This is book #1 in KA’s Colorado Mountain Series, and it does not disappoint. There are six books total in this series and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it is not necessary. In fact, each can be read as a stand alone (although, after reading ANY KA series, I’m not sure you will just stick to “just one”). Just know, that as you move through the series, characters in the previous books will make appearances.
The book is told through the POV of Nina and starts with her “timeout” from her life in England, including from her fiance, Niles. She has rented a cabin in the mountains of Gnaw Bone, CO and is more than surprised when she shows up and the owner of the cabin is in it. Holden “Max” Maxwell is none too happy with the mix up that has put Nina at his doorstep. He tells her she needs to leave, she argues, but eventually does head back down the mountain, only to wind up in a ditch. Max gets her back to his cabin, nurses her back from the flu and then the story begins.
One thing that I have noticed in just about every KA book I have read is, once her Alpha Male Hero sets his sights on something that he wants, he will eventually obtain whatever it was he set his sights on. This story is no different. There is obvious chemistry between Nina and Max, but since the story begins with Nina putting her self in a “life timeout”, she is hell bent on not falling to the charms of Max. Of course, I don’t need to tell you that since the story is about Nina and Max, that Nina will fall for Max, and Max will definitely achieve what he has set his sights on. The thing about reading KA, is not whether or not the H/h will end up together, that doesn’t take a whole lot of figuring out. The great thing about reading KA, is the journey that the H/h go through to end up together.
KA has an ability to mix humor with drama and heartbreak. The drama that develops in just the two weeks that Nina is in Gnaw Bone is unbelievable, but sooooo worth the read. There is murder/infidelity/break-ups/rape/violence/kidnapping, practically if you can name it, it is happening. And let us not forget about the hot sex that occurs between Nina and Max. This book had me going from laughing out loud to fighting back my tears.
Kristen Ashley is superbly gifted at developing her characters, especially her supporting ones. This book/series will introduce you to a diversity of characters, some you will love, some you will hate, but all are written with depth.
If you haven’t had the privilege of reading a Kristen Ashley book, then you need to catch up. She is definitely worth the pages in her book (there are a lot, by the way) so why not start with The Gamble. Trust me, it is very hard to put down and I predict you will be scurrying to buy the next in the series once you have enjoyed this one.