Wednesday, August 19, 2015

TBR Challenge: Kristen Ashley - The Gamble

Nina Sheridan desperately needs a timeout vacation. With a fiancé who can't even remember how she takes her coffee, Nina wants some distance to rethink her engagement. Flying halfway around the world from England to a mountain town in Colorado should do the trick. But when she finds a gorgeous man at her rental cabin, Nina's cold, lonely adventure suddenly heats up.
The owner of the house, Holden "Max" Maxwell is surprised by the beautiful woman who turns up at his door. But when Nina becomes ill, Max spends days nursing her back to health. A private man with a broken heart, Max finds himself drawn to the strong-willed woman. Soon it becomes impossible for Nina and Max to deny their growing attraction to one another. Yet even as these two wounded lovebirds think about taking a chance on a relationship, a dangerous secret from Max's past emerges-and threatens to end their love for good.

Comment: Here's a new challenge read. This month the theme is about a book you bought on impulse, or that you forgot why you bought. I picked this title because I've heard about the author a lot and got curious, so I bought one book whose blurb seemed something I might appreciate. I bought my book around an year ago and I thought it would suit this theme quite well.
This is the story of Nina, a woman who needs a time-out and travels to Colorado from England to think about her relationship and the fact she needs to break up with her fiancé. However, there's a mix up at the house she rented and the owner, Max, is there. After a misunderstanding, Nina leaves but her car falls into a ditch and she falls asleep. She wakes up in Max's house while he takes care of her because she's very sick.
The attraction between them leads them into relationship level, but there are many obstacles to overcome and many people to deal with while still trying to figure out if they can actually make it.
This book is very big. It has a lot of pages and many times I thought all those pages weren't really necessary and the author could have economized several parts and that wouldn't "ruin" the plot. I get this is the author's style but I also admit being bored here and there. 
To be really honest there were some things that bothered me in terms of rationality and plot evolution. I wasn't as amazed by the book as I imagined based on so many good reviews of other readers, including people whose taste I trust. I know everyone's different and sees different things in the same book, but I was surprised nevertheless.
The story features many themes and that, I would say, is one of the problems. Why so many things to deal with, to have to focus on? There is murder, crime investigation, suicide, disability issues, relationship issues, what is an alpha ideas, domestic abuse, psychological parental abuse, etc. Maybe in a different story I could not notice all of them so much but in this very extensive book (more than 600 pages) it was obvious and not in the best way, I think. I wonder if less subjects could be better presented and not as tiresome to read about.
There are some incongruences I found annoying. For instance when Max looks through Nina's things when she's sick so he can check her phone number and so on and even later on tells her he saw her plane tickets, then why in the middle of the book there's a situation where he can't believe her age? Didn't he see her cards, why was it such a big deal how old she is vs how young she looks? It seemed silly to me.
There are other things I found eye rolling, especially when it came to their behavior towards each other. Sure they were attracted, falling in love, but the constant "darling", "honey", babe" endearments in their conversations went from boring to annoying.
Max and Nina doubted the other too in some aspects. Max in particular seemed to be right many times and when he got mad at Nina because she didn't explain her ideas or her thoughts I got surprised. Why would she have to explain things if he was the one who didn't tell her about those same things? It seems stupid to ask for her understanding about things he never mentioned himself.
Overall, the writing seemed ok but when it came to the dialogs and character's actions...many information seemed irrelevant and the dialogs were annoying because the majority of them were always interrupted, so people would be talking and someone would interrupt or the people talking wouldn't let the other finish their thought. It was very annoying. As it would be in real life.
Apart from these things, the plot itself seemed quite interesting. Some plot situations were interesting to see develop and I got interested in the characters and their lives, their goals and personality.
The main couple was ok apart from the annoying habits they had. Max sure is an alpha male and I didn't mind that per se but it did become slightly irritating when he assumed many things but got mad if Nina did the same. I don't think they were that balanced, but in the end there's an HEA and all is well.
Overall, this was average to me. I admit I got curious about the feel of the story, I liked some things and I'm curious if this is an author's skill or if it's only this book. I also wonder if the other stories by her are all the same - some readers have told me yes - if this lengthy plots are as annoying in places like this one, if the writing style is as evidenced in other books as in this one... if so I'll try another book later, maybe next year.
I wanted to love this author but apparently she didn't win me over...
Grade: 6/10

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