Saturday, December 26, 2015

ARC Review: Winter Ball by Amy Lane

Winter BallFrom the blurb:

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!

Heather's rating:

I liked this book, I really did, but in the world of awesome Amy Lane holiday novellas, this wasn't my favorite.

I'm actually pretty stunned that I didn't adore this one. I mean, this is Amy-freaking-Lane we are talking about, and not just regular Amy Lane, HOLIDAY Amy Lane. And not just holiday Amy Lane, but Amy Lane writing GFY!

I adore GFY stories. Like reallllyyyy adore them. However, this wasn't exactly my favorite version of GFY. Sure, it was a really lovely friends-to-lovers story, but the tension, the build-up of a GFY wasn't really there. We are thrown right into the action because the guys have their first intimate scene right at the get-go. I like to be teased with my stories. Torture me, build up the sexual tension! That buildup, especially in a GFY where both guys are trying to sort through their emotions, it what really gets me going. These guys were just technically GFY, though their closet doors were paper thin. A strong wind could have outed these guys as being attracted to each other.

The plot itself was very well done. It was fairly angsty- you know, messed up family, childhood neglect, pretty standard Amy Lane material. However, I dig angsty Amy Lane, and I enjoyed seeing these guys struggle though their everyday lives. I liked the sports team and the dimension that that brought to the story. The players were pretty awesome, and I loved how they rallied around Richie and Skip.

I think if this had more buildup, more tension I would have given this 4+ stars. In the end, I rounded up to 4 stars because, you, know, butt virgins. *grins*

**Copy provided in exchange for an honest review**

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