OH WOW! TAKE ME TO THE BEAUTIFUL BLUFF AND COLORADO FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL AUDIOBOOK!
Nina resides in England and decide..Show More »s to take a 2-week "time-out" from her fiancé Niles. Who is completely oblivious to her emotional plight and needs. She rents an A-frame home nestled in the mountains of Colorado and finds that it's inhabited by the owner Max, who is not happy she's there. Yet, the misunderstanding of this booking is just the right set up for a Mountain Man to fall in love with a chic, beautiful woman whom he challenges to take a gamble on love with him. If it's hard to imagine a Mountain Man and a classy lady, then take the gamble to read this incredible story about recognizing something precious and fighting for it, despite the odds.
Regarding the leads, there were things I loved and disliked about Max and Nina, but I think that's what makes their characters more realistic. Max wields this quiet strength and dominates in a subtle, possessive manner. He's not one to explain his thoughts, feelings or background, even though he seeks to pull down Nina's emotional shields. I loved that Max made his mind up about Nina very quickly and he was determined to make her stay with him….forever. I also loved the little things that Max did. He seemed to touch Nina all the time--the sweet almost subconscious touches throughout the day, and he really listened to the things that were important to her. Also, his endearments for Nina were so darn sexy!!! ( DUCHESS, darlin', and baby).
Now, Nina is simply adorable! She has this effortless charm, intelligence and beauty that captures people's attention, unbeknownst to her. I love that she loves make-up, fashion, coupled with her genuine love for people and her courage get down to the nitty-gritty of issues is what makes her one awesome, strong heroine.
Nina finds herself in a whirlwind as Max sweeps her off of her feet in a love development that evolves around the countless needs of the townspeople who are a big part of Max's life and the bevy of characters from Nina's life who also come to make this one big adventure! Yet, there is also danger, and a murder to be solved and Max and Nina find themselves heavily involved in the solving of that case.
This book is long and if you enjoy really getting into background and character development with townspeople who are larger than life in the mountains in Colorado, then this will be a audiobook dream because Emma Taylor is an excellent narrator as she brings these characters to life! I loved this audiobook! And, since I've been running out of credits fast, it was perfect due to the length.
Lastly, the sequence of events that brought this book to a culminating end was fascinating, and so unexpected! K.A. is an exquisite writer as she keeps readers on their toes. I particularly love K.A uncanny ability to write about alpha males and the sassy, strong heroines who catch their attention. And, this romance between Max and Nina really caught my heart and attention. This story was sealed with an epilogue that was just gorgeous….so fulfilling, so endearing and so beautiful!
I need to make a disclaimer to explain why I continue to listen to this series, because these are not, in my opinion, compelling stories that evoke my..Show More » emotions and drag me in.
Just the opposite- but, that's why i listen.
I listen to audiobooks exclusively in my car in about 2 hours of daily commute in wretched traffic- zooming on and off the freeway, looking this way and that, in 'every-man-for-himself" rush hour of a major city. So, I have to focus on the road- so, listening to an audiobook that is very involved and fast-paced isn't actually the best choice.
Enter this series. I have a very love/hate relationship with it for sure. One of the plusses is the length of the books- I like to get a good bang for my buck and I buy longer listens since I only indulge in 1 credit a month.
First, you can let your mind wander for a good 15 minutes at at time or so because that's about the interval of one thing important that happens to the next. This book continues what was established in book 1 and is the exact same formula- only with a slightly more relate-able story as the characters in this one definitely have more believable pasts than did the cats in The Gamble. I actually like Laurie's character quite a bit.
I realize that this is an unabridged novel and those will often contain more detail than an abridged version will. However, Ashley, I think all of the denizens of the known universe know, for example, how answering a phone works. So instead of "The phone rang. I picked up the phone and looked at the display. It was John Smith. I swiped my finger across the keyboard of the Apple phone model xyz124fnvea that has a Hello Kitty phone case and a slight scratch in the corner from the time I dropped it when I was skiing with that cute guy from Aspen. I cleared my throat, blinked my eyes, and answered" how about "The phone rang. It was John. 'Hello?'" Just a thought. The description of the kitchenware that Laurie is constantly buying seriously takes up 1/10th of this novel, with another 1/10th being about the curtains in the bedroom. CURTAINS. It could be mentioned like once and she'd be just as love-able and that aspect of her personality would be conveyed just as well. Promise.
Next- the profanity. I don't actually mind it so much really in and of itself but the repetitiveness does get old. They could say "soup" 8,000 times like they say "Fcuk" and it would bother me just as much/I'd get just as irritated.
Misogyny- in The Gamble, I pretty much wanted to slap the hell out of Max for about three quarters of the book until it was explained why he was such an overbearing chauvinist. In this book it's toned down-Tate is a little more level but then again, Laurie's personality is much stronger than Nina's- she's not nearly so damaged and what parts are seem to heal much more quickly. Laurie's not one to take crap much.
After this one, I went ahead and read Lady Luck and I'll review that too, and then I'm out. Three was definitely enough.
Overall I'd say I do not recommend this series if you want anything with substance, if an inane amount of detail gets on your nerves, or if you don't like misogynistic men.
I felt a whole gamut of emotions with this wonderful book and world that Kristen Ashley has created. I love that in this Colorado Mountain series, K...Show More »A. has lingered in the town of Carnal. In the previous book, "Sweet Dreams" with Lauren and Tate's story, we see that Carnal was establishing the beginnings of community and belonging among the people who were slightly oppressed by the corrupt police department. But, no one had experienced that suppression more than Ty Walker, a half Black man who was targeted and set up for a crime he didn't commit all due to his skin color & a hidden, malicious agenda. Lexie Berry enters his life unexpectedly and ends up being his greatest tonic for dealing with the loss of freedom, power and his blood thirst for vengeance.
Now, with any of K.A. books, this one provides fantastic hero/heroine chemistry with a sexy, badass Alpha-male and a fun, beautiful, classy, and just a little goofy heroine. After reading one of K.A.'s books, I always come away feeling like she has solved the gender war, as she celebrates complete masculinity in the male leads, and a lovely, strong femininity in the heroine. And, in that respect, I loved both Ty and Lexie...I mean the pair smoldered together! Their sex appeal and connection was powerful and simply perfect.
This book also made me feel completely sad with a awful sinking feeling in my stomach, at times, because of the theme of prejudice in relation to people of color. There are also some very rocky parts of the H/h relationship that seriously conjured up my tears. Yet, the moments of elation and triumph for Ty and his beautiful sunshine, Lexie, were amazing!
This book progressed and built itself up in stages both in their relationship with one another and their involvement with their friends from town. OMG, there are so many powerful moments in this book. I will always remember Ella's (Lexie's mother figure) talk with Ty about coping with generational racism and how to deal.....OMG...POWERFUL!!!!
The villains are pure evil and they get their just reward in the end. But, a murder is left unsolved and that pushes readers forward into the next book WHICH I'M DYING FOR THE AUDIOBOOK TO BE RELEASED!!! Lastly, the epilogue was emotional, and superb. Not everyone gets their HEA, but those who really work hard at it definitely reach their HEA, including Ty and Lexie.
Narrator: Emma Taylor is a gifted and talented narrator. SHe was excellent in every accent and male/female role she took on. The only small complaint I have is about Officer Pena...I thought she laid on the Mexican accent way too thick. Otherwise, Emma T. is pretty close to perfect, as a narrator, in my book.
OK, the only negative and this is a big one for me is that I HATE it when the F-word is inserted in the middle of Jesus Christ. I think it's awful, disrespectful and unnecessary. I've never heard anyone talk this way in real life and I wish K.A. could use another string of curse words for her male leads to use that is not so offensive to a wide part of the population. I know it's completely jarring and offensive to me.
But on a positive note.....CAN'T WAIT FOR CHACE AND FAYE'S STORY IN BREATHE!!!!
Purchased a couple of her books because of great reviews and I love westerns. I always try to get the longest book I can for my credits. This particul..Show More »ar 21 hour book would have probably been closer to 10 or 12 had they taken out the 'f---' word. It was used just about every sentence in the strangest of places. I can't imagine it is that commonplace. Maybe I'm just too old school! :-) Great narration and storyline though. It seemed definite 'overkill' in the language department.Thought there might be someone else who might like to know this up front!
Yes! Story line realistic and easy to follow, but having a wonderful narrator makes all the difference! Emma is excellent at the voices of all her cha..Show More »racters! Ham sounds deep and scratchy and like a man, so his part in the story "felt" real. Loved "Cookie" because her drama was simple and real and NOT drug out all through the book! I get frustrated when the whole story is drama and could have been resolved with a conversation.
OMG, even though I was loving each of the Colorado Mountain books, when it came to Jagged, plainly, I hated it. I hated the love "set up" so ..Show More »much that I was really upset with K.A. because I didn't feel she delivered a romance that readers could believe was undoubtably a "forever romance" between Ham and Zara (due to February...in my heart I believe Zara was Ham's second choice since February was taken). Sooooo, I ended up taking a sabbatical from reading anything K.A. When I finally decided to listen/read Kaleidoscope, it was like coming back home to VINTAGE KRISTEN ASHLEY.
In Kaleidoscope, you have a second chance at love, but one that you KNOW, as a reader, was Jacob Decker's first heart choice. There was no doubt that Emmanuelle Holmes was the only love of his life, as his previous relationship paled in comparison. The love development progressed very nicely and solidly. I loved the chemistry, intellectual banter and overall moments between Jacob and Emme.
The focus of this book was more on the relationship, as opposed to the unraveling of a complicated plot. This was really nice. Yes, there were A LOT of sex scenes, but I enjoyed that aspect. From many of K.A.'s work, I always come away feeling as though she solved the gender war between the masculine and feminine in the love relationships in her characters. I always feel as though K.A. celebrates equally strong male and female leads. Yet, in this book, there was an added dimension to that, as both Jacob and Emme are on opposite side of the political spectrum---which was like whoah!!! I thought exploring the political views of her leads was ballsy, because of the triggers it can evoke from readers. However, I thought she did a very good job with that. I absolutely DID NOT agree with Emme's political views, but fortunately, I never disliked her character for it.
Now, I thought Jacob was the absolute bomb! He was dominant in all of the right ways. Emme was emotionally shaken due to a past experience, and Jacob senses this and serves as a strong anchor, especially when Emme's emotions became unclear and confusing. Jacob was a strong "uber alpha" who helped center his woman and, in essence, heal her emotional wounds. Wow! Beautiful! Just beautiful! I was completely enthralled and impressed with the integration of the kaleidoscope in the love story. It was a very sweet and touching aspect that made a sweet listen/read.
Narrators: Emma Taylor always does a fantastic job, and she was no different in this book. The listening experience was great!