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Summary

One moment of madness ended it all. A flare of temper, a thrown punch, and Jay Ruttman’s dream of being a footballer evaporated.   

Thrown out of the Pro Academy, Jay falls back to Plan B. University. At least he got accepted on the sports scholarship. It might keep his dreams alive. Now he has a new plan: head down. Train hard. Get scouted. That plan does not include falling for a rock musician - last thing he needs is a posh muso stirring up those well-hidden preferences that could end Jay’s career before it can even begin.  

Sebastian Saunders is out and proud. This rich kid rock musician wants to live it up, chase the dream, and rock out for as long as he can, dodging his millionaire father’s plans for him to take the helm of the family business. He has a strict rule that he doesn’t date closet cases because he’s been there, done that. So that should mean not falling for shy, sexy footballers, no matter how pretty their baby blue eyes are.   

For the sake of his heart. And both of their dreams.   

Kick Off is the first book in the District Line series. A new-adult opposites-attract first-time sports/rocker contemporary MM romance serial featuring an East End cockney footballer, a West End elite public-school boy gone rogue, and the London tube line that connects them both.  

©2018 C.F. White (P)2019 C.F. White

What listeners say about Kick Off

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An opposites attract steamy romance!

This was such an amazing start to a new series!

I loved the chemistry between Jay and Seb. They were opposites in every way right from their careers to their personalities but they meshed well together.

The storyline was engaging and the characters were likeable and well fleshed out.
I am eagerly looking forward to listening to book 2 in the series.

Piers Ryman performed an amazing audio delivery and narration overall.
I loved his British accent.

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loved this romance rough start-hard finish

Two young, viral, ambitious, sexy men find that they have some commonalities. Being from the same world is not one of them. Being of the same gender, young, determined, and attracted to the other. Yes. Yes. Yes. And yes. Jay and Seb were so far apart yet so close. There was a tale there that draws you in and have you expecting more.

There was intensity. There was rawness. There was passion and struggles. There were huge obstacles. And for me a reason to come back and read the next installation. I want to know that this was not the end for Jay and Seb. I want to see where life takes them and how they come back to each other.

Piers Ryman did a beautiful job with UK English. I love that there was just the clarity in properness and the definition in the two different males and there speech pattern.

Reasons I enjoyed this book:
Easy-to-read Entertaining Realistic Wonderful characters

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Baby , This one’s for you.

I so loved this gorgeous audiobook .
I need desperately to listen to book 2 in this series.
I felt as I knew Jay and Seb know the area where Jay lives ..
Such a wonderful audiobook easily more than 5 stars ..
Terrific words by C.F. White and magical narration by Piers Ryman .

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Opposites attract

Loved this story about rocker Seb and footballer Jay. They come from very different backrounds and would probably never even have talked to each other if it hadn't been for their mutual attraciton. You can feel all the mixed emotions between them, they're drawn to each other even though they for various reasons feel that they shouldn't be together.

I, unfortunately, hadn't read the blurb properly, so I was thrown by the cliffhanger, but that's my own fault.

Pierce Ryman's narration elevated this story to another level! His voices for Seb and Jay, and everyone aound them, was abosolutely wonderful!

I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series.

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Jay and Seb beautiful journey

I enjoyed this book immensely. Though it was instant attraction, we also got to know Jay and Sebs friends, family, their dreams, and the obstacles ahead of them. A closeted Uni football player, and a openly gay rock band player, but there's more to them than just that. I enjoyed watching it all unfold and is looking forward to the next book to see how their story continues. Loved everything about the narration except for his female voices, that needs some work.

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  • AL
  • 20-04-20

Fascinating

Story: A great story with well crafted characters! Loved the plot a lot!
Narration: A great, pleasant voice!

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Fantastic accompiament to my allowed daily walk

I am fortunate and live in a rural area where I have been able to find remote and uninhabited bridleways to walk for my allowed daily exercise. This is the main time I listen to audiobooks and Kick Off has certainly inspired me to continue to go out each day so I can listen to the next few chapters.

The story is great and I am looking forward to learning how some of the issues are resolved, particularly in Seb’s life. The narration is good too, although I am less happy with the girls’ voices as it makes them a bit whiny - and we aren’t are we?

Off to walk again.

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Very enjoyable

Seb is a wealthy gay student who is in a band and Jay is the soccer player on a scholarship who is in the closet. They form a relationship only to be torn apart by Sebs father moving Deb to New York US. No HEA

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A great audiobook w/ likable main characters

I enjoy a good sports romance, especially incl. soccer. And I like romances with a rockstar. Here we get both in a way, but it goes much deeper than that and is not a typical sports or rock star romance. Which, even though I love them is not a bad thing. The characters are more than what they like to do, even though it is one part of them. I also really enjoyed their relationships with friends and family. It should be noted, though, that the audiobook ends with an awesome moment, but also on a big cliffhanger
The next audiobook comes out very soon and the cliffhanger is exciting for me, but I know not everyone likes those. It was a great great 'read' with a nice narration :)

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Part one will get you hooked

I found this book from the “Based on your Amazon and Kindle book purchases” and after reading the synopsis I knew I would have to give it a go, despite never hearing of the author and narrator before.

I am so glad that I did. This book was engaging from kick off till the final whistle. Or from the intro to the end of the final verse.

The District line, for those unaware of London’s underground, is a great metaphor for the two main characters. It runs from Essex to the East End, where some of London's poorest bourghs are, and heading west past some of London's landmarks it travels through some of the most affluent areas with some of the highest house prices in the world.

Jay from the East London council estates built for the dockers and factory works of yesterday. He’s a typical salt of the earth, diamond geezer, trying to make the best of his skills despite his earlier setbacks. Seb, from West London and a world apart from Jay. At first meeting him, it’s hard to see beyond his outward shell, of born with a silver spoon in his mouth, rebelling against his upper middle class wealthy upbringing.

But there is more to both them than their background and both have built up walls around themselves for their own survival in their world that may not accept them for who and what they are.

When Jay bumps into Seb, their worlds collide and the ensuing tale kept me gripped all the way through.

Piers Ryman narrates this story really well. I enjoyed the rhythm and tone of his voice as the story unfolded and his character voices were great. Although that said, his voice for Seb really grated on me for a large part of the book, he used a very nasally, snidey tone that made me not like or care about the character at first. I wonder if this was intentional though?

Whereas the voice he used for Jay was spot on.

I grew up not far from where Jay came from and know the area well, having worked in East Ham for many years. I moved to the other side of the country a few years ago and Piers’ cockney accent for Jay had me feeling homesick. It was that good.

Overall, book one was a great start to the District Line series and will make you want the next two. As they weren’t out on audio, I bought them for my kindle and have been on a District line roller coaster for the past week or so. I’ve heard that the books will be out on audio soon and I will happily listen to them as this is a story that deserves to be enjoyed more than once.

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  • April Reads and Listens
  • 08-01-20

That ending though...

This book is on my Kindle TBR list and when I saw that it's out on audio, I went volunteered as a tribute. (Kidding! I volunteered to listen and review).

I had to try twice to listen. I was having problems with the narrator's voice to get into the story the first time. After the second try, I was able to adjust to his voice sounding a bit older when the MCs are a bit younger? Maybe that's just me.

I enjoyed listening to the story of a rockstar and an athlete falling in love. There's a bit of a dramatic flair, the angst, and some sexy times.

Now I'm off to read the next book because I need to know what happened next...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Cynthia Shepp
  • 14-12-19

GREAT book but about threw my phone at the end...

Across the room after I got through gasping and picking my heart up off the floor at the ending I didn’t know was coming! I thought there was still time left cause I hadn’t looked at it in a while and I guess I thought it would end on a neat bow instead of a massive cliffie, lol. Guess the best books leave you on tenterhooks for the next one. Think I’ll have to read the second instead of wait for the audio, lol. Great narration by Piers, as always.

1 person found this helpful

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  • dragonflower
  • 02-12-20

Good book. Narrator lacks luster

This was a sweet story and I will definitely be listening to the second one. My only real gripe was the narrator. For one, he sounds like a man over 50 and it was a little distracting. He also can’t convincingly speak in standard American English accent to save his life. I’m a little concerned about that for the second book. Finally, his voice totally lacks allure, which is also distracting. There was never a point in this book where I didn’t feel like I was being “read to” and at times it even sounded mechanical.

All of that said, the book is worth listening to. The story is interesting and it was easy for me to sympathize with the character struggles.

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  • F. Moon
  • 13-11-20

Pretty Good

Good characters, interesting storyline. Plenty of issues to overcome and deal with.

Our athletic MC is rightfully concerned about coming out. In his world, being homosexual is documented and any potential soccer teams would have access to that info. Decisions regarding his future might be based on that one fact.

Our musician MC has been out and doesn't have to depend on his sexuality to wow a crowd. Unfortunately, he does have to depend on his father's money to support the band.

Narrator Piers Ryman is delightful with his rough English accent. Terms that were unfamiliar to me were made clear with his usage and intonations. It was fun!

I gave the story only 4 **** because there was no clear conclusion to events hours in the making. It was too close to real life drama, and does not have an HEA. I really missed that.

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  • Kristie H
  • 26-05-20

Love this series but...

I love this series, and while the narrator’s accents were good, I thought he sounded too old for the characters. I just read the second two rather than listened.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Readers 4Life
  • 16-05-20

Too much cockney for me to enjoy

DNF 28% Audible version

I think others might enjoy this more than I did. The story seemed fine, but the cockney accent was too strong for me to keep up with. My mind started wandering at 20% and I couldn't get back into the story after that. The narrator did a great job, too! Just too much work for me to focus on a strong accent I don't hear regularly.

Note: The author provided me an audio review copy in exchange for posting an unbiased review.

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  • Shannon Vess
  • 15-05-20

amazing introduction to new author and narrator

this was a wonderfully entertaining story and and amazing introduction to both a new author and a new narrator for me. heading right into the next book.

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  • JKS
  • 24-04-20

Jay and Seb their journey begins

This is a beautiful story about Jay and Seb, two University students from opposite ends of London's Distinct Line. I love Jay and Seb together. They struggle to be together as Jay wants to play football and isn't out about his sexuality and Seb works for his father and is looking to leave the country for work, even though he'd rather sing with his band. Jay and Seb's story continues in book 2.
Narrator Piers Ryman does an absolutely amazing job.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rellim
  • 20-04-20

Great start to the trilogy

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 antagonist 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.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ButtonsMom2003
  • 11-04-20

I enjoyed this a lot…

But I didn't see the cliffhanger coming. I'm really not a fan of cliffhangers but since the series is finished (in ebook format) I'm not too upset about it.

I actually have had a copy of the ebook for quite awhile but never got around to reading it (I'm a one-click addict) so I was really happy when I was gifted a copy of the audiobook by the author. Audiobooks have become my passion the last couple of years and I really enjoyed Piers Ryman performance of this story. I've listened to several other of his audiobooks and his heavily accented voice is really growing on me.

The story is fairly angsty with Jay being in the closet and Seb having to tow the line with his father or risk being cut off. The cliffhanger ending left me wanting to start book two right away but I think I'll wait for the audiobook which should be coming very soon.