ARC Review The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1): Kristen Ashley

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Nina Sheridan’s on a timeout adventure in the Colorado Mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiancé, distance to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man who doesn’t care enough to learn how she takes her coffee.

Arriving in a blinding snowstorm at the A-Frame she rented, she comes face to face with the most amazing man she’s ever seen. Minutes later, when he kicks her out of his house, she goes head to head with him.

Beyond angry because she’s flown half a world away to start her timeout adventure, not to mention her sinuses hurt, she heads back down the mountain and ends up in a ditch. Unable to extricate herself, she gives up, hopes for rescue and falls asleep in the backseat.

The next morning she wakes up in the amazing man’s bed and she’s sick as a dog.

Holden Maxwell spends days nursing her back to health and then he spends the next two weeks trying to convince her to take her Colorado adventure further, in other words, make it permanent and take a gamble on him.

Nina has a tough time fighting her attraction to Max, especially when it seems all Max’s friends, her mother and stepdad and the whole town want them together and both she and Max get embroiled in the murder of Max’s ex-friend and the town of Gnaw Bone’s most detested resident – a man everyone has motive to kill, especially Max.
Kristen Ashley has a new publishing deal with Grand Central Publishing so she is re-releasing the Colorado Mountain Series and Dream Man series. 
(Click on covers for past reviews)
This is a great series, but books 2 and 3 are our  absolute favorites! 
Tate and Ty are such awesome alpha males!

Max and Nina were sweet together. They left me uncertain with my feelings towards this book. I had a really hard time connecting with these characters. I am totally a minority here but this is one of those books that I look at all the reviews and high stars around me and wondered what the heck I was missing. Together I just did not feel their chemistry. Interruptions, a fiancé, dead wife and brother, murderer, crazy ass family members all kept them from fully connecting for over half the length of the book. I am usually a HUGE fan of KA. She has a way of giving you a bad ass alpha that has you continuously going back for more. As I have mentioned before she is my favorite brand of addiction, but I must admit this one just did not work for me. 

Warning...this book is extremely LONG. Even with all the drama, I found myself skimming a lot. Too many unneeded details. Important words left out of sentences. Too many “bad things” happened in the span of a week or two. Too many secondary characters causing major drama that had an impact on the main characters. 

Max was not your typical KA alpha male. At least I did not think so; he was more sweet than jerky right from the start. While he is not my fave out of her alphas, I did like his sweet side; his brand of alpha was still domineering. Like all of Kristen’s men, he knows what he wants right away and goes after it. Leaving no room for any other decision. With this comes Ashley’s brand of possessiveness. Max definitely does not lack any of that either. While I liked him, I got aggravated with his constantly cutting Nina off when she was trying to speak, other than that, I thought he was really sweet with her. 

“You’re half a world away, Duchess, you been sick as a dog and your man doesn’t contact you?
“Niles is reserved,” I whispered.
“Niles is an ass,” He returned.
“You don’t know him.”
“I’ve seen you naked, I’ve seen you sweet, I’ve seen you unsure and I’ve seen you riled and, seein’ all that, I know, you were half a world away from me, I’d fuckin’ phone.”

Nina was an OK heroine for me. Neither her strongest nor her weakest. What turned me off of her was the fact that she repeated everything that was said or she made others repeat what they said to her. It drove me absolutely insane. Another issue I had with her was the way she handled Mindy’s rape. The young girl was raped brutally 3 weeks ago and Nina is trying to set her up with another man because every woman out there has to know that there are still some very rare good guys out there? WHAT?!! First, get this girl some therapy and do not press more men on her while she is trying to process that and her crazy ass boyfriend who beats women! Secondly, finding a good man is not very rare! 

This was actually my 3rd read of this series. Lady Luck (rated 6 stars) was my first read and my favorite of the series and Sweet Dreams (rated 5 stars) fell right in line behind it. It was an OK book for me, not the strongest in the series. However, Max and Nina do show up in cameos later in some of the other books.

I was provided with this book from the publisher for free via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Kristen Ashley 

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake.

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up. 

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


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