Jess's Reviews > The Game of Love

The Game of Love by Jeanette Murray
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, sports_romance

Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads

Chris is a first time high school tennis coach, moving into her second year of teaching and trying her hardest to distance herself from her family and her past. After struggling in the pros as a tennis player, she never lived up to her parents expectations in anything and after taking enough hits to her confidence she starts doing for herself instead of trying to please everyone else. That includes breaking up with her controlling, emotionally abusive boyfriend, a pro-hockey player. She’s looking forward to teaching and coaching teens and moving forward with her life until she runs into a road block, Brett.

Brett, a retired NFL player, is the head football coach at the local high school and the first night he meets Chris is also the night their banter/fighting/relationship begins. They initially clash over how funding is going to be used within the athletic department and when the Athletic Director makes them come up with a solution as to how the money should be split, they finally sit down to talk or else both would end up losing the funds altogether. Brett is divorced and not looking for love, at all. His ex-wife was with him for the fame and attention he received being in the NFL and everything fell apart for them when he retired. He realized just how horrible and shallow she really is and while he’s glad to be free of her, he’s incredibly weary of women in general and tries to figure out what Chris’s angle is, and if she’s just like all the others. He couldn’t be more wrong as their hate/love/hate/love relationship begins.

I love a couple that banters back and forth. It adds that extra spark in a new relationship and Brett realizes pretty quickly that chasing after Chris is turning out to be the most fun he’s had in ages, even if he ends up embarrassing himself and acting like a teen in love.

“Hey! How’s it going?”

She glanced at him, her eyes growing wide. Then they narrowed, and she kept jogging like he hadn’t said a word. Apparently he wasn’t forgiven for whatever heinous crime he’d committed…like having a penis.


They were such an easy couple to want together. Brett came to understand that Chris wasn’t the type of woman to be impressed with jewelry or fancy dinners, but rather when her girls first tennis match came and only parents were in the bleachers, Brett brought his football team over to pack the stands and support Chris and her team. Things like that made me fall a little more in love with Brett after each page.

Chris tried to be so strong on the outside and she is, she’s there for her team, she loves that she’s able to encourage them to have fun while still teaching them the fundamentals about tennis and winning, which was so different from her own teen years playing tennis. It’s the little things that she finds exciting and that Brett finds so endearing about her.

“I’m using this second toothbrush from the two-pack that’s already opened. Bonus points to you for actually having one in here. Ooo, floss!”

The high-pitched tone of her voice made it sound like the floss container was encrusted with diamonds. He almost laughed at how pleased and excited she was about his oral hygiene. She was having an oralgasm.


Of course, no road to happiness is easy and while I really did fall for Brett and Chris, I wish Chris would have come clean a little sooner about her past to Brett. I didn’t fully understand why she kept holding back, it’s very clear how devastating it is to her to have zero support from her family and an ex who makes her so nervous and angry she gets physically sick after listening to just his voice messages, but my one little issue was how long she held herself back. But Brett’s determined to make her see how good they can be together and doesn’t let up, even when outside forces try to interfere.

We get some fun scenes with Brett’s family, his brothers and all their sons, at their weekly brunch. Chris gets to see what a real family get-together is like and she doesn’t dare hope that she could ever be a part of something so wonderful when all she’s known is her own family who won’t support any of her decisions. Jared and Katie, a married couple who are also best friends with Brett and Chris, are a nice addition and add to the overall humor with their supportive ways in trying to get their friends together.

This was such a delightful contemporary romance – I was drawn into the story from the beginning and loved that it was centered around high school and how these two adults, while finding their own professional careers cut short, could find even more success and satisfaction not only with coaching at the school, but having each other there for support after wins/losses and in every other aspect of their lives. Very nice read and one I recommend to anyone who loves a sweet, funny romance.
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Reading Progress

August 7, 2011 – Started Reading
August 7, 2011 – Shelved
August 8, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 31, 2011 – Shelved as: contemporary
October 31, 2011 – Shelved as: sports_romance

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