Today I’m super excited to be part of the cover reveal for Game of Love, a new sports romance from my LARA chapter mate, Ara Grigorian! (I don’t know if you guys know this, but I lived and breathed tennis growing up and played with girls who did make it to the Grand Slam level, so I’m especially looking forward to reading this book!)
Check out all the fun details about Ara’s sexy romance and enter his fantastic giveaway below!! Congratulations, Ara!
Title: Game of Love
Author: Ara Grigorian
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Release Day: May 4TH
Game of Love is set in the high-stakes world of professional tennis where fortune and fame can be decided by a single point.
Gemma Lennon has spent nearly all of her 21 years focused on one thing: Winning a Grand Slam. After a disastrous and very public scandal and subsequent loss at the Australian Open, Gemma is now laser-focused on winning the French Open. Nothing and no one will derail her shot at winning – until a heated chance encounter with brilliant and sexy Andre Reyes threatens to throw her off her game.
Breaking her own rules, Gemma begins a whirlwind romance with Andre who shows her that love and a life off the court might be the real prize. With him, she learns to trust and love… at precisely the worst time in her career. The pressure from her home country, fans, and even the Prime Minister to be the first British woman to win in nearly four decades weighs heavily.
As Wimbledon begins, fabricated and sensationalized news about them spreads, fueling the paparazzi, and hurting her performance. Now, she must reconsider everything, because in the high-stakes game of love, anyone can be the enemy within… even lovers and even friends.
In the Game of Love, winner takes all.
“We are made strong by the difficulties we face, not by those we evade.”
Gemma’s security flanked her, their grip tight on her arms. Bedric, her coach, rushed ahead, slamming open the hotel’s glass doors to the roar of the French paparazzi―a cacophony of questions, comments, and insults.
Gemma moderated her breathing, prepared for another three-second spurt of chaos.
“―What happened in your hotel room?”
They knew. Dozens of cameras from all directions chirped and flashed. She kept her eyes trained on her goal: the awaiting car.
“―Mademoiselle! Gemma! One smile.”
The paparazzi bore in from her right. Only a few more steps. A knee rammed into her thigh. That one would leave a mark. A bruise that the papers would dissect and analyze gratuitously.
“―Why were you hiding for four months? Were you going to quit tennis?”
Don’t react. Say nothing. Bedric forced the car door open, giving Gemma the opening she needed to squeeze in. He followed.
The door slammed behind them, and the sounds of commotion lowered to a gentle hush. Black tinted windows offered a veil of privacy. Bodies, camera lenses, and faces smashed against the glass. Only inches separated her from the paparazzi. There had been a time when she used to move to the center of the car, creating as much separation as possible. But now she knew better. Distance was a mere illusion of safety.
The locks engaged, and the car accelerated away.
She didn’t like surprises―particularly on game day―but in this case, her security lead’s demand to move her to another hotel had been spot- on. It was one thing for the paparazzi to gather outside. It was quite another when one found his way into her hotel suite… while she slept. The French paparazzi were setting a new standard.
“This is not good,” Bedric said in stoic English.
She eyed her superstitious coach, who was always concerned with deviations from routine. But the concern etched on his face wasn’t about superstition. He didn’t want a repeat performance of the Australian Open months earlier.
“You have not rested,” he continued, “and you have yet to get breakfast.”
“We’ll be fine. We are fine,” she said, nearly believing it herself. “As for breakfast, we’ll grab something at the new hotel.”
The car swerved as the driver made a temporary effort to lose their tail. Memories of another car chase months earlier inched its way into her throat.
“There will be people. You don’t need more distractions.”
“More distractions?” She had woken to the sound of an intruder in her suite, and now she was rushing from one hotel to another on the morning of her quarterfinal match. How much worse could it get? “We’ll be discreet. Run in, eat, and we’ll be off.”
The car’s tires screeched as the driver took another quick turn. It was happening again. Another chase just before a critical match. Only this time, the driver wasn’t drunk.
From her bag, Gemma removed a tennis ball and twirled it in her hand. One point at a time. She focused on the soft texture. Familiar. Calming. Poking out from inside her bag, the newspaper article from the day before mocked her. Inch-tall letters above her picture: The Great Hype―Five Years and Still Waiting. She squeezed the tennis ball over and over again until her fingers went numb.
She dropped the ball back inside the bag, then closed her eyes, hoping to salvage some sleep. She crossed her arms and tried to control her shivering. No, she wasn’t cold. She just wanted five minutes alone with the bastard who had violated her space. Gemma almost wished the coward hadn’t bolted when she charged him, tennis racquet in hand.
Armenian by heritage, born in Iran, lived in Barcelona, and escaped New York until he found his home in Los Angeles, Ara’s first eleven years were both busy and confusing. The fruit salad of languages would slow down his genetically encoded need to tell stories. Until then, an alter ego would be required…
He received an engineering degree from California State University Northridge and earned his MBA from the University of Southern California. Today, he is a technology executive in the entertainment industry. True to the Hollywood life, Ara wrote for a children’s television pilot that could have made him rich (but didn’t) and nearly sold a video game to a major publisher (who closed shop days later).
But something was amiss until his wife read him the riot act. “Will you stop talking about wanting to be a writer and just do it?” So with her support (and mandate), and their two boys serving as his muse, he wrote stories.
Fascinated by the human species, Ara writes about choices, relationships, and second chances. Always a sucker for a hopeful ending, he writes contemporary romance stories. He is an alumnus of both the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and Southern California Writers’ Conference (where he also serves as a workshop leader). Ara is an active member of the Romance Writers of America and its Los Angeles chapter.
Ara is represented by Stacey Donaghy.
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