The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)

The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1) - Kristen Ashley Whew! I feel like I've been on the world's longest roller coaster. It went so fast, with all of these crazy twist and turns, even upside down occasionally. That's what the relationship between Max and Nina felt like. It was a little bit nuts.Nina is taking a break. She has flown from England, across the ocean to the good ol' USA, into the picturesque Colorado Mountains. But this isn't just any typical vacation. She is taking some time out before getting married; to re-evaluate her life, her fiancee', their relationship, and to finally come to terms with the death of her brother. But when she gets to the beautiful cabin in the middle of nowhere that she rented, it's not empty. Holden Maxwell is in residence. (And boy, does he fill it up!) Max isn't too thrilled with the uppity lady with 'the accent' who shows up on his doorstep in the middle of the night, so he sends her none too gently on her way back down the mountain. But fate steps in; one thing leads thankfully to another, and these two find themselves together whether they like it or not. And this is where Max starts to shine. Or possess. Or dominate. Whatever, it gave me shivers."I was your man, you were halfway around the world from me, honey, I'd fuckin' phone you," he said quietly."Niles is reserved," I whispered."Niles is an ass," he returned and my brows drew together."You don't know him.""I know men and I know he's not reserved, he's an ass."I pulled my head together, my hand from his and snapped, "Yes? And how do you know that?""Because I've seen you naked, I've seen you sweet, I've seen you unsure and I've seen you riled and, seein' all that, I know, you were half a world away from me, I'd fuckin' phone."And that right there sets the tone for Holden Maxwell. He decides he really likes Nina, he gives her a sweet little nickname, and he flat out decides to keep her. Whatever it takes, he has no qualms about puffing out his chest and staking his claim. There's something so sexy about it. Of course, Nina agrees with me. But she is like many women - extremely unsure of herself and her appeal. One thing that is so wonderful about Max is that not only does he see her worth, but he adores everything about her. He loves her idiosyncrasies, rejoices in her flaws, and basically loves all of the parts of Nina that she doesn't. Ms Ashley does a fabulous job of making Max into just about every woman's dream man. I know I'd love if my husband thought all of the stupid things I do are 'cute.' Max wants Nina in his life. He wants to take care of her, he wants to please her. The sex is hot and sometimes rough, but always with a tender note that shows exactly how he feels for her. He has no intention of letting her go back to England.There is a murder mystery aspect of the story, also, that begins on the first night Nina shows up. I just couldn't quite make it past Max. Between Nina's absent jerk of a father, her wonderfully ditzy mother, and half of the small town constantly showing up, it makes for a slow romance. Not that it's no smokin' hot, just slow burning.If I had one complaint about the story, it's that Max and Nina bickered too much. They were always arguing in circles, and I thougt that Max could have dropped a bit of the macho 'put my foot down' BS once in awhile. It seemed that he wouldn't let Nina get a word in edgewise. I should have counted the times Nina said "Max-" and got interrupted, but thought about it too late. Still, a great romance, some fun-to-hate bad guys, a ridiculously hot alpha man, and a sweet British tenderhearted woman made for a fabulous story. This was the first Kristen Ashley I've read, and it definitely won't be the last. I have a feeling all of her heroes will be divine.