Super sports fan and fellow reviewer at The Lesbian Review, Anna talks about three lesbian tennis romances that she thinks everyone should check out.
Listen to this episode here
Check out their recommendations:
Code of Conduct by Cheyenne Blue
Publisher Ylva Publishing
Available on audio No
A lesbian romance about breaking all the rules.
Viva Jones was great once. A top ten tennis player with a grand slam trophy to her name, she had the world at her feet. Then an overzealous lineswoman’s bad call knocked her out of the US Open, and a persistent injury crushed her career. While battling to return to the game she loves, a chance meeting with the lineswoman, Gabriela, forces Viva to rethink the past…and the present.
Away from the court, Gabriela is sexy, athletic, and lives for her career as an umpire. She seems to be falling for Viva as hard and fast as Viva is for her. There’s just one problem: players and officials can’t date.
(this link works of US, UK, Canada and Europe)
Lucky Loser by Yolanda Wallace
Publisher Bold Strokes Books
Available on audio Yes, narrated by Lori Prince
In the high stakes world of women’s tennis, love means nothing. Or at least that’s how Sinjin Smythe sees it. Then she begins to fall for her friend and former doubles partner Laure Fortescue. Having had her heart broken by one player, Sinjin isn’t willing to have it happen again. The talented but oft-injured Brit enters Wimbledon fighting her feelings – and struggling to resurrect her career.
Laure Fortescue has fame, fortune, and a ranking inside the top 10. She has everything she ever wanted. Everything except Sinjin Smythe. As a rule, Laure doesn’t date other players. A rule she would gladly break if it means winning Sinjin’s heart.
Both women reach Wimbledon desperate to claim tennis’s crown jewel – Sinjin because it would be her greatest victory, Laure because it could be her last.
Where does love fit in a game that only one can win?
(this link works of US, UK, Canada and Europe)
Love All by Rachel Spangler
Publisher Bywater Books
Available on audio No
Throughout her long career, professional tennis player Jay Pierce has been burned by both players and the press. She’s learned the hard way that she can trust no one and nothing, especially her own judgment. So, when she starts one last career comeback, she knows the only hope she has to redeem her legacy is to go it alone.
Sadie Larsen knows virtually nothing about the world of professional tennis when her daughter, Destiny, breaks onto the women’s tour at the age of 17. She learned everything she needed to know about single parenting on her own, and she knows she can do the same now that the stakes are higher than ever—all she has to do is stay laser-focused on protecting her family of two.
Neither Jay nor Sadie expects the path ahead to be easy. Each believes she’s prepared to face every single challenge with the stony resolve of a woman who has been counted out and bet against her entire life. The only thing neither woman had counted on was each other.
As Jay and Destiny fight their battles on the court, Sadie and Jay fight their attraction off it. Can they survive the crushing crucible of competition, press pressure, and parenting, or will love all really mean no one goes home a winner?
(this link works of US, UK, Canada and Europe)
please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect
hi I’m Tara and welcome to Les Do Books. Email me at Tara@TheLesbianReview.com with any questions or comments or come join our Facebook group the lesbian review book club
I’m excited today because I’m joined by Anna one of the other kick-ass reviewers at the lesbian review welcome Anna welcome thank you very much good morning everybody because it is morning we’re doing this it is so anyone who follows our reviews of the lesbian review should know by now that you love a really good romance and especially if it’s a good sports romance so do you want to just share with the listeners what we’re gonna be talking about today yeah sure we’re actually gonna focus on a specific sport in general we’re gonna focus on tennis cuz January is actually the start of the Grand Slam season for tennis and everything they got the Australian Open happening even though we’re probably not gonna air this for like a couple more weeks just know the Australian Open happened right now we don’t know who won it’s still the first week and everything but I’m rooting for Serena and Roger Federer that’s just mine but yeah I mean I love tennis on a hole because it’s very much a it’s a it’s one of the few sports you get when you’re that you have to play on your own it’s like yeah you have the training you have your coaches you have your support system everything but once you on the court it’s just you and it’s you facing one other person one-on-one or in some cases doubles but it’s still the same situation where it’s like you only have yourself or that other person to rely on anyway you know it’s like it’s just the whole back and forth of following the ball and trying to make their burnt shot and knowing all these symmetries and everything like that and it’s really it’s kind of hypnotic to watch a little bit and people label is kind of boring is like not really I mean you see even ball do things that you know it’s not supposed to do and then you watch these people you know they train so hard to be out there and you just see their bodies just move so fluidly along the core and it’s just magic to me in a lot of ways plus I love the sound of a tennis ball when it hits the the card it’s one of the greatest sounds I love in the world and everything I can’t duplicate it I’ve tried but you know I do love that sound more than anything so we each have one tennis romance that we and then we have one that we’re going to finish this episode with that we both love yes so I guess if you’re listening just be prepared there’s gonna be some hardcore fangirling coming up yeah we can’t you can’t be held responsible for any squealing or anything that shout and I might actually come up because we’re like oh yeah totally you know and everything like that it’s kind of like what we do when we do our joint reviews on things we like she’ll say something and I’m like yes totally and I try to explain it as you know best I camp and usually she does good and vice versa so yeah I know I get it back and that I’m equally excited all right anyway let’s get started what is but what’s your recommendation my recommendation is fairly recent it’s a code of conduct by Cheyenne Bloom and I really liked this story because a it takes place in tennis obviously but also it definitely looks at that forbidden romance because it’s basically a romance between a player Genevieve Jones who goes by Viva and basically a lines woman who is an official in the world of tennis Gabriela Mandar Oh both of these women do not get off on the right foot which is obviously seen in the print in the prologue because Viva believes that Gabriela called bad foot faults on her and you know it’s a year later and they end up having a chance meeting and everything and Beavis starting to actually become attracted to her but there’s still that whole officials and players can’t really mix and mingle not just have no romance involved but they can’t mingle at all they can’t be friends they can’t you know hang out together after a match so it was really interesting to read about you know how do they get around this you know how are they able to be together and also be in the sport they love and there’s a lot of actually really good conversations with Genevieve and her friends about you know is it possible or is there just gonna always be this stigma of being like well she’s a player and or she’s an official this can never happen you know so it was very interesting and honestly I kinda looked at it as more of a while it is said in a sports environment it’s feels more like a workplace romance like when you have that boss employee type relationship that most people say is forbidden like no office romances and stuff like that it’s kind of the same day because the tennis court is just their office and so they really just they understand that there are rules but at the same time the heart wants what the heart wants do you want to share the the blower for this one yeah I’ll share them Blaire don’t know much about it yeah do you want me to share the one that I wrote or the one that lets say yours you’re a good blurb writer okay so here’s what the little blurb that I wrote for it Genevieve vive Jones was a great tennis player in her prime she even has a Grand Slam win to her name then an overzealous lines woman Gabriela Mandar Oh takes away her opportunity to have back-to-back wins at the US Open after that tournament a persistent injury flares up and B even knows that her time is in tennis is coming to an end but vive doesn’t want to give up without a fight and she chooses to leave the game on her terms on her journey back of competition Biba has a chance meeting with Gabriela on the side of the road and while she still harbors animosity against her for costing her the US Open she has to admit there is a sexiness to Gabrielle that she hasn’t seen before as the two women spend more time together a romances of course eventually blossoms there’s just one problem players and officials are not allowed to date even though bivas on their verge of retirement Gabriella’s careers and if as an official is taking off and any kind of fraternization between the two would be considered improper and could cause Gabriela all she has worked hard to achieve tough choices and sacrifices will have to be made but at what cost will be been Gabrielle and being able to have their room into staying in the sport they love or will the code of conduct scratch any possibilities two women could have a being together just sounds so good I know it is good you need to read it you totally need to read this see your I was right you are an awesome blurb writer because I just makes me want to read it right it’s on my Kindle I just haven’t gotten to it yet you know our list our review lists are mighty and I just focus on what I’m reviewing but it just sounds delicious like almost like it sounds like it has like a little bit of enemies two lovers going on right it has a little bit everything has the enemies two lovers it has that forbidden romance it has workplace romance I even put that in there because most people are just like no I don’t understand sports very much and well you know they do highlight some of the matches they don’t really get it so she doesn’t really put as much detail in there that you get lost in the matches I guess is the way to put that but yeah I really enjoyed Cheyenne’s writing I thought she did she tackled this really well and I know part of that is because you know she is Australian so she was able to get a lot of those minut details and I really wanted that she was able to dive into like the personal background especially with me because usually you just get you know the athlete and them on the circuit and everything but it showed her with her family had shown her you know really enjoying and chipping in and doing what she needed to do as a sister as a daughter and everything I think that made her more relatable even though she seemed kind of cold because of the issue with Gabriella in the beginning it made her more human and compassionate to be towards and everything so I was happy about that as well alright well that sounds amazing I’m definitely gonna read it mm-hmm so my recommendation is one that is not new I think it’s came out sometime in the last five years anyway and it’s lucky loser by Yolanda Wallace I’m gonna start with a blurb on this one Sinjin Smythe has learned the hard way that falling for fellow tennis players isn’t a very good idea while recovering from a procedure on her knee she also learns that Laura Fortescue her former doubles partner is one of her truest friends cinge and other fellow tennis players may have called her sent emails but Laura’s the only one who showed up to see her Sinjin has to work hard to get to Wimbledon from her position while below 100 but she makes it along with Laura who is fresh off of winning the French Open as they spend time together every day of the tournament each begins to wonder if maybe the right way to start a lasting relationship is with their best friend I just really really enjoyed this one mm-hmm Sinjin Sinjin is a little prickly because you know she’s had her ego hit quite hard by having to like you know her position has dropped so low and she had that injury and had to go through getting better and and the woman she was seeing at the time anything to do with her when that happened so that that’s definitely an ego blow right there yeah and that woman was awesome oh yeah she was awful she was really awful but then lore is so wonderful and I love I really love the friends to Lover’s aspect of this because it really shows like they are pretty friendly before but you really see their friendship become quite strong yeah and so it’s it’s not that like oh you’ve been my best friend for years and years and I’m falling for you kind of friends to Lover’s it’s more like we don’t see the friendship develop from the very beginning but we see like that really strong friendship development or anything romantic happens and the thing I like with that is that it means that I really believe in in the happily ever after that comes yeah and I think Wallace did a good job too I know I remember I wrote this I read this book like a couple years ago and I remember there’s a distinct scene where Sinjin is going to lure and she’s like okay I finally see you as you know as a possible partner and everything but Laura’s just like we need is like I’m I’m happy I want this but we need to wait we need to wait until after Wimbledon because you’re on this tear right now and the last thing I want to do is do anything to basically shift your focus to anything other than winning right now so yeah yeah that just just shows just how competitive as well as respectful Laura’s of the game along this engines career and everything because they pretty much knew this was her last run mm-hmm and so it just it just made it all the more I think it made her more attractive to Sinjin to know that yes this woman does love me but she’s willing to let me have this one last little hurrah before yeah I thought it just showed so much integrity on her part too as a friend and as a colleague and I enjoyed seeing that dimension of her as well mm-hmm and I loved the at the end they both get their happy ending I do remember reading this and I was like I can usually follow the game at tennis pretty well but there were points where I feel like I was the the game was kind of a be over taking it like certain matches that she was doing it’s like the detail just got a little too much for me and it was just hard for me to follow a little bit yeah I had to I mean I don’t follow any sport so I I did find those scenes kind of difficult to follow and I actually found it a little bit difficult to review because I didn’t know some of the terminology so I had to like phone a friend who does follow tennis yeah exactly am i using the right words to describe the thing so I guess if you’re not big into sports or even if you are just be warned that some of the detail might be a little much to follow but you’ll still be able to felt like you’re still gonna be able to follow the relationship development that’s not quite a problem the romance is still wonderful you just might find those scenes a little much and but you can skim through those if you need to yeah and there was something I actually discussed with Rachel you always have there’s a there’s definitely a balancing act I’m writing about sports it’s like you want to give enough detail that people understand this sport is important to the story but you don’t want to give it so much that they get lost in the weeds being like okay what am I what’s going on mm-hmm you’re listening to the news Ben talk show the lesbians auction you have of podcast information speaking of Rachel our third book which we both recommend yes is love all by Rachel Spangler so I’m gonna read the blurb that we co-wrote for our joint review where we both fangirled our pants off oh yeah we totally fangirl I think she got a kick out of that good professional tennis player J Pierce has had a long career in tennis but early on she was burned by someone she cared about causing the world of tennis to turn their backs on her she has spent years climbing her way back into the good graces of the tennis gods now that she’s on the cusp of a big comeback she doesn’t want to chance a repeat catastrophe and decides to go it alone Sadie Larsen knew nothing of professional tennis until her daughter destiny broke onto the women’s tour at the age of 17 she was able to master being a single parent on her own and she knows she can do the same to help destiny become the best tennis player in the world all she has to do is stay laser focus on protecting her family u2j and Sadie believed are prepared to face every single challenge with the Stoney resolve a woman who has been counted out her entire life the only thing neither woman has counted on was each other can they survive the crushing crucible of competition press pressure and parenting or will love all really mean no one goes home a winner I know I know oh my god it’s like it had everything it had the dramatic tension that we come to expect we had the sexual tension that we come to expect and it had good/bad everything it had wit and charm I mean the the excerpt that I put in the review was the one where she goes Sadie goes and talks to Jay trying to talk her into doing doubles and the first words out of Jays mouth like I don’t do doubles like okay thank you bye you know but she slowly turns it around and that’s the doctor Intel which i think is amazing the that that whole book is just great and you get the matches like like I said she doesn’t over overdo it on the detail of what’s happening she gives us just enough to show us okay this is this is their routine this is what they go through even off the carts he’s like you know they go here they do this they do that and everything but she doesn’t do it so much that we feel like we’re being bogged down with all the tedious things it’s like everything she’s showing us is important to the next thing that’s about to come so I found that very intriguing and I loved that that made that book flow so much easier yeah I totally agree and of course I was totally rooting for Jay and Sadie the entire house is like come on you know okay I know this not everybody likes to destiny but in our fast no and and that was definitely by design mm-hmm and everything I mean she’s 17 I mean most 17 year olds aren’t thinking about going pro and tennis or anything like that they’re just trying to live their life figure out adulthood as they’re getting there and everything yeah so I can understand a lot of the stress that say that destiny is under and that can come out in other ways especially when she’s been like it’s been her and her mom pretty much her entire life and so to want to protect that as much as possible from somebody you you don’t really know but you’ve only heard rumor about I can understand her being very prickly when it comes to Jay in a lot of ways but as we find out more about Jay you realize that Destiny’s opinion of her is very skewed by rumor and gossip not based in fact I gotta say I was I was also surprised by Destiny’s dad being good he wasn’t a main character in there but he was there enough to just really show destiny especially towards the end that hey you know everybody loves in different ways and they show it in different ways and Jay was doing that in a lot of ways I’m not gonna spoil it for anybody you gotta watch it you got to read it and everything but to have somebody be that voice of reason yes exactly she was just so lovely like we don’t we don’t get to see that many dudes in my spec I mean understandably these are books written by women and usually when we do they’re not really the nicest guys in the world either I mean exactly so to fact that you know she I mean even I think even at one point Jay says she’s like if I was straight I would totally want to go for this guy you know he’s so nice he’s sweet he’s good-looking you know what’s not to like about him you know and everything so it was a very nice change of pace to see this loving carrying other parent who wasn’t there a lot in Destiny’s life show up and really just kind of be the voice of reason in a lot of situations even though he was like I’m not here a lot of the time but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s going on yeah I also loved Jays character arc I felt like it was so strong when I started reading it I kind of expected that she might be an ice queen because the last like several of Rachel’s books featured ice Queen’s and I think she’s writing some of the best ice Queen’s epic at the moment she’s so freakin good but she wasn’t instead Jay finds other ways to keep people at arm’s length she doesn’t do it through like she’s guarded but she doesn’t do it by being prickly or you know being a servic or being cruel she does it with humor and deflection and so that people looking at her from the outside might think she doesn’t take things seriously but it actually takes she takes things incredibly seriously and so for her to open up is a huge deal yeah exactly I mean that that was the best thing I loved about the developing relationship with Sadie was that you see this girl who’s very much a smartass and everything and then it’s it’s usually one of the two things is like you either become really cold really inverted into yourself when something bad happens to you or you just did you know and for jage I mean everybody in the tennis world knows for attitude so she knew she had to do something to kind of keep it you know show that everything’s on the up-and-up even after you know this major scandal happened in her life it’s like she had to show that it doesn’t bother her when it really did you know because if she showed you bought her then the press and everybody’s gonna just start taking chunks out of you and it’s just gonna demoralize you and she needs to get back on that circuit to get back into playing and to get back to winning she had to show it’s nothing I almost kind of wanted her to run into her ex at one point just but I understand that not happening is like I think that would with all the drama that was going on with destiny and Sadie and everything that might have just been one little thing too far but at the same time it’s like you know that would have been interesting to see especially with Sadie you know knowing the truth and everything so cuz I could totally see Sadie standing up to her for her oh I totally agree oh yeah well that is all for this episode thank you so much Anna for joining me so we can talk about these awesome books I’m glad to be here this is one of my favorite sports I have no problem doing this again maybe when we get closer to the French Open which I believe is in May see hey maybe we’ll have another book by then too by somebody being like hey here’s one for the French you know I’m Tara and you’ve been listening to Les Deux books remember to email me at Tara at the lesbian review calm with your 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