Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Tour for Double Up by Vanessa North (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of m/m-themed books I'm excited to bring you Double Up by Vanessa North which takes place amidst the pulse-pounding world of the extreme sport of wakeboarding.  Keep reading to get a taste of this book, along with my impressions of it, and make sure to leave a comment about why you like to read m/m-themed books for the chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing GC.  And now, let's welcome Ms. North.........

Hi everyone! I’m Vanessa North, and I’m touring this week to talk about my new release, Double Up: how it got started, a scene that almost happened, and the sport of wakeboarding--how it influenced me, why I love it so much, and how it shaped the characters in the story.....

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.


Set amongst the exhilarating world of wakeboarding Double Up tells the story of two men at very different stages in their lives who make a connection neither of them expected.  Along with a realistic romance that is both sweet and sexy is the vivid depiction of the extreme sport of wakeboarding with scenes that put you in the middle of the action and helps you understand why these athletes become addicted to the adrenaline.

Ben was once the King of wakeboarding until a tragic accident left him with a future he hadn't foreseen.  He works at a shop owned by his off and on lover selling goods for the sport and giving lessons but he's a bit lost and fills the loneliness with meaningless sex until he meets the quick to blush Dave.  He can't picture himself in a relationship or with a HEA and struggles with what the sweet and younger Dave offers him but soon becomes accustomed to the comfort and happiness just one night with him brought.  Amidst their burgeoning relationship though are Ben's secrets, secrets about his past addictions and the need for a surgery to keep him walking that he refuses to deal with.  For a man used to being on his own will the jaded Ben ever be able to open up and grow up or will he continue to live in the past, lost and alone?  I liked Ben's carefree nature and infectious love of the sport.  He's not used to the intensity Dave brings to his love life and the closeness he desires but seeing him embrace a real relationship was heartwarming.  There were times Ben was like a big kid, especially with his love of energy drinks, which left me frustrated with his not dealing with a surgery that could make his life better, choosing to ignore big decisions.  He's a man who lives in the now but for the love of a good man must look to the future.

Dave comes from a family of money but because of his being gay he's banned from associating with them.  Wanting to be close to his brother has him learning how to wakeboard which puts him in close contact with the sexy and older Ben.  Dave seems to have his life in order with money and a home that Ben dreamed about.  He takes his relationships seriously and opens Ben's eyes to how perfect commitment can be.  As their relationship flourishes Ben's past and the threat to his future leave Dave questioning if Ben's capable of giving him what he longs for in an emotional battle that requires Ben to finally grow up.  I liked Dave immensely as he was sweet, charming, and not afraid to take charge in the bedroom....or in front of the fireplace, or over the phone.  He never held back in showing his kinky side and was honest in what he wanted from Ben and though he's younger he seemed more mature.  I could sense his loneliness and found him and Ben a great match as Ben's sassiness and carefree attitude was a nice balance with Dave's seriousness and forthright nature.

From start to finish this was an exhilarating read, both because of the vividly depicted wakeboarding to a romance that was sweet and super sexy.  The main characters were immensely likable with a relationship that moved quickly and had unrelenting sexual tension that was reflected in some down and dirty sexual interludes.  The secondary character of Eddie, the flamboyant friend and sometimes lover of Ben, was delightful and brought a breath of fresh air with his larger than life personality, tell it like it is nature, and unquestionable support of Ben.  The health issues surrounding Ben were addressed realistically and Ben's fears understandable but Eddie's pushing him to truly deal with reality was just what he needed.  By the final page I felt like I'd run a race with so much action, romance, and intense real life issues being dealt with and found a satisfying conclusion.  Those who enjoy m/m stories will find this a nice addition to the genre and I'm left wishing for more Eddie!

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

TWITTER:  @VanessaNWrites


Prize is a $15 Riptide Gift Card!

-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT ABOUT WHY YOU READ THE M/M GENRE, along with your email addy (NO EMAIL=NO ENTRY).
-Winner will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 8/29 (TONIGHT)!


  1. Thanks so much for the review!

    Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

  2. I read M/M because two men are better than one :)


  3. Thanks for the great review!

    I read m/m because I find it sexy and moving and inclusive. I also like how there are all kinds of sub-genres under the one genre. And many of the authors are involved with their reader community.

    jen.f {at} mac {dot} com

  4. I'm really enjoying the m/m genre - the dynamics between two guys are fascinating and I'm a sucker for a good romance.