An Australian teen struggles for success on and off the tennis court while trying to navigate personal relationships.
Sixteen-year-old Harper started off as a promising junior on the tennis circuit, but turning professional has been hard, and her coach drops her, calling her mentally weak. This disappointment is compounded by upheaval at home: Her older sister, Aria, and her boyfriend, Jacob, a young man who has been part of their family since they were children, have split. Her father finds a new coach who pairs her with a rising male tennis star, Colt Quinn, who harbors intriguing secrets. Meanwhile, Jacob tells Harper that his feelings for her are the real reason he ended the relationship with Aria. Harper’s guilt about betraying her sister is almost too much to bear, but she concentrates on tennis and her growing relationship with Colt, gaining glimpses into his background and drive to succeed. When Aria recognizes the closeness between Harper and Jacob, the breach between the sisters seems permanent. Details about tennis and the struggles of teens on the cusp of adulthood are nicely balanced. Harper is well-characterized, and the secondary characters, including coaches and parents, ring true. Colt and his backstory are compelling, and the revelations are skillfully handled. The match action is pitch-perfect. All major characters are white.
A layered romance in a unique setting. (Sports romance. 14-18)