AUTHOR: Kristen Ashely
RATING: 2 STARS (2.5 STARS)
PUBLISHED: April 2011 - Kristen Ashely
SERIES: Yes; Companion Series:
"Nina 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."
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley wasn’t a bad story. It was dramatic and entertaining, and there were many parts that made me laugh out loud. However, the two main characters, Nina and Max, drove me crazy! In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I strongly disliked both characters. Nina had a few redeeming qualities, but Max didn’t have many.
Max's "voice" drove me mad. His dialogue was very unusual. He would leave IMPORTANT WORDS-like nouns and verbs- out of his sentences. This happened frequently and only with Max's character, so I don't think it was grammatical errors. His speech was just confusing and hard to follow; it messed up the flow of the novel. Although Max frequently forgot nouns and verbs, he never ever forgot the F word. If you are sensitive to the F word then don't read this novel. I won't lie to you, it's fuckity fuck fuck fucked your fuckin' fuck. I think at one point he even says “Thank Fuck” which seems appropriate since he worships the F Word.
In the beginning of this novel, Max basically holds Nina hostage. He takes her keys, leaves her in the middle of nowhere, and tells the ONE cab company around not to give her a ride. Max isn't a cruel person. In fact, he gets to know Nina while he is taking care of her when she is sick, but that doesn't give him an excuse to take her options away. I just thought that was a little too controlling.
He also always spoke over Nina. Poor girl barely ever got a word in when they were arguing. Nina says "Max.." like 50 times, and he just talks over her. That is rude. Max was a little to bossy and controlling for my liking.
I loved it when Nina would get feisty and tell people off; those were some of the best and most hilarious scenes. I only wish she would have carried that sass and backbone over to Max. She stood her ground very well against everyone but Max. She let Max talk over her and silence her with kisses way too often.
Nina was also extremely insecure, and she was quick to think the absolute worst.
She also lies. A LOT. This story is told from her perspective and she said "I lied" about 50 times. That drove me freaking crazy.
I gave The Gamble by Kristen Ashley 2 STARS (2.5 STARS). I wasn’t a big fan of The Gamble, mainly because I wasn’t a fan of either one of the main characters. I am still considering reading Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley because it wasn’t Ashley’s writing that bothered me, it was her characters. I am hoping that I will have better luck with different characters.