Kristen Ashley returns to the blog today with the first in her Colorado Mountain series, narrated by Emma Taylor. Please read on for my review of
Nina has left her life in London, and her fiancé while she sorts out what is important to her: after all, he can’t even be bothered to remember just how she takes her coffee, and well –shouldn’t he care? So – in this rather impulsive flight away, she heads to Colorado to take in the mountains and enjoy the solitude. Problem is – she arrived in a blizzard, has run off the road and the house she rented – to have some alone time? Yeah – one problem – it’s double booked and the current inhabitant is not only one of the sexiest men she’s ever seen, he hits top marks as the rudest and least welcoming. It wasn’t a planned thing, her arriving on ‘his for now’ doorstep – but turning her away after a massive snipe fest only made things worse.
And worse they get – Nina wakes to find herself sick as a dog, burrowed under the covers of Mr. Grumpy, or Max as he’s known. He’s been everything solicitous, and even as sick as she is, it’s obvious that he is a man, the misunderstanding about the house notwithstanding, that cares about and listens to others. It’s only a fortnight’s getaway, but can he convince her to take a chance – on him?
Kristen Ashley takes a forbidden romance (she’s engaged) to the next level with several clever characters, a wonderful introduction to just how life would be different with someone else, and discovering, or rediscovering the joys of attraction, partnerships and love as she shows Nina just how stilted and compromised her relationship had become, and just why she ran out on it. There are plenty of reasons to like Max as well, including his loyalty, protectiveness and the true heart of gold hidden under his ‘take no prisoners’ sort of mentality. Even with the murder, and Max having as good a reason as anyone to be the perpetrator, the welcome, heart and their steamy attraction makes the story sing out. My only (and largest) issue with the story is the length: the story between Max and Nina was fairly straightforward, but the inclusion of a murder, and the subsequent events did feel a bit ‘extraneous’ to the original story, even though it was interesting to follow along.
Narration is provided by Emma Taylor and she did a masterful job in keeping each character’s voice distinct, and different, while managing to imbue them with a bit of personality, life and even humor. Keeping both the listening experience and the plot twists and turns in mind, the story held attention without overreaching with presentation tricks like pauses to signify a change, or overly pushing an emotional tone forward.
Stars: Overall 3 Narration 4 Story 3
Title: The Gamble
Author: Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #1
Also in this series: Sweet Dreams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Narrator: Emma Taylor
Published by: Forever, Hachette Audio
Published on: 27 May, 2014
Source: Hachette Audio
Audio Length: 25 Hours: 16 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Love is the greatest gamble of all . . . Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiance 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.
A copy of this title was provided via Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.