Rating: 4 stars out of 5
High school senior Jalen Marten wants nothing more than to get through his last year of school without attracting anyone’s attention. But unknown to him, he’s already attracted the attention of tennis protégé Austin Suter, a gorgeous senior who’s on his way to becoming a tennis pro, and if his dad has his way, that will happen before he even finishes high school.
Forcing himself to go to gym class, the last thing Jalen wants is to participate in tennis. He’s never been a team player, and in fact, he can’t even excel in a sport as simple as hitting a ball with a large racket. So when his opponent serves a ball straight into his face, he’s convinced he’s hopelessly doomed. The fact that the opponent is smokin’ hot Austin Suter is beside the point. Reeling from the force of the blow, and with his eye swollen shut, he’s shocked by the concern Austin shows him and even more shocked when Austin shows up at his home later that night to see how Jalen is doing. What follows is an unlikely friendship, and then a hidden courtship, and two young men who fall head over heels in love despite all the obstacles in their way.
Concurrent with their romance, Jalen’s popularity soars when he’s overheard singing one of the songs he wrote. It starts with his music teacher telling him he needs to form a band, and then it moves to the student body when someone overhears him and makes a recording of his songs. Brushfires have nothing on the speed of gossip in a high school, so while Jalen and Austen are trying to hide their love, it becomes almost impossible when Jalen’s popularity soars.
This is a long story filled with humor, angst, heartache, friendship, and of course, love and romance. It follows the journey of Jalen’s and Austen’s romance through all the ups and downs and complications of being teens with raging hormones, peer pressure, high school politics, and meddling parents. Well, one meddling parent—Austen’s father plans to assure his boy succeeds as a tennis pro and when he finds out about Jalen and Austen, he puts even more pressure on Austen to stay in the closet and to continue to date Maddie Kieffer, the girl his father had chosen for him. The same girl who makes life unbearable for Jalen and who is known as both a princess and a bitch in school. Jalen’s heart breaks so many times in this story that it’s a wonder it’s still ticking at the end, but at least the author leaves us with a HFN and there’s the promise of another story to follow.
Teegan Loy is a new author for me, but it won’t be the last time I read her work. Some of the humorous situations in the story made me laugh out loud, and equally, some of the sad scenes made me cry. All of the characters, especially the MC’s best friends, were very well-developed, making the story a pleasure to read. I recommend this to all who enjoy young adult MM romance.
Cover art by Christy Caughie depicts two young men, one holding a tennis racket—a good representation of the theme of the story.
ebook, 280 pages
Published May 11th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1632169258 (ISBN13: 9781632169259)
SeriesGame, Set, Match #1