The VIP Doubles Down by Nancy Herkness
Publisher & Release: Montlake Romance, April 18, 2017
Time and setting: Present Day, NYC
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book Length: 384 pages
Heat Level: 3 Flame
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
In the witty, sizzling finale to award-winning author Nancy Herkness’s Wager of Hearts series, a haunted writer conquers his demons with the help of a feisty muse and a passion that doesn’t play by the book.
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?
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I have thoroughly enjoyed Wagers of the Heart series by Nancy Herkness. I met Nancy at RWA2015 but had never read any of her books. When I decided to read The CEO Buys In, I fell in love and found the wager between the three men intriguing. Needless to say, I was immediately pulled in. I could not wait for the second book in the series and fortunately, I received an ARC from the publisher for that I as I did for The VIP Doubles Down, thanks go to the publisher. Let me say up front, I would have gladly paid to read both these books!
Allie Nichols’ life has taken a downward turn. She’s out of work because her ex-husband would not leave her alone at the rehabilitation center. When she is offered a chance to help Gavin Miller, her favorite author, she is excited, but it turns out the sessions were his agent’s idea.
Gavin is having the worst case of writer’s block imaginable, and it has caused severe pain in his shoulders. When the physiotherapist his agent hired shows up, he wants nothing to do with her, but the feisty woman convinces him to allow her to use electrical stimulation on him. Although he sends her away after the treatment, within fifteen minutes, his pain is reduced and he calls her back for more sessions.
Imagine his surprise, to discover that not only does she relieve his pain, she stirs his muse. Perhaps he can benefit in more than one way from his time with Allie, and her energetic personality and beauty certainly calls to him on a personal level. When things heat up, he begins to wonder if he just might have found the woman of his dreams.
The VIP Doubles Down grabbed me from the first page and held my attention until the last. Ms. Herkness’ writing style flows smoothly and her pacing is excellent. I enjoyed getting a glimpse of the other characters from the other books in this series. I also loved Gavin’s housekeeper and driver.
Allie’s character has lots of fire to match her red hair. Her determination to hang in there when Gavin practically closes the door in her face had me rooting for her from the start. I loved her down-home West Virginia attitude. Her genuine desire to help others, even her deplorable ex-husband touched my heart. Although, her lack of guile and inability to see through his manipulations gives her plenty of grief later in the story.
Gavin’s character is tormented by more than writer’s block and physical pain. His late father’s refusal to see his success eats at him, and the abandonment he feels from his mother’s desertion when he was a child, keeps him locked in the past. While normally his cantankerous behavior would be a turn-off, the lost little boy he keeps hidden, called to me, so I fell in love with him anyway.
I loved The VIP Doubles Down, and I will miss these characters, but If I know Ms. Herkness, she will manage to give them cameo appearances in her future books. If you like emotionally-charged romances with complicated characters, then you will love this book. While this one is easily read without reading the other books in this series, I do recommend reading them as well. Happy reading!