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Black Diamond

Stark Springs Academy, Book 1
By: Ali Dean
Narrated by: Leanne Woodward
Series: Stark Springs Academy, Book 1
Length: 6 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

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.

©2016 Ali Dean (P)2020 Ali Dean
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Hooked again!

There are only a few that can write fantastic young adult sports romance, and for me Ali Dean is the one I go to first. This is the third series I have gotten myself lost in and I can't be happier. Black Diamond features winter sports, and takes us to Stark Springs Academy. Roxie has a scholarship and arrives to ready to start her junior year. Hoping to find some camaraderie like she has with her friends at home, she finds just the opposite. Ryker Black, a senior, runs the school with his group affectionately referred to as the Posse. He can make or break you, so when Roxie didn't bend to his command, she was off to a rocky start. But there is always more than meets the eye to people. And we begin to see it in this first book of the series. Dean has created a feeling inside the school that everyone can relate to. It may not have been as harsh, but there is always that group, and that one person who seems to be in charge. The book has a slight bully feel at times and it's not just from Ryker. I love Roxie. She is spunky and has a good outlook. And her friends are amazing. Ryker took a little warming up to, but I am sensing there is even more to this young, mature adult than we know, and I can't wait to find out! Add in all the winter sports fun, and I am hooked to Ali Dean's writing. Again!

Leanne Woodward gives these characters the perfect narration. Each person has a distinct voice, and she nails the attitudes and feelings perfectly. She is a fabulous choice for this series.

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Bully to friends with a difference

This bully to friends has a different spin on it with everyone being to competitive it has lots of fireworks. Good characters with a solid storyline. Excellent performance from Leanne.
#audiobookobsessionreviewer

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Black Diamond

Aside from the sports theme, this book was very different from the other Ali Dean books I have listened to. It's part of a series but it almost didn't feel like there was a cliffhanger. I had to look at the blurb for the next book to see if it was about Ryker and Roxie or a different couple but I see it's a continuation of their story which I am very much looking forward to listening to. Ryker is an intimidating, scary and unlikable bully but Roxie is the new girl and doesn't understand how things work around Stark Springs Academy and isn't afraid to butt heads with Ryker or stand up for herself. It's an interesting story that held my attention from beginning to end. I'm excited to see how Ali Dean is going to turn Ryker into someone who is likable as this series continues. Leanne Woodward did a great job bringing this story to life.
🎧AudiobookObsessionReviewer

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  • Heather
  • 08-07-20

Skiing Academy sounds fun!

This book is a series about Roxie a skiing prodigy from east coast and Ryker the bad boy of Stark Springs. Roxie gets a scholarship to Stark Spring Boarding School for skiing. She meets some interesting characters all top notch in their selected sport. Sparks fly between Ryker and Roxie right away. Ryker is king of the school and everyone seems to do what he says, except Roxie. Roxie has to adjust to being a little fish in a big pond at the school and she does quite well. She also is very good at keeping Ryker's attention which puts her in the line of fire sometimes. This is the first book in the series and having read the other books, I can tell you it keeps getting better. Leanne does a wonderful job with narration and Ali Dean is just amazing. Definitely get this book. #Audio Obsession Reviewer.