Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Since falling in love with Kristen Ashley's writing in the Rock Chick Series, I've decided to dedicate one week each month to more of her books. First up is the Colorado Mountain Series, at the insistence of my friends Erin, Cindy and Jess. But, this time around, I'm doing He Said/She Said reviews, with my guy, Eric.

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)Series: Colorado Mountain #1
Category/Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self-Published (now published by Forever)
Publication Date: 10/22/11
Format: ebook
Pages: 629
Source: Purchased
Rating: 5 stars
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

He Said....

Nina Sheridan travels from Europe to the Colorado Mountains, before marrying her fiancé Niles, to take a two week timeout, an adventure, to clear her head, and make sure her decision to marry is the right one. What Nina finds when she arrives at the A-frame vacation rental she booked for her getaway is Holden Maxwell (Max), mountain-man extraordinaire and owner of the property, which he rents to vacationers while out of town for work. Seeing as he is in town and at home, he does not honor the rental agreement and tries to send her on her way, back down the mountain, to get a hotel room in Gnaw Bone. Starting to feel under the weather and very irritated after her 17 hour travel, Nina's not having any of Max's BS for reneging on the rental agreement. After a head to head battle and a lot of back and forth over the rental Max tells her she needs to get moving and find her a hotel seeing as it was dark and starting to snow. With snow beginning to fall heavily and Nina's sudden battle with sinus problems, Max tries to get her to stay at least for the night.

  "Listen, Duchess, it's cold, it's snowing, we're both standin' outside like idiots arguing over what you wanted in the first place. Come into the damned house. You can sleep on the couch."
  "I am not going to sleep on the couch." Then my head jerked and I asked, "Duchess?"
  He threw his other hand out, his gaze drifting the length of me as he said, "Fancy-ass clothes, fancy-ass purse, fancy-ass boots, fancy-ass accent." His eyes came to my face and he finished firmly. "Duchess."

Frustrated with the fact her rental agreement is broken, Nina heads for town to get a hotel room. While heading back down the mountain she hits an icy patch on the road and ends up in the ditch. With no help in sight she climbs in the back seat, downs some cough medicine, covers up and falls asleep. When Nina wakes up she finds that she is in the A-frame and feeling like absolute crap. Max called the local hotels and when Nina hadn't checked into any he headed down the mountain in search of her. He found her asleep in her car and took her back to his house. Realizing how sick she had become, Max spent the next two days taking care of her.

A mutual attraction starts to grow. Max is straightforward with his desire. Nina is fighting it. And fighting it hard. She tries to find way after way to escape the A-frame, to escape Max, but he has her pinned at every corner. Over the next two weeks Nina goes to hell and back, in what I call signature KA fashion: kidnappings, beatings, shootings, murder and family meddling, all the while meeting friends and family of Max and seeing what kind of man he truly is. And she's liking it, a lot. So much so that she realizes that her and Max are supposed to be together.

As with the Rock Chick books, KA delivers the banter, the sex and an awesome cast of secondary characters - the crazy sister, Kami; the wildly enthusiastic mom, Nellie; the BITCH, Shauna; the clueless fiancé, Niles.

This story is lengthy, but great, from start to end. It's packed with plenty of sex and male bossiness for the women, yet plenty of in your face ass kicking for the male.

She Said...

After swoony, madcap beauty of the Rock Chick series, I needed more from Kristen Ashley. I knew this series would be different, and yes, it's not quite as "zany" as RC, but I'm so happy that I still got a lot of laughs, a hot Mountain Man in Holden "Max" Maxwell, a flat-out gorgeous love story, and some serious swooning.

Something I really, really appreciate about The Gamble is that the characters are in their mid-thirties, and while I hate admitting I've hit that age group, I kind of love the benefits that come with it, knowing who you are and being at ease in your own skin. Nina and Max may not initially have their baggage sorted, but you know they're going to get there, and it's a fun ride to tag along.

In addition to a great love story, The Gamble also has a murder mystery going on. It doesn't truly take over the story, but it does play a large part in the overall story, does involve many of the characters in some aspect, and isn't solved until the very end, which left me dying to figure it out.

Nina and Max, as I've mentioned have such a great love story. It involves trust and faith in the person beside you to hold on to you no matter what. It also speaks volumes about the different types of love, of letting go while still honoring and loving those who've moved on.

The Gamble is another fabulous book from KA, and the Colorado Mountain series is sure to be another favorite.

Favorite Quote:

  "There was a time in my life where I used to roll the dice. I did it a lot and I always lost. Every time, I lost and when I lost, I lost everything. So I got scared of rolling the dice."
  My hair was hanging down, curtaining our faces and one of Max's hands moved to pull one side up and hold it at the back of my head. I watched his face get soft and I knew that he knew what was coming.
  So I gave it to him.
  "Thank you for showing me it was worth taking a gamble again, darling." I dropped my head until my lips were against his and finished, "It feels good finally to win and win huge." 

Colorado Mountain Series

  The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1) Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2) Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain, #3)
 Breathe (Colorado Mountain, #4) Jagged (Colorado Mountain, #5)

(covers lead to GoodReads page)

Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountains #6) release 2/4/14
Purchase The Gamble

About the author:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA. She nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn't taken her first breath!).

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana but has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multi-generational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland and existed amongst the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.

Website  |  Twitter  |  Facebook   |  GoodReads


  1. Great Reviews Eric and Andrea! It's neat to read a woman and man's perspective on the same book! I can relate to the mid thirties too. Sometimes, I wish I was still in my mid twenties, but the growth, confidence, and like you said, knowing who you are grow so much more in those ten years. This sounds like a great story. I love when an author can combine sexy swooniness and a murder mystery into the story.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  2. Finally you read this! I adored this book. I believe this was my second book by KA and it's fighting with Golden Dynasty for first place. I love these Colorado Mountain Men! Max will always be my favorite though! I still have to get through the Rock Chick books though. I"ve read two or three of them I believe. A lot of her series are amazing! =)

  3. I love the way you did your review! You get to see both sides and it's really amazing. I have seen this series around but haven't gotten really interested in it. It seems like a great read. Great review :)

  4. I'm glad you guys liked it! I have yet to try a KA book, but seems like I'm missing a lot! I hope you two will do some more reviews like this, it's so fun to read both sides' thoughts:)

  5. Great reviews! And I love the whole he said she said thing! Very very cute and awesome. Loving the sound of this book and this author.

  6. Superb review. This series is new to me but it sounds great.

  7. It's so great to see you both review together. I love that idea! :) I'm glad you and Eric both enjoyed The Gamble. I haven't heard much about it previously, though you sure do have me curious now. Lovely reviews!

  8. Aw, I love that you both reviewed this. It's great to get a guy's perspective sometimes, especially since a lot of guys would REFUSE to read a book like this. Sounds like a good one!

  9. OMG - I am so happy ya'll did this. I LOVE IT!!! Your review are wonderful and you have convinced me that i need to check this series out :)

  10. Eric!! I love this, you guys make me want to read her books! Great post buddy

  11. It's packed with plenty of sex and male bossiness for the women, yet plenty of in your face ass kicking for the male - I LOVE THIS!

    I don't know how you managed to make him read an entire book and one of these days you have to spill your secret. Wonderful he said/she said

  12. I was a little nervous when you said she was already engaged..but this sound delicious! I totally want this one!

  13. It seems like I SHOULD read this series since I live in Colorado! Does look good.

  14. Ah, once again I'm envious your guy will read your books! ;) This is a fabulous way to enjoy more of Ms. Ashley and it's an ingenious way to share a review! Thanks Andrea & Eric for sharing your amazing reviews!

  15. This sounds good! I like some great banter between characters and these two sound great! But I like that there's more than just the romance going on. :)

  16. I love that you're reviewing this with Andrea, Eric! You featured one of my favorite scenes in The Gamble. I loved how he called her Duchess, although he was kind of a jerk when they first met. I think it's awesome when a husband will pick up your favorite reads with you, and I was lucky enough to get my husband to read this as well. My husband loved all the kick ass drama, too! Wonderful review you two! Keep the team-ups coming! :)

    Keep these team ups coming!


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