Guest Reviewed by Trish
Title: Double Up
Author: Vanessa North
Heroes: Ben Warren/Davis Fox
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 139 Pages
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: August 25, 2014
Available at: Riptide Publishing
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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.
I had no idea what Double Up meant which is one of the main reasons I chose to review this story for The Blogger Girls. That was a good call. Double Up was entertaining, well written, the pacing and dialogue were smooth and the characters were very likable. Plus, I learned about wakeboarding.
We start with meeting Ben, a 40 year old man who was forced to retire from wakeboarding because of an accident. He doesn’t have much going on with his life but he seems comfortable running his friend, Eddie’s, sporting goods store. In walks Mr. Davis Fox. He’s the handsome and confident guy that Ben finds instantly attractive but also thinks may have a screw loose. Why? Davis signed up for a wakeboarding competition but has never been on a board in his life. Davis explains that he must learn to wakeboard so he can compete and possibly get close to his little brother, Ridley. A brother he hasn’t seen in years because his parents kicked him out of the house when he came out. Ben instantly feels bad for Davis and agrees to teach him. At this point of the story, we get a lot of information about wakeboarding and meet Ben’s friend Eddie. Who, by the way, needs his own story.
Davis turned out to have more layers to him than I originally thought. He’s confident and at first seems submissive because he’s portrayed as young, kind and sweet. But Davis has this hidden alpha thing going on in the bedroom that throws Ben for a loop. After he comes down from his shock, Ben realizes he really loved that part of Davis more than he thought. These two were pretty hot together, and communicating in the bedroom was not their problem. And I love phone sex, just sayin’.
As we get further into the story, we learn that Ben still has some physical issues from his accident that require more surgery but he refuses. Ben has his reasons and very valid ones (which I won’t discuss because of spoilers), and Davis is understanding, to a point. This is the main issue between the couple, but it’s also where the story seemed to flatten for me a bit. I need more angst in my stories, and as much I enjoyed their love story, it needed more meat. I’m also not a fan of insta-love, and although in the beginning it was more insta-lust, it quickly became a serious relationship with serious issues.
The story wraps up with Ben and Davis working through their problems when they meet at the local wakeboard competition. It’s a happily ever after for everyone, including Davis and his brother. This was a well written, sweet love story, and I look forward to reading more from this author.
Thanks TBG for having me again.
Overall Impression: I liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*