The VIP Doubles Down by Nancy Herkness

You might notice we are doing things a little differently today. Instead of just one review, you’re getting two—because this book is one we both anticipated… and one we both enjoyed.


“A CEO, a quarterback, and a writer walked into a bar . . . And they came out better men.”

And therein lies the simple—and simply fantastic—premise of Nancy Herkness’ Wager of Hearts series.

After three books (and a fabulous Christmas novella), The VIP Doubles Down brings the series to a spectacular, rewarding close. It is everything I hoped it would be, everything I would have expected of the darkly charming, sarcastic and—sadly—blocked writer, Gavin Miller.

Herkness-TheVIPDoublesDown-Final cover

Everything being smart and witty, playful and sexy, emotional and… ah, I want to say grown-up. Which sounds like ‘adult situations’ (to be fair, there are some very nice adult situations between Gavin + Allie, if you KWIM), but that’s not what I mean.

Perhaps mature would be a better description, given that this book doesn’t languish in miscommunication or overwrought drama. Despite—or perhaps because of—something of a slow burn that verily simmered with tension, The VIP Doubles Down flows like water. For me, it felt like everything happened exactly how and when it was supposed to, and in doing so, allowed Gavin + Allie to steal my heart. They were well matched; from his wry, warped take on… pretty much everything, to her more pragmatic, scrupulous approach, they bantered, flirted and loved, each giving the other something to play off, allowing me, as the reader, to feel like I was in on their secret.


And I simply loved that feeling—like being a member of a club as exclusive as the Bellwether Club where this series began. I’m tempted to proclaim it my favorite of the series, though I’ve enjoyed adored each one. Like The CEO Buys In and The All-Star Antes Up before it, The VIP Doubles Down is a classic billionaire romance, with an extra punch. A hidden depth. A story that explores trust, need, betrayal and closure deftly, and in a way that made it damn near impossible to put down. Add in the joy of cameos from Nathan + Chloe, Luke + Miranda, and even Liam + Frankie, and you have a book (and series) that is absolutely on my must read, don’t delay list.

“So you think I have more willpower than you do?”
“I think you have more scruples than I do. Because I have none.”


I grew up reading the classics. No, not Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. Yes, I read those in school, but after school, when I got to choose what I was going to read, when I would lose myself in my romance novels and the worlds of the characters I devoured, I read Julie Garwood, Catherine Coulter, Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Judith McNaught and on and on and on. I still lose myself in the romance novels of today, but they’re different. They’re darker, dirtier, grittier—and I love it. However, when I read a new Nancy Herkness novel, I am transported back to the reading days of my youth, yet somehow, I still feel firmly grounded in the world of romance today. There is something so special about her writing, I always experience a sort of calm that comes with reading her work.

All-Star Antes Up cover-final

The VIP Doubles Down is Nancy’s third novel in the Wager of Hearts series {although you’ll want to grab The Irishman’s Christmas Gamble: A Wager of Hearts Novella as well} and it was, for lack of a better word, perfection. Nancy’s writing is so tight, so clean and so clear, you simply get on the train and forget your worries until you reach your destination.

The Wager of Hearts series features the stories of three billionaires—Nathan Trainor, Luke Archer and Gavin Miller, all self-made men who have succeeded in every area of life, except for one: love. One night, they make a hefty wager—one year for them each to find love or forfeit something that holds more value than money. That “something” varies for each man, but in each case, it is something irreplaceable.

In The VIP Doubles Down, we revisit with Nathan + Chloe and Luke + Miranda, but we finally learn the story of Gavin, and we meet Allie—the final piece in the Wager of Hearts puzzle. Their story is a joy to experience, unpredictable in parts, steamy and sexy, heartfelt and honest.


And for us cat lovers {I didn’t know I was one until I became a foster failure to my two guys}, we get a lovely little cameo from Pie. Followers of Nancy on social media are very familiar with Pie, her beautiful little gray rescue cat, and it simply made my heart smile.

Beth and I both love these books so much, we decided to veer from the norm and both review this book at the same time. To me, that speaks to the quality of Nancy’s books and the world that she has crafted in this series. I highly encourage you to read this entire series—I know you will not be disappointed.

As of 04.18.2017, The VIP Doubles Down is available on Kindle Unlimited, along with The CEO Buys In, The All-Star Antes Up and The Irishman’s Christmas Gamble.

About Beth Cranford | KUBR

Book Reviewer. Wife. Mother. Crazy Person. Australian.

4 Responses

  1. I hope you don’t mind having the author comment on your reviews–feel free to delete this comment if you do–but I had to let you know that your reviews literally brought tears of joy to my eyes. I’m wiping them away right now. This was a book of my heart and to know that you felt it so strongly too makes me very happy. Thank you for your perceptive, thoughtful comments on my work. I’m deeply grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Martha Martin

    I fell in love with Nancy’s three billionaires in the Prologue of The CEO Buys In and didn’t think I would ever feel the same about the other two as I did about Nathan. I still have not wearied of reading that book. Then came The VIP Doubles Down. It is so personal – a writer writing about a writer with a writer’s worst nightmare, writer’s block – and so true to life. I have had both neck and back surgery so I know what pain in the neck and back are like. I also know that tension and stress can only make it worse. So I really identify with Gavin’s physical ailments. Enter Allie, a saucy, spunky physical therapist who, even though her life has fallen to staves around her, still has a sunny disposition. I’m sorry Nathan, but Gavin knocked you off of the pedestal I had you on even though I still love you. Your reviews are spot on and I agree with everything you said. I also recommend that readers read all three books and read them in the order in which they were written.


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