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Winter Ball

(Winter Ball #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,336 ratings  ·  251 reviews
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.
ebook, 200 pages
Published December 25th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  1,336 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
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 ...
☆ Todd
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I absolutely LOVED and adored so much about this book.

First, Skip, whose deep longing for friends and a real family made my heart ache. He'd dreamed and planned toward both since he was in middle school, after his parents divorced, but it hadn't ever really happened for him. He had no solid faith that he'd every be anything other than alone.

Then Richie, who'd been his dysfunctional family's verbal punching bag since his mother skipped town when he was a teen and he later started doing the bo
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*3.5 stars*

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.

I adore sexuality discovery stories. Like reallllyyyy adore them. However, this wasn't exactly my favorite version of one. Sure, it was a really lovely friends-to-lovers story, but the tension, the build-up wasn'
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
Solid 4 stars.....probably closer to 4.5!

This whole story....

I loved everything about it. You couldn't not root for Skip and Richie!

Low angst--check
Great steam--check
Good banter--check

2016 is off to a great reading start!!!

It's a late October night. Skipper, coach of the rec league soccer team, and Richie, his favourite player and best friend, have just finished practice. They get in Richie's car, and it's only natural for two friends to share their concerns about their love life, right? There must be a reason why Skip doesn't get hard with women or why Richie needs the lights off during sex. If you don't talk to your friend about these things, who are you going to talk to?

Good thing they did! Because they found o
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, mm-holidays

 photo BmHbMUqcwgLs_zpsqa9oc8du.gif

Amy Lane,

You have nailed this out of the park! One of my favorite tropes- if not my favorite- is friends to lovers, and this was a delicious little tale. There was no possible way that I wouldn't fall in love with these two men.

 photo 4c3d2da8-e2a0-4f09-ba87-237bcbcb7ad8_zps89rwkbgy.jpg

This book it had it all.

Great main characters ✔
Great dialogue ✔
Humor ✔
Text messages!! Love banter in emails or texts. ✔
Sweet romance ✔
Dirty hot sex ✔
Heartbreak ✔
Awesome secondary characters ✔
HEA that will leave you smiling ✔

I just adored this to bits! If you love h
Re-read as audio -- loved listening to Skip & Richie fall in love all over again!! Nick J. Russo does a superb job in his production of the audio. Great tone, cadence, and character differentiation. ..his emotion added to the story brought the book to life!

Another 5 stars for Winter Ball!!

I loved this book!!-- 5 Stars

It is not secret that Amy Lane is one of my favorite male/male authors. She has a witty sense of humor and an ability to make even the most awkward man lovable. So i
Kaje Harper
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comfort-reread, m-m
I'm not sure if this is Amy Lane light or dark - the guys won't tear your heart to little shredded, bloodied bits, but they sure will squeeze it a lot. Either way, signature Amy Lane style, with two young men who have been avoiding looking their own desires in the face. Until one day, in a car together, tired and sweaty in the dim October evening, it comes together. They touch each other, and all pretense of being straight, or uninterested, or anything but falling headlong, becomes impossible.

Katrina Passick Lumsden
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sweet hollandaise sauce, could Skip and Richie be any more fucking adorable? I absolutely love them. They navigate the waters of sexual exploration and awakening with a strangely innocent zeal that is somehow perfectly paired with experience and a slight cynicism. Their innate caution leads to the occasional misunderstanding, but they're close enough to be achingly open with one another, leading to frank and honest revelations. They're one of those literary couples that you just want to wrap up ...more
Dec 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm, comfort-reads
My 1000th book on GR. Woohooooo.

Oh, how do I love these Amy Lane low-angst books.

This was such a sweet GFY, best-friends-to-lovers story.

Skipper and Richie have been best friends and soccer buddies for the past 6 years. When they are talking about their previous relationships and how neither of them can seem to stay interested in a woman, something else happens. They kiss, they touch.

What I really liked about that first scene is that there is no awkwardness after. Both are just thinking:

We mus
Review originally posted at Sinfully.

4.5 stars

Low angst, plenty of sex, dirty talking, flu-medication induced confessions and a number of holidays made this friends-to-lovers story a wonderful read.

Skipper doesn’t have any family. Richie has a dysfunctional family he can’t seem to drag himself away from. They’ve been friends for six years, through tech school and playing in a rec soccer league. One night after practice, while talking in Richie’s car and discussing their less than stellar, eerily
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This one sat in my tbr for a very long time. Mostly because I'm not a fan of holiday themed stories. So glad I finally read it. It is lovely! Full of emotion and good people I wish I could meet in real life. A winner for sure.
Re-read 12/24/19 - 12/30/19

This second go around was just as poignant, and rewarding. I love how there wasn't six-pack or billionaire in sight, no fake angst or unwarranted melodrama. Skip & Richie are just as endearing, and I'll surely be reading the other books in the series for any visits with them, and because both Carpenter & Mason intrigue me.

***First read 12/28/15 -12/30/15***
Sweet & just a little bit angsty. I really loved Richie and Skip and all that they are able and willing t
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

The first thing I realized as I started to read this is that I love romances between guys who are just, well, ordinary. And you can't get much more ordinary than two guys who meet in tech school and then become good friends through rec soccer league.

Did I mention they're good friends? So, yes, this was a friends to lovers romance which is, of course, the best trope of all. Oh yeah, they're also gay virgins. Who are making up for lost time. So there's that too.

But this wasn't just about
Vanessa North
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A sweet warm-fuzzy Christmas story, and somehow exactly what I needed to read when I woke up at five in the morning on a Sunday.
There were parts of this book I really wanted to like and find adorable (though others were suuuuper cheesy). Honestly, I did. But I just couldn't because I kept getting stuck on how sudden it all felt. They jumped into a relationship so easily after having been straight friends and exclusively dating women for years. I think part of it is also that we're dropped right into the middle of everything. We don't see anything happening before...just them leaving their soccer game and immediately gett ...more
Denise H.
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
***** :) Amy Lame has the best character development ever ! :) This well written tale is the journey of two long time friends who discover they are gay, they explore this discovery with each other and find a true, deep loving relationship. Big, fit athlete Skip has reluctantly taken over the soccer team, and is doing a great job keeping the team well tuned. Smaller, shorter, "ginger" Richie is a team member who looks up to Skip. They realize their attraction after a game one night, when after ta ...more
* A Reader Obsessed *
4 Stars!

I’ve got to say that though I haven’t read a lot from this author, this is probably my favorite by far.

What happens when two seemingly straight best friends accidentally? explode together, having the best intimate experience ever? Only great things right?

Skipper simply wants to give himself all the stuff he missed out on as a child - good friends, reliable family, and holiday traditions, and Richie pretty much fits that bill. This is made all the more clear as these two navigate their ne
Nov 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mm-romance, 2015
This was another great addition to the holiday season of m/m yummy goodness of 2015! Skipper and Richie have been friends for many years and even play in a rec soccer league together. One hot and steamy encounter changes the way they see each other.

This was the perfect mix of sweet, friends-to-lovers and dirty, dirty hotness between the sheets! Done the way that only Amy Lane can do! And there is something so refreshing about the "realness" of her characters. Their physical attributes and their
Audio Review 29Nov2019 No Change

Just as hot, sweet and romantic the second time around. I think I appreciated the "newly gay" fumbling and experimentation even more this time. NJR really delivers on the narration, too!

(*LOL, I read this one 3 years ago to the DAY. How's that for serendipity?)

Original Review 29Nov2016: 4.2 Stars

Ha! This one was sweet and all the sex was really, really hawt. I love how - despite not knowing how a functioning, caring, dependable, supporting & loving family works -
4 Stars

This was a very sweet friends-to-lovers story, featuring two young, sort of lonely, soccer playing guys, who are both looking for their place in the world and who just happen to find it with each other.

This story is light on angst (which I appreciated), and all the drama that does ensue is outside of their blossoming relationship (yay!). Once Skipper and Richie begin exploring the possibilities between them (i.e. start having delicious man-on-man sex) they thankfully deal with everything
I read this book in one sitting. Seriously, the world could have gone to hell around me and I doubt I would have noticed. I LOVED Winter Ball! Oh, Amy Lane, how I adore thee! This was the perfect, low angst Christmas read that I wish I could have read over the Christmas holiday. Better late than never, yeah?
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If Mary Calmes is comfort food than...

Amy Lane is quite possibly shelter from the storm. I don't think I've ever read an Amy Lane book that I didn't love...forget like with Ms Lane it's all about the 'love' and Winter Ball has quite possibly become one of my favorites.

For me this was just simply a story of 'we love who we love'. The MCs were perfect...sorry, no other word describes them for me. The secondary characters Carpenter and the rest of the soccer team, Mason and his brother were all
Ryan Santle
Dec 07, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

This is not a bad book. Skipper Keith and Richie Scoggins are two adorable MCs that will surely take a while before they get out of my system.

But Amy Lane's writing style is getting old. Too much sex with little story. This is NOT a juicy book if we are going to talk about story depth and plot, but very juicy in terms of steam and sex. The family drama is overused. This is almost the same problem that her other MC had in her other book, Sidecar. The resolution is also the same.

If you w
When I think about this book, the word 'innocent' comes to mind. Not because either of the main characters are virginal - though this was their first time experiencing sex with a man -  but because it felt so natural for these two friends to fall in love.

I found it unusual how fast and how easily they fell into bed. It's not what I would've expected. They basically got over the whole kissing, jacking off, sucking each other off and having anal sex in a weekend (okay it might have been two), and
It's so nice, to read a book by a quality author! Everything was just so well done, and so real. These aren't perfect guys, with perfect bodies and perfectly flawed lives and personalities, these were real people, with real issues.

I loved how organic Skipper and Richie moved from best friends to lovers. I don't usually like it when the sex occurs so quickly, and so often, but I didn't mind it at all here. All the sex felt vitally important to the growth of these characters.

I admit to some diffic
Cute and very funny, a little bit of angst and great chemistry between the MCs. A pretty even split between plot development and hot & heavy sex. Amy Lane writing her best erotica of 2015 (if you know what I mean...). ...more
Once again I'm reviewing an audio book that I've already read in e-book format and once again in regards to the story I'm sticking with my original rating and review. So here's the link...
Winter Ball - ebook review

Now as for the audio portion of this review. It was Nick J. Russo on the mic, so no worries there. Mr. Russo did an awesome job of narrating and kept me engaged from start to finish. I have very quickly become a fan of this narrator.

Venturing into audiobooks this time around has defin
2.5* Unfortunately this was a miss for me. Too much Soccer, too much sex that I didn't find sexy, not enough build-up before the first kiss. I did not believe Richie's Dad would let the step-son's actions go unpunished, Skipper was always on the verge of crying, anyone who had money was a horrible pretentious person unless they were gay. It just seemed a little too politicized--I mean Clay's family were super nice and supportive and yet Skipper wanted to know what they did to make him get fat?? ...more
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Amy Lane dodges an EDJ, mothers four children, and writes the occasional book. She, her brood, and her beloved mate, Mack, live in a crumbling mortgage in Citrus Heights, California, which is riddled with spiders, cats, and more than its share of fancy and weirdness. Feel free to visit her at, where she will ride the buzz of receiving your e-mail u ...more

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Winter Ball (3 books)
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