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ramping-up

The world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.Helena “Lena” Mavrick is ready to prove that she can play with the big boys. Working at her father’s internationally renowned agency,The world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.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....

Title : Ramping Up
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18917943
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 210 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ramping Up Reviews

  • Claire Robinson
    2019-02-02 09:18

    4.5 - "I'll try to resist if you will." Stars!Zoe Dawson grabbed me straight away with the first book in her new Mavrick Allstars series. Ramping Up is a story that grips you from the beginning, and keeps you engaged until the end.Gunner Smith’s story had to potential to head into the OTT category with the familial drama he is dealing with but the author balanced it perfectly for me, in that it was relevant and not overplayed and was resolved without being dragged out too much. Bearing in mind the plethora of sports themed romances out there at the moment another positive with Ramping Up is that it didn’t feel like I was reading a re-hash of another story, it was vibrant and unique, Zoe really has excelled in offering up a slightly different story in what is a flooded market right now."You’re Darth Vader in Chanel."The other massive positive about the book for me was Helena Mavrick, low-drama, high sass, and plenty of confidence. This is a young woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. Even if ultimately her attraction to Gunner may cause epic problems down the line. The sexual tension between these two was - Off. The. Charts. And the verbal sparring between them gave me more than a few giggles."The way you’re looking at me is giving me ideas… Who the hell am I kidding I’ve already come up with a library of ideas, a dirty forbidden library."This was a relatively quick read for me, but it was a fully filled out story with lots going on to keep it moving along. Plenty of set-up for the future books with the introduction of Helena’s friends and colleagues from the Mavrick Allstars Agency, as well as other sports-men and friends of Gunners, the little tid-bits that the author dropping in at points about them made me eager to read the rest of the books in the series. "You’re an athlete… The physical defines us. Competing is in our blood."Impact Zone, is due for release in December, so a bit of a wait, but I am pretty sure it will be worth it. Zoe Dawson is quickly becoming a go-to author for me, I really get along with her writing style and characterizations and cannot wait to read more from her in the future.ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.

  • Irene
    2019-02-18 09:57

    3.5 starsRamping Up was a good read.I enjoyed the storyline, the writing was good and the drama was just enough to keep you turning the pages. This was the first book I've read involving the skating world and I was happily surprised with how much I enjoyed it.I found both Helena and Gunner likeable, sweet, fun and relatable. They had a strong connection/attraction that left you no doubt these two were meant for each other. Loved watching their romance develop. My heart went out to Gunner and everything he went through in trying to protect his mother and sister. He had a beautiful heart and it made me happy to see him find love and support from not only Helena but everyone associated with Mavrick Allstars.Overall Ramping Up was an emotional, heartfelt romance that will bring out all the feels.What a great start to the Maverick Allstars series, looking forward to the next book Impact Zone coming December 13th! *Pre-Order Impact Zone now available*Amazon ~ https://www.amazon.com/Impact-Zone-Ma...*Purchase Links for Ramping Up*~Amazon ~ https://www.amazon.com/Ramping-Up-Mav...B&N ~ http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rampi...iBooks ~ https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ramp...*Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley for the advance copy*

  • 1-Click Addict Support Group
    2019-02-19 02:04

    There is something very addictive about this book by Zoe Dawson. So much so that, despite some misgivings, I found myself utterly intrigued and completely unable to put Ramping Up down. I'm not overly familiar with Ms. Dawson’s work, having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) only one other of her books, but I was keen to get into Ramping Up. For a couple of reasons, actually. One, the skateboarding aspect was different for me—a spin on sports romances that's not common, not overdone. And two, a strong female lead in a non-typical profession. Helena as a sports agent was exactly as strong and sure as you'd want and expect her to be. I loved most everything about her—especially her dedication to winning only when it MEANS something. On the other hand, while I liked Gunner a great deal, I did find him to be a little…immature. That's perhaps not the right word, but there were times when his actions and his dialogue made him feel substantially younger than his 24 years, and for me, it skewed the balance of the otherwise wonderful relationship he shared with Lena. Yes, Gunner was sexy, kind, a good man with a delectable bad boy streak, but he felt so much younger that, at times, my instinct was to mother him, rather than lust after him. Having said that, when those moments passed, and Gunner and Lena were together on equal footing, they were utterly perfect. Their connection and chemistry was palpable, and rooting for them was a no-brainier. Much like the solution to their problem… It seemed to me that part of the conflict in this book could have been easily resolved, and I would have liked to have seen that—because, as it stands, the hands-off aspect of Lena’s relationship with Gunner felt a little like an after-thought, the focus staying—rightly—on Gunner’s coach/father. However, I can't—and won't—deny that this is an exceptionally well-written and engaging book. It is jam-packed with skateboarding terminology (there's a glossary of terms in the back, thank goodness), so if detail isn't your thing, you might need to skip this one. If, though, you like a vividly painted picture and healthy dose of realism with your romance, Ramping Up is one you won't want to miss. Just like I don't want to miss the upcoming books in this series. The secondary characters here were likeable, and created a strong basis for an ongoing series. In particular, the core group of female agents seem like a lively and fun bunch, each with their own talents and issues, and I am excited to dive into the next story—hopefully Trista’s—and see what Ms. Dawson has planned next. ~ Beth, 3.5 stars

  • Nicola
    2019-02-21 02:53

    A sexy sporting hero is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I have to say I've never come across a skateboarder before. And Zoe Dawson delivered as Ramping Up is fresh, steamy, emotional and had my full undivided attention by the end of the opening chapter. Behind this sexy-romance is a story that pulls at the heartstrings with characters who have depth and an amazing chemistry. Helena Mavrick is one of three female Sports Agents leading Mavrick Allstars, and her confidence, complete focus and dedication made her incredibly likeable. And former surfer-turned-skateboarder Gunner Smith doesn't stand a chance when she approaches him. "...you’re Darth Vader in Chanel."Whilst there's a professional line that can't shouldn't be crossed, both Helena and Gunner quickly have a fight on their hands when it comes to the attraction between with and as well as their amusing banter, they generate some serious heat. With just the right amount of angst and drama, Ramping Up is a strong start to the Mavrick Allstars series, and with some setup created for the secondary characters, I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of this series has in store. Copy received courtesy of Loveswept via NetGalley for an honest and unbiased opinion.

  • Mandy
    2019-01-29 07:12

    I'm not a big fan of surfing or skateboarding - it's just not my thing- so some of this book was a bit hard for me to understand. That being said, I like to read for the romance and I really enjoyed the romance between Lena and Gunner. They were sweet together but there was also a lot of sexy time between them. I enjoyed this one and look forward to reading more in this series.

  • Nadine Bookaholic
    2019-02-19 02:20

    Professional Skateboarding is not something I have read about before in a romance novel, typically the athletes are football players, hockey players, baseball players, or even basketball players, but I have to say that I was intrigued when I read the book synopsis especially since he was going from being a professional surfer to a professional skateboarder. Gunner was a complex character, he had a lot going on in his life and most people didn't know what was happening in his home. His story will pull at your heartstrings, for such a young man he has made so many life altering decisions. But now, that his secret passion has been revealed through a video someone took of him things are changing again and this may be the biggest decision of his life.I liked the chemistry between Lena and Gunner, and the overall story was a good one that took me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride. This is the first book in the Mavrick Allstars Series and I look forward to Impact Zone which will be Trista and Falcon's story. ***I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this bookthat I requested from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept through Netgalley*** https://www.netgalley.com/

  • Keep Calm Novel On
    2019-02-08 07:05

    NetGalley provided a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review.Ramping Up by Zoe Dawson is a fast moving and steamy contemporary romance. Helena Mavrick is a female agent working for her father’s successful firm. Gunner Smith is a successful professional surfer who has retired his surfboard for a skateboard. Helena discovers this new unsigned talent and their first encounter sparks immediate interest for both characters.As Helena and Gunner begin to work together their attraction and connection is undeniable. The author cleverly reveals their thoughts, fears and hopes via their individual points of view. Their strong and distinct voices move this character driven novel. As Gunner’s painful past is revealed Helena becomes more determined to stand by Gunner at all costs. Ramping Up delves into the realistic world of sports agents and gives the reader a glimpse into the challenges an athlete may face. The secondary characters add depth as well. Will Gunner ‘make it to the other side’? Looking forward to the next book in the Mavrick Allstars series.

  • A
    2019-02-16 04:08

    ARC received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ;)I really enjoyed this book :) the likable and interesting characters, along with a really good writing style makes me very curious about the rest of this series... cause I saw some fantastic potential for the heroine of the second book... *coughs* Trista *coughs* ;) but we will see how that will go, since there is no official confirmation or anything, just my wishful thinking... ;) full review on the day of the release :)edited to add my full review :)I received the ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and I have to say I really enjoyed it :) it was the first book I read by this author and based on the writing style I will definitely go back to check out her other work :) not to mention that I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment of this series :) I've been reading a lot of new authors for me lately, and I am more than pleased that the majority of them is, just like in this case, very good :) so many awesome new books that I can add to my always growing #BookMountain ;) so how about I tell you a bit more about the book itself? ;)Gunner and Lena are both in their middle twenties :) Lena is a sports agent, working in the company founded by her father... a big and very famous company I have to add ;) Gunner is an ex-surfer wondering what he'll do next, when Lena approaches him with an offer to represent him as a skateboarder after a video of him doing tricks has gone viral :) there is of course much more as to why she in particular wants to sign him, but I don't want to spoil you anything, so that's all the details you'll get from me ;) Lena is this determined and hard working woman, who thinks she has everything figured out... that is of course, until she meets Gunner... two years younger than her, his life was much more darker and complicated... and still is... full of family drama, he's used to people leaving him and always being alone... when they meet, there's definitely attraction between tham, but because of their professional relationship, they can't do anything about it... or should I say they shouldn't... ;) because we all know that they will get together at some point ;) rules be damned... ;) what I love about them, is how they influence each other... because not only Lena changed Gunner, showing him how big of a difference one person standing by your side can make, but it works also the other way around... ;) Gunner changed Lena as well, showing her that there's more to life than winning... the only problem I had with them, is that they had to hide for so long... I mean, I do get why they had to do it, it's just something I am not a fan in books in general :)Besides our main couple we have a bunch of very interesting secondary characters that I absolutely can't wait to read about... I definitely have a wish about the heroine of the second book... ;) *coughs* Trista *coughs* ;) she and Hannah are Lena's best friends and co-workers in Mavrick Allstars company :) they are both such entertaining characters and I am really hoping both of them will get their stories, but Trista caught my eye and my fingers are crossed that I will be able to read about her soon... ;) there were of course much more... :) Lena's father, his friend Max, just to name a few, but I really think that it would be better if you discover them along the way on your own :) especially since a lot of them are connected to things I can't tell you about :) I know, I know... sorry for being a tease, but... spoilers... :)I really enjoyed this book :) because of the great writing style it was a very quick read for me :) I loved the story of Gunner and Lena, even more so because of the 2 POVs :) it's always a plus for me in books, when I can get inside the heads of both main characters... and it was done very well in this case :) you could actually see the difference between Lena and Gunner without thinking all the time "wait, which point of view I'm reading now?" :) I see a lot of potential in this series and I'm very curious to see what's gonna happen in the future stories :) hopefully, we'll get a little glimpses of this couple in them :) I adored their story and it had such a wonderful ending... with a very cute epilogue, so be sure to go give it a shot :)XOXOAfor more book-ish stuff visit:my blog -> https://bookworm8619.blogspot.commy facebook page -> https://facebook.com/bookworm8619

  • WTF Are You Reading?
    2019-02-11 06:07

    Pro surfer, Gunner Smith, is tired.Tired of the pressure to stay at the top of his game.Tired of his father / coach's alcohol fueled rage.Tired of the lies and manipulation of his scheming manager.Tired of it all!Little does he know that a night spent skateboarding with friends. A night spent indulging in the one thing that sets him free. Will be the one night that will catapult him to the pinnacle of the extreme sporting world. Putting him face to face with both his greatest dreams, and the one woman who could prove to be his deepest desire.Ramping Up, the first title of the Maverick All-Stars series, introduces readers to the high stakes game of professional skateboarding. A sport where one wrong move can be your last. While one right one can make you a star.Because leading man, Gunner Smith, is written as such a down to earth guy, and because his rise to fame is as much of a surprise to him, as to the reader. It is very easy to attach one's self to his emotional gravy train from the book's beginning.When the back story involving his now strained relationship with his afore mentioned domineering and abusive alcoholic father, and sleazy manger are taken into account. Readers have no choice but to be sold. Hook, line, and sinker.The story really starts to get interesting however; when Helena “Lena” Mavrick enters the picture. Daughter of the famed Noah Maverick, CEO and owner of Maverick All-Stars. One of the most respected sports talent agencies in the world.Helena is a woman with no illusions about her need to make her mark in what for so long has been solely both her father's business, and a man's world.Eager to try her hand at shaping and molding what promises to be a stellar career for Gunner. Helena is in no way prepared for the attraction that she feels for him.An attraction that thankfully author, Zoe Dawson, allows her audience to explore very early in this book.This is far from a case of sex ruling the day however.Ms. Dawson is very careful to maintain a very healthy balance between sport, sex, and drama.What readers are sure to become most enchanted with, in very short order. Is the incredible amount of detail that Ms. Dawson puts into her representation of skateboarding.Going so far as to include a glossary of terms at the back of the book. She leaves no stone unturned in her effort to make this story a truly visceral experience.The romantic element here is first rate. With each person giving the other just what they need. The sex is both hot and tender. But it's the chemistry that these two share outside of the bedroom that makes the pages sizzle.The effort that these two put into trying to keep their relationship under wraps...clearly wasted.Though an annoyance, to be sure. Said "hide and hug" does very little to detract from the general appeal of their budding infatuation.The thing about this awesome story that may give readers a bit of a pause? The fact that certain aspects of both Gunner's character and his story read considerably younger than his 24 years.As such, there are quite a few times when his character becomes very hard to define in the reader's mind. A distraction which works to keep this read just a breath away from perfection.Ramping Up is an adrenaline filled, all access pass to what happens when a dream that you didn't know you were chasing, catches you.Allowing you to find that one person who makes your heart strong enough to follow it.Reviewer's Note: Ramping Up is the first book in a series. Because subsequent books have yet to be published. I can not say with certainty, in what order it is to be read.*I was provided was a review copy of this work in exchange for the unbiased review given.*

  • Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews
    2019-02-22 10:08

    Slick's review posted at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews4.5 starsI can't seem to keep away from new adult books or sports romances and in Ramping Up author Zoe Dawson gives us a look into the world of profession skateboarding which was interesting considering I read another ARC this week with a semi-pro skateboarder so I was already up on my skateboarding lingo from that book but fear not, Ms. Dawson includes a glossary of skateboarding terms in the back of this book. One thing that really stuck out to me about Ramping Up was the depth of this story and that of the hero; what could have been a typical young, over indulged pro athlete finding his match became a story about survival, following your dream, letting go, learning to trust your instincts and yes, falling in love. I have to say this story really surprised me in a good way and I loved every minute of it.At first I wasn't sure how I was going to like Gunner; his attitude, his demeanor and his swarminess made me want to kick him in the junk. I had a feeling there was something behind it all and fortunately it was revealed quite quickly why he had such a chip on his shoulder and such a "back off" vibe. This revelation also made me a bit sick and gave me all the understanding I needed to embrace his character. Honestly Gunner was one of the most selfless and caring heroes I've seen in a while and it was refreshing especially for someone his age, but given his background Gunner was way older and wiser than his 24 physical years.I really loved Helena's (Lena) sassiness and the fact that she was smart and dedicated not only to her job but to the clients she represents as a sports agent. She was smart and savvy and I admired that she, the other agents, and her dad as owner of Maverick Allstars were committed to doing what was best for their clients at all times. More than that I loved that she saw more to Gunner and was determined to help him find himself and the happiness he deserved.This story moved at a quick pace yet it didn't seemed rushed, I liked that there was never lull in the story and each word, each scene, each character added depth and emotion to the overall story. Gunner and Lena were fantastic characters, but the secondary characters were equally well written and interesting. I loved the "family" feel of this group who took Gunner under their wing to propel him into a national skateboard champion.While Lena and Gunner tried to ignore their chemistry for the good of their working relationship, it was impossible which led to many different types of problems. For the most part Gunner remained calm and stoic and Lena stood proud and fearless throughout this book. It was hard watching Gunner endure everything that went on in his life in flashbacks and currently, but Lena's understanding, caring and comfort made me love her character even more.Every once in awhile a book really surprises me and that's the case with Ramping Up, I went in with very little expectations and came out with an appreciation for this new to me author. Well written with a fresh voice, interesting characters and an intriguing plot I loved this book.Review copy provided for an honest review.

  • Amber .:★Wild Heart Reviews★:.
    2019-02-09 05:07

    Let's just take a moment here while I inhale and prepare to keep myself from absolutely rambling over this book. Seriously, Ramping Up by Zoe Dawson, was one of my favorite books last year. I've actually hoarded the ARC and read it a few times since.Zoe Dawson was a very new-to-me author and to say I fell in love with Ramping Up would be an understatement. I'm still on the edge of my seat waiting for the rest of the series. That being said, about the book itself, Ramping Up is a standalone novel that starts the Mavrick Allstars series. It does have an HEA.I went into this one like, "Oh! Yeah! Something different!" Boy, was it ever. You have a great plot with complex characters. Lena and Gunner (I love his name!), have that instant chemistry that sparks flirty banter. They were an absolute gem to read because the dialogue between them was fantastic. Even when they were fighting the attraction.I actually want to go into some detail about the MC's but I'm afraid I'll give out spoilers and to be fair, the plot of this book needs to be read for it to hit you just right. Not have someone tell you about it in a review. What I will say, is that you have a sports crossover that from a guy that actually wants nothing to do with any of it. He's just trying to live. You have a girl that sees something in him, something great. It makes for a wonderful read.After reading it for the third time, I can definitely say I'd give it a full 5 stars, possibly 5 and a half because I fell in love with the characters that weren't even the MCs and you actually don't see a ton of them in this book. Would I recommend Ramping Up? You bet I would!

  • Roxanne
    2019-02-08 05:15

    Actual rating 2.5 stars, full review soon

  • Kahea
    2019-02-14 08:23

    From time to time there comes a book that, once all is said and done, you find yourself really liking and yet you’re left with the feeling that something was missing, that you wanted just a little more out of either the characters and/or the story. Well, that’s where I find myself with Ramping Up. I really liked Gunner and Helena’s story, and think that this is a great start to a new series, but I wanted just a little more out of it.Gunner has been ruled by his father’s iron fist for more than half of his life and has finally decided that he’s had enough, so he drops his agent and quits surfing. The problem with that though is that he has no real plan as to what he’s going to do with the rest of his life, until he’s captured on film doing what he truly loves. My heart broke for Gunner and all that he endured because of his father. No child should ever have to deal with that. But, he lived through it, though he never got the chance to truly live and has come out of it as a sweet, charming and yet standoffish guy. The times when I wanted to hug him were almost equal to the times that I wanted to shake some sense into him for thinking that he could handle things all on his own, but I understood why he thought that.Helena is following in the footsteps of her father in becoming a sports agent. She has the drive, the ambition and the intelligence to be one of the best. Her only fault though is that sometimes she is so focused on winning that she may set aside what would truly be best for her client. All in all, I really did like Helena. She’s extremely intelligent, knows what she’s doing and doesn’t feel the need to have to prove that she has a bigger set of balls than the boys. Her confidence is a huge draw and when she’s got your back, she’s got your back. But as much as I liked her, I have this feeling that I’m still missing a piece of who she is and wish I had gotten to see her interact more with her father and friends.There is instant attraction/lust between Gunner and Lena and though Lena ‘tries’ to keep things professional between them, she pretty much fails miserably thanks to Gunner not letting up on her. Insta-love doesn’t happen, as neither goes there instantly, but there is a lot of lust and smexyness between them as they attempt to keep things on the DL while remaining as professional as humanly possible. The writing was engaging and I enjoyed the dual first person POV’s . Some of the plot twists I saw coming, but I still enjoyed how it all played out. To be honest most of the skateboarding terminology went right over my head, but I appreciate the attention to detail as she explained the various moves. But I really liked the secondary characters, Trista and Falcon were my favorites, and I can’t wait to get to know them all better as the series progresses.~ ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~

  • Strider28
    2019-02-18 03:09

    Gunner Smith, a hunky, hot shot surfer is living the life many young men can only dream of. But Gunner is miserable. He leads this life because he has been forced to by his abusive father. His life is not his own.Helena Maverick, overly ambitious sport agent out to prove she can make it in a man's world. She works at her father's very successful sports agency, Maverick Allstars. She's had a good life despite losing her mother at a young age.Gunner finally gets up the courage to quit surfing which enrages his father. Meanwhile he gets noticed for his amazing talent as a skateboarder. And Helena wants to represent him. Only problem, Gunner doesn't want to skate professionally. It's the one thing he's had that is all his. It's his escape from the world. But with few options to make money and a hot babe trying to persuade him to represent him he might just give in. But if he does will it bring trouble and danger to Helena and Maverick Allstars?If his father makes public scenes that could make the Allstars look bad would they stick by him? Taking a chance Gunner signs. But what should be a professional relationship with his agent turns into an affair. A secret affair because Helena's father has a strict policy about agents dating their clients.While the drama of their secret affair is hard enough to deal with Gunner's father comes back into the picture. He's going out of his way to make public scenes at Gunner's events and he has Gunner losing his concentration while competing. He also poses a threat to other people in Gunner's life that he cares about. Gunner lives in constant fear of his father locating and abusing the people he loves most in the world who he's been protecting since he was a teenager. Although I knew nothing about the skateboarding world going into this book, author Zoe Dawson explains the intricacies of the sport without sounding like a broadcaster. She seamlessly works in the details of the sport into the storyline making it easy to understand and making it interesting to readers like me who didn't care about skateboarding at the beginning of this book.Ms. Dawson, weaves a beautiful love story into the life of a troubled young man who has never know love and who has always avoided getting close to anyone. He doesn't trust easily and this creates some problems for him as he tries to come to grips with his new feelings for Helena.This book made me feel anger, suspense, confusion, love and happiness and left me with a wonderful HEA. No Cliffhanger!I would recommend this book to anybody into Romance books.I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Danielle Cordsen
    2019-01-22 04:05

    I will start off bu saying OMG, this was an absolutely gut wrenching book. Abuse, loyalty, anger, kindness,hate, friends, selfishness, love. You see for every good there was a bad from beginning to end. Gunner and Helena's love story is well written and almost gives you a feeling of complete helplessness. I'll be completely honest I picked up this book a couple of months ago to read it for Netgalley's arc review department. Because I had so much personal changes medically and personally going on I didn't get far. The first portion of this book had me wanting to scream at Gunner for simply existing and then when it was revealed why I put the book down. It has some very intense and pain staking things revealed that because the author wrote them so well you could feel Gunner's pain fully. I re-picked this book up yesterday and read it from beginning to end. Gunner is living a great life or so it appears, his dad and agent are descent people or so it appears. Well let's just say life isn't always as it appears. Once Gunner decides to make a life change and walk away from his unwanted surfing career he spends time on his love of skateboarding. Well this is where Helena steps in wanting to sign Gunner to her fathers business as one of there clients. This isn't an easy sell as skateboarding has always been just for fun and something that's just his. Helena wins in the end of course and gets him signed, with her dads no dating the clients rule and the burning attraction between the two we get to read about an amazing connection. So here's where I tell you grab this book it has all the makings of a great book, angst, heartache, love and in the end a willingness to fight for yourself. I've read many book by Zoe Dawson and as usual I'm impressed at her ability to tell a great story and give you all the feels. Congrats on another great book I'm so glad I put aside my own personal angst and went back in.

  • ♡ Jeri's Book Attic ♡
    2019-02-11 02:15

    I think “Ramping Up” (Mavrick Allstars #1) by Zoe Dawson was my first Skateboard novel ever. I could relate to the flair of the places it was set to take place – I have seen similar places in California and loved watching the guys and girls doing their tricks with their boards.I think that was what drew me to the book. But I have to admit that I struggled a little with the terminology of skateboarding – but that has nothing to do with the book – yeah well and readers should know … at the end of the book are some explanations hidden for those used phrases.Lena and Gunner were two interesting and well developed / written characters. Gunner slightly better than Lena I felt. I could not always catch Lena’s PoV in certain situations. Sometime she seemed to be totally on the same page like Gunner and sometimes she was so far off with her fancy clothes and money background. She seemed so different from him, but than suddenly she was all in. I could not quite follow her.Gunner on the other hand was easy to get. He was kind of lost and floating but he still never lost the focus on the big picture. The only thing where he felt undetermined was when it came to his father and in parts I think that was understandable considering the background.Basically his whole life was one sacrifice until the day he met Lena…the question is only if he would be able to change that situation and grab the chances that will come his way.Interesting book with unusual characters (at least for me) – its worth the read….For more Reviews subscribe my Blog : http://jeri-ryan.wix.com/jerisbookattic like my FB Page : https://www.facebook.com/JerisBookAttic

  • LeeAnne
    2019-02-06 09:05

    I’m excited for this new Maverick series, this was a fantastic start. I really enjoyed reading Ramping Up, it’s fast paced, sexy, and has a great group of interesting characters.Gunner Smith has been pushed into being a professional surfer by his abusive father since he was a child. As an adult he’s still letting his father run his life to protect his mother and sister who ran away years prior when the abuse became too much. Gunner hates surfing and is mostly miserable but skateboarding is his release. When a video of his talented skateboarding gets put online Gunner’s career as a skateboarder begins. Helena Maverick is a determined sports agent and when a family friend calls and asks her to look into the video of Gunner Smith Helena knows she’ll do anything to sign him, but when they meet the attraction is immediate. Though they begin to explore a relationship they have to keep it hidden from everyone so that Helena doesn’t put her company in jeopardy. Add in a drunk father who won’t go away, an ex-agent who won’t take no for an answer, and a group of crazy best friends and this makes for a pretty great read.I think my favorite characters in this book were Helena’s two best friends. I do hope that their stories are the next books released in this series. I also really enjoy that though I don’t know a lot about skateboarding Zoe Dawson does a fantastic job of explaining without making the reader feel like a kindergartner which I appreciated. This can be read as a stand-alone and I love that it has an HEA! I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

  • Danielle
    2019-02-03 08:07

    First in a new series by Dawson and to my surprise it was about a skateboarder. I honestly have never read a romance about one so this book definitely stuck out on that. Of course I'm not familiar with all the tricks and lingo but Dawson really did a good job at helping me understand them. Lena and Gunner were two very uniquely written characters that stood out. Lena works with her dad in their agency and has had a pretty good life while Gunner had an abusive father growing up. Now that Gunner has quit surfing it's time to do what he wants with his life but his father isn't going to make it easy. This story is told is dual povs which I loved. Getting into these characters brains helped me understand them better then I would have. Sometimes these two seemed like they were on the complete same page but sometimes I had a hard time really understanding Lena. From when these two met i felt they had great sexual attraction but I loved when they started to get to know one another on a deeper level. Gunner basically has been living his life for his family but really liked how he turned that around after he met Lena. The characters were well written and I liked how they developed as the story progressed. The secondary characters seem interesting and different and honestly I'm really looking forward to reading about them. Overall by the end of the story I was left wondering when the next book will be out that's how much I enjoyed it.

  • Ruthie Taylor
    2019-02-13 09:22

    ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~This is the first in a new series, and I will definitely be on the look out for book two! I'm a big fan of sports romances, and Ms Dawson has done a fabulous job of bringing the world of both a sports agency and skateboarding to life. Setting a romance between a top agent, who works for her Dad, and a one time surfer, now possible skateboarder who was bullied by his Dad, is inspired. They are a delicious pair of characters, who are shaped by their past, but both open to the hopes of a future. I loved the use of parallels, of the promise of future stories, and that logic and intelligence were used to complement love and feelings. It is a feel good read, with some drama, and some cuteness that kept me turning the pages until I knew that all would work out - which is what we want, after all!

  • Samantha
    2019-01-28 08:13

    The overview made me go "YES!", but after half-way through the book my excitement gradually deflated to leave behind mild like. Lena and Gunner have a forbid of sorts relationship which was the initial draw and they have a pretty instant connection but the drama around them felt fake which put me on ice a bit. I overall didn't force myself to finish so it was mildly enjoyable. Sadly, it was JUST enjoyable. Gunner was an okay male character. I think part of the reason I didn't like this book more was because I didn't fall in love with him. I liked him but I didn't squeal or adore him. That's a right pain when he's the love interest you're supposed to support. I felt he wasn't really all that worthy of Lena, honestly.I liked Lena. I felt she was loyal, intelligent, compassionate and a goal-seeker. She did her job just as good, if not better, than any male in her field and held her head high. She was loyal to herself and those she cared about, as well.

  • Amanda
    2019-01-26 01:53

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Despite the fact that I've never had an interest in extreme sports, I really enjoyed this book and didn't have a hard time following any lingo (the author also included a glossary which I thought was great). I liked that Gunner was sweet despite having grown up with an abusive father and I loved that the sports agency is all about having competent woman agents and caring for their clients. My full review will be up at my blog on June 14, 2016 to coincide with the June 21 release. 

  • Bette Hansen
    2019-02-19 03:07

    This book had me from the first page. Gunner Smith is such an intriguing character and the brief look into the world of professional skateboarding is unique and fresh. The sacrifices Gunner has made for his family and the abuse he has dealt with from the hands of his father are heartbreaking. He desires happiness in his life and you know from the beginning that Lena will help him find it. At first her main concern is his professional life but the attraction between these two quickly flares to life and soon his personal happiness is all that matters. This one truly has your emotions all over the place and will keep you reading to the very last page! This is one I highly recommend.

  • Gail
    2019-01-27 06:21

    This is Zoe Dawson's first book in a new series and it is amazing! A whole new set of characters tha tall work so well together. Very well written it is a fast paced, heartwarming and emotional romance story.Helena Maverick is out to prove to her dad that she can work just as well as any of the guys at his sports agency. She is out to sign Gunner who was a surf boarder now turned skate boarder. Gunner has an abusive past. When they meet sparks begin to fly. Read the book to see how it all turns out.

  • Kim
    2019-01-22 04:15

    4 to 4.5 stars"Spin wildly in the moment because you’ll never get another one quite like it. There is no next time, no second chance, no time-out. Sometimes it’s just now or never. What’s it going to be, Gunner? Now or never?”Gunner Smith is done with surfing. After spending years suffering in silence at the hands of an abusive father who has managed to make him hate the sport, Gunner has turned his back on his sponsors and competition. When he meets up with his friend and fellow surfer Falcon Dane to blow off some steam doing the one thing that brings him peace - skateboarding- he never imagines that his life is about to take a major left turn.Gunner skates for the sheer joy and freedom of it, not to perform for anyone else. His mind and body are free of the painful realities of his daily life and he can just let go when he is riding his board. He has spent 24 years under the thumb and flying fists of a man who wanted to live vicariously through his son and who ruthlessly used any weapon available to him to ensure his performance on the water, including Gunner's mom and sister. Now a video taken without Gunnar's knowledge showcasing his heartfelt uninhibited skating goes viral on YouTube, leading renowned talent agent Helena Mavrick straight to him with an offer of a new future he never dreamed of and isn't sure if he should chase.Lena is just the type of heroine I love in a story! She is sexy and feminine but has take-no-prisoners confidence with a drive to succeed in a man's world, and it's backed up by the knowledge that gives her the ability to be just as good as (if not better than) any man in the field. Sparks fly between Lena and Gunner from the start on several levels. Although the sexual attraction is clearly mutual, Gunner has not been in control of his own life for a very long time, and he has no desire to trade in one taskmaster for another even if the new option is hotter than Hades. With her father's no fraternization policy inspired by his own scandalous past, Lena knows getting involved with Gunner is a recipe for disaster professionally. They just may not be able to help themselves though- and the build up is smokin' hot!Having friends and a support system is completely foreign to Gunner after a lifetime of shunning close relationships to avoid innocents being caught in one of his father's drunken rages. His whole life has been built around preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, and old habits are hard to break so forming attachments and getting his hopes up for the future goes against his better judgment. Falcon's friendship is unexpected and it takes him a bit to warm up to him entirely, but eventually he helps Gunner see the path opening before him is far from a bad thing. His father is not going to let him go quietly though and is already threatening retaliation.As much as he wants Lena, Gunner knows he is putting her in danger if his father gets an inkling that she means something to him. Suddenly her request to keep things professional between them doesn't sound like such a bad idea after all. And in the back of his mind, he has to wonder if he will start to hate skating as much as surfing if he starts competing so keeping his distance may make more sense than he initially realized too.The road that follows is tumultuous, but I was fully engaged in finding out how it would all play out. Gunner's thought processes are a bit over the top sometimes, but since he hasn't had the chance to make decisions about his own future up until now, I can forgive him a rash choice or two.The secondary characters in Ramping Up are just as memorable as the main characters. Gunner's father and his former agent Ray (who is also Lena's nemesis) are believable baddies. Trista and Hannah are Lena's 2 best friends and fellow Mavrick Allstars agent phenoms who are just as strong, capable and beautiful as their friend. Falcon has been on Trista's radar for years in both a personal and professional capacity, so I am hoping they get their own story! No matter whose turn it is to have their story told next, I will definitely be pouncing on the next Mavrick Allstars book!

  • Mollien Fote Osterman
    2019-01-23 10:20

    Title: Ramping UpSeries: Mavrick AllstarsAuthor: Zoe DawsonPublisher: LovesweptReviewer: MollienRelease Date: June 21, 2016Genre(s): Sport RomancePage Count: 210 pagesHeat Level:3 flames out of 5Rating:4 stars out of 5Blurb:The world of extreme sports just got a little steamier! Zoe Dawson’s pulse-pounding, emotional series follows the wily young female agents of Mavrick Allstars as they chase their dreams—and meet the chiseled athletes who make them come true.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.Review:This is Zoe Dawson first book in the Mavrick Allstars series. It is Helena Mavrick’s story. Her objective is to sign professional surfer Gunner Smith as a client, but not as a surfer. Helena want to sign Gunner as a skateboarder. The plot has Helena trying to convince Gunner to become a professional skateboarder after a video of him skating goes viral. Gunner doesn’t want to compete in the sport.. He skates for pleasure and the thrill. He wants to escape from competition after being dumped by his agent and sponsor after dropping in surfing rankings. He also needs to break free of his controlling, abusive father. The story takes on the subject of physical, and mental abuse as well as alcoholism. The chemistry is the insta love where Gunner and Helena can’t keep their hands off of eachother. The story is fast paced with drama, sex and competition. This has a HEA ending with good character development. SCORES on a scale of 1-5 Stars rate each of the Following 5CategoriesPLOT: 4 StarsCHEMISTRY: 5 StarsPACING: 4 StarsENDING: 4 StarsCHARACTER DEVELOPMENT: 4 Stars Review Copy of Ramping Up provided by the Loveswept for an honest review. Reviewed by Mollien from Alpha Book Club

  • RoloPoloBookBlog
    2019-02-16 09:17

    Ramping Up by Zoe DawsonBook #1: Mavrick Allstars SeriesSource: Author and PurchaseMy Rating: 5/5 starsMy Review: Gunner Smith has everything but the desire he needs to become the number one surfer in the world. His skill is absolutely unparalleled and if he could muster up even an ounce of care for the sport, he would dominate the sport. Unfortunately, Gunner’s father has succeeded in beating the desire and care right out of his son and when Gunner finally reaches his breaking point, it is spectacularly awful. During the years under his father’s control, Gunner’s only outlet has been skateboarding. Like surfing, Gunner has some serious skills when it comes to skateboarding but he has never considered his skateboarding to be anything more than an escape from his miserable life. That escape became more necessary than ever the day Gunner quit professional surfing and his father took his anger out on him. In a fit of emotion, Gunner let it all out on his board and by the next morning, the video of his epic skate had gone viral. Helena Mavrick is a kick ass sports agent and she knows talent when she sees it. When one of her oldest and dearest friends points her in the direction of Gunner Smith’s video, Helena makes it her mission to sign Gunner and make him a star. Trouble is, Gunner is in a really bad place mentally and emotionally and convincing him to sign on with a new agent isn’t going to be easy. What Helena doesn’t take into account is Gunner’s reaction to her and his willingness to believe in her. What starts out as a purely physical attraction very quickly becomes something far deeper and more emotional. Helena’s commitment to Gunner and her belief in his talent knows no bounds. Her attraction to him evidently knows no bounds either and Helena fights the attraction for as long as she can. Her company, owned by her father, has very strict rules about fraternization and the deeper she gets involved with Gunner the more willing she is to abandon her post in favor of a life with Gunner. But, Helena isn’t willing to jump ship until she has thoroughly delivered on all her professional promises to Gunner. Doing so isn’t going to be hard. In the weeks since committing himself to professional skateboarding, Gunner has been tearing up the circuit and the offers of sponsorship and endorsement have been rolling in. All Helena has to do is get everything set up before the proverbial sh*t hits the fan. The Bottom Line: I’ve actually read this book twice now and I have to say, I enjoyed it more the second time through. The first time through, I just sort of took everything in and the second time through, I read for pure pleasure. There is such a mix of things going on in this book from the initially forbidden relationship between Helena and Gunner, the horrifying relationship between Gunner and his dad, and the external forces that impact the course of Helena and Gunner’s respective lives. Everything comes together in this fast-paced read to ultimately end on a very happy note. As a final note, there is also a clear path to additional books in the series which will undoubtedly prove to be as exciting and entertaining as Ramping Up.

  • Nadine Bookaholic
    2019-02-21 10:08

    Professional Skateboarding is not something I have read about before in a romance novel, typically the athletes are football players, hockey players, baseball players, or even basketball players, but I have to say that I was intrigued when I read the book synopsis especially since he was going from being a professional surfer to a professional skateboarder. Gunner was a complex character, he had a lot going on in his life and most people didn't know what was happening in his home. His story will pull at your heartstrings, for such a young man he has made so many life altering decisions. But now, that his secret passion has been revealed through a video someone took of him things are changing again and this may be the biggest decision of his life.I liked the chemistry between Lena and Gunner, and the overall story was a good one that took me on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride. This is the first book in the Mavrick Allstars Series and I look forward to Impact Zone which will be Trista and Falcon's story. ***I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this bookthat I requested from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept through Netgalley*** https://www.netgalley.com/

  • Kimberly
    2019-02-09 08:15

    Wow!! Reading this book, brought out so many different feelings for me. Definitely angst, anger, betrayal, love, and even a few tears. I never read a book about skateboarding, it was a first for me, I really enjoyed it.Helena is working for her dad's big sports marketing company. She's proving herself that she's an intelligent, driven worker, who can work just as well as the boys do. Sports is mostly a guys world, but she's set to prove them wrong. Gunner is a retired professional surfer. He just wants to skateboard for fun and leisure. With a painful past and a messed up family, he just wants to have some fun. With his abusive father for a coach, he doesn't want the pressure anymore. After a video of Gunner goes viral while he's doing tricks on his skateboard, Lena wants him as her next client. He doesn't know what he's going to do next with his life, but he never dreamed that skateboarding would be it. He's a hard sell at first. Not wanting to skate professionally, it's his escape, no pressure. No coach. Gunner doesn't trust easily, everyone has always wanted something from him. She eventually wears him down and he signs with her.My heart hurt reading about when he endured because of his alcoholic and abusive father. He's a bully, used to getting what he wants. But through it all, Gunner has come out a good guy. Always there to protect the ones he cares about, sacrificing his own happiness and safety.The chemistry between Lena and Gunner was off the charts. There's no denying that. Even though her father has a strict no dating clients rule, the 2 manage carry on a secret romance. There was no way there relationship was going to remain strictly business. When his father starts causing problems, will he give up everything for the woman who stole his heart??Good book. **Was given an ARC by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

  • Misty
    2019-01-27 09:13

    Professional surfer Gunner Smith retires from surfing after his manager dropped him and because it was something he wasn't being forced to do, not something he loved. Gunner's father forced him into surfing at 9, when he hurt his back, he became an alcoholic and abusive. As a result, he sacrificed himself to protect his mother and sister from his father. It was either him or them. After announcing his retirement to his friends, a video was recorded of him skateboarding and posted online. The video went viral and he has Helena "Lena" Mavrick from Mavrick Allstars wanting to sign him so he can go pro. Skateboarding was Gunner's private escape from the world his father still controlled and forced him into, it wasn't for public consumption.Helena "Lena" does not take no for an answer. She works for her father at Mavrick Allstars as a talent scout. Signing him as a client would be huge for her, but every time she looks at Gunner or gets close he makes her heart pound. Even though dating a client is against company policy, she can't fight the attraction that draws them together like magnets. Lena gives Gunner one of the greatest gifts, something he thought he couldn't have for himself.What a story, there is something that draws you into this book and doesn't let you free until the very last page. Even then you don't want it to end. Lena and Gunner had a chemistry and attraction that was unreal, no matter how hard they fought to stay away from each other, they always lost. Gunner is a good man, even with everything that he's been through. He's willing to sacrifice his happiness for the happiness and safety of those he loves. Gunner's father tried to ruin Skateboarding, showing up at events drunk and causing a scene, and there are other means, but I don't want to ruin the story. I enjoyed this story and can't wait to read more of this series. I highly recommend this book.Received ARC in exchange for honest review from NetGalley

  • Deb Fernow
    2019-02-22 08:11

    I received an ARC from the publisher for an honest, unbiased review.This was a bit of topic change for me to surfer/skater dude from other sports romances. It didn’t really matter though, you can pick up the nuances from the great writing and bits of information from the author. She did great research so that you could see yourself in the shoes of Gunner Smith. The book is written in first person which seems to be the latest trend these days. It seems to work in this case with each chapter alternating between the two main characters.Helena Mavrick works for her father’s company, a sports agency, that reps professional athletes. She’s got to prove herself in the male dominated industry but also to build back the reputation of Mavrick. She and two other women in the office are sometimes seen as overly aggressive but they get the job done.A video of Gunner skateboarding shows up online and grabs the attention of many. Helena is determined to sign him and develop him in that sport but isn’t prepared for the chemistry she has with him. He agrees to a contract but she also knows that his abusive father and his former agent have to be dealt with because they want Gunner to continue surfing. The only reason Gunner ever surfed was to please his father and protect his mother and sister. They ran and have been in hiding for years and that has kept them safe.A tough young man with talent and drive meets a woman with just as much drive. He’s determined to have the woman but not at the expense of his family. She wants him bad but she doesn’t want to ruin her professional career. They have hurdles to jump and challenges to master to be together. Can they do it and still come out with everything they want and have worked for?Well written story with lots of emotional twists and turns.