What happens when opposite sides of the track collide?
East Londoner Jay Ruttman has only ever wanted one thing― to be a professional footballer. But after a disastrous brawl on the pitch gets him released from his pro-Academy, he has to follow plan B and enrolls as university Sports Scholar. Head down, train hard and get scouted is his motto. Until he crashes into the man who might just shoot his dreams out of the park.
Kensington elite Sebastian (Seb) Saunders has only ever wanted one thing―to be a rock star. But his father has other plans for him, including taking the helm of his multimillion-pound new business venture across the pond. Live it up, chase the dream and rock out for as long as he can is his mantra. Until he crashes into the man who might just rock his world off its scale.
Jay and Seb live at opposite ends of London’s District Line, separated by wealth, status, family traditions and their own life-long dreams. This startling and gritty contemporary romance series sees them both having to overcome barriers, face fears and beat rejection to fight for the love they need to achieve it all.
Point of view:
3rd person. Alternating perspectives, not by chapter. Usually pretty clearly defined, but there were a few instances when perspective changed mid-paragraph that were a bit jarring.
This is my first book by C. F. White and I enjoyed it immensely. While this is a sports romance in that Jay is a University footballer (soccer for those of us in the U.S.), there isn’t a focus on actual game play. Jay and Seb are opposites in so many ways yet find a connection – initially physical attraction, but it blooms into so much more. White brings us fully into both Jay & Seb’s worlds, introduces us to their families, their friends, their hope and dreams, as well as their fault and defeats. While incorporating many popular romance tropes, this didn’t feel over-the-top angsty or make any protagonist overly caricature.
Cliffhanger. This is absolutely a cliffhanger in the sense that this kicks off the District Line trilogy. You *could* read/listen to this story all on it’s own. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Duets & Trilogies. Too many of them feel like single stories needlessly dragged out or chopped into smaller sections to become multiple books. There’s no HEA for Jay & Seb, but there is a complete and compelling story here.
I didn’t think twice about purchasing the next book in the series, Break Through.
This is my first time listening to Piers Ryman and he is absolutely phenomenal. He expertly navigated a massive cast of characters using a variety of accents and registers consistently throughout the book. You always knew who was talking whether the text indicated it or not. This isn’t a criticism of Ryman as an artist – but I’m not entirely sure he was the appropriate voice to cast for this. He sounds older. Not like the 20-somethings he is portraying. While the performance was fantastic, feeling like a 40+ year old was speaking sometimes brought me out of the story.
Update: I’ve listened to the whole series (more than once!) since this review originally posted – and I now can’t imagine anyone else as the voices of Seb & Jay. I’ve definitely become a Ryman fan and am enjoying listening to even more of his work.
Trigger Warnings (possible spoilers):
Jay is in the closet. Nothing overtly negative happens, just his fears.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
About the author:
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail–leave.
Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.
Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.
After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White can’t stop. So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride
You can connect with CF White here:
My Favorite Quotes
He couldn’t tear his gaze from the front man belting lyrics into the microphone and thrashing on an electric guitar. – Kick Off by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #SportsRomance #RockStar #OppositesAttractTweet
“Y’know, I didn’t think I’d like that.”“Like what?”“Being called baby.” – Kick Off by @CFWhiteUK #Audiobook narrated by Piers Ryman #MM #SportsRomance #RockStar #OppositesAttractTweet