Game of Love Synopsis:
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.
CHAPTER ONE (Excerpt)
“We are made strong by the difficulties we face, not by those we evade.”
A light tap on his shoulder caught his attention. He turned, coming face-to-face with the Voice. Their eyes locked, and in that split second, everything slowed. Sounds muted.
Breathe. Remember to breathe.
He stared, with only a passing realization that his mouth might be open. But he was not in control. Like sunlight against precious jewels, her azure eyes seemed to collect light and add an unreal level of luminosity.
“Be sure to quickly drench the burn with cool water, not cold,” she said, her British accent transforming even the most obscure words into poetry.
“Don’t rush the process.” She stepped closer. “Allow the cool water to soothe the burn.”
He inhaled her faint scent of jasmine and took in details: Jet black hair pulled tight into a ponytail, eyes, round as a cat’s, smooth, tanned skin. Her face, somehow familiar.
She was no longer talking. “Are you done evaluating me?”
Heat flushed his face. What’s the matter with you? You’re gawking like a preschooler. “Right, sorry,” he mumbled. “Cool water, not cold. Got it.”
Her once gentle eyes narrowed before a perfectly formed eyebrow lifted. “Do call the hotel medic.” Her voice cold, distant.
“Thanks.” He offered a small smile. She didn’t return it. Great. He was supposed to be mad at her. Not the other way around.
Bedric approached her. “Gemma, maybe we should leave?” The man had a heavy Eastern-European accent.
Were these two together? Bedric couldn’t be her father―no resemblance. Her husband? No rings, thankfully. Her boyfriend? Ouch!
Without turning to Bedric she said, “We’re staying.” She studied Andre for another moment, then spun away, muttering, “Unreal.”
Andre stood planted, watching. He wanted to leave, but couldn’t. As she strode past, heads turned and gazes shifted in her direction. She was tall, maybe six feet. A few inches shorter than him at any rate. In fact, her body seemed a bit disproportional. She was mostly legs and wide shoulders―like a swimmer. She was probably in her twenties, like him. She wore mid-calf, body-hugging Capri pants, perfectly detailing her long, killer legs. As she slid around the tables, her ponytail danced, each sway exposing the back of her elegant neck.
He pulled away from the trance and rushed out, surprised at his behavior. When it came to beautiful women, he was typically reserved and indifferent. The beautiful floated through life expecting others to grovel. Andre bowed to no one. Not even to someone who looked like her.
But those eyes...
He took a deep breath and exhaled the bad karma.
In the Game of Love, winner takes all.
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.