The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #1
Also in this series: Jagged, Kaleidoscope, Sweet Dreams, Sweet Dreams
Publisher: Self-Published, Forever
Publication Date: April 18, 2011
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler » No « Hide Spoiler
Content Warning: View Spoiler » Stalker, Violence, Domestic Abuse, Rape « Hide Spoiler
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Contemporary Romance
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Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancé who can't even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina's cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.
The owner of the house, Holden "Max" Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded lovebirds think about taking a chance on a relationship, a dangerous secret from Max's past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good.
I really liked this book, despite the lack of editing. And trust me, that’s a huge thing considering the lack of editing is really noticeable. First, this book showed up as over 1400 pages on my Nook. I’m pretty sure that was a formatting error, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that really was the right number. These books seems to drag on forever. Especially the 300 page epilogues. Cripes.
Aside from that, the main characters and the town of Gnaw Bone, CO. really grew on me. Nina and Max had major chemistry and their banter was fun and witty. I enjoyed Nina’s personal journey as well as the romance between the two. The story is really engaging. That Nina shows up from England expecting a relaxing vacation and gets an unwanted roommate, an illness, ex-girlfriend and family drama is hilarious. The town came alive slowly, but I grew just as attached to the residents as Nina did.
The mystery plot was pretty meh. I’m not sure why Ashley includes them. The story would have been much better (and SHORTER!) without. They all seem to follow the same formula, which gets old after awhile. Plus, the villains are always pretty easy to figure out.
Skipping those parts, this is a story I’ll re-read again and again.
Rating: 4 out of 5
This book, and several of Ashley’s others, were picked up recently by Grand Central Publishing. I’m hoping this means they’ll finally be edited. (fingers – and toes – crossed)