Marc reviews ‘The Unforgiving Minute’ by Sarah Granger. This book was published on April 25th, 2013 by Dreamspinner Press and is 236 pages long.
Why I read this book: This is a case where the cover really sold the book to me. I don’t really folllow tennis on TV or play it. But seeing these two handsome guys and the tennis ball placed in just the right way to intrigue me, made me buy the paperback of this book even before reading it as eBook. The cover spoke to me and I couldn’t stop myself.
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Ryan Betancourt has got it made: he’s reached the top tier of the tennis world thanks to a wild-card entry to the US Open. Ryan is meeting players he has idolized for years, including his teenage crush, Josh Andrews. But he isn’t ready for the politics and manipulation that come with life at the top.
Josh Andrews is closeted, private, and difficult to get to know. He’s been playing tennis since he could walk, won his first tournament at five, and was sent to Spain at thirteen to attend a tennis academy. Before a knee injury forced him into a year off, he was ranked the number one player in the world. Now he’s back—and intent on winning.
Josh and Ryan first meet at a tournament in Brisbane. Ryan excitedly greets Josh only to be ignored. Crushed, he realizes the golden boy of tennis isn’t all he seems. Only in the team-building environment of training for the Davis Cup does Josh open up enough for them to grow closer. Their developing relationship is everything Ryan ever wanted, and he is blissfully happy. But inevitably they have to play against each other, and everything changes.
‘The Unforgiving Minute’ has a nice sound to it. It speaks of time pressure and the need for perfection. Everything fans of sport-themed romances love. A promise that the author manages to keep.
The cover seduced me into buying the book. The cover models are handsome, the placement of all elements of the cover is brilliant and it just really worked for me. It teases the sport that is an important part of this book and it looks wonderful on the print book I have on my shelf.
This was my first book by this author and the first book I read that featured tennis as important pat of the story. I did not know a lot about tennis, nor did I know what to expect from the author.Thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised by a wonderful, entertaining story that was easy to read and understand even without any prior knowledge about the sport.
Ryan Betancourt has worked hard and is very talented, but really it was luck that got him the chance to play in the US Open. This is the chance to prove himself to a huge audience and become one of the major players in the world. All he has to do is play and win against professional players he has idolized for years.
The thing that I liked the most was that Ryan is new to these majr competitions. He is still as new to everything there as the reader is and we can experience the world of tennis through him. It is a long journey that spans a lot of different competitions all over the world and in the beginning Ryan is extremely naive and doesn’t realize whom to trust and how to navigate through this new world.
I found him very easy to like and had a lot of fun seeing the world through his eyes. Even if as I reader I was able to pick up on some clues he didn’t see and was not quite as naive. I think the bad guy in this book was slightly over-the-top, but the way the author concluded the arc was very satisfactory. You will love to hate the bad guy and cheer when Karma bites him in the arse.
As for the romance, I think Andrew is not quite as easy to love, at least in the beginning. There is a lot of mystery surrounding him and an entourage that keeps him isolated, but rest assured readers will get to know him intimately and the author makes him very human.
I loved that while Andrew’s father has A LOT of faults and is not someone I would want as a friend, it becomes obvious that he loves his son in his own way. He might use him to relive his days as major tennis player in new glory, but the author did not go the easy route of making him remorselessly and unmercifully evil. That makes him a much more interesting character.
All in all, this book was fun and very entertaining. There is love, betrayal, hot sex, competitive sport and it is just really easy to read. I started it and did not put the paperback down until I had read the whole thing in the morning hours of the next day and I often remember the book and how much I enjoyed reading it. I can strongly recommend it to anyone who likes sport-themed books and light, fun romances with a bit of angst and mystery to them.
9/10 pots of gold (90% recommended) -compares to 4.5/5 or 5/5 stars rounded up.
Sarah Granger is a sucker for a happy ending. She believes, however, that characters will only fully appreciate their happy ending if they’ve suffered along the way.
Sarah lives in the Cotswolds, an idyllic part of the English countryside with gently rolling hills, dry stone walls of golden stone and fields dotted with sheep. She has shamefully broken with local tradition by not having a rose growing around her front door. When she isn’t writing, Sarah enjoys walking in the countryside with her elderly and affectionate black Labrador.