with tennis. I really felt like I was a part of Elin’s team and going through all of the mechanics of being a professional competitive athlete. I’m not sure how much of the behind the scenes was accurate, but it certainly felt real.
So much was going on in the story. Family drama, gay challenges, trans acceptance, racism, doping, anxiety, health, etc. And yet it never felt overwhelming. It was completely natural and flowed very well.
I liked the slow build of relationship between Elin and Toni. There was interest, then uncertainty, some flirting, and growing feelings. There was a bit of drama stemming from miscommunication, but it didn’t last long. I would say there was very little angst in this book. Which makes it such a surprise as to me liking it so much. I usually require a good deal of emo with my romance. But it probably is just proof how strong this was in terms of the story.
Also, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t comment on how I enjoyed the light intimate scenes and the creative ways Keeley would allude to sex without being explicit.
Overall, this is a story is about Elin finding a way to break the slam record. Overcoming obstacles impeding the way to her goals. And finding things along the way to help her achieve them.
I recommend this to people who love sports, tennis, family drama, exes, romance, travel, and adult beverages.