Title: Losing at Love
Author: Jennifer Iacopelli
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Grass courts, tennis whites and the fiercest competition in the world. Wimbledon. After two crazy weeks in Paris, the girls of the Outer Banks Tennis Academy are headed to London with just one thing on their minds: winning. Indiana Gaffney is fresh off a surprise win at the French Open junior tournament. Sponsors are clamoring for her attention, but what she wants more than anything—aside from a wild card to Wimbledon—is to be with Jack Harrison, but international fame and a secret relationship rarely mix well. When Penny Harrison dreamed of playing at Wimbledon she never imagined agonizing pain shooting through her ankle with every step. With just a month until the tournament and the whole world expecting her to win, she’s determined to play, with or without the support of her coach or the love of her life, Alex Russell. For the first time ever, no one expects anything from Jasmine Randazzo. After a crushing first-round defeat in the French Open juniors, the tennis world has given up on her, but worse than that, so have her parents, her best friend Teddy and maybe even her coach. With everyone writing her off, can she find it within herself to go after her dreams?
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Her ankle didn’t twinge at all as she stood and crossed the tiled floor or maybe it did and she just didn’t care. He offered her his hand and she took it, letting him pull her into his arms, her chest flattening against his as she let herself fall against him. She raised her head and he met her half way, swooping down and sealing his lips over hers, his hands gripping onto his hips and the kiss shifted from soft and sweet, the non-verbal response to his declaration, to something a little different, a little rougher. The scruff of his beard rasping against her skin in that deliciously familiar way.
Sliding her tongue against his, she was suddenly weightless, his hands under her thighs lifting her and spinning quickly, sitting her on the kitchen island, skirt pushed up around her waist. Fingers, calloused from hours upon hours of training danced across her thighs, pulling her to the edge of the counter. Penny reached behind him and tugged at the back of his shirt, pulling the soft cotton over his head before lightly scratching her nails down his back, around his sides and then up over the smooth muscles of his chest.
He groaned into her mouth before pulling away, a hand tilting her neck to just the right angle to run his teeth toward the sensitive skin of her neck. His fingers twined into the chain of the necklace he’d given her in France, the one with the 1936 British penny attached, the one she always wore.
“Like that?” he asked, though he had to know the answer.
Her hands flew to the button of his pants, fumbling with it for a moment before releasing the clasp and pulling down the zipper as he fisted his hands in the skirt of her dress. She lifted up a bit to free the material and as she rose up, bracing herself on his shoulders, a motion just behind them caught her eye. Light brown hair, eyes just like the ones belonging to the man still tugging at her dress and a hand over her mouth. Alex’s mother was standing in the doorway.
“Alex,” Penny said, tensing; he must have felt it, because he pulled away and then followed her gaze behind them.
“Christ! Mum, what are you doing here?”
Penny slid off the counter and winced as she landed a little awkwardly on her ankle, but more in anticipation of the pain than anything else. She straightened her dress and tried her best to hide a little behind Alex as he pulled his shirt back over his head, sending his hair in all directions.
and don't forget....
About Game. Set. Match.:
Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant. Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus? Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic. With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up. With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.
Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave...ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master's in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.