Monday, 20 June 2016

Review ~ Ramping Up (Mavrick Allstars, #1) by Zoe Dawson

Ramping Up (Mavrick Allstars, #1)
eARC received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: June 21st 2016

Publisher: Loveswept (Random House)

Helena “Lena” Mavrick is ready to prove that she can play with the big boys. Working at her father’s internationally renowned agency, Mavrick Allstars, Lena sets her sights on one of the most coveted phenoms out there: a twenty-four-year-old surfer caught ripping it in a viral skateboarding video. Signing him would be a huge win—and his marketing appeal isn’t the only thing that makes Lena’s heart skip a beat. Trouble is, fraternizing with the client is against company policy.

Professional surfer Gunner Smith lives under the absolute control of his coach—until he takes the ultimate risk and starts over as a skateboarder. Gunner swore he wouldn’t give up his freedom again, but Lena’s out-of-the-blue offer makes him think long and hard. She’s smart, she’s bold, she’s got sponsors lined up around the corner—plus she’s drop-dead gorgeous. He’s just not sure his coach will let him get away that easily, because he’s not just Gunner’s coach, he’s also his father.

Gunner is used to hiding his tortured past. But when his steamy affair with Lena threatens their future, he must decide whether he will sacrifice everything for the woman who’s stolen his heart.

My Opinion

I have mixed feelings on this book. It was the skateboarding element that caught my attention since it isn't really a common sport that's written about, I was curious to see what line the author would take with it and how different it would be.

The skateboarding was definitely my favourite aspect of this book. It felt believable and the author clearly knows her stuff. Moreover, Dawson didn't make Gunner an all out stereotypical skater. He had a few quirks that come with the skater lifestyle, but he didn't come across as this badass who says f-you to society. I thought the author struck the balance well, and it was nice to read about a sport that wasn't MMA, baseball, hockey, or American football.

The part of this book that split my opinion is the romance. On their own Helena and Gunner worked as characters. I liked their personalities and strength. However, I just didn't buy into the chemistry between them. For me the romance wasn't there. It started too early and fast so there was no gradual build. It just didn't work for me.

As well as that I think the author rushed the ending. There is a lot going on in this book--from changing careers, to abuse, to alcoholism, and work place relationships. Some of the threads were well done, but it felt like the author bit off a bit more than she could chew. The ending was a rush to tie up all the loose ends and it seemed to happen in the last 10% without much detail. For me, there either needed to be less threads, or more book. It didn't give me the satisfaction I wanted.

Overall, this was a good read. I liked the skateboarding sections best and it was something different to relax over the weekend with in the sun.


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