Title: Winter Ball (Winter Ball #1)
Authors: Amy Lane and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 23, 2017
Genre(s): Sports Romance
Page Count: 5 hrs and 35 mins
Reviewed by: Steph
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
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!
If I could describe this book in four words it would have to be, ‘Down to Earth’ and ‘Blunt :)’. From the start, I fell in love with both Skipper and Richie. Actually anyone who doesn’t fall for these two and their story is just wrong, wrong I tell you! It’s not just them as a couple, but on they are both wonderful people. Amazing men that have turned out damn near perfect despite their upbringing. Each striving to do better and be better than what they came from.
Skipper, who has lost everyone and is so desperately lonely. He feels that he needs to come to work, not because he particularly loves or even likes it. More so, he feels without it no one would notice if anything happened to him. Seriously, how sad is that? Then there is Richie, whose family just needs to die in a fiery explosion. For a father just to give up like that and to care more for the stepfamily than his own flesh and blood is just heart breaking.
These boys just melted my heart, and made me laugh along the way on their journey towards happiness. I loved the newness of everything and how the author developed these characters to be realistic and relatable to the reader. To be able to make the journey with Skipper and Richie from the moment they “connected”, their easy acceptance with one another, their sexual discoveries and their new-found friendships was endearing, priceless and lets not forget HOT!
In the end, both Skipper and Richie get their well deserved HEA. A home to share and a loving family that consists of Carpenter, Mason and a few others from their league.
Nick J. Russo did an amazing job with the voices for not only Skipper and Richie, but for all the characters. I felt they were distinct and fit each character very well. I enjoyed the enthusiasm he put into the narration. Really, it’s hot!