Review: The Gamble (#1, The Colorado Mountain Series) by Kristen Ashley - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: The Gamble (#1, The Colorado Mountain Series) by Kristen Ashley

My Thoughts

The perfect combination of sexiness, alpha manliness,
romance, action and suspense!

It was everything I wanted and more delivered in Kristen Ashley’s
unique, tell-it-like-it-is style. This is my favorite KA book to date!


the gambleNina 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.

My Review

I loved everything about this book! It was exactly what I needed and it exceeded all my expectations. It had an instantly-absorbing story, non-stop action, an awesome cast of supporting characters and a blazing-hot chemistry between our fiesty female protagonist and the sexiest mountain man I’ve ever encountered! I’ve read individual books from the Chaos series and the Rock Chick series, but in my opinion, this first novel in the Colorado Mountain series showed more emotion and heart. The story is undeniably Kristen Ashley, infused with the delicious alphaness of Holden Maxwell, the witty banter, the nail-biting, action-packed scenes… and this time, the story unfolds across the snow-covered Colorado mountains, in a rustic A-Frame house with a stunning vista.

Nina is on a self-imposed timeout. She flew across the ocean from England to the idyllic mountains of Colorado to figure out her future. Nina hasn’t had it easy with an absentee father who cares more about appearances than anything else and a tragedy that has irrevocably marred her. She’s also engaged, but feeling as if things weren’t quite right, she had to put some physical and emotional distance to the situation and gain some much-needed perspective to all the struggles in her life. Niles, her fiancé, has been stable and safe, the complete opposite of past boyfriends who have hurt her physically and emotionally, but she wasn’t sure just how happy and fulfilled she felt, and truth be told, she still felt an all-encompassing sense of loneliness.

“I was content…ish. It wasn’t exciting but it was nice… ish. It meant I’d never get hurt again. Truly there was something to be said for steady, quiet and predictable. But was that enough for me for the rest of my life?

She arrives in Colorado in the middle of the snow storm to an amazing home atop a mountain ready to spend two weeks in a state of relaxation and meditation only to be stopped in her tracks by the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen… who just as quickly kicks her out. Pissed off, cold and sick, she challenges him and stomps away, but before she knows it, she finds herself warm in his bed, sick and feverish, with him at her side. Hello, Holden Maxwell! During this time her fiancé is clueless, never bothering to call and check on her at all. Already, this stranger has shown her more caring and attention than he ever has. Not only that, she quickly discovers that Max tells it plainly and directly, just like it is.

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

The chemistry between them is immediate and despite their apparent differences they fall into a push-pull relationship that feels effortless and unexpectedly fulfilling. I absolutely fell for Max in every way. Loved his heart, his loyalty and even his alphaness, which was not about possession, but rather, protecting what he holds so dear to his heart. Nina sought peace and reflection during this timeout, but instead, she found herself thrust into life, surrounded by big personalities, deep passion, clear intentions and an unstoppable desire not only for Max, but for what Max had to offer. Together, they just clicked and she found herself wholly longing to forever reside in the comfort of Max’s arms.

“This haven of safety. This feeling of being desired and, if I pretended, which I decided to do, even cherished. This feeling of being anything but alone and the opposite of lonely.”

Their time together quickly intensifies their feelings, which continue to deepen and grow beyond attraction. The rightness of their togetherness is all-consuming. And quickly, in typical Kristen Ashley fashion, they find themselves right smack in the middle of all kinds of conflicts and secrets that threaten their future and their lives. Nina’s own insecurities also constantly have her questioning everything that feels so right, but Max is always right there… rooting her to reality, letting her know how he feels and putting her mind at ease.

“Found somethin’ I want, don’t tend to fuck around when that happens, Duchess. Ever”

As you would expect, you have a motley crew of unforgettable characters that weave into the story, all integral to the action and suspense that unfolds. Kidnappings, murder, brawls all contribute to the unequivocal, fully entertaining, wholly fulfilling Kristen Ashley experience.

I was completely absorbed by the story at all times, it flowed effortlessly and I couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters, both Max and Nina were strong, never backing down from an argument, always fearless and tenacious. I don’t know what it is about Kristen Ashley books that always make me feel reinvigorated, her stories always leaving me grinning widely and completely satisfied. And of course, her epilogues are the best ever… always exactly what I’m looking for and more. Just perfect. I cannot wait to swoon for another manly mountain man. I bought the whole series after finishing this book! Can’t recommend this one more. Loved every single swoony moment!

“There was a time in my life where I used to roll the dice. I did  it a lot and I always lost. Every time I lost and when I lost, I lost everything. So I got scared of rolling the dice… Thank you for showing me it was worth taking a gamble again, darling… It feels good to finally win and win and win huge.”


Reading Order and Purchase Links

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One Comment:

  1. Laura Johnston said:

    Ooo, and I love the cover. All of her covers are to die for! Thanks for the review.


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