Wednesday, April 25, 2012

{Review} "The Gamble" by Kristen Ashley

Title:  The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1)
Author:  Kristen Ashley
Publisher:  self-published
Publication Date:  April 18, 2011
Genre:  Romantic Suspense
Format:  Kindle, 1067 KB

Buy this book:  Amazon
Author's Website:

Synopsis from Goodreads
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.
Diving In...

First of all I need to say that I have been reading a lot of self published books.  Part of the reason is that I read pretty quickly and I like to read series generally and I like it when I don't have to wait a year in  between books.  I also like it when I start a series and I know that there are at least 3 books already published, that equals less wait time for me!  All that to say that this is the first of a series of at least 3 already published books so that is one win for me.  This is the first book by Kristen Ashley that I read and it wasn't the last!

This is a really great story, when it started out I thought it was just going to be a straight romance, but was pleasantly surprised when it took a turn not too far into the story.  One thing you need to know if you read this series is this, the male characters are, for lack of a better explanation, super, macho, alpha males.  There is no other way to describe them.  They are the men, they make sure that their women know that and they make it clear repeatedly.  It takes a bit to crack that exterior, but once you do you see the real man and that is a sight to behold!  I fell in love with Max right away and I really liked Nina too.  I read a lot of other reviews of this book and there were a lot of readers that didn't care for her character.  I liked that she was sassy, the only thing that bothered me was her insisting that people refer to her as Ms. not  Miss Sheridan, but that only lasted the first couple chapters.  I was also a little put off in the beginning because of their ages, they are both in their mid to upper 30's.  I don't know why this was, since I am in my upper 30's!  I think I am just used to main characters being younger.  I got over this pretty quickly, needless to say!  I will also say that it's super hot that Max calls her baby, duchess, etc...  He has a quick temper though  Like all Kristen's male characters that I have gotten to know so far, he jumps to conclusions and does stupid things that he has to make up for later.  I should mention also that Kristen's male leads are drop dead and I do mean DROP DEAD gorgeous!

As far as the story goes, this book was really good.  I was hooked right off and I read it in record time, considering it's over 500 pages.  I will get to the downside of the book in a minute, but I want to say that I really enjoyed the story.  The "bad" wasn't so bad that I wanted to quit reading it.  The author set up this little Colorado Mountain town of Gnaw Bone spectacularly, even throwing in an Ansel Adams like character that everyone calls Cotton.   I wanted to live in the A-frame that Max built, preferably with Holden Maxwell! I liked all the supporting characters and the epilogue was very touching.  I was crying and if a book can make me care about the characters enough to cry then I am hooked.  If there is one thing that Kristen does with her writing it's make you care about her characters.  Enough so, that you can overlook some of the annoying things in the books.

So, on to the bad, or really just annoying, not so much bad.  Like I said, Kristen's books are self published.  I don't know why, her stories are better than some of the publishing house books I have read, they just need a really good edit.  There are some typos, not many really.  There are a lot of grammar problems going on.  Tons and I do mean tons of huge, long run on sentences.  Literally whole paragraphs that are one long run on sentence.  There is also a lot of repetition and a lot of unnecessary description.  She will sometimes, in the space of one page, repeat the same thing over again.  When you read the dialogue it seems like she is leaving words out, words like it and I.   At first I thought that it was just how Max spoke, being a "mountain man" and all, but throughout the course of the book it was showing up in about 90% of the characters dialogue.  I realize after reading the other books in this series that it's just something she does.  It's weird, but it didn't take long for my brain to just start putting the correct words in!  In this first book Nina is an American who lived the majority of her life in Britain and she is in Colorado on kind of a vacation.  I know that the author lives in England, but she tends to use a lot of British words in these books.  I can see when she is speaking from Nina's POV, but when Max refers to something "costing a whack" it's just a little odd.

If you have an aversion of profanity, then I would suggest you steer clear of this series!  There is more profanity in these books than any other series I have read and I read Laurell K. Hamilton and JR Ward.  These have a fairly high steam factor too.  This particular book deals with some touchy issues (rape and suicide) which are handled quite well by Kristen.

This is a book that I would read again because I liked the characters and the story so much, I would probably skim through a lot of the repeated parts for sure.  It's worth wading through all the editing problems for sure!

Rating 8/10

1 comment:

  1. I like your review and was glad that it was very thorough because I am really picky about books. From your review and the description this seems like something I would enjoy reading it has a sexy alpha male, romance, and a bit of action.

    Thank you for the review!


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