Wednesday, December 23, 2015

ARC Review: Winter Ball by Amy Lane

Through a miserable adolescence and a lonely adulthood, Skipper Keith has dreamed of nothing but family. The closest he gets is the rec league soccer team he coaches after work—and his star player and best friend, Richie Scoggins.

One brisk night in late October, a postpractice convo in Richie’s car turns into a sexual encounter neither of them expected—nor want to forget. Soon Skip and Richie are living for the weekends and their winter league soccer games—and the games they enjoy off the field. Through broken noses, holiday decorating, and the killer flu, they learn more about each other than they ever dreamed possible. Every new discovery takes them further beyond the boundaries of the soccer field and into the infinite possibilities of the best relationship of Skipper’s life.

Skipper can’t dream of a better family than Richie—but Richie’s got real family entanglements he can’t shake off. Skipper needs to convince Richie to stay with him beyond winter ball so the relationship they started on the field might become their happy future in real life!

Dani's rating:

Richie waxes poetic about Skip's dick: "I like the length, I like the width, I like the color ... Most especially I like it in my ass."

This calls for a haiku:

I dream about you
dream about your perfect cock
in my ass, so right

Skip (real name Christopher, but he's the Skipper, so) and Richie aren't shy. They lick and suck and smell. Richie is a shameless pushy bottom, and Skip finally has no problems keeping it hard. He only has to think about Richie's wiry pale body, his red hair, his freckles ... and he's a goner.

Winter Ball is the best kind of friends-to-lovers story: low on angst & believable, with REAL MCs.

Richie and Skip are just regular guys who've played rec league soccer together for years. Skip has a *ahem* four-pack and doesn't take off his shirt voluntarily, but he can't take his eyes off Richie, all five feet eight inches of him, ginger hair flying, as he races down the field.

There's a reason that Skip can't get hard with women, and that neither man has moved from "like" to "love" in a relationship. Not until that one October night in Skip's silver Honda Accord ... kisses like that don't lie.

Skip is so in love with Richie, and it shows in the way he narrates the story. He catalogs every freckle, every movement. He takes care of Richie when Richie's idiot stepbrothers strike again, and Richie returns the favor when Skip is sick with the flu.

The secondary characters here rock:

- Carpenter, Skip's straight but definitely not narrow friend who knows he's fat and stays that way partly to serve as a foil to his wealthy, beautiful parents who might be easier to dislike if they weren't so damn nice (the other reason is hamburgers).

- Mason, the VP whom Skip could possibly sue for sexual harassment but won't because Mason's awesome and so very lonely; plus, he makes Richie jealous.

- The entire soccer team for having Skip and Richie's back. Because. FAMILY.

Not so awesome are Richie's vile father, stepmother, and stepbrothers. Richie is hesitant to let his controlling, homophobic father go, even though Richie's the family scapegoat, not good enough, never good enough. Richie works for pennies in the family auto scrap yard and is charged premium rent for the shitty room above his dad's garage.

Richie's a good guy, but I got impatient with his reluctance to just walk away. Skip IS patient, though, and waits for his man ... until he can't wait any longer.

Everyone deserves a hero. Even Richie. ESPECIALLY Richie.

BONUS POINTS for two very enthusiastic butt sex virgins; lots of bawdy bare-back lovin'; homemade bread; tofurky (and someone to hate on it as much as you do); golf prodigies; (very) creative dollar-store decorations; a HOME where you belong, escapee cat and all; and falling in love with your best friend.

"I just ... I don't ever want you to think you can have a better dream."

"No," Skip whispered cupping Richie's neck and pulling him in for a kiss that could finally go somewhere. "No better dream than this."

Get the book:


Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled, "This could change your life."
~Helen Exley

An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Download links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with the book, author, publisher, or website listed.

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