4 Hearts · YA Contemporary

Double Black (Stark Springs Academy  #2) by Ali Dean

* 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. *

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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 didn’t know if she wanted that power, and she definitely wasn’t sure about sharing it with Ryker Black, how came from a different world and lived by a different set of morals. Ryker may have decided to trust her, but could 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.

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Ali Dean is one author that I have all her books on preorder, so this one was no different.

When I read Black Diamond I was lost in so much of the terminology and lingo of skiers, but I think this go around I got a better grip on what they are referring too.

Ryker and Roxanna (Roxie) are an item. It has only been a few days and things are already drastically changing. Those at the academy are noticing the shift in power of the “Posse” group (a.k.a the popular kids). Roxie has put her foot down on changes and Ryker is allowing them to happen no questions asked.

Roxie and Ryker each have to go away for their respected competitions in Ski and Snowboarding. Her heading to Europe and his in Canada. Well things get a little rocky. Surprise after surprise starts coming to Roxie some being good and others being painful.
How did I feel about this book? Hmmm…. I am a HUGE FAN of Ali Dean, so it is so hard to not like one of her books. This one there were just somethings I wasn’t a fan of. I honestly hope that Ali Dean (in the next book) gives us a chapter or 2 from the POV of Ryker. The guy makes no since to me. One minute he is a total douche and the next he is sweeping Roxie off her feet. The guy kind of gives me whiplash.

Roxie is just as stubborn as she was in the first book. She was already pushing buttons with the school and those that conform to the system, but in this book she is now reorganizing everything. Many are happy about the change, but there are a few that are having a problem. Ryker has his own changes as well, regarding his father, the company, Petra’s parents, and his own adolescence. This is a guy that never got a real childhood.

What I did like was, when Ryker made the choice (and announced) his decision about the Stark Inc., and the change in his demeanor. His personality and playfulness was more evident. Even with all the baggage, secrets, and responsibilities he has, Ryker still has positive attributes. We see him through Roxie’s eyes, and even though she is biased because of her affection for him, I think the guy will grow on me. By the end we discover one of the secrets he has been keeping, and let me tell you it is a crazy.

There is always a villain or an antagonist and in this story that is no exception. Petra, the Stark’s female ski team captain, is Roxie’s enemy number one. She is conniving, but becomes desperate. Desperate people make poor choices and that is what happens to Petra.
The story has some crazy parts. We have injuries, sabotages, and scandal. We are left on a mini cliff hanger. Not drastic enough to keep you up at night or to send desperate mail to Ali about when the next book to coming out, but it enough to want more.

I will say I read and reread ALL the Pepper Jones series and some of those I prefer more than others and in this case that is no exception. I love Ali’s writing. I love how she use strong, independent athletic girls as her protagonist. I love the mix of mix of the athletic drive in her stories.

So you are asking, should you buy this book? 
Yes.
Why?
Because regardless of character flaws of Ryker
there is many more positives. 
Also, its Ali Dean and I just love her writing. 
Parental Advisory: 
Active Drinking, opposite-sex sharing a bed, talk of sex, active heavy making-out, talk of drug use.

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