Wow, this book hooked me from beginning to end. I haven’t read such a hefty book as quickly in quite some time. I decided to pick this one up because I was in the mood for a lengthy romance. After Reads_Romance wrote one of her excellent blurbs of The Gamble in her Instagram Story I knew it was exactly what I was looking for. I needed a winter setting, without the traditional Christmas theme, and this ticked every box. It was the next best thing to actually being in Colorado myself!
Love is the greatest gamble of all…
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.
My reading experience with this book was interesting since the book included many of the things I traditionally hate while reading, such as numerous pet names, a bossy male character, redundancy, iotas of drama, and an overuse of the same words. Despite these things, I still loved the book and eagerly anticipated my moments of free time for the chance to pick it up. It was the type of book that allowed me to read for hours on end and tune out everything around me. I loved Max and Nina together and I especially loved how Nina’s plans continued to be thwarted, causing her to be forced together with Max whether she wanted to be or not.
As silly (and embarrassing) as it might sound, as a kid, I would tell myself stories every night before bed. I would make up elaborate romances from a very young age. I was always dreaming of what my husband might be like in the future and making up stories for our life. One of the stories I always enjoyed telling myself was one where I came down with a debilitating sickness or injury and had to be cared for a man I would fall in love with (ha!). The Gamble took me right back to those stories I hadn’t thought about for years and I think this is precisely why I loved the book so much. I was kind of dreamy and nostalgic for me.
I enjoyed the suspense mixed into the plot of this story. I wasn’t expecting there to be such mystery and drama for Nina in the beginning. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made for some really great moments within the book. I especially loved Nina’s determination and the fierce friendships she was able to forge in such a short amount of time. She really drove the book for me and I loved seeing which decision she would make next.
I think some of this novel could have been condensed a bit. I felt like the writing became a little lazy toward the latter half, but overall this book had many great elements. I loved the setting, the relationships between the characters, and the pacing, among other things. For me, the good far outweighed the bad and I will definitely be reading more books in The Colorado Mountain Series!
Rating: 4 stars