Read an excerpt from Losing At Love by Jennifer Iacopelli

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Losing At Love Synopsis

Grass courts, tennis whites and the fiercest competition in the world. Wimbledon. After two crazy weeks in Paris, the girls of the Outer Banks Tennis Academy are headed to London with just one thing on their minds: winning.

Indiana Gaffney is fresh off a surprise win at the French Open junior tournament. Sponsors are clamoring for her attention, but what she wants more than anything—aside from a wild card to Wimbledon—is to be with Jack Harrison, but international fame and a secret relationship rarely mix well.

When Penny Harrison dreamed of playing at Wimbledon she never imagined agonizing pain shooting through her ankle with every step. With just a month until the tournament and the whole world expecting her to win, she’s determined to play, with or without the support of her coach or the love of her life, Alex Russell.

For the first time ever, no one expects anything from Jasmine Randazzo. After a crushing first-round defeat in the French Open juniors, the tennis world has given up on her, but worse than that, so have her parents, her best friend Teddy and maybe even her coach. With everyone writing her off, can she find it within herself to go after her dreams?

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Excerpt

Randazzo Residence, Outerbanks, North Carolina

Jasmine Randazzo shifted her weight back and forth from one foot to the other, trying to appear interested in what the man in front of her was saying. He’d been talking about something to do with eligibility and options for the future, but Jasmine’s eye was drawn by the large screen over his shoulder. As was tradition, her parents were throwing a party during a Grand Slam final. The next best thing to being courtside was to rub elbows with the US’s tennis elite and make everyone feel like they weren’t missing anything, when, in fact, they weren’t watching the match at all. If they were sitting at Chatrier, they would all be silent during the points, heads whipping back and forth with the force of each groundstroke, nothing but the grunts and groans of the two men on the court echoing in the stadium.

“Do you understand what I’m trying to say, Jasmine?” the man asked, shifting into her view over his shoulder and trying to grab her eyes with his.

“Of course I do,” she said, meeting his gaze for a second. “If you’ll excuse me, I’d like to watch this last game.”

Alex Russell was leading Henrique Romero of Brazil in the third set and was just a few points away from victory. Any other year, Jasmine wouldn’t care at all that the best men’s player in the world was about to win yet another Grand Slam, but this year was different. He’d spent the last few months training at OBX with them after coming back from a horrific knee injury. If he won, which all signs pointed to, that trophy would be displayed in the front entry of the training facility, letting everyone know exactly the kind of athletes that trained at OBX. It would bring an influx of talent, but it would also set a new standard of expectations. OBX wouldn’t just be a training facility anymore. It would be the place you went if you wanted to be the best tennis player in the world.

Finding an unimpeded view of the screen, Jasmine focused on the court, a court she’d played on less than a week ago with her doubles partner, Indiana Gaffney. They’d faced the best doubles team in the world and after an embarrassing first set, they’d fought hard, made the final score respectable, and impressed a lot of people in the stands. Including, hopefully, the committee who’d issue wild card entries to the next Grand Slam, just a few weeks away now, in Wimbledon. That’s what she had to focus on, not the other stuff, like losing in the second round of the French Open Girls Singles while Indy had won the entire damn tournament. And not the confusing mess that was her relationship with her best friend, Teddy Harrison. And definitely not that the man she’d tried so hard to ignore for the last few minutes was a college recruiter her parents had invited to the party specifically to talk to her about waiting until after college to turn pro and spend the next few years playing NCAA tennis.

The television was on mute so as not to disturb the conversations going on around her, but the closed captioning was on and a shot zoomed in on Alex Russell, tall, blond, and British, barely looking like he’d broken a sweat under the Paris sun. The black boxes and white lettering scrolled across the bottom of the screen: Alex Russell, the man who everyone counted out just a few months ago, will serve for the championship and prove all of us wrong.

“Come on, Alex,” Jasmine muttered under her breath. People were counting her out too and one day, when she is standing on a court like that, just a game away from a championship, those people are going to eat their words.

Jennifer Iacopelli Bio

Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave...ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master's in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV.

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