Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review: The VIP Doubles Down

The VIP Doubles Down The VIP Doubles Down by Nancy Herkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wagers of the Heart – Book 3
Nancy Herkness

Gavin Miller, the billionaire author of a bestselling thriller series, struggles with a grim secret: he hasn’t written a word in more than a year.
Writer’s block is killing his spirit and jeopardizing his contracts with his publisher and his Hollywood producers. Prodded by his agent, Gavin reluctantly agrees to see Allie Nichols, a sassy physical therapist tasked with treating the novelist’s severe neck and shoulder pain—and maybe his writer’s block, too.
The tempestuous Gavin and no-nonsense Allie soon find themselves entangled in a steamy affair that sparks Gavin’s creativity again. But their manipulative ex-lovers and Gavin’s lingering childhood scars threaten their happily ever after. Can Gavin and Allie find their way to love when the stakes are high and the obstacles are overwhelming?

Every once in a while I have the privilege of reading a story that reaches down deep, that connects on a special level. It is these stories that are filled with the same magic that the fairytales of my youth captivated me and drew me into their special world. A world where the hearts of the hero and heroine twist and bleed in their misery and longing for what we long for most—love, kindness and acceptance.
Within a few opening pages, I began feeling the magic draw me into the story of Gavin and Allie as each fought their own demons. But there was more. Having had the opportunity to read two previous novel series written by Nancy Herkness, I have come to know her and her style of writing. I also have a common touch point with my love of West Virginia and the wonderful years that I had the privilege to live in the same area of the woods where she grew up.
Suddenly, I realized, that this was more than just another of her very well written books. This is a book of her heart. It comes out in the pain of the author struggling to write. It shows in the despair at trying to grasp for words from the thin air of a muse who has left residence and taken her word-craft with her. Only one who has starred into that bleak dark void could understand and write of it with such passion. I felt the pain, saw the tears slide off the page.
Introducing Allie, a gentle woman born and bred in the depths of Appalachian West Virginia, was the light to the darkness of Gavin. Even though she had demons of her own, the light that glowed from within and the prevailing positive outlook on life of her people kept the story light. Overtones of a masterful Literary “Beauty and the Beast” came to mind.
The VIP Doubles Down is the third book in “The Wager of the Heart” Series. Each of the books is easily read as a stand-alone novel, but read together as a unit, each shows the growth and development of her characters as the overall storyline progresses. The growth of maturity in the relationships between the characters and the affect of love on the lives of the couples graces the pages. Love is prevalent in living and lives, not words.
With the writing of this, her third book in the series, Nancy Herkness shared her heart. She poured her laughter and tears into the pages and allowed us to see the soul of a writer. Oh yes, she still had those steamy scenes that readers seek, but the soul of this book went far deeper and touched the very soul of this reader.
I wish there were more than FIVE STARS to give this book. I love how she ended the story and would love to have been able to turn another page or two to see where it went.
A CEO, a quarterback, and a writer walked into a bar. . .”
Gavin waited for the ripple of laughter to die down before he said, “And they came out better men.”

Nancy Herkness is the author of the award-winning Whisper Horse series, published by Montlake Romance, as well as several other contemporary romance novels. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America RITA® award. Her new series, Wager of Hearts, follows the romantic adventures of three very wealthy men who make a life-changing bet.
A member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, and Novelists, Inc., Nancy has received many honors for her work, including the Golden Leaf Award, the Maggie Award in Contemporary Romance, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Nancy graduated from Princeton University where she majored in English. In addition to her academic work in literature, she was accepted into Princeton's creative writing program, and her senior thesis was a volume of original poetry.
After graduating, Nancy had a varied career which included retail management and buying, COBOL programming, computer systems sales and marketing, and a brief stint as a receptionist at a dental office. Once her children were in school full-time, she sat down and wrote A Bridge to Love, her first romance novel to be published.
Nancy finds nothing odd about writing in the genre she calls “the “Rodney Dangerfield of the literary world. It gets no respect.” She explains: “I was trained as a poet, but from the day my grandmother gave me my first Georgette Heyer novel I wanted to write romance. Romance is the genre of optimism, and that's why I like it.”
A native of West Virginia, Nancy now lives in suburban New Jersey with her husband, two mismatched dogs, and an elderly cat. She cheers loudly for the New Jersey Devils hockey team.

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