Sunday 25 August 2013

Review ~ The Gamble (Colorado Mountain 1) by Kristen Ashley @KristenAshley68

Reviewed by Willow ~ 4 Stars

I've heard a lot of people talk about Kristen Ashley books and they have been on my TBR pile for sometime, but I've just never gotten around to them. Recently several of my book friends said I had to read them. So I dove into The Gamble.

From the first chapter I knew I was going to like this book, the writing seemed to flow well and it seemed so easy to read. Although it is a longer book than my usual reads It didn't seam that way and I lost all sense of time as I got sucked in.

The book is told from the POV of Nina. Nina is on holiday in the Colorado mountains from England. Well actually she is taking a time out from her fiancĂ©, Niles to think about her life and their relationship. She has rented a mountain house to stay in for two weeks whilst she gets her head together. Driving up the mountain in a snow storm, and not feeling 100% well she can't wait to get there and just crawl into bed.

Unfortunately when she gets there there's been a mistake and the house is occupied, apparently by the owner who is very rude and tells her there is a hotel down the mountain. They have heated words and Nina ends up driving down the mountain, unfortunately her car slides off the road and she gets stuck. Climbing in the back seat she tries to go to sleep until someone can rescue her in the morning.

Lucky for her, Max, the owner finds her shortly after, she is now very ill and has a fever so Max takes her back to his house. She's out for two days and Max nurses her back to health. Once she is awake, she decides that she cant stay with Max and tries to leave. Max isn't having any of it and says she has to stay whilst she is recovering. There is great banter between these two, they did not get off to a good start, but Max seems like he is actually warming to her and the fact that he cared for her and is showing concern now is confusing Nina.

Nina came away for one reason - to get distance from Niles and think about her future with him. But with Max caring for her when she was sick, and Niles not seeming to care that she hasn't yet called him to let him know she arrived safe, she quickly realises that her decision maybe easy as Niles doesn't really care for her. Max doesn't waste time telling her that either:

“I was your man, you were halfway around the world from me, honey, I’d fucking phone you … If you told me you needed a timeout, first, I wouldn’t fuckin’ let you have one. Second, I wouldn’t give you reason to fuckin’ want one. And last, you took off anyway, I’d fuckin’ phone.”

Nina has had a bad past with men, and Niles was the safe option, but she is quickly realising that the safe option isn't always the best. Max is getting under her skin, she is trying her best not to think of him and stay away but she is finding it difficult and Max is extremely sexy:

“His back was to me and he was wearing pajama bottoms and nothing else. His shoulders, the smooth muscles of his back, the wide expanse of smooth, tan skin, was all exposed to the naked eye and I was blinded by the beauty of it. So much, it was a wonder I didn't throw out my hand reeling.

At that thought, he turned and gave me a view of his chest.

At this view, arguably better than his back, I sucked in a breath then whispered to myself, "Oh my God.” 

Max is a super hot alpha male.  He doesn't take no for an answer. He knows what he wants. and right now that's Nina, He just has to convince her:

“His hand slid up my spine, bringing me closer, pinning my hands between us as I watched his neck bend.
I had a feeling I knew where this was going.
"Max," I warned, my body bracing.
"Quiet," he ordered softly. "Got a point to make, honey."
"Max!" I snapped.
"Let's see how good this could be," he muttered, his eyes on my mouth and I knew, I just knew, he was going to kiss me.
"Max, don't you-"
But his fingers had sifted into my hair against my scalp cupping my head, holding me steady and his mouth came down on mine, cutting off my words.”

I have to say I really loved the banter that when on between these two. With Max being all Alpha male but Nina thinking that she was an independent woman, there were sparks flying!

“Jesus," he muttered, dropping his head.
He looked back at me. "Duchess, you can argue about anything."
"No I can't."
"So, now you're arguin' about not arguing?"
I decided to be quiet.”  

But its not all about Max and Nina. There is lots going on in this book, there has been a murder in town and you quickly learn that there are lots of people who might have wanted this man dead, including Max, luckily he has an alibi but you are left wondering why Max would want this guy dead. This gets slowly leaked out to you as the story continues. You also meet other people from the small town, some of whom also have reason to commit the murder, others who have their own problems, including dealing with a rape and a violent ex. Add to the mix Niles showing up to try and get Nina back and you certainly have enough in this book to keep you on your toes.

I really didnt want to put this book down and I found myself counting down the clock until I finished work so I could get back to reading it. I loved Kristen's writing style, it was so easy to forget about the outside world and feel like I was actually living in the town too watching these events unfold.

I did have a problem with this book though - something that annoyed the hell out of me and did take some of the enjoyment away, so I've had to take a star off, if it weren't for this it would have been a resounding 5 stars. The problem I had - Nina saying "i'm sorry?" what felt like a 1000 times - every time she didn't understand something, or didn't want to accept some thing Max was telling her to do Or if it wasn't that, repeating things people were saying. However, this wasn't an issue for a lot of readers and even with this I still loved the book, so I highly recommend it.

I'm really looking forward to reading more Kristen Ashley books, they have definitely bumped up my TBR list, in fact Ive just started Sweet Dreams, book 2 in the series and I'm already loving it! 

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