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.
Join me on the tour and leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card! Be sure to include your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win! I’ll be drawing the winner at the end of the blog tour.
Professional team sports have long been a haven for homoerotic fantasy, with bro-hugs, ass-pats, and enthusiastic forehead-kissing galore. I could live in happy gif heaven on highlight reels of the recent World Cup alone.
So why did I choose to set a sports romance in a sport so few people have ever heard of? What the heck is wakeboarding, anyway?
I admit, I came up with the idea for writing a wakeboarding romance before I thought it all the way through, but when it came down to it, I found the world of wakeboarding an ideal place to explore a character like Ben Warren.
Much like skateboarding or snowboarding, wakeboarding is about edges—or edginess. The kind of sport which attracts adrenaline seekers and show-offs. It’s a sport for people with something to prove.
It’s the kind of sport where a gay kid might be able to come to terms with his sexuality without awkward locker room scenes and anxiety. The kind of sport where athleticism and elegance go hand in hand. The kind of sport where the big trophies aren’t a scholarship or a draft pick—but a name whispered from one reverent teenager to another. The kind of sport where legends can live in obscurity to the rest of the world, but to those in the know? They’re everything.
But, more than anything? I chose wakeboarding because it’s a sport I love—to do, to watch, to teach my friends or my kids. I could relate to Ben’s enthusiasm and affection for his sport because I share it. No, I’ll never throw down with the legends of the sport. But I can relate to the exhilaration of learning to fly for the first time.
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.
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