Amalie Warner wants another shot to prove that she can be a successful writer. After hitting the bestseller’s list nine years ago, she’s lost her spark. Feeling pressure from her father to leave her writing behind and to work for her family’s lucrative hotel business, she’s desperate to find inspiration for her next big idea, something that challenges and excites her, something real.
Enter Julian Smoke, a failed tennis player making a dream run for the US Open. After a chance meeting at a bar, Amalie hates him instantly. He’s cocky and arrogant, but Amalie knows his story could be her big break. Could he be more?
Everyone knows that in tennis, love means zero, but these two are about to change that.
|Title:||Painting the Lines|
|Author:||Ashley R. King|
|Series:||Ace of Hearts (Book 1)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
|Trope(s):||Enemies to Lovers|
Sports Romance (Tennis)
|Point of View:||Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Atlanta, Georgia, US|
|Release Date:||17th August, 2020|
Ohmigosh – so good
What a treat this book was! It’s the first book from Ashley R. King that I’ve read but I loved her style, humour and storytelling, so it definitely won’t be the last.
I can’t say I’ve ever seen another sports romance book with tennis as the sport in question – although I’m not sure why not. I personally love tennis, but if you’re not a fan, you’ll be in good company because neither is our heroine, Amalie. We also never get bogged down in tennis detail and only the Big 4 are mentioned by name and very infrequently at that.
I LOVE an enemies to lovers story and this is what we get here as Amalie and Julian dislike each other almost from first sight. But it’s the best kind of enemies – bickering and snipping at each other while trying to ignore their growing attraction.
To say this is a slow burn is doing a massive disservice to the author’s ability to grow and build the sexual chemistry and tension between our couple until it’s almost a living, breathing character in itself. Believe me, everyone was frustrated but in the best possible way. It was so wonderful – they way their bickering turned playful and how they both dealt with their feelings. Oh, and how Paul cockblocked the couple at every turn!
When we finally get there, it’s deliciously sexy with equally delicious feels. Happy sighs.
The book really put me in mind of the film, The Cutting Edge. It had that same relationship dynamic, the same humour and the same excitement of the underdog. I laughed out loud on occasion during the story and was just as nervous for Julian as he returned to the tennis circuit. I was along for the ride and completely committed to our couple and their lives.
This is the kind of book I expect to stay with me for a long time. Once finished, I had that same excitement as if I’d just finished watching a wonderful tennis tournament or seeing a happy film. It’s very much a fairytale ending and I was here for it completely. And there was an epilogue which made me an even happier bunny.
If you’re looking for a well-written romance with characters you’ll fall for and feel for, laughs and love, leaving you within all round happy feeling – then this is the book for you. I loved it and the tennis was just the cherry on top. 5 stars
Ashley R. King is a middle school English teacher whose love of the written word began when her mom took her to the public library, letting her check out stacks of books taller than she was. She’s the least athletic person you’ll ever meet, but that doesn’t decrease her love for her favorite sport, tennis.
She loves swoony romances and is addicted to sweet tea. When she’s not teaching or writing happily ever afters, she can be found snuggled up with a book, travelling, or quoting obscure lines from her favorite movies and tv shows. She lives in a small town in Georgia with her favorite person in the world—her husband, and their sweet and chatty spoiled cat, Cleo.