Out Now! Loving One’s Self Amid SNOW BALLS–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance from Tara Lain. SNOW BALLS is the sixth book in her Balls to the Walls series which I have devoured. While they are all standalones, you can check out my reviews for VOLLEY BALLS, FIRE BALLS, BEACH BALLS, FAST BALLS, and HIGH BALLS, to see if any of these mancandy books tickle your fancy. SNOW BALLS features an out-femme falling for a butch detective…who needs to be more observant!

Scroll down for an excerpt, my review and to enter the $10 Amazon GC giveaway!
About the book:
JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?

How about a little taste?

The announcer’s voice sounded, and they both faced front. The teams were going to come in now, JJ was pretty sure.

The guys in blue-and-white started to run onto the field. Oh my, the way those narrow butts looked in the tight pants was positively appetizing.

Ryan leaned over. “Who do you like? Any favorites?”

Okay, JJ was prepared. He took a deep breath. “Rivers, of course. He’s a great leader. Bound to make it to 5000 yards this year.” Oh sweet god of boys who like to sew, what did any of that mean?

Ryan nodded. “Amen. What about Gates?”

JJ sipped his beer to sort through his memory banks. “Best tight end to ever play the game.” He held his breath.

“You said it.”

Whew. JJ stared at the field. “Of course, quite a few of those guys look like tight ends.”

Ryan looked at him with his mouth open and then started to laugh. “Yeah. You got that right.”

The coin toss. The kickoff. Wow. That ball went all the way to the end, and a guy caught it. Cool. They all went farther down the field. Yep, just like Jerry had said. The guy in the center—the quarterback, probably—threw the ball. It soared through the air and some lean player caught it and started running like a son of a bitch. Holy shit. Two guys slammed him to the ground. That looked painful. JJ resisted the urge to close his eyes. He’d seen football on TV, of course. His dad had loved it. But JJ’d never paid much attention. In these good seats, the game was in his face.

Somebody came out and measured the field. A lot of people, including Ryan, moaned. He leaned over to JJ. “That was close.”

“Yeah.” Close to getting killed?

The players got back into lines. JJ could hear the cute one, the quarterback, calling out numbers. Some big guy in the front line moved. A yellow cloth flew through the air.

JJ whispered, “Offside.”

Ryan glanced over at him and smiled.

The announcer’s voice rang out, “Flag on the play. Offside.”

Holy shit. He’d gotten it right. Thank God for Jerry.

The whole crew of men moved and then got back in their line. A bunch of stuff happened at once, and JJ couldn’t follow it until everyone on their side leaped up so he did too. The announcer called “first down,” but it sure looked like about a hundred guys went down getting there.

Ryan leaned over. “I didn’t think they could make that one, after the foul.”

“Me too.” What? Good Lord, pretending was hard.

The whole line reassembled. The cutie stepped back and threw the ball a long way. The lean, fast guy ran out and caught the thing, which was clearly a miracle. He headed down the field like a jackrabbit with a pack of bulldogs on his heels. Shit, one bulldog came out of nowhere and tackled the rabbit, and then five other guys piled on. Whistles and yells sounded from their side and cheers from the other.

Then a groan and the crowd got quieter as the bulldogs pulled off and left the rabbit lying there in a heap. He didn’t get up. Oh no. JJ grabbed Ryan’s arm. “He’s hurt.”

“Yeah. Looks like it. Shame. He’s a great wide receiver.”

Receiver, hell. He was a gorgeous, fast-as-lightning black kid who had just got beaten to a pulp in a stupid game. JJ wanted to jump up and scream.

A stretcher was carried onto the field. Some guy put a collar around the player’s neck, and then they picked him up and put him on the stretcher. Hell, they didn’t look nearly careful enough. The crowd murmured and shifted. JJ looked around. They were uncomfortable with his being hurt, but it didn’t seem like they felt sorry for the player, exactly. It was more like they wanted to get on with cheering, and this moment of required sympathy was an imposition.

He looked at Ryan and found those blue eyes gazing at him. JJ’s hand was still locked on Ryan’s forearm. He loosened his fingers. “Sorry.”

“You okay?”

“He just looks hurt bad.”

“Yeah. But they take a lot of precautions, so he may be up and ready to walk and run by the end of the day.”

“And he may not.”


The game continued, but JJ couldn’t stop thinking about the player who got hurt. He jumped up when Ryan did and cheered in the right places, but the game had lost its luster. The fun all came from Ryan being next to him. Having the man so close sent JJ’s dick into a constant state of anticipation. Lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight. Just like the cheerleaders at halftime—who could have used a costume redesign, by the way.

My Review:
This is the sixth book in the Balls to the Wall series, but easily enjoyed on its own.

JJ LaRousse is a big, out, femme and struggles to find a lasting relationship with a man who will treat him as more than a fancy. He suffered an abusive home as a child, so he’s nervous about dating alpha-masculine men, though he is very much attracted to the new detective on Laguna’s police force. Unfortunately, JJ’s convinced that Detective Ryan Star would only be attracted to him if JJ was more masculine. And, when there’s a spark between them, well, JJ decides to test his hypothesis.

So, JJ hides his sparkly-light under blah hair dye, and a crash course in sports analysis. They seem to really hit it off, but JJ’s nervous that Ryan will see through his facade, and he half wants this to happen. The other half, well, he likes being with Ryan, even if Ryan only takes him on dates that are very far from Laguna. JJ understands that Ryan had bad experiences when he worked for NYPD. As a result, and though his superiors know, Ryan doesn’t want to come out to the whole precinct in case his new comrades are homophobic–like before. It nearly cost Ryan his life, and he’s not recovered emotionally from that betrayal.

There are some sweet bits, here, but a lot of it is bittersweet with JJ being unhappy about his deception, and finding himself generally unlovable. He has great friends, however, who do lift him up and support him just as he is, even if that’s a pink-haired, femme boy who’s nonetheless built like a linebacker. Ryan didn’t catch on to any of this tension, seeing the view that JJ presented as truth. It’s a shame he’s not more observant. And, he’s seems to take a whole lot of risks for a cop–both professionally and personally. That said, he was a compassionate and passionate man, and he did treat JJ well. They are able to patch things up when JJ comes clean, and Ryan realizes that he’s not as fixated on his ideal man, when he has a wonderful partner like JJ whose light is too brilliant to hide. It’s a quick read and a sweet and sexy one, too!

Interested? You can find SNOW BALLS on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.


Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading friends!

About the Author:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.

She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at:

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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