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Best Books of the Year So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for 2015's Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Alan Chin's novels explore spiritual growth through finding the right relationships. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, romance, Eastern religion, and the paranormal, his underlying focus is the power of love.
Alan is the author of eight novels, an anthology of short stories, and three screenplays.
Alan's first novel, Island Song, won the 2008 QBliss Excellence in Literature award. His novels, The Lonely War and Match Maker won a total of five Rainbow Literature Awards. His book, The Plain of Bitter Honey is a 2014 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year finalist in the Science Fiction category.
Alan lives and writes half of each year at his home in Southern California, and spend the other half of each year traveling the globe with my husband, Herman Chin.
A second chance may end up being life changing. Daniel and Jared were run out of professional tennis when their romantic relationship was exposed in a very public way. Now Daniel has a second chance at coaching when a young prodigy asks for his help. Connor's career isn't the only one on the line as Jared returns from retirement to the sport he craves. Time has passed but not enough as the same prejudice rears its head and threatens not just their careers but their lives.
Although Match Maker has moments of drama and intensity, at the heart this is a tennis driven story. The sport is the main focus of the story as the characters are all devoted to their passion. While it's not necessary to appreciate tennis to enjoy the story, it helps a great deal since there is quite a bit of information offered. The plot revolves around Jared and Connor as they prepare for and play on the pro tennis circuit with Daniel as their coach. The story is told through Daniel's perspective and often ignores weighty issues such as relationship problems between Jared and Daniel, instead focusing on the sport itself.
There is a romantic element towards the end of the story after a hate crime has been committed that forces Jared and Daniel to reevaluate their lives. This brings the most romance and emotional intensity the book sees, because otherwise this reads like an interesting look at fictional professional tennis players and the various people/issues surrounding them. That's not bad and indeed the author has written an interesting sports themed story that highlights the discrimination in sports. The level of detail and information offered is impressive but never overwhelming and carefully crafted to keep the reader interested without being bored.Read more ›
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Without loosing his penchant for eastern philosophy and lifestyle, with Match Maker Alan Chin tests his hand with a sport themed novel, something that apparently is completely at the opposite. Apparently since the chosen sport is yes something that is based on a good physical strength, but it has also deep root in balance and inner calm, Tennis.
Strange is that, the main argument of the novel is that Tennis is a macho sport... well, truth be told in Europe Tennis is probably the most likely candidate to have gay professional players. And no, this is not due to the actual presence of out players, but simply since Tennis is seen like a sophisticated sport, something the common man hardly will play.
But in any case, European misconceptions or not, being gay and a professional player is something that doesn't match well in any sport, at least to the public opinion, and so Jared and Daniel, teenager lovers who became player and trainer, had seen their dreams smashed; the downfall was not so hard, Jared survives giving few 1 hour lessons each week to people willing to pay more than the average to boast they have a former champion as instructor, and Daniel has a more common job as tennis teacher in a poshy club. They could be happy, but regrets make their life a nightmare, and also their relationship is under duress.
When Connor enters their life, I feared the worst; 18 years old and pretty, and willing to do everything necessary to reach his goal, I was scared he would have been the final blow to Daniel and Jared's relationship and instead he was their only chance to survive. Connor is not gay, and even if he has a special relationship with Spencer, a same age kid, his is more the jealousy of best friends who don't like to share a special bond.Read more ›
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They met as children, drawn towards each other without really knowing why at first. Daniel Bottega and Jared Stoderling innocently began a lifelong relationship. They also discovered a shared passion for tennis. They started to each make a name for themselves in the tennis world, but rumors of being lovers allowed the powers that be destroy them and their dreams.
Daniel manages to find a stable job as a tennis pro at a club. One day he is approached by Roy Lin and his son Connor. Roy has been coaching his son, but Connor needs someone with more experience if he is ever to meet his potential on the court. Jared had been using alcohol to deaden the pain of a lost career until Daniel works out a plan to include his lover in Connor's rise to fame.
Over time Connor improves as his entourage expands with a trainer, an agent, and a few others on his team. Connor ends up playing doubles with Jared, as well as placing as a singles competitor. His team travels from tour to tour as he and Jared slowly rise in the tennis rankings with Daniel's help. The men face criticism and other problems along the way. Nobody said that being the best would be easy. Sometimes you have to hit bottom to enjoy the thrill of being on top and they are tested to the maximum.
Match Maker is a complex, intricate, and deeply moving romance. Told mainly in first person, Daniel tells us about his early life when he met Jared and where their life began together. We learn about Connor and all the people who latch onto the potential winner. Match Maker is most definitely a tennis love story. There is a great deal of meticulous tennis information. Readers who enjoy the game will no doubt find the info appealing. Those who don't know or understand may have trouble enjoying the story.Read more ›
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