BOOK CLUB: Love and Other Scores

Click to rate this book!
[Total: 5 Average: 4.2]

Love and Other Scores by Australian author Abra Pressler is a wonderful work of fiction in the LGBTQ romance subgenre.

Gabriel always aspired to be a professional tennis player, a highly competitive sport that he has put in years of dedication and persistence to be the best. Facing his first Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, he struggles with the pressure and negative impact on performance. Gabriel seeks timeout and retreats to a bar where he meets Noah, they have an interesting interaction and hit it off right away.

Noah has no idea Gabriel is a global tennis superstar and admired by many. As their friendship develops, they get to know each other well, their interactions and intimate moments become strong, and a bond is forged. Both have their reasons for wanting to keep their romance private and away from publicity, but will this be enough to build a future together?

The author effectively throws you into two opposite worlds according to the respective lifestyles of the protagonists.  Everything about Gabriel and Noah was perfect, from the moment they met. The chemistry between them is instantaneous and will surely prove thoroughly engrossing. Their relationship develops at a slow-burning pace with plenty of twists and turns, and the overall effect is enchanting.

The characters leap off the pages with plenty of backstory, description, and motivation. Gabriel is impressively fleshed out, strong, dedicated, and complete with flaws. Noah is a sweet, loveable man, struggling with problems of his own, readers will only want the best for his happiness.  A strong cast of supporting characters rounded out the story nicely.

The setting is well-developed and the plot is enriched by the author’s ability to keep the story real and the emotions intense. The Australian Open brings a layer of excitement and enthusiasm to the positively infectious narrative. Readers will be cheering from the sideline. 

This is my first time reading a work by Abra, and she certainly sets the bar high when it comes to writing LGBTQ fiction. Her gift lies not so much in the fact that she writes a story about same-sex romance, but more in brave choices and demonstrating many different skills that really make this unusual and original novel work.

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, it is so unique and beautifully written. It completely consumed me, surprised me, had me on the edge of my seat and made me feel so many emotions.

Love and Other Scores takes a simple story and delivers a powerful message about finding the inner strength to do what is right even in the face of overwhelming odds. 

Readers will be drawn to the book cover. The colours, fonts and texture are a standout on a bookshelf. I love how it incorporates the two main characters giving it a sense of curiosity as to what the story is about. 

If you have never read an MM romance, I encourage you to pick up a book. I highly recommend it to LGBTQ romance fans and readers who enjoy a good love story.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Love and Other Scores by Abra Pressler. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Love and Other Scores

  1. Author Abra Pressler has certainly set the bar high when it comes to my introduction to LGBTQ fiction. To say that I LOVED reading Love and Other Scores is certainly an understatement. I found myself picking this book up at every available opportunity as I couldn’t get enough of this slow burn and swoon worthy romance between global tennis superstar AND heartthrob Frenchman Gabriel and Noah.
    Needing a break and reprieve from the stress and pressure of playing in the Australian Open Gabriel finds himself at a bar, where he meets a charismatic Noah.
    Noah who has no interest in the sporting world and has no idea who Gabriel is finds himself drawn to this enchanting stranger and over the sweltering Melbourne summer Gabriel and Noah find themselves falling in love with both of them wanting to keep their blossoming romance private – each of them having their own reasons for doing so.
    I have never been one to describe any books I’ve read as a sweet or a tender read but this book is exactly that and one, I would highly recommend to anyone. I look forward to reading any future books that the author will write.
    A BIG thank you to Beauty & Lace and PanMacMillan Australia for my copy of Love and Other Scores.

  2. By some assessments, I should be completely the wrong audience for this novel, yet I really enjoyed it. It’s warm and engaging, with believable characters.

    Gabriel is a highly successful, internationally known tennis player. However, he’s sacrificed a lot for his tennis success, and now, in his mid-twenties, he’s beginning to have regrets. Combined with the pressure of the Australian Open, this leads to a minor rebellion and he winds up in a bar.

    There he meets Noah, who has no interest in sports and fails to recognize Gabriel. There’s an instant connection. As they spend time together, it quickly becomes clear to both that this is more than just lust. They’re developing feelings for each other.

    But Noah has excellent reasons for wanting to fly beneath the radar. Gabriel, too, would like to keep their romance private. But Gabriel’s under a spotlight, one that their relationship may not survive.

    Some readers may find it a little unbelievable that Noah doesn’t recognize Gabriel – but speaking as someone with no interest in sports, this is entirely possible. Indeed, likely. I do have to say that there was probably more detail about tennis than I really wanted, but the converse of that is the credibility it gives to Gabriel’s world.

    As with most romances, the success of the novel rests on how much readers engage with the main characters. Both are warm and realistic characters, largely very likeable. They have problems and reservations that readers will easily understand. It’s not long before you’re cheering them on, hoping for the best, and holding your breath as they face problems.

    This is set in Melbourne, with plenty of mentions of real locations. I found it vivid and a great backdrop. The writing style is easy, unobtrusively drawing you through the story.

    So, this female, straight, sports hating reader really enjoyed the story of a male, queer, tennis star and his romance. It’s warm and believable, and will leave you smiling.

  3. I absolutely adored this slow burn tennis focused romance and struggled to put it down.

    I loved the characters and their interactions, be they friendships, family or more, with the exception of the returned menace. The interactions between opponents was especially well written, with their court persona and everyday persona being so different, yet their support for each other so obvious.

    The two main characters were my favourite by far, their relationship was beautifully tender and I loved watching it grow.

    Being a tennis fan, I found the sport focus great to read and true to the game. It also made me more in awe of players, reading about the long lasting physical effects the game has on them.

    This is definitely a story I’ll be sharing and one that my friends will also appreciate, regardless of their knowledge of the game.

  4. Thank you so much to Beauty and Lace for allowing me to review Love and Other Scores.
    I loved the book and really enjoyed reading it. I really liked the characters and that it was a novel that explored the LGBQT+ community.
    I loved how Gabriel and Noah came from completely different worlds but came together in a beautifully written way. The way their characters interacted and the way they jumped off the page was great.
    Whilst I don’t typically read romance novels this was one I really loved and highly recommend.

  5. I absolutely adored this book. The dual POVs made it great and really gave you a insight into the MMCs minds. I know nothing about tennis except what I played on Wii sports, the author tried to explain it in a way that was easily understandable. While I did understand some of it, parts went over my head. I have a thing for people being so caught up they slip into their native language and I LOVE how Abra Pressler did this. This was only my 3rd ever MM romance and it did not disappoint.

    Thank you to beauty and lace magazine, and MacMillan publishing for sending me a copy of the book.

  6. Love and Other Stories by Abra Pressler was an enjoyable and engaging read.
    The writing style of the author was easy to read and painted a vivid scene so that I was fully immersed in the story.
    I liked getting to know the main characters, Gabriel and Noah and the meshing of their very different lives. Gabriel who is a global tennis superstar and Noah, who isn’t a sports fan, meet at a bar and the connection is instantaneous …This is a love story through and through, delightful and entertaining.
    Thankyou Beauty and Lace and Pam Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read and review Love and other Stories.

  7. A newly releases rom com by author Abra Pressler, Love and other scores is a tennis related novel featuring romance, queen, lgbt. A bright and entertaining novel I thoroughly enjoyed reading and especially loved the dual POV.

    Thankyou Pan Macmillan and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *