Title: The Unforgiving Minute
Author: Sarah Granger
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publisher: Dreamsinner Press
Buy Link: Publisher, Amazon
Length: 236 pages
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
A Guest Review by Andrea
Review Summary: A nice sports related romance. It’s not particularly remarkable, but it’s definitely an enjoyable read.
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.
Ryan is just breaking into the world of professional tennis. In the book, people compared Ryan to an exuberant puppy. It’s an apt description. He is happy, excited, trusting, adorable, and lives in the moment. It’s sweet and endearing on a personal level, but those are not the safest characteristics for someone entering the celebrity of professional sports. There are some people who see him as a wide eyed kid and instantly mark him as an easy target.
Josh has been living in the tennis spotlight most of his life. He has first hand experience with the dark side of professional sports. He learned the hard way that letting someone break his focus can knock him off his game. For protection, he insulates himself with a select group he knows he can trust. They work together to insure nobody can break through to Josh and wreak havoc upon his professional focus. Unfortunately, there is one tournament from which the protective group is banned. That is where Ryan and Josh meet, and Josh’s carefully ordered world is disrupted in the most wonderful way.
It’s a nice setup for a sport romance, and it did work. It was an enjoyable romance, but at the end of the day, it was average. Average is not a bad thing! It is a perfectly enjoyable book. It has a nice romance happening, a villain waiting on the sidelines to destroy everything they have worked for, and enjoyable characters. I only had one issue with the story, and that’s because it had a big pet peeve for mine. I’m not a fan of the big miscommunication crisis in books. Josh and Ryan took it one step farther by making assumptions without all the facts and then making decisions without bothering to see if that assumption was correct. That part did irritate me to no end.
While it may not have been an exceptional read for me, it was still enjoyable. I do believe tennis fans will find it more appealing than I did. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I am not a tennis fan. I am a fan of any world class athlete. I may not get every nuance of the game being played, but I do love their competitive streak and their incredible drive to succeed. I’m sure readers who love tennis will find another layer of interest which wasn’t there for me. To them, I would say you should give The Unforgiving Minute a shot. For people like me, who aren’t tennis fans, it’s still a good book.