The upper echelons of professional tennis generally are occupied by extremely determined and forceful personalities. It is hardly a stretch to imagine some of those individuals gravitating to the dominant side of BDSM. Such is the underlying premise of the recent collaboration of authors Lily Harlem and Lucy Felthouse, Grand Slam.
Despite it delving beneath the surface of D/S play dynamics, at its core this is a romantic tale chronicling the love affair between a sports psychologist and a top tennis player. Marie has been hired to help Travis regain his focus while he recuperates from a fairly serious automobile accident. Their mutual attraction complicates the purpose of their professional alliance, as does Travis’ determination to awaken Marie’s latent sexual submissiveness.
The entirety of the book is written from a first person point of view, although the person telling the story alternates between Travis and Marie with each chapter. Whether or not this helps or hinders the narrative will depend upon the reader’s sensibilities and preferences. I was not particularly enamored of this convention, but I didn’t hate it either.
Realistically, I am not the target consumer for this book. Romantic stories don’t really appeal to me all that much, nor do I enjoy sharing characters’ inner angst as they wrestle with their hopes and fears as the mating dance unfolds. Looking at these features objectively though, I would say that they are well done, just not to my personal tastes.
For readers interested in this book for its erotic content, that too is a subjective matter. There are ample sex scenes throughout with varying levels of intensity; however, the BDSM elements are not hard core in the least, but definitely sensual and erotic. That aspect of Grand Slam would more likely resonate with outsiders and newbies than those in the lifestyle.