Release Day Launch & Giveaway: Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain #6) by Kristen Ashley

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When old friends become new lovers...anything can happen.

Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at "hello." His relationship with Emme's best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that's ever happened to her? 

It isn't easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she's a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme's always been the one; she excites Deck's body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme's past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she'll let him.

We're also really excited to share that on February 5, we'll be hosting a LIVE Spreecast Chat with Kristen Ashley at 7 PM EST. We hope you'll RSVP to watch and participate, and we'd love for you to share the info with your readers as well: http://www.spreecast.com/events/live-chat-with-kristen-ashley--2
(Click on covers for past reviews)

I dropped my leg so I was sitting cross-legged in the couch and leaned into him. “Honey, you remember everything so I don’t have to remind you I haven’t seen you in nine years. I dig it that we reconnected and I love having you back.” I again threw an arm out, this time toward him and back to me. “This is great. You and me spending time together, shooting the breeze. I missed that. And I get it that friends make gestures, but this is too much.”

His eyes warmed during this speech and he took his arms from the couch, bent his legs, leaned into them, and me, and put his elbows to his knees, never releasing my eyes.

“Baby, I want you warm and liquid. The first bein’ physically, the second bein’ financially. You stop payin’ so much for heat, you’ll have more money for the rest of the shit you gotta do.”

This made sense.

But he’d again called me “baby.”

And I needed to address that.

So I asked, “What is that?”

His head cocked and his eyebrows drew together. “What’s what?”

I drew in breath and on the exhale, stated, “You calling me baby.” Then I went on quickly, “Not that I don’t like it. It’s sweet. It’s just not…” I hesitated, “us.”

Something happened to his eyes, his face, his whole big body and that something made me brace at the same time it made my heartbeat escalate.

“You know what it is,” he said softly.

I didn’t.

“I don’t,” I shared.

His eyes stayed locked to mine and I knew him relatively well, or I used to. But even if we hadn’t been separated for years, I still would not have been forewarned to the fact he was about to blow my mind.

“Before, we had Elsbeth between us. My head was fucked about that, about her, and it took almost a decade to get it unfucked. Lookin’ back, havin’ you back, I now know and I reckon you know, that’s the way it was. She was between us. She knew it too. And she didn’t like it. But it didn’t matter. My head was fucked so I couldn’t see clear of her and not doin’ that, I didn’t see you.”

I knew my lips had parted. I also knew my eyes got big. And last, I had no clue what to say.

So I said nothing.

“Now she isn’t between us,” he finished.

It was then I knew what the “baby” business was.

I just had no idea how to react to it because I never considered it. He was beautiful. He was kind. He was smart. He was funny and interesting and affectionate.

But he was my best friend’s boyfriend.

That didn’t mean my mind didn’t go there in vague ways, not stupid enough to wish for something I could never have, just silently covetous of what Elsbeth had. And, because of all that he was and that Elsbeth had it, in the end, infuriated she threw it away. Angry enough to end an important friendship because of it.

Sitting there, all that was Jacob, and all that being spectacular sitting across from me, holding my eyes, I finally understood that the reason I was angry at my friend was because, in throwing Jacob away, she took him away from me.

And now I had him back, but also, he was saying I’d always had him a different way, we just didn’t go there and he was going to take us there.

Yes. I had no clue what to say but my body had a clue how to feel. Warm and there were a lot more tingles.

“Jacob—” I started on a whisper.

But he interrupted again.

“You saw me, asked me out to dinner that same night, no fuckin’ around. Since then, you’ve called twice for no reason except to connect, and, baby, before you freak that I noticed that and what it said, I’ll tell you, I’m fuckin’ glad you did and I’m also fuckin’ glad about what it said. The boyfriend you were on the fence about, you got off the fence in less than twenty-four hours after seein’ me again and decided to get shot of his ass. And you didn’t waste any time gettin’ me right where I am tonight. That is not friends reconnecting. You know it. So do I.”


“Don’t deny it.”

I shut my mouth.
"You think you lost beauty, Jacob, but you didn't...just turn the dial."

Jacob "Deck" Decker and Emmanuelle Holmes used to be friends. She was the best friend of his ex, Elsbeth. But once it ended, they lost contact as well. Nine years later, they cross paths again.

Emme has changed significantly on the outside. But Deck is betting on the fact that she has not changed much on the inside. This is important especially since he is not part of a task force trying to investigate her current boyfriend for robberies and she is on their radar as well. 

Deck is protective, determined, bossy, sweet, and sexy. He knows what he wants and does not take "no" for an answer. He knows right away he is going to keep Emme safe and wants her for his own. He knows who she is deep down and has great fondness for her from the past, in addition to being attracted to the updated version of Emme. He realizes how shallow he was when younger that he did not see everything she was in the past.

She gave him that kaleidoscope and told him to turn the dial, find more beauty...And he'd been so fucked up by Elsbeth, the promise of her, the beauty he thought he'd lost by not doing what she wanted and losing her, that he didn't see it. He didn't see he had something even more beautiful right in front of him. Until nine years later. 

Emme is feisty, independent, but a bit insecure due to her inexperience. She is reserved and remote at times. But she also has a strong fondness for Deck and has always felt his loss. Now she has to get used to life with an alpha and all that entails...including trying to give him all of her self, but also maintain her independence. And also be willing to try to open up fully despite her fears. She likes to take cares of things on her own including fixing up her money pit of a house and does not always make the best decisions. She has something in her past that she has not fully faced and unknowingly holds her back at times. 

"I'm going to figure out why. Fix what is broke in you. Then turn my attention to givin' you the best life I can for the rest of the time you're on this earth breathin'."

This book is about making a reconnection and it morphing into a deep relationship with fiery chemistry, intense need, but also friendship and compatibility. But it was also a journey of self discovery for Emme to figure out what is holding her back and for Jacob to get in enough to guide her. It was a quieter read than the others in this series. There was drama, but it was not that jaw dropping or exciting. It was kind of funny to read when  KA briefly summarized the other couples stories and they all involved kidnapping and then shootings, stabbings, and even being buried alive. This one was not that intense. I actually thought it was building towards a more suspenseful climax, but it fizzled. There were a few times that things got suspenseful, but were resolved. I understand why she did it--It was too expected since that is part of the formula for her older stories. And the bad guys in this one just were not as bad as in the other installments. So this one was not built so much on external action as it was on Emme's internal struggles and Deck taking care of all that needed to be taken care of. But there was some drama with the investigation, miscommunication, misunderstandings, families, and merging their lives.

I did really like Deck. And I liked Emme too although at times I struggled with her disconnect. I enjoyed visiting with some of the characters from the series especially  Deck's best friend Chace and Faye (Breathe) and tough talking Krystal. But we got a little with the other guys, the girl posse and even a bit of Lee Nightingale. I always love the crossovers with KA books. And I did enjoy their story. It was pleasant and sweet with just mild drama. It is full of KA-isms: that disjointed alpha speak, nicknames ("honey" in this one), and terms like whack, shit gets sorted, and screwed the pooch. But I still cannot say it holds a candle to my other faves from the Colorado Mountain series: Sweet Dreams(Tate) and Lady Luck(Ty). Maybe it is because they were so new to me then and I have read a lot of alpha books since. But Tate and Ty are ones that I can pick up and re-read and they do not get old for me.  But I will still think of Deck fondly and I am glad I read his story.

Thank you, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) & NetGalley, for providing me with an ARC of Kaleidoscope in exchange for my honest opinion. Quotes are from arc copy and subject to change. 
Jacob Decker (Deck) and Emmanuelle Holmes (Emme) haven’t seen each other in nine years, since Deck broke up with Emme’s best friend. But their reconnecting couldn’t come at a worse time. Emme is dating someone else. As Chace’s best friend (Breathe), he is brought in on a case the Gnaw Bone police force is working on. He and Emme quickly fall back into the easy friendship they had 9 years previously. When Emme gets twisted up in his case, Deck will do anything to protect her and make her his.

Emme seemed like such a level headed character with everything figured out, at least that's what I thought at first. She runs the lumber yard owned by her father, is renovating her dilapidated mansion, and for the most part keeps to herself outside of work. As the story progressed, it became clear that something was holding her back from true happiness. 

I think I fell in love with Jacob Decker within the first chapter. He made appearances in at least one other book in the series, but for some reason I missed how sweet he could be. But now that we get to know him on a deeper level? *sigh* His devotion to Emme began even before he realized that’s what it was, and that bond only grew stronger for him. I loved watching him rediscover Emme and their friendship, and was so frustrated every time he had to coax her out of running away from him. And I love that only Emme is allowed to call him Jacob. That he started that years ago and didn’t realize the significance of it -- loved it. 

I loved what the kaleidoscope meant to Emme and Jacob. Each time in the story it was referenced I found myself melting. From what it meant nine years before the book begins, to the scenes about it during, and even in to the epilogue, it is such a sweet memento.

Deck and Emme’s story was a perfect addition to the Colorado Mountain series. It was not as intense, as far as kidnappings/shootings/live burials from some of the others in the series, but there was plenty of suspense and traumatic events to work through and a good read.

Thank you, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) & NetGalley, for providing me with an ARC of Kaleidoscope in exchange for my honest opinion.

I'm normally a huge Kristen Ashley fan, her yummy alpha males are like no others. It used to be I could never seem to get enough of them, but with each new release, it seems that's no longer the case. I'm not sure what it is lately, but her books have become hit and miss for me, which makes me really miss the old K.A. The K.A. that kept me so addicted I was chomping at the bit to get my hands on every one of her books. I'm not sure if I'll continue on, I may just step away from her new material and stick with the comfort of rereading her older stuff to get my K.A. fix.

Ever since I met Deck I’ve been intrigued by his character, so with a heavy heart, I gotta say Kaleidoscope was just OK, for me anyway. Plenty of others loved the hell out of this book though, so don’t let my measly opinion stop you, especially if you are a die hard K.A. fan. I decided to go with a three star rating for two reasons. One, I really enjoyed Deck and Emme's characters. Unfortunately, everything else about the story was pretty much same ole same ole. Nothing I haven't read from her a million times before, just a different cover and set of characters.  And two, I really enjoyed spending time with the gang again, the little bits I got of Ty and Tate made me yearn for a reread (I couldn't resist and started rereading Lady Luck last night... LOVE ME some Ty). I really missed that somethin' somethin' she brought to the table with their stories, and as much as I enjoyed Deck's character, he just didn't come close to their awesomeness. 

Kaleidoscope wasn't a bad story, nevertheless, it wasn't her best nor my favorite. 

Thank you, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) & NetGalley, for providing me with an ARC of Kaleidoscope in exchange for my honest opinion.

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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1 comment:

  1. Tammy, I know what you mean. I have my faves and I get so excited then when the book is out I'm alittle disappointed. Still love them


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