The Gamble, Sweet Dreams and Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley
(Website, Facebook, Goodreads)
Series: Colorado Mountain
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: average 575
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.
Lauren Grahame is looking to reinvent herself. After leaving her cheating husband, Lauren moves to Carnal, Colorado, and gets a job as a waitress in a biker bar called Bubba’s. It’s a nothing job in a nowhere joint . . . until Tatum Jackson walks in. Lauren has never seen a man with such good looks, muscles, and attitude. But when he insults her, Lauren doesn’t want anything to do with him. Too bad for Lauren he’s also the bar’s part owner and bartender.
When the rough-around-the-edges Tate meets the high-class Lauren, he thinks she won’t fit in at Bubba’s. Yet there’s more to Lauren than meets the eye, and Tate soon sets his mind on claiming her as his own. Before long, the desire burning between them is heating up the cold mountain air. But when violence strikes the town, Tate must reveal a dark secret to Lauren-one that may put an end to their sweet dreams.
Since birth, Lexie Berry has had nothing but bad luck. Orphaned at an early age, she had a rough childhood and a boyfriend who was murdered. Now the beautiful, stylish Lexie is determined to change her luck and her life. But first she’s got to make good on a promise: to pick up Ty Walker from prison. One look at the gorgeous ex-convict and Lexie knows she’s in trouble-and already thinking about taking a walk on the wild side . . .
For five years, Ty was imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he wants revenge on the people who framed him. Yet when the high-stakes poker player sees the leggy Lexie, he suddenly has other desires on his mind. Realizing that Ty is innocent, Lexie tries to stop his plan for vengeance and help him become a better man. But as Ty battles his inner demons, dirty cops and criminals plot to take him out. Can he and Lexie find a way to escape the past?
The first three books in this series were absolutely fantastic. Each time I start a new series by Kristen Ashley, I think to myself there is no way she can ever top “insert prior series here”……..and she always, ALWAYS surpasses my expectations. The first two books in this series have been my faves so far (stay tuned for my review on books 4-5 and then a final review on book 6 recently released). I know that I give our followers an (over) abundance of Kristen Ashley, she has always been one of my top recommendations because she never disappoints- her writing style is flawless, her characters jump off the page straight into your heart and she always always brings me out of whatever slump I may be in. Because, of that- I read her, always, the minute something new releases………and I hope that you find the same pleasure and contentment between her pages that I do.
The Gamble (Colorado Mountain Series book 1)-
An absolute vision to behold. Picture a warm lodge nestled into the Colorado Mountains- this was the destination of our heroine Nina Sheridan. Needing a timeout with distance to reflect on her upcoming nuptials, Nina seeks out a secluded A frame cabin in the town of Gnaw Bone, Colorado. However what she doesn’t expect is to be sharing that cabin with its owner Holden Maxwell (Max).
Gorgeous, Alpha, Mountain man Max is none to happy to find Nina on his doorstep. After kicking her out of his home and sending her on her way to a nearby hotel in the middle of a snow storm, Max wants nothing to do with her. Nina, after throwing sassy words of her own towards Max, storms out and takes off down the mountain side- only to find herself in a ditch on the side of the road.
“When I met you, my first thought was you were very pretty, great fuckin’ eyes, but not my type. High-class which means high maintenance. Then you got pissed and that was it. Even if you hadn’t been in that ditch, now you’d still be in my bed. So if you think this attitude is a turn off, baby you’re wrong.”
Nina wakes to find herself snuggled up warm in a bed at Max’s house with a very bad flu like sickness. Max takes care of Nina and slowly finds himself intrigued by her.
“Found somethin’ I want, don’t tend to fuck around when that happens, Duchess. Ever.”
On the story goes, drama comes from not only Nina’s fiance when he shows up in town, but from her hateful father as well. Max and Nina help each other deal past tragedies and they come out the other side stronger not only individually but together.
Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain Series book #2)-
My absolute favorite of the series (thus far)- the story of a woman just trying to get back on her feet and start a new life from scratch. I found Lauren to be one of the strongest heroines I have ever read- she had guts and regardless of what life threw at her (she may have struggled in private) but she kept her chin up and did what was necessary to keep herself on track.
Traveling for months- Lauren drives through the town of Carnal, Colorado and decides she is “home”. She moves into the town’s only hotel and gets herself a job at the local watering hole and biker bar “Bubba’s”. Her first day on the job in walks part owner Tate Jackson, and he throws an insult about Lauren, not meant to be heard that would deeply cut any woman to shreds.
To watch Lauren walk through what she has and what she does in this story and STILL come out on top made for a fantastic journey. Written with very well developed secondary characters (as always), I fell head over heels in love with the town of Carnal and its inhabitants.
“Sweet dreams, baby.”
“You too, Captain.”
Lady Luck (Colorado Mountain Series book #3)-
What do you get when you mix an ex-convict who plays cards like a shark and a leggy blonde?…..well if it’s written by KA you get a rollercoaster ride of hot, sexy LOVE of course.
Ty is released from prison for a crime he did not commit and walks outside after 5 yrs to find his ride- Lexi Berry.
Doing a “job” for a man she did not like but had old ties to- Lexi takes one look at Ty and doesn’t know if she should run for her life or hang on for the ride. Well, hang on for the ride is what she does- and it’s one hell of one! This story was full of deceit, betrayal and passion.
“He was huge. Huge. I’d never seen a man that big. He had to be six foot five, six foot six, maybe even taller.”
Little does Lexie know but she will be married within 48 hours- for pay…… she needs Ty’s protection and what he is offering is too smart to pass up. They proceed to his home in the town of Carnal, Colorado to continue the facade’ of wedded bliss. Never did they expect that facade’ to become reality. Their story unfolded in the middle of corruption, turmoil, bad decisions and an ugly past came at them from every which way- but they remained strong at the center.
“This is it, Team Walker, you and me. We want somethin’, we find a way to get it. We hit a rough patch, we find a way to get over it. We face a challenge, we find a way to beat it. It’s good, we savor it. What I’m sayin’ is, this team is a winner. We never forget to celebrate the victories and we get a lotta those because we never admit defeat.”
Overall this series has been a hit so far- still have several books to go including the newest release Bounty!!! Stay tuned…
Series Reading Order
About Kristen AshleyKristen 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.