★★★★★ @KristenAshley68 #MakingtheMatch
Wow, have I missed a fantastic series if book 4 is anything to go by. A fan of Ms. Ashley's, I saw this new book and thought it would be interesting to read. The story blew me away. I loved this romance between Tom and Mika. The premise of the story sounded good but I was not sure how it would play out. Suffice to say that it moved me to tears and gave me a whole new perspective of a reviled woman. This is a must-read romance for second-chance romance lovers.
This is a love story for modern times. I say this because what happens between Tom and his wife, Imogen is a reality that happens to many couples. They stop communicating, and one of them shuts out the other. Or they shut each other out. For a relationship to work, intimacy through sharing thoughts and experiences is required. This is based on my personal experience and watching others. Not to say it is the only way, but a good way to keep a marriage solid. When I read about the fallout between Tom and Imogen, I think of Ghost in this House by Alison Krause. If you want a heartbreaking song to match this story, this would do it.
Some concepts that I truly appreciated in this story?
Mistakes happen and mature adults can work them out.
Placing a person on a pedestal is good for no one.
A best friend calling you out for being unreasonable.
Learning about the other person's perspective, understanding it, and providing acceptance.
There are so many ways that this story models what is human and how to properly respond when something goes wrong. How to have healthy discussions when disagreements occur . . .
This brings me to Mika. Mika's reactions, responses, and retorts to Tom are realistic and understandable. The way they reconnect, grow together and end up finding that second romance is impressive. There were so many hurdles to overcome. Remembering it all makes me want to go re-read the book all over again. When Ms. Ashley hits a homerun for me, she hits it way out of the ballpark. I know I'm mixing sports metaphors here because the book is all about tennis players.
The tennis theme brought nostalgia that gave me warm fuzzies. In my teenage years, which are our formative years, I grew to love tennis. I was terrible at it, but I enjoyed watching it. The nods to some of the great older tennis players brought a smile to my face. This book connected to me on a level I did not expect and that is why I loved it. This contemporary romance with a tennis theme is highly recommended to all romance readers.
* I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.