The Gamble by Kristen Ashley reviewed by Lisa

The Gamble by Kristen AshleyTitle: The Gamble (Colorado Mountain #1)
Author: Kristen Ashley
Release Date: April 18th, 2011
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 555
Source: Personal Copy

I wasn’t too sure whether I wanted to give this such a high rating because of it being my fifth Kristen Ashley book, it just didn’t do it for me.

The storytelling is as usual very well done. However, it wasn’t very well edited and that is a big problem for me. Also the story felt so… jumbled and kind of all over the place, and there was just to much of this:

-This is just an example, not a actual excerpt from the book. But I’m sure you’ll get my drift.-

Max, the Hero, for example will open the door to his jeep, but then we’d have to read how he opened the door for her, walked around to the other side to get into the driver’s seat, then get into said driver’s seat, buckle his seat belt, put the key in the ignition, start the vehicle, check his mirrors, put his boot on the gas, press down on the gas pedal, then finally drive the hell away.

Good God! A person can only take so much. I don’t need to know every single, minute, menial detail, that was lacking in interest. I don’t care if he had to walk to the couch, bend his knees to sit on the couch, lean over to untie his left side boot, pull it off, roll off his socks then lean over and untie his right side boot and start that shit all over again.

Read my words: Sometimes less is more. Max just took his shoes off. The end.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the way Ashley tells a story, I like her alpha males, I like how normal and flawed her characters are, but I cannot deal with the extra bits of info that are unnecessary. I’m already feeling drained from writing this review. That actually saddens me.

Also, I have an issue with the way she dealt with a one of the characters who had been sexually assaulted. I felt like it wasn’t handled very well. At times it was treated as it should be -a frigging huge terrible despicable ordeal that makes people wanna go out and exact some vigilante justice- but then other times it was like it was just another thing the heroine had to deal with while on her vacation and it was just like making a to-do list: Help boyfriend’s pseudo-sister get past being raped and move on with her life. Check.

I mean, come on. The girl was raped three weeks ago. That shit would still be fresh in her mind. It would be fresh in any woman’s mind! And yet I didn’t feel like it was dealt with properly. This is just my humble opinion on the matter. Especially after what happened after this revelation.

So the heroine, Nina Sheridan is on a break from her fiance back home in England. She decides that she needs some space and time to think, and books a vacation home in Colorado. Upon her arrival at the location she bumps into Holden Maxwell, who goes by just Max, and thinks that she’s in the wrong place, but she isn’t. It appears there was a mix up and the booking was made while Max was home and not away on a job site, which he is for most of the year and thus decides to have his place rented while he’s not there to make a little extra cash to pay for the land tax.

As you can imagine, Max is all grouchy and gruff and tells her that she needs to go somewhere else because of the mix up and Nina isn’t pleased. She’s tired from traveling and feels like she’s getting sick because her sinuses are bothering her. This is usually a bad sign and she knows that she needs to hunker down and rest in order to feel better. Max, however, does not know about her sinus issues. All he knows is that some prissy, English woman is on his property and is arguing and it’s cold and she doesn’t want to leave.

She finally does go and ends up having a little fender bender and stuck in the snow that had piled up while she was wasting time arguing with Max and she can’t get out of the ditch. So she bundles up in the backseat and passes out. Max finds her because he calls the nearest rest stop and she hasn’t checked in and so he heads out into the treacherous weather to save the damsel in distress, takes her back to his place, and nurses her through a terrible bout of the flu, where he feeds her, gets to see her half naked – creepy score for Max – and gets to cuddle up to her when she’s roasting with a fever.

Thus starts the epic romance of Nina aka Duchess, which Max has dubbed her because of the fancy clothes and prissy attitude and accent, and Max that is fraught with a murder mystery, a really nosy town, overly friendly towns-people, a bar fight, kidnappings, and more murder.

Overall, it wasn’t bad. It just didn’t completely flow well for me and it lagged in spots and then picked up and it was just… rough. It had its moments when I was interested in what was going on then it didn’t. I actually had to speed read through the inconsequential parts.

Again I’ll say that my rating is based on the fact that Ashley knows how to tell a story. It’s just that it needs work to be better. I’m a fan of hers and this one just turned out to be a miss instead of a hit. It also took me forever to finish, not just because of the length but because when I had to put it down it just didn’t compel me to pick it back up when I had some free time to do read.

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