Genre: Contemporary Romance
Word Count: 85,000
Anna Carsten always knew what she'd be when she grew up. She also knew she didn't have a choice. With an elite tennis coach for a dad and a tennis academy for a backyard, she was every bit the star her last name demanded.
But Anna played for more than her family's reputation. When her Wimbledon champion mother committed suicide she made sure of that. And every time Anna won it eased her guilt for what her father had lost.
But since her father's death two years ago, Anna's can't-miss game has sunk into a can't-win slump. With her losing streak shaking confidence in her family's prestigious academy, Anna's pressured into re-launching the Carsten brand with a new coach, a new strategy, and a sparkling new PR campaign.
Only that new coach is her father's former protege Declan Riordan. If is bitter falling out with her dad didn't already make her skeptical of him, the rumors of his match fixing certainly do. And she can't help but cringe remembering her puppy dog crush, when Declan's condescension made clear he thought she'd be nowhere without her last name.
Anna would love to know why Declan quit tennis five years ago - and why he's back now. But learning what drove him away also reveals a different side to the father she thought she knew - and transforms the family history she thought she understood.
With the US Open approaching, Anna reconsiders what winning means to her - and is torn between the man she didn't think she could trust and the family loyalty she didn't know she should doubt.
Told from both Anna and Declan's viewpoints, Break is a women's fiction novel with strong romantic elements, complete at 85,000 words.
Anna knew how to put on a game face and how to wear it with style. In front of a stadium or alone in her room, she had mastered the art of hiding it all. No teary interviews. No leaps of jubilation. No shrieks of frustration. And certainly, no smashed rackets. Not from her. Not ever. A game face was by far the best accessory she owned and it went with everything.
So sitting now in a jammed Heathrow Airport, hat pulled low and sunglasses on, Anna wore her game face. She'd tried to avoid the replay of the match, wedging herself against the far wall, close to the windows. But like a person who can't shake the Mona Lisa's eyes, every seat offered perfect vantage of some TV perched high along the lounge's perimeter. From the corner of her shaded eyes, Anna had no trouble watching the match unfold. Sun glinted off emerald courts, players glowed in tennis whites. It was, frankly, unfortunate. Had she needed to, she could even make out the score at the bottom of the screen. But she knew the score.
"Our plane hasn't even taken off from wherever the hell it's coming from." Jennie's shoulder knocked against her as she flopped down, huffing out a sigh.
Anna dragged her eyes to her friend's scowling face then past her to the rain streaked windows overlooking the tarmac. She folded her arms and dropped her head back against the wall.