Review: Painting the Lines by Ashley R. King (Ace of Hearts #1)

Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR.

I wish all debuts were as good as this one because this may have been Ashley R. King's first published novel, but she sure as heck made me--and quite a few other readers--sit up and take notice. Painting the Lines is King's debut novel and it also happens to be the first in her Ace of Hearts series. It's been a while since I last read a sports romance where the sport of choice was tennis, which just happens to be one of my all-time favorite sports (to watch, not to play because I'd be too scared to get hit by a ball going more than two hundred kilometers an hour. King brought the sport and she brought the romance, and all the elements brought together with such talent.

Amalie Warner was a bestselling author at nineteen, but she's floundered in the nine years since. With her father insisting she finally join the family-owned hotel business, Amalie knows that the pressure is on for her to prove that writing not only remains her passion, but that she can make a living off of it. She needs inspiration, something to light that creative spark in her. Surprisingly enough, it comes in the form of a professional tennis player named Julian Smoke. At twenty-one, he was a promising rookie on the pro circuit, but his career quickly began to wane. Now at thirty, he's in the middle of a dream run for the US Open. Julian's story could be exactly what Amalie needs, but will she be able to write it without wanting to kill--or fall for--him?

This was such a great read, one that had all the enemies-to-lovers feels. Amalie and Julian's story had a slow-burn feel to it, one that allowed readers like me to see them grow from the slightly still immature individuals they were into two people who were giving their all as they tried to restart their respective careers. Even as they went from bickering to bantering, it was clear that there was that spark of possibility between them. I'm glad that Ashley R. King took her time developing her characters and their story. It was never rushed nor did it meander. I certainly look forward to seeing what she's got planned next, and I'm assuming it's the second book in her Ace of Hearts series, because King is a promising author that is worth keeping an eye on gpomg forward. I'm awarding Painting the Lines 4/5 stars out of a possible five stars. 

Date Read: 29 August 2020

Learn more about Ashley R. King.

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