An Ali Review: Winter Ball by Amy Lane

Standard
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Winter BallThrough 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!
 
 
This was sweet story about two everyday guys who fall in love.  The two men had been friends for years before their first sexual encounter and you can feel their bond from the very beginning of the story.  I enjoyed the fact that this wasn’t an insta-love and that there was a solid friendship in place.  The dynamic was interesting as neither man had ever been involved with another man before.  As their relationship progresses both men question what is happening between them and how their friends and family will react but their is no big drama with it.  Their questions and concerns seemed realistic to me.  These MC’s are just every day, average guys and that was a nice change of pace from some of the more stereotypical MC’s we see in the romance genre.  As usual with this writer, the writing was strong and well paced.  I think this is a lovely addition to her catalog of work.
 
Cover art by Anne CainI liked this cover and thought it not only looked nice but was a good representation of parts of the story.  My only concern with it is that it makes it seems like this is a Christmas story.  While a part of the story takes place at Christmas much of it does not and I hope that does not stop people from wanting to read it  at other times in the year.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published December 25th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1623808987 (ISBN13: 9781623808983)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Ali Review: Uninvited Guest by Brian Lancaster

Standard
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Uninvested GuestFate is conspiring against lawyer Anton Swann. First his grandmother dies, then he hits the worst traffic of his life on the way home from her funeral, keeping him from friends in London—and possibly a much longed-for sighting of his ex. And finally the detour he thought would save him time ends with the electrics failing on his car, leaving Anton to trudge through heavy rain back to an old cottage he’d passed along the way, hoping to find help.

What he finds instead is the mysterious Dr. Stephen Miller, a man fighting his own battles. Anton is invited inside to join the tail end of an all-male dinner party, but this is no chance encounter. What Anton thought was fate is actually a spirit at work making sure he ends up at the cottage—and stays there until unfinished business is resolved for both Anton and Stephen.
 
This was my first time reading this author so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was pleased with this story.  The writing had a nice flow to it and the characters were well developed.  I liked the slight paranormal twist to it.  It was just the right amount in my opinion.  It was a bit insta-love which in general isn’t my thing but for some reason it still worked for me.  I didn’t care for some of the terminology in the sex scenes though, things like “soft, muscled boundary” and “squirting rivers of hot  nectar ” didn’t work for me and made the scenes kind of awkward.
Overall though I thought this was a solid, nice story and I will definitely try more from this author in the future.

Cover art by L.C. Chase is just gorgeous.

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon  | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published November 13th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 12th 2015)
ISBN 1634767020 (ISBN13: 9781634767026)
Edition LanguageEnglish