Finally! A fresh voice in contemporary romance. Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone is a delightful, sexy story with well-written characters and an entertaining storyline. The heat between old flames, Jason and Izzy, is obvious from their first encounter. They volley witty dialogue and calculated innuendos at each other like a fast-paced tennis match, and you're never sure who's going to win. Both characters have scarred pasts that cause them to make mistakes in the present, but they're also both determined to learn from that damaging past and move on.
From the first page, Izzy's personality grabbed me. She's a workaholic mother who'll do whatever it takes to protect and guide her foster son, Nick, a boy she loves just like her own. In the process, she's forced to deal with Nick's birth mother, a drug addict who cares about no one but herself. Izzy also has to deal with the fact that the odds of a single, black woman being allowed to adopt a white boy are slim to none. But Izzy faces each problem with grit and determination, and under her don't-rock-the-boat demeanor, she wrestles with insecurities and self-doubt, just like the rest of us, often paying the price of putting everyone else ahead of herself. She's most at home behind her camera, where she sees others for who they really are and she can keep her own real self hidden.
The fallout from Jason's bad boy image reflects on many current issues in our culture. Ms. Malone does a wonderful job of showing him as both a public superstar and as a private person dealing with his dual images. His charm and talent were both obvious, but his inner turmoil was the most appealing aspect of his character.
The sexual tension between Jason and Izzy, along with the blackmail plot surrounding Nick, builds and builds to a delicious and satisfying conclusion. Game, Set, Match is a wonderful new addition to my romance library that I'll read again and again.