Review: Double Up by Vanessa North


Title: Double Up
Author: Vanessa North
Date of publication: 25 Aug 2014
Genre: M/M Romance

Author's links:
Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 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.


I read mostly traditional M/F romance but I like to try different stories once in a while, so sometimes I pick up M/M romances as well. I'm no expert on the genre but this novella was a sweet, feel-good read which I enjoyed a lot.

Vanessa North is a new to me author and I found her writing simple, yet engaging and real, The story flows naturally and despite its short length, it gets the reader invested in the fate of the characters. This is a sweet love story between two guys, low on the angst and drama, and high on real issues and feelings. 

Neither Ben, nor Dave were  big alpha badass heroes, they were just ordinary guys dealing with life and trying to have a relationship.

The story is told from Ben's POV, who is a pretty jaded and disillusioned, ex-sports legend. On the surface is life is OK but in reality he is completely lost. It's Dave who literally saves him and brings him back to a fulfilling life full of love and hope and ultimately happiness. 

Dave is just irresistible with his blushes and take-charge attitude, blushing and commanding at he same time. There was certain vulnerability about him, yet a sense of strength, He knew who he was and what he wanted from life. 

The relationship between Ben and Dave was  based on compromise, exchange of control and initiative which made it so real and the issues they had to overcome were easy to understand and relate to. 

Ms North creates a set of great supporting characters, Ben's friends Eddie and Tina, Dave's kid brother, Ridley. They all add more substance to Ben and Dave's romance and provided some funny and some sweet times. 

Overall, it's a fell-good summer romance, a tender love story which feels both real and cute. A recommended read!

Purchase links: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo

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