Tag Team Review: Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer

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.


Sara - 4.5 Hearts

I have the biggest soft spot for boys in the closet. The deeper they are they softer I get. I also love a good enemies to lover’s story and this gave me both! Oh boy, my soft spot is a puddle of goo for John Lutz and I fell this story.

This was adorable. Sure, it’s short and things move fast and some things are told more than shown but I loved it. I adored Matt and would so bowl on his team. I loved his dedication to Sturgeon fishing even though I wouldn’t want to be a part of it. His dedication to ice fishing is also his loyalty to his family and mainly to his grandfather. It’s tradition and it’s in his bones so of course it would be the only thing John could use to really get Matt’s attention, right?

My poor sweet John. I will tell you now, when you meet him try not to judge him. I admit that I started too but I know all too well the ones who protests or is the loudest jerk about something usually has the most to hide and John is so hidden, you can’t see him. I felt for John, reading his reasons as to why he blends in with the crowd and tries to be one of the guys. He does it for self-preservation but when it interferes with his chance with someone he is romantically interested in, he decides to do the right thing and change his ways. OMG! John is so adorably awkward with his attempts to get Matt’s attention. I won’t spoil what he does but it was cringe worthy but swoony in only the way a romance can truly be. John lays it all out there in so many ways that Matt can’t help but be charmed even if he is cautious.

Matt is an amazing out and proud character. From knowing his past and how he made it to Wisconsin to how he learned how to fish and really handle himself, it’s no wonder John is drawn like a moth to a flame. On the surface, these two couldn’t be more opposite yet in their hearts, they are perfect for one another. I was truly happy that Matt not only decided to open his shanty to a freezing John but open his mind to John’s behavior and his heart to what John offered.

The community built within this romance was a pure joy to read. I loved the ice fishing folk along with everyone we meet at the local bars etc. The community was strong enough to believe that Matt and John would not only be accepted but revered as powerhouse couple in every way.

The story was sticky sweet and I ate it up just like I would a big ass stick full of cotton candy. Sure, I wanted more than what I got but that’s a nod to the author creating characters that I couldn’t get enough of. I would have loved a longer story with Matt and John and really seen the development of John coming out and how they handled the relationship as it evolved but I am stupidly happy with
what I got at the same time so content I shall be.

SheReadsALot - 3.5 Hearts

Ice Fishing.

I knew of it, but this book is definitely an ode to the sport.

Let me tell you something. I'm the least sports appreciating person you might meet. And sadly, I'm surrounded by the sports people. My BFF is a fisherwoman. Like she takes joy in sitting around with live bait and catching fish any free time she can. Do I join her? Fuck no! I tune out the moment she mentions bait. So I took my fishing non-love to this book, it seems.

This book is a lot about the appreciation and dedication of the sport in a icy tundra of a Wisconsin town. That's the major selling point of this book.

Matt Wasko is small, college educated, out and proud, grandson of a revered family in his small town and works an office job in a factory. His co-workers and Matt bowl together and against each other on two teams. And other the other team is Matt's love interest, John Lutz. Lutz's team has a bunch of homophobic jerks and Lutz does nothing to shut those guys up. He joins in the lame jokes or laughs.

Matt can't stand them especially that good looking Lutz. Thankfully, he had a two week vacation away from the job and with his beloved frozen lake Winnebago. When Lutz shows up to his icy piece of heaven, it seems like Matt can't catch a break.

At the core of things, Matt is a good guy. And he can't be an asshole to anyone... even his nemesis. The thing is John isn't a bad guy, he makes poor choices and follows the crowd, so no one knows how deep he's in the closet.

The two make nice on the ice and discover shared geeky interests. But they also are attracted to each other. The romance part was cute. I thought the epilogue was a bit soon just because we don't get to spend as much time with the couple as we did with Matt. There is some hotness dropped in there. *coughs*intercrural *coughs*rimming *coughs*

The guys were cute. Lutz pulls his head out of his ass. Wasko was adorably snarky. I liked them (okay, I liked Wasko a little more) But the klutzy wooing was cute. Thank goodness, we get dual POV.

Overall, the love story is the love of Wisconsin. Never been to the state, but it read authentic.

And who doesn't love unicorn name dropping?

Recommended to readers who enjoy the ice fishing sport (or want to learn as this is chock full of info).


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