Monday, August 15, 2011

Full Court Pressure by Lynn Galli

Publisher:              Penikila Press

Graysen Viola had a very successful college career playing basketball, including an Olympic gold medal, followed by successful careers playing in the WNBA and coaching women's college teams.  When her best friend, who is the athletic director at Lake Merritt University, asks her to join him as coach of the basketball team, Gray assumes he means the nationally ranked women's team.  Instead she finds she's coaching the men's team which is mired in scandal and missing most of its best players from the previous year.  She also didn't expect to meet up with Darby Evan, coach of the women's volleyball team and a friend from the Olympics, or Kesara Luz, Tavian's very beautiful assistant.  Gray struggles with a team that doesn't want her, trying to get a house restored and attractions to two women.  She's going to have quite a year.

Full Court Pressure isn't about basketball.  That's just a framework for the story.  It's really about relationships; those between a coach and a team; those between romantic interests; and those between people of different cultures.  The interactions between the characters come across as very real, even when they're not positive.  Gray's emotions radiate off of the page as she deals with arrogant players, an overly possessive woman and the realization that not everyone has the friendly feelings she's developed for members of the Hispanic community.  As the story develops, the basketball aspect fades into the background as the interactions between the people become more important.

This is an enjoyable book to read.  Some of it stretches credulity a little, but it's fictionIt develops at just the right pace and the characters are fully developed.  An added bonus for those who are not familiar with Galli's other work is that there is a synopsis of each book included at the back of this one.

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