* This is the second book in the Stark Springs Academy series, which should be read in order. You should read Black Diamond before reading the description below. *
If you don’t like the rules, make new ones. If you want to the best, show no fear. And if Ryker Black is your boyfriend, you better be ready to fight. On and off the slopes.
Overnight, Roxie Slade went from an outsider at Stark Springs Academy, to a ruler at the prestigious boarding school for elite winter athletes. But Roxie doesn’t know if she wants that power, and she definitely isn’t sure about sharing it with Ryker Black, who came from a different world and lives by a different set of morals. Ryker may have decided to trust her, but can she trust him?
Roxie only cared about her rising position in the ski rankings, but now her status at Stark and within the winter sports community is skyrocketing, whether she asked for it or not. Can she handle both while attempting a real relationship with Ryker Black?
Roxie once believed that her sole purpose was proving herself on the slopes, but she’s done that once, and she’s far from satisfied. She has so much more to prove.
After the intense, angsty beginning to this series in Black Diamond, the sequel didn’t quite live up to my expectations. There is some conflict between Ryker and Roxie, but it centered more on the secrets that Ryker is keeping. Secrets that put distance between them, but not a lot of drama. These secrets aren’t revealed until the final chapter, but I never felt like they were building to a boiling point and if they weren’t released, an explosion would occur. There’s also a lack of competitive skiing that really drove more of the first book. There’s time spent traveling to and hanging out at various competitive ski locales, but not nearly as much time training for or competing in these events.
The plot primarily centers around Ryker and Roxie’s relationship. They’re moving closer, but the secret keeps a wedge between them.There is some competitive skiing, but not as much as I would have liked, and it’s not a major part of the plot.
The characters are further developed in this second installment. We learn more about what makes Ryker tick, but not until late in the story. It does explain a lot about him, but I felt like maybe we could have had some of the secrets spread out more through the story, to keep the plot moving.
What Didn’t Work for Me
1. The pacing. It was a lot slower than the first book, and therefore, it took me quite a bit longer to get through it.
2. Not enough skiing. I would have liked more of the competitive skiing, had it be more of the main plot similar to the Pepper Jones series.
What I Enjoyed About Double Black
1. The ending. Never saw that coming and it was so surprising, it really redeemed the book for me.
2. The settings. The author does a wonderful job of painting colorful pictures of her settings.
3. Ryker and Roxie. Although they need to learn to communicate better, I’m still pulling for them and can’t wait to see what happens in the final book in the series.
4. Twists. There were a couple of twists I didn’t see coming. I always love when an author can really surprise me.
5. Roxie’s family. We finally get to spend some time with Roxie’s family back east and it helps shape her more fully, seeing the well-rounded loving parents she grew up with.
Double Black is is missing some of the angst-ridden romance of its predecessor, but it’s still a good read.
About the Book
Title: Double Black
Series: Stark Springs Academy #2
Author: Ali Dean
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary/Sports Romance
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband, twin babies, and golden retriever. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.