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Release Date: April 18, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
The Gamble by Kristen Ashley is a very sweet and swoony romance novel. It has all the small town feels that I enjoy, the alpha male that makes my heart swell, a heroine who I could easily befriend, and a little added suspense to make it interesting. On the downside, I found this book to be extremely long which, at times, made it hard to stay focused on the story. Even more, at some points I knew that if I just skimmed the pages that I wouldn't miss anything of particular importance. And honestly, I didn't. A lot of the story (even though I enjoyed reading it) was repetitive. I mean, how many times in a week long period can two virtual strangers get into so many arguments? This went on... and on... and on... Sure it was fun at first, but then it got a little annoying. In light of all this though I still feel like the novel should receive at least 4 stars because the story line and the characters are truly phenomenal. And based off of this one, I am going to go into the next novel with enthusiasm (even though that too is very long) because I adore the way Kristen Ashley delivers these stories.
This story is about two people who come together due to unconventional circumstances. Nina, comes to the United States from England in order to take a break from her fiance who barely listens to a word she says in order to figure out if a life with him is what she really wants. However, unbeknownst to her, the house she is renting for the week is already occupied. And by occupied I mean the strong mountain man owner, Max, is still there and has no plans to leave. This little mix-up leads to a whirlwind romance filled with ups and downs, angst, and a lot of love. And, to make things a little more interesting, it also has a little bit of a murder mystery and suspense! Sounds like fun right? Well, it truly is!
Max is purebred alpha male. He doesn't take no for an answer (not even lightly) and is as determined and fierce as they come. But he also has a heart full of gold and seeing through his alpha male tendencies isn't hard for readers.
Nina is an English flower. She is sweet albeit a little naive. She is also what some would call a pushover as she doesn't have a lot of dominance over anything. Just allowing her to fully speak is hard (and I have to admit, this really annoyed me as the story progressed). However, I like her attitude and her loyalty (well, not to her fiance anyway), and the way she helps those in need. This is a quality that we don't see all too often and I really enjoyed it.
The secondary characters are just as lovely, well, most of them anyway and I wouldn't mind getting to know them better in the future! Although I will also admit that there are some that will make you want to throw a few punches...
Overall, this is a wonderful and heartfelt novel and I enjoyed it even though it was long and drawn out. Based on this one, it is also easy to understand why readers flock to her stories. Therefore, if you are a fan of the authors work and haven't read this one then I would recommend it to you. If you haven't read the authors books then I would say this is a good place to start. Although she has some other amazing books as well (like the Rock Chick series).
** Each book can stand alone. **