The VIP Doubles Down
Nancy Herkess creates perhaps her darkest hero in The VIP Doubles Down. Each of the men brought to life in the Wager of Hearts series has demons they have to battle, but Gavin Miller is perhaps the only one who has been losing the war.
Gavin is a popular suspense author fighting the world’s worst case of writer’s block. Everyone around him can see that he’s fallen into a depression after the death of his father but Gavin is the kind of man to shun help of any kind. His literary agent forces him to get treatment for the physical problems his emotions are creating and she hires a therapist without his permission. The beautiful Allie Nichols needs the job after her ex-husband got her fired from her last one but the agent warns her that Gavin isn’t happy with the arrangement. In their first session together, Allie sees that Gavin desperately needs her help but is unwilling to acknowledge there’s a connection between his physical pain and the mental block he’s experiencing.
It takes a while for Gavin to become the kind of hero that a reader can fall in love with. He’s prickly, snarky and uses his gift with words to try and out-talk an opponent. Allie is plain spoken and grounded, so while she’s enamored by Gavin’s celebrity she’s more concerned with the wounded man behind the cutting remarks. Allie’s passion and love for Gavin’s books lets him rediscover his own love of the characters and stories that saved him from an upsetting childhood. Allie becomes his muse, not only to create again but to open himself to the joys that exist outside of his penthouse.
When Gavin’s trust issues rear their ugly head it takes the story into a direction that feels wrong given how the relationship was unfolding and the final resolution is rushed to make up for his mistake. This lowered my grade a bit, but shouldn’t discourage a reader from taking a chance with the story. It’s an enjoyable contemporary featuring a Billionaire who knows how to treat a woman right.
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