Title: Winter Ball
Series: Winter Ball 01
Author: Amy Lane
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Novel (200 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 25th 2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts
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!
Review: Oh no, for the first time EVER, I have to say this wasn’t my favorite Amy Lane book. I’m not sure what happened, maybe I just couldn’t connect with Richie, or maybe the whole friends-to-lovers build-up never happened for me, but there you have it. I liked this book a lot, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t love it, and I TRIED like crazy to get more into it.
Richie and Skipper have been best friends for a couple of years now, and neither of them were able to make a significant connection with any girls they’ve dated throughout their lives, and all of a sudden there was this awareness between them that they acted on in two minutes flat. I wanted to see when the attraction started happening and when they started noticing each other’s bodies. I’m normally all over GFY stories, Amy Lane’s brand especially, but not this time. It all happened too fast, without the build-up I crave.
Richie, unlike Skipper, has a family, but they’re a bunch of assholes that take advantage of him and treat him like crap. Somehow, Richie still lives in the garage on his parent’s property, paying them an outrageous amount of rent, still works for the family business, and still takes all the crap they dish day after day. I was honestly baffled because there was no reason good enough to justify such faithfulness from Richie when it came to his family. What really annoyed and upset me was the fact that Richie put his family above Skipper for the most part of the book, and Skipper deserved better than that.
To be completely honest, this is the first time I’ve liked a secondary character better than a main one in any of the previous Amy Lane books that I’ve read. Carpenter and Skipper were my favorite dudes, and I liked Mason a lot better than I did Richie as well; hell, I liked the soccer team better than Richie and his martyr-ness.
This was a nice holiday book, and i definitely look forward to more in the future.