• Stark Springs Academy

  • By: Ali Dean
  • Narrated by: Leanne Woodward
  • Length: 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's 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.

This boxed set contains all three books in the best-selling boarding school sports romance series: Black Diamond, Double Black, and Black Ice.

©2017 Ali Dean (P)2022 Ali Dean

What listeners say about Stark Springs Academy

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfection!

Black Diamond

Roxie Slade is new to Starks Springs academy, she's there on a scholarship and isn't sure she belongs and is wondering why they asked her to come. She is weirded out when everyone tells her about the rules and that you just follow them and don't ask questions. Things are definitely different in Starks Springs and she doesn't know how she feels about it.

Ryker Black is intimidating and endearing. He has secrets and it makes him an enigma. Roxie doesn't know what to think about him but she automatically feels the need to stay away and avoid him.

This book is full of twists and turns and the events are definitely unexpected. The girls are not welcoming, well some of them aren't and it's obvious where the hierarchy stands, with of course Ryker at the top. What Roxie doesn't realize is just how high up he truly is and just how far the secrets go.

I loved Roxie and Ryker, even when they frustrated me. The two together were sweet and easy when they were alone, but separate they were distant and evasive. They were both extraordinary athletes, with Ryker being well known and Roxie trying to make a name for herself. She doesn't know if she has what it takes but fierce determination and emotions can work wonders. I loved this book and was shocked at some of the things that happened, I thought no way this can't be happening.

Double Black

This is book 2 in the Stark Springs Academy series.

Quite a bit has happened and Roxie isn't sure how she feels or what she really wants to do but one thing she does know is she isn't going to let anyone push her around or scare her off.

She is determined to stand up for herself and make a change but then things start to get serious. Sabotage is no joke and lives are at stake. Things with Ryker are unsteady but she doesn't know what she wants to do, run home with her tail between her legs and accept defeat or keep fighting and return to Stark Springs. Vermont doesn't really feel like home anymore now that she has started a life at Stark Springs and has made friends there but she misses her friends back home.. What's a girl to do?

I was thoroughly enraptured by this book. When things inevitably went south I couldn't put it down, I had to know how it all played out. I loved the push and pull and the frustration of it all. This is a sweet young adult series without any NSFW stuff going on and it was refreshing, made me feel like I was a young girl experiencing the flutters and frustrations with a new boy and the sweet and innocent make out sessions that were fun and flirty. Roxie is strong and inspiring, she doesn't let it get to her, well not really.. she wipes the dirt off and keeps moving forward.

But can we talk about that cliffhanger? Like what the what?! UGH! How? Why? Again... What? I didn't believe it.. I went back again and again thinking no.. no way.. yep that is definitely what he said..

Black Ice

This is the conclusion to the Stark Springs Academy series and boy was it intense. I loved Roxie and Ryker, their connection and innocence was adorable. The drama of this book was intense and the "bad guy" was surprising to me. I didn't see most of that coming.

I love that Roxie found herself and her place and her potential. It was mesmerizing to watch. I loved everything about this series.

Leanne Woodward did a spectacular job! She really nailed the drama and emotions. It was so fun to listen to her.

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Sexy, Harlequin Presents type of rich, alpha hero

This box set of the Stark Springs Academy series is a convenient way to experience all three books in this highly entertaining, YA series, which focuses on three things: winter sports, romance, and a suspense subplot. The events of these books take place across a time period of about a year and a half. I had previously read all three books in Kindle format when they were first released a few years ago, and I recently experienced them again in the recently released Audible audiobook version of this box set. The talented voice artist who narrates this series, Leanne Woodward, does an excellent job with both male and female voices of all ages and multiple different regional accents.

At the start of Book 1, seventeen-year-old rising junior, Roxie Slade, has become a champion ski racer in an extremely expensive sport in her home town of Sugarville Mountain, Vermont. But there is only so far she can go in her sport without a great deal more money than her middle-class parents can afford to send her to important competitions. Until, amazingly, she receives the enormous windfall of a full-ride scholarship to the prestigious Stark Springs Academy, an exclusive boarding school in the gorgeous Colorado mountains. It caters to elite, winter-sports athletes and is world famous for regularly fostering Olympians. Roxie will be receiving training from renowned coaches and offered the opportunity, all expenses paid, to compete in prominent skiing competitions in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Unfortunately, soon after she arrives, she comes under the domineering attention of gorgeous, 18-year-old senior, Ryker Black, an incredibly skilled snowboarder. For some mysterious reason, he acts as if he is the dictator of the school, and he is determined to bring Roxie under his thumb.

This fun, YA, sports-romance series has more than a little flavor of a Harlequin Presents novel, with its ultra rich, alpha, romance hero. Though the main plot centers, as is this author’s brand, on a gutsy heroine who is an elite athlete, there is a touch of romantic suspense in a crucial subplot, as well as enough focus on the enticing chemistry between Roxie and Ryker to satisfy avid fans of YA romance.

The entire series, as is typical for YA novels, is written entirely in the first-person point of view of Roxie. In order to enjoy the complete arc of Roxie’s adventures, it is important to read all three books, in order, and this box set is the ideal way to accomplish that.

I rate this series as follows:

Heroine: 5 stars
Hero: 5 stars
Subcharacters: 5 stars
Sports Plot: 5 stars
Romance Plot: 5 stars
Suspense Plot: 4 stars
Setting: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Audiobook Narration: 5 stars
Overall: 5 stars

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Really Enjoyed this series! Worth the credit!

What an amazing collection of books! I can’t believe all the action, suspense and drama included in here. I loved that this is set in the skiing community. I really felt like I was going down those hills with these characters!

Many, Many, MANY times I have disliked Ryker in here! It took me a LONG time to wrap my heard around this type of characters. He is a strong mental and physical guy. Roxie is one I liked from the beginning and always wanted the best for her. There are a ton of secondary characters. Some I liked and others I did not. They all added to the story and become more involved as the story rolls along

This is three book for one credit and I highly recommend this series. I loved the stories, characters and of course all the skiing/snowboarding! I did listen to this on audio. The narrator dies an excellent job on reading this to me.

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Love Ryker and Roxie

This was my first book by Ali and I'm in love with her imagination, writing and plot. The characters and chemistry were so amazing and drew me in right from the start. Looking forward to more books by Ali.

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  • BJ
  • 02-17-22

LOVE THIS SERIES

I can re-read Ali Dean’s books over and over, and Stark Springs is one of my favorites! She writes such a strong, female heroine and Roxie is *chef’s kiss*

This trilogy has everything I’m looking for. If you want your romance with a little suspense and a lot of sports, this is definitely the series for you!

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Fantastic Boxset & Listen🎧 Riveting & Intriguing!

Ali Dean pens another fabulous YA sports romance series, I loved her “Pepper Jones” series and I was looking forward to listening to this series. This boxset was the perfect way to binge listen to all three books, starting with “Black Diamond”, followed by “Double Black” and then “Black Ice” for the finish. The story grabbed my attention from the very start and captivated it straight to the end. The series starts with Roxie Slade, an up and coming competitive skier, transferring from her school in Vermont to the Stark Springs Academy, an exclusive boarding school that only accepts the best in winter sports. Roxie knew it was not going to be easy starting a new school as a HS junior when most have been there for years. She was not expecting the school to be run the way it was being run and that one student holds all the power and he has a posse of minions who follows and backs him. Ryker Black is Stark, he is used to running things and getting his way and he wanted Roxie, but she did not fall at his feet like most did, but she certainly got under his skin. I loved Roxie stood up to him and his posse, in the end it almost cost her everything but she came out as a better person. The second book, “Double Black” picks up right where the first one ends and things turn around for Roxie, she blossoms in her sport and she grows into her own, her relationship with Ryker strengthens but he still holds parts of himself back. But all is not good when someone sabotages her at a competition, injured and out for the rest of the season, should she go back to Stark Springs or home to Vermont? Ryker is still holding back and is not pushing for her to stay. In the third book and epic series finale, “Black Ice” all the secrets are revealed, every mystery is solved, and all questions are answered in this book. Ryker finally opened up and it was great to learn more about him and his life, it was also great to watch Ryker and Roxie's love deepen. Those two were great together and for each other. She showed him how to live a life as it should be for someone his age. Poor guy was forced to grow up way too fast. I loved how everything played out in this series, each book is cleverly plotted with plenty of drama, angst, mystery, twists and turns, thrilling and suspenseful moments, heartfelt emotions and a slow burn YA romance. Ali Dean, thank you for these amazing novels and the great line up of characters.

🎧📚🎧 And for the wonderful narration, Leanne Woodward is a talented narrator and versatile voice artist. She is fabulous at covering both the male and female roles, giving each their own distinct voice, making it easy to follow along and tell who is who. She had a complete understanding of the characters she portrayed, sounding believable in every role she played and just as I pictured the characters to sound. She set the perfect tone for the story, captured all the characters’ emotions and projected them into her performance. Her character voices were consistent throughout the series. Leanne Woodward is an entertaining storyteller and a pleasure to listen to. Thank you for another fabulous listen.

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Great Start To New Series!

Black Diamond is an entertaining start to the Stark Springs Academy series. I loved the characters in this book and the drama and craziness of the academy is addicting and kept me turning the pages. Can't wait till I start book 2 today!

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tangled webs

What a collection of crazy people all in one series. The fact that they can rationalize their crazy is astounding. Angst, drama llamas, entitled rich, mean girls, and a jock with a brain and a solid head on his shoulders . I liked seeing Ryker grow throughout the stories. I voluntarily listened to a free copy of this and am giving an honest review. The narrator did a good job.

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  • Ollie
  • 08-12-22

Great sports romance!

This audio set is the first, second, and third books in the Stark Springs Academy series, and the story of Rafe, and Roxanne, who meet when Roxanne attends Rafe's family skiing Academy. This was a sweet story, with mystery, suspense, drama, and romance. 3.5 Stars.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.

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  • JoJo
  • 07-26-22

Ryker & Roxie

Audiobook Review

Ali Dean was a new to me author and I’m very glad I found her. Stark Springs academy was a great trilogy to listen to.
Roxie & Ryker are students in a very prestigious winter sports high school. The three books are set in the two years that Roxie is at school and sees both main characters mature from teenagers to young adults and as a couple. Ryker is a business and winter sports royalty and intimidated everyone in the winter sports world. When Roxie joins the academy she changes Ryker and the entire status quo of the school. Both navigate the dramas and happiness in their relationship and succeed.
Leanne Woodward’s voice is great as Roxie and gives her all the character and personality that she deserves.
Would highly recommend.

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  • Heather B.
  • 02-28-22

I loved this series!

Roxie is a skiing prodigy, and she jumps at the chance to attend the prestigious Stark Academy, which specializes in gifted athletes in winter sports. The Academy is extremely competitive, as the most gifted athletes in the world come to train and attend its boarding school. What Roxie didn’t expect was the rigid nature of the hierarchy, including Ryker, the child of the Stark Academy and its sports equipment company.

Ryker is cold, consumed with managing his family’s company and the Academy while being a competitive snow boarded himself. Roxie is determined to turn this caste system upside down, even when such a challenge threatens her very life.

Roxie is determined to be true to her self, while breaking through Ryker’s exterior. I loved the romance between Ryker and Roxie, as they try to determine who they really are in this hyper competitive world of winter sports. They learn who they are in this process of growing, maturing and finding each other. They also discover the nature of this mixing of sports and business might be more than they can handle, but they are determined to fight to find their way and mark their own trial.

Well-written and fast-paced, this series is an excellent listen. The author does a great job of bringing everyone up to speed about what competitive skiing is really all about on the national and international stages. I was immersed into this world, especially with the wonderful narration by Leanne Woodward.

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  • Nina B.
  • 02-24-22

Roxie & Ryker Young Adult

These books are young adult books. No heated scenes. It is based in a boarding high school for winter athletes. Normal teenage drama with a bit of suspense mixed in. I liked how Roxie didn’t back down and worked against the popular group of mean kids. The main characters are strong and independent. There are quite a bit of characters to keep up with in these books but I didn’t have any trouble. I enjoyed all these books however it did get a little slow for me in the second book for a moment. Overall I enjoyed this series and would recommend it. The narration was great. She worked hard on the different accents and I enjoyed listening to her voice.

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  • 🎧Mandy🎧 Sawyer 🎧Audiobook 🎧Obsession🎧 Reviewer🎧
  • 02-23-22

Enjoyable

Black diamond
4 stars

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

Double Black
4 stars

I think I have more questions that I need answered now than when I started this second book!!! There’s more sabotage in this book. The characters are developing well. Leanne is great for these books.
#audiobookobsessionreviewer

Black Ice
4 stars
With all the loose ends tied up nicely, this book has a very intriguing storyline. With a good “who done it” theme I enjoyed it. A great performance from both narrators.