Tuesday, March 13, 2018

✱✱ Book Review ✱✱ Kick Off: The District Line #1 by C F White

Kick Off
The District Line #1 
by C F White

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. 

NOTE: This is a revised edition of the previously self-published The District Line by C F White in 2016. This version has gone through major edits, including character name changes and new chapters, yet the overall story remains the same.

Kick Off is available on Amazon and is listed in Kindle Unlimited

Momma Says: 4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kick Off is a new adult romance, but parts of it feel a bit like a coming of age romance. Jay's innocence is so endearing and at times, he seems like a fish out of water. He knows what he wants, but he flounders a little on how to get it. I loved the dynamic between Jay and Seb. Jay is as reserved as Seb is outgoing, and they work so well together. Seb is an absolute hoot and I found myself chuckling several times at the things he said, but he's also more sensitive than he lets on. The whole story did hold my interest, even though we get a cliffy in the end. That left me feeling a touch melancholy, but my interest in certainly piqued about whatever's next for this series. 


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Jay rolled over onto his side, bed sheets crumpling around him. It took him a moment to realise his mobile had been vibrating on his bedside table. He untangled an arm from the sheets and hit the light on his digital alarm clock. 1:07a.m. Rubbing the sleep from his eyes, he checked the display. He instantly hit Answer. “All right?”
“Hey.” Seb’s soft voice crackled through the speaker. “Did I wake you?”
“It’s one in the morning, Seb. Course you woke me. Are you all right?”
“Yeah. Yeah. Sorry.” Seb hesitated, his voice slurred and hushed. “I had a shit night. Couldn’t sleep.”
“You wanna talk about it?” Jay rubbed his free hand over his eyes and sat against the cool wall.
“Not really.”
The low rumble of a car engine rushing past Jay’s bedroom window reverberated through the receiver of his phone.
“Where are you?”
“Um, well, I’m sort of outside your house.” Seb chuckled. “But not, like, in a stalkery way.”
Jay dragged back the covers and bounded over to his window. He spotted Seb, phone in hand, on the other side of the road, perched on the wall of the concrete playground. He glanced up to Jay and smiled, awkwardly.
“Wait a sec.” Jay shuffled away from the window and hung up, throwing the mobile down onto his bedside table. Desperately searching his bedroom for something to wear, he found a pair of loose grey jogging bottoms and yanked them over the boxers he’d worn to bed. Keeping on the thin T-shirt he’d been sleeping in, he tucked his bare feet into the nearest trainers he could find and clicked open the door to his room. He crept downstairs and out of the front door into the street.
“Hey, Champ.”
“You okay?” Jay shivered at the biting cold.
Seb’s eyes were bloodshot and cigarette butts dusted the pavement by his feet.
“Shit night.” He shrugged, barely looking Jay in the eye. “Guess I can’t sleep without a goodnight kiss anymore.”
Jay melted at the gentle words. He stepped forward, ran a hand through the crunchy tassels of Seb’s hair and planted a delicate kiss to his lips. Returning the kiss, Seb deepened it and his eyes filled with unexpected tears. On breaking apart, Seb buried his face in Jay’s neck, leaving a trail of moisture on Jay’s skin.
Startled at the vulnerable display, Jay curled his arms around Seb and squeezed, rubbing one hand in smooth circles along the nape of Seb’s neck. “Talk to me,” he whispered. “What happened?”
Seb pulled away. “Can we not talk? And you just kiss me like that again?”
Jay tilted his head to the side and moved in to do just that. Tears fell from Seb’s eyes, sliding onto Jay’s cheek as their lips moved fluidly together. Jay stroked Seb’s arm, trailing his hand down to take hold of Seb’s. He broke the kiss and tugged Seb with him to cross the road.
“What about your parents?” Seb asked, not quite moving but not resisting either.
“They’re sparko. And they both go to work early doors.” He stopped at his front door. “I ain’t letting you leave. I can smell the alcohol and taste the smoke. You ain’t gotta tell me what happened, but you are gonna let me hold you.”
Seb nodded, and Jay dragged him into the house, up the stairs, and into his bedroom. Closing the door, Jay stretched out his arms, indicating Seb should come to him. He did, and Jay slipped his hands under the shoulders of Seb’s jacket, shrugging him out of it. Jay tossed the jacket aside, then curled his fingers under the bottom of Seb’s T-shirt and Seb raised his arms so Jay could drag it over his head and throw it to join his jacket.
Their eye contact never wavered. Jay rested his hands on Seb’s hips, guiding him backward to sit on the end of the bed, then knelt, pulling off Seb’s trainers and socks. Seb fell to lie on the soft mattress and unclasped his belt buckle, popping open his button fly, and Jay curled his fingers into Seb’s waistband to lower the jeans off his legs.
The whole procedure was performed without a hint of seduction and filled with a tenderness new to Jay. He stepped out of his trainers and jogging bottoms, climbed onto the bed and pulled Seb closer. Stroking his fingers through Seb’s hair, Jay pressed his lips and nose to Seb’s dried-tear-stained cheek, tasting the salty residue on Seb’s skin. He kept his lips there, breathing softly to the sound of Seb’s beating heart.
Seb closed his eyes.

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 moving West to East along that vast District Line, C F White 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, her life changed and brought pen and paper after she’d 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.  

Follow C F White:

Other books by C F White

Responsible Adult Serial (Pride Publishing)
Hard Time

St. Cross Series (Loose ID)
Won’t Feel a Thing

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