Title: Double Up by Vanessa North
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, M/M, Romance
Length: 139 pages/Word Count: 37,000
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.
Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.
Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.
Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.
Double Up by Vanessa North is a sweet and sexy romance that is fast-paced and engaging. It is an absolutely delightful love story between a former wakeboarding champion and his wealthy, yet down to earth, student.
Ben Warren’s wakeboarding career was cut short after a catastrophic injury while he was at the peak of his career. Now forty, he remains involved with the sport through his job at a sporting goods store where he also teaches the sport he still passionately loves. Although he has a few reservations, he agrees to coach Davis “Dave” Fox, who is hoping to use a local wakeboarding competition to reconnect with his estranged younger brother. A surprising attraction between Ben and Dave leads to an unexpected romance but Ben’s unresolved past threatens to derail their budding relationship.
Ben and Dave are wonderful protagonists who come from completely different backgrounds. Ben is ten years older than Dave but he is definitely the less mature of the two. Until he meets Dave, Ben does not do serious relationships and he is not very introspective. He is someone that pretty much lives in the here and now and he lets his fears continue to keep him from making a decision that could lead to a better quality of life. Although Ben is honest with Dave about most of his past, the things he does not disclose are what eventually come between them.
Despite a few initial misunderstandings, Dave and Ben’s relationship progresses pretty quickly. They do not hesitate to act on their mutual desire, but their relationship is anything but casual. Dave is relatively laidback and easygoing, but in the bedroom, he is the one firmly in control. Although Ben is a little uneasy with Ben’s dominance, it also turns him on and their resulting sex scenes are highly erotic and scorching hot.
Double Up is a wonderful romance with a great cast of likable characters. The conflict between the protagonist is believable and it is resolved realistically with minimal angst. The wakeboarding element of the story is unique and Vanessa North does an excellent job describing the different aspects of the sport without overwhelming the storyline. All in all, Double Up is an engrossing and enjoyable read with well-developed characters, a compelling plot and incredibly steamy lovemaking that fans of the genre are going to LOVE.