Stephanie J. Scott
(A Six Lakes Tennis Academy Novel)
Publication date: May 24th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports, Young Adult
An enemies-to-more fake dating romance set in the world of competitive tennis
Maisie Maxwell planned for a senior year of dazzling college scouts by playing her best tennis. Instead, her beloved tennis training academy is thrown into scandal when the academy founder and head coach, who happens to be her uncle, takes off to Tahiti with the school’s tuition money. Her classmates label her a traitor, but she commits to graduate from the school she loves.
Only her aim to lay low is thwarted by the school’s last-ditch hope to stay open, a new partnership with reality show The Academy.
Also not helping her stay-under-the-radar plan? A wayward forehand shot that nails transfer student Shane Wagner in the face on day one. Shane, obnoxiously gorgeous for starters, is the current number one nationally seeded player in junior boys’ tennis. Oops.
Everyone at school sees Shane as an outsider and fame-seeker. He’s just as much an outcast as Maisie. While reality show producers push for chaos, Shane and Maisie band together with their own idea: pretend to be together and control the narrative.
But the savvy head producer has her own agenda, and it’s not collegiate tennis scholarships. Shane and Maisie need to play hard to save the school before they’re outmatched.
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I put all my strength into my next forehand. The ball torpedoed over the net, not even bothering to bounce within the court. Nope, that sucker was headed for the fences. If this was baseball, it’d be time to break out the peanuts and Cracker Jack.
Too bad this wasn’t baseball.
A figure in the distance went down, knees to the court. A crowd of students suddenly appeared, gasping and rushing over.
“You hit him!” someone shrieked.
My breath lodged in my throat. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I jogged over, terrified to breathe until I knew my accidental victim was okay.
Caleb directed a dirty scowl at me. “You really are the worst, Maxwell.”
I angled to see the fallen student. “I’m so sorry!”
“Oh, Maisie.” Nia mumbled, now beside me.
“I’m okay,” the guy on the ground said, attempting to stand despite the crowd. His head emerged, sun-bleached brown hair unkempt and curling over a tanned forehead. That perfectly shaggy hair some guys could get away with. He wasn’t a returning student. The face turning toward me could easily belong on a clothing website, the kind with ninety-dollar T-shirts with holes in them for a distressed look. Basically, he was very attractive.
A swath of blood streaked across that very attractive face.
That part was definitely my fault.
Sorry floated across my tongue, but my lips couldn’t form the word under the pressure of so many glaring classmates. Any hope of being an admired senior this year shriveled and burned like a tissue set aflame.
He accepted a clean towel and pressed it to his nose. “I expected I might not be welcome here, but your forehand really confirmed it.”
“Way to go, Maxwell,” Caleb said with a sneer. “You just nailed Shane Wagner in the face.”
Oh. Wait, what? “You’re … you’re—”
“Shane Wagner,” the bloody-faced model boy said through the towel.
Shane Wagner. The Shane Wagner. I just nailed the face of the number one-seeded player in junior boys’ tennis.
Stephanie J. Scott writes young adult and romance about characters who put their passions first. Her debut ALTERATIONS about a fashion-obsessed loner who reinvents herself was a Romance Writers of America RITA® award finalist. She enjoys dance fitness, everything cats, and has a slight obsession with Instagram. A Midwest girl at heart, she resides outside of Chicago with her tech-of-all-trades husband and fuzzy furbabies.
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Rita Wray says
Sounds like a good book.
What an interesting book! Great excerpt. I’d love to read more.
The premise of fake dating is pretty funny. I like the tussle between the two tennis players. Plus in tennis Love means zero or nil, which is ironic and lopsided.