The setting, the title, the cover and the author. Put them all together and what do I get? Something I definitely wanted to read. 🙂
Title: Double Up
Author: Vanessa North
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
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.
Oh, Ben Warren, I loved you from that first fake smile. Lucky for me, and everyone else, you got to tell your story here without any unnecessary, annoying middle man. Let’s all thank Ms. North for making sure we all get to read it, shall we? *whooping and hollering heard all round*
Davis Fox, aka Dave, hmmm… what do you have in story for us? Me thinks you’ve come along at just the right time to help Ben smile for real and more often, at that.
Quick sidebar: I love skateboarding, my brothers having started thrashing at the same time as people like Tony Hawk, so we all grew up with the sport. The moment I read the word “tricks”, I felt like I was home. So if you like thrashing, snowboarding and the like, you’ll sample a bonus layer of delish for you to relish. If you don’t, then you’ll learn some cool new things. And who doesn’t love to do that? Not to worry though, the detail is not so extensive as to overrun the awesomeness that is Ben & Dave.
*** Back to our regularly scheduled programming ***
Ben is 40 and Dave is very close to turning 30 (I believe he’s the one who is only months away from having a birthday) and they’ve both been through some of that stuff life enjoys lobbing at will. Difficulties have been overcome, still exist, still whisper in hopes of sabotaging happiness. These two deserve happiness.
The writing is crisp, smooth and earthy, and all at higher levels than ever before in a story I’ve read by Ms. North.
Ben’s voice is fantastic. He’s a right proper potty mouth like me, so obviously I’m behind this 100%. And he reads people well. He has a good sense of humor. He’s forty, and sounds and behaves like it. In other words, he still has much desire for new, for a challenge, for whatever piques his interest (like Dave), while incorporating a healthy dose of common sense. I getcha, Ben. *thumbs up* He’s very relatable.
The level of sensuality, of heat is… well, blush-inducing and nether region-nudging at its best. Yep, she has a way with the sexy words and anyone who has read Ms. North before knows this to be true. If you haven’t, hop on board the spice trolley, we’re fully stocked and ready to go.
For both Ben and Dave, we have the kind of crap that life enjoys throwing out there as seemingly immovable obstacles. Old decisions rearing their ugly mugs in an attempt to take away the power to do better, here and now, and for the future. Deftly mixed in are family and friends and the various personalities and attached issues they all bring. We have food and despair and hope. We have humor and blushing and swearing in copious amounts. All of this is tightly written, nary a wasted word to be found.
I’m sort of blown away. Ben & Dave are now in league with the likes of David & Murdo, Tommy ‘n Proph and Matty & Rob.
This is one of my top reads for 2014. Bonus: it will forever be shelved as a comfort read.
Bravo! I highly recommend. 😀
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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