Book Reviews

Breaking the Ice (States of Love) by Tali Spencer at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 19-April-2017

Book Blurb

For Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better—until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.

Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?

In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart—and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Book Review

Wisconsin, I have to admit, is not a state I have ever visited, or know a lot about. Since all books in this series have been great at giving me a “local” flavor of whatever state of the US they are set in, I was looking forward to learning more about “The Badger State”. Of course, also typical for the ‘States of Love’ books, in addition to geographical detail and regional customs, I got to know two men and their struggle to find love as well. And boy do Matt and John know how to make things difficult for themselves.

Matt is not having an easy time at work, ever since John joined his company and keeps harassing him with anti-gay comments and “jokes”. Matt needs a break and is looking forward to his annual two-week vacation that he intends to spend spearing sturgeon from a hole in the ice. Not my idea of fun, but I certainly enjoyed Matt’s adventures and descriptions. There are lots of fishing details but then there are Matt and his friends who are hilarious and very loyal when someone is in trouble.

John showing up at the iced-over Lake Winnebago was a total shock, not just to Matt but to me as well. He’d never hinted at liking ice fishing, has not even remotely got the right equipment, and yet he settles close to Matt and his friends. Hmmm. It did make me wonder, and lo and behold, it doesn’t take long for John to be in trouble, Matt being the only one able to help, and for things to get really awkward for a while.

If you like watching tough, snarky guys who do not get along in the least figure out they actually like each other, if you enjoy reading about sports in and around an icy lake from the comfort of your armchair, and if you’re looking for a read that is entertaining, educational, occasionally funny, takes its time getting to the “romantic bits”, and has some very hot action on a bearskin, then you might like this novella.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 86 pages/29467 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 19-April-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link