Black Diamond by Ali Dean
Stark Springs Academy #1
It’s not a place for the weak.
No one here tolerates wimps.
If you can’t handle it, leave.
Welcome to Stark Springs, Colorado, home to the most talented young athletes in the world.
When Roxie Slade snaps into a pair of skis, there’s no one on Sugarville Mountain in Vermont who can keep up with her. Not even the boys. Still, Roxie was shocked when she received a scholarship to Stark Springs Academy, a boarding school that churns out Olympians in each graduating class. Entering as a high school junior, Roxie can’t wait to learn from renowned coaches and train with the fastest ski racers from all over the globe. But, upon arrival, Roxie discovers that Stark Springs lives under its own set of rules, and it appears one boy plays dictator.
Ryker Black is not friendly and Roxie cannot fathom why everyone wants to be his friend. Sure, he’s gorgeous and rides a snowboard like it’s his fifth limb, but he’s cold, ruthless, and holds way too much power over the Stark Springs population. Roxie won’t put up with it. She’s here to train, and she doesn’t care about impressing anyone off the slopes. The only problem? Ryker Black doesn’t permit defiance. Not without consequences.
Black Diamond is book #1 in the Stark Springs Academy Series, I was lucky enough to be gifted an ARC of this book to read for Gemma Reads Too Much.
I’ve read all of Ali Dean’s books to date, I think it’s fairly obvious I’m a fan but there’s always that element of doubt when it comes to a new series. Will it be as good as The Pepper Jones books? (Which I loved), am I going to hate it?
Black Diamond is fantastic!
The vibe of this book is a bit of Tijan Fallen Crest crossed with Rachel Van Dyken’s Eagle Elite Series crossed with Ali Dean’s obvious passion for sport and her ability to make me really engage and embrace the brilliant strong female characters she creates.
Roxie is great; from the first page she is fearless and brave. Where her peers follow blindly she constantly questions and I loved her tenacious nature. In my opinion there are far too many simpering female leads who all need to be ‘saved’ by the guy. Roxie is kicking ass and taking names all on her own and I loved her.
This book is set in high school, but honestly you could have told me these characters were in their twenties and I would have believed you. The elite ‘high school’ is for talented athletes and not you’re average Rydale High.
The ‘mean girls’ aka the Posse are all horrible creatures, they fit your standard pretty bully mould to a ‘T’ and I can’t wait to see them brought down a peg or five. I wish that either Ingrid or Monica would have been better friends to Roxie, they both come across as weak and that’s such a shame.
Ryker is a complete enigma, Ali if you read this please, please; please can we have some Ryker POV. I honestly have no idea what makes him tick and I NEED to know. He’s pretty badass; don’t get me wrong if bizarre that he’s so badass at only 18. But hey if I wanted reality id watch the news!
Ryker and Roxie have this very odd connection; it’s not passion but more of an obsessive compulsion. I kind of loved it! I loved this love/hate thing they have going on.
My only and main criticism of this book is that it’s totally PG rated. I would love Ali to write an absolute smutfest or just an X-rated version of this book would totally work for me.
This book totally did it for me, I read it in one sitting and couldn’t put it down for a minute. I will be eagerly awaiting the next book.
Black Diamond was a great sports, intrigue, romance lol it gets 4.5 stars from me