Contemporary Romance

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

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1) Title: The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain, Book 1
Release Date: April 18th, 2011
Format: Audiobook (25 hours, 16 mins); Kindle Edition: 679 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: Love is the greatest gamble of all…

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.

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Enjoyment: ♥♥♥
Narration by Emma Scott: ♥♥♥½
Plot: ♥♥♥½
Writing: ♥♥♥
I would have rated this book a little higher if it wasn’t so long…unnecessarily long. I felt every minute of twenty five hours and sixteen minutes. It ended so many times before it actually ended. It was like 3 books in one. I liked it but I was just exhausted by it all.

Unlike most of KA’s heroines, I actually liked Nina and she was a character that grew as a person, woman, friend and lover as the story developed. She was a pushover in the beginning, the norm for KA heroines that I’ve read, but her journey to reassess her engagement expanded her horizons. Nina went to a Colorado Inn for a vacation as she pondered her romantic relationship which wasn’t so romantic. She met the Inn Owner, Holden “Max” Maxwell, who came off as an ornery guy, but clearly he was a nice guy since he took great care of a sick Nina without knowing who she was.
I’ll admit that they were good for each other because they challenged and frustrated each other but clearly were crazy about each other. It was angsty but not the kind of angst I typically enjoy. It was more like watching my grandma and elementary school bus driver when they were crushing on each other. Plus, Nina capitulated too easily and Holden was a bit bossy.

The story was interesting but I find her writing to be slow and formulaic if you have read one of her stories. My two favorite things in this book was the attention to family relation and community as the Kristen Ashley wove this tale around a small town in Colorado. Then the slow development of trust and love that took place in ONE WEEK.

That’s right, majority of this long drawn out romance, family drama, murder and mayhem took place in a couple of weeks. It was just a bit much for so-so enjoyment. I won’t rule out reading another Kristen Ashley book in the future, but it’s highly unlikely as I just don’t enjoy them enough for the length of her novels.

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