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The Gamble

by Kristen Ashley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Colorado Mountain (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4384143,458 (3.94)3
Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancĂ© 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.… (more)
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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
Have you noticed that nowadays no one particularly wants a movie to be more than about 1.5 hours. Same preference applies to my audiobooks - once I was happy enough with a 14 hour listen - more engrossing - but now I prefer a 7-9 hour. This book is 25 hours 17 mins!! While it was an enjoyable read, it was endless, and I think of it more as several books in one, as I'd return to it for a few hours between other books. I could see no reason for it being so long, the story didn't warrant it. It lost intensity as it moved from one 'room' to the next. ( )
  Okies | May 14, 2021 |
So...as usual I read this series all of out order and just recently realized I had missed out on the story of how Nina and Max became Nina and Max.

And how sad my world would have been without this powerful tragedy filled story.

Nina---on a "break" (anyone reminded of that famous Friends episode) from her non-attention giving, distant, taking her for granted fiance. She leaves England for a two week getaway to a Colorado mountain A-frame house. Little did she know Holden "Max" Maxwell would be there and as owner threw her plans straight down the drain.

I loved the fact that their first meeting is full of fire, temper and a good deal of tension. Let's just skip to the part where he saves her from suffering the flu in the backseat of her rental car which is now in a ditch. Care for someone when they are sick and the true them comes out.

Their path isn't easy even though the chemistry and feelings growing between the two of them are as natural as breathing. We have the murder of the town's most hated cheating husband. The discovery he had been receiving death threats. We have dear Mindy who is a sister of the heart to Max...raped and so broken and ashamed she tries to commit suicide. Bitsy, landed in a wheel chair from an accident that took Max's wife Anna...all at the hands of the now dead cheating husband... who loved her husband, is loved by the town and loves the fact Max has found happiness again.

Oh and let's not forget our introduction to Arlene, Jimmy Cotton, the Dog, the Mark, Mick, Pete, Jeff and all the other characters I loved in the other stories in the Colorado Mountain series.

But back to Max and Nina. They have issues and attitude....boy do they ever. Nina's heartbroken over Charlie, her soldier brother who lost his legs, his will and finally took his life. With it he took some of the spark out of Nina's life. She hears him in her head and must say, for a guardian angel he's got a sense of humor and great timing. She has trust issues, Nile's isn't the only man to mistreat her...nope he's the latest in a long line of no good, untrustworthy men to harm her (some physically). Her mama is a hoot and a half! Talk about neurotic...that's Nellie. Her dad is (pardon the language) a first class Asshole! Clearly her ill thoughts towards men all start with him and his arrogant ways.

Which is why Max is so....so...ah Max. He's lost the love of his life. He's inherited his mountain from his dad where he loving built his home. He tried finding something, someone but nope.. he has friends, his mother, his bitch of a sister, and an ex-girlfriend who is a slut from hell. He wants what he wants when he wants it. He protects what is his. And he doesn't hesitate to call b.s. when he hears it...which with Nina and her attempts at avoiding difficult and overly emotional topics is a blast to watch.

Yes, there is a lot that goes on in this book. Kami, Max's sister questioned for murder. Mindy scum bag, non-sympathetic boyfriend Damon who now has a personal vendetta against Nina since she put him in his place...and got a beating from Max for daring to touch Nina. Shauna, the slut from hell, disappears and it's discovered she's swindled her bestest friend Kami out of 25K. Nina's father and cold ass ex-fiance appear, thankfully not for too much time seeing as they just get in the way.

The ending...OMG...thought Nina was a goner when Damon got his hands on her yet again but so not expecting Harry. WTH?!?! AND then when he's got her tied up and she finds Bitsy and the whole story comes out?!?! Can I say I didn't know whether to cry or get drunk! Charlie...oh Charlie talking to Nina, keeping her calm and giving her a plan for escape. Telling her which way to run and to keep screaming because Max was close.

But the last page of the book....Max with Nina asleep in his arms hearing Anna (his first wife) telling him she's happy for him and she loves the way Nina loves him, that had the tears welling. To have her tell him that if Nina asks where Charlie is, say that she took him with her. Yup...and it was an ugly cry too!

Glad I realized I had missed their story and was smart enough to go back for it. ( )
  ChachaJ | Feb 1, 2021 |
Max and Nina.
This is so good.
I think this was my first KA book.
It is amazing.
So funny, emotional, KA really gets to your heart with some really emotional scenes.

The premise at the start is quite funny.
She is engaged to someone else when they meet.
She is on a break, trying to sort herself out but they haven't broken up.
Technically she cheats, she shares kisses with Max and is sleeping next to him, though she doesn't realise it for a while, but they don't have sex until she has broken off her engagement.
It's painted that the fiance is not the love of her life and as they are apart they've split but they haven't technically.
The issue between Max and Nina becomes obvious early on, you know it going to be a problem and it's a bit infuriating that they don't talk about it at the time so it becomes a huge thing.
It does deal with some serious issues, bereavement, an abusive relationship, for a friend of Max's and suicide.
It introduces some little things that come up in the next books in the series or in other series by the author.
Strong theme in the book is Alpha Hero with heroine fighting their relationship.
Max is one of the tamer KA Heroes.

No intimate scenes with anyone other than the Hero and heroine.
HEA. ( )
  izzied | Oct 29, 2020 |
hmm.. I'm thinking about this one. I love Kristen Ashley but this one just seemed a bit 'crazy' for me. There was a lot of 'strong male' but there was just that touch too much of 'non-communication' along with it. Now yes she had been in 'non-premium' relationship but I would have expected to have shown a bit more backbone at the beginning. She made up for it later when things clicked into place for her and she definitely turned out a damn fine woman, fully fit to be the partner of someone like Max.

I'll confess that I definitely didn't see the bad guys coming with this. A complete surprise. Fortunately I'm not one who insists on having hints dropped prior to the revelation so I didn't mind it at all.

I'm thinking that I like how each one of Kristen Ashley's series has a different 'flavour'. I may not like all of her series equally but from reading the first book in each I can get a feel of what mood would most match to enhance my enjoyment in them. ( )
  Damiella | Aug 18, 2020 |
Randomly found this audiobook on Scribd and little did I knew that book is one of the best novels ever. Now hear me out. It has it flaws, I know it, but story and writing was wonderful. ( )
  Alevis | May 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ashley, Kristenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Taylor, EmmaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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.

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Nina Sheridan's on a timeout adventure in the Colorado mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiance, 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 for two weeks, 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, stepdad and the whole town of Gnaw Bone want them together. Not to mention, 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.
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