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Summary

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.

©2012 Kristen Ashley (P)2014 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"I adore Kristen Ashley's books!" - Maya Banks, New York Times bestselling author"Ashley delivers a deeply emotional second installment of the Chaos contemporary romance series (after Own the Wind)... Punctuated by blistering-hot sex scenes and fascinating glimpses into the tough world of motorcycle clubs, this romance also delivers true heart and emotion, and a story that will stay with the reader long after the final page is turned." - Publishers Weekly, Starred Review, on Fire Inside"Kristen Ashley's books are addicting!" - Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author"I felt all of the rushes, the adrenaline surges, the anger spikes... my heart pumping in fury. My eyes tearing up when her my heart (I mean... her heart) would break." (On Motorcycle Man)
- Maryse's Book Blog, Maryse.net"With Brock's raw side contrasted with Tess's innocence, Wild Man delivers a passionate, opposites-attract romance." - Patricia Smith, Booklist"There is something about them [Ashley's books] that I find crackalicious." - Kati Brown, DearAuthor.com"[Kristen] Ashley captivates." - Publisher's Weekly

What listeners say about The Gamble

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible accent

I've read and re-read this book because it is one of my all time favourites but.......I have to agree with other reviews and say that the narration is absolutely awful.

If the inspiration for the female lead is Thunderbirds Lady Penelope then I could totally understand it. No one talks like this anymore -not since the 40's anyway and definitely not someone who is American but has spent a lot of time in England and is supposed to be living in Bristol.

I've managed to stick with it because I know and love the story but if that wasn't the case I doubt I'd be able to finish it.


3 people found this helpful

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The British accent was awful and put me off

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

To ignore the fact that she had to have a British accent otherwise it would have been great

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dreadful narration

I listen to a lot of audible books and this is by far the worse narration and accent i have had the misfortune to hear.
I'm only part way through and I'm not sure i can bear to listen much more.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

I read this book a few years ago and really enjoyed, so thought I would get the audio version. Whilst I enjoyed this very emotional at times story packed with lots of twist and turns fab, but if you are English you will probably cringe at the narration by Emma Taylor.

2 people found this helpful

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Hate the accent

I don't know if it's the same with other stories by this author or if I read too quickly to notice but if I hear one more err or sorry I'll scream. As a spoken story it's so much more obvious and so much more irritating. The story as the written word was ok but spoken it was dreadful . As to the narrator no wonder people think the English
accent is so odd if this is what they are listening to, she sounded like she was half drunk as the words were so over pronounced and so artificial. Returned after two chapters could not force myself to listen any longer!

7 people found this helpful

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  • a
  • 24-05-18

Awful awful attempt at what’s meant as a British accent

The narrator had a completely inaccurate and very unstable attempt at what’s supposed to be a British accent. Honestly, can’t they just have commissioned a British narrator?

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Easy story to listen to

If you can get past the awful narration then it's worth a listen, it's not the best book of KA but if you follow the series give it a go. The terrible English accent gets easier to listen to. I did listen to snippets of the rest of the series to check it wasn't all the same narration but it's the same woman, just not talking like that. Phew!!

1 person found this helpful

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Did not finish

OK, there is enough variation in drama to keep me reading, but what is the story line?
And I dislike the argumentative character of... I forgot her name already. That's the problem with this book: you put it down and nothing lingers.

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    5 out of 5 stars

I listen to this book at least once a year

I admit that, as a Brit, the accent bothered me on the first listen but have to say that the beautiful story and the fantastic accents and voices that Emma Taylor uses makes that annoyance disappear.
I have read/listened to most of KA books and adore them all. This series however is my absolute favourite and in my view definitely a must audible purchase. Don’t let the accent put you off. Also if you know any Max mountain men please send them my way. And I will book my plane ticket to Colorado which has now gone onto my bucket list of places to visit post COVID. Thank you Kristen Ashley your stories bring me light

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    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

Being a huge fan of this author meant I got really excited to have the audible version too. Reading and listening enhances the experience. This couple Max and Nina had me enthralled from the moment I started. All the way through the narrator kept me hooked. The story is compelling and is full of drama, intrigue and suspense. It’s also filled with love. The characters are diverse and interesting. I bet the rest of the books will be just as good. I’ve read all the books and now I’ll listen to all of them as well.

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  • suzebo
  • 03-10-14

Good but long

Would you consider the audio edition of The Gamble to be better than the print version?

Narration was very good so it added a lot to the story. Probably could have read it in less time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Max and Nina were both good characters even though I frequently got impatient with her focus on not being the only "love of (Max's) life". Their chemistry was great even though they argued a lot. I enjoy books where the couple spends most of their time focusing on the positive development of the relationship instead of playing the roles of "star-crossed lovers"' who fight their attraction for each other.

Have you listened to any of Emma Taylor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Have not heard any previous books but her narration was great and I'm looking forward to listening to her again.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I laughed a lot and cried at least once. I had trouble turning it off.

Any additional comments?

As remarked in the title, this is a long book for fiction. A lot happens and it takes a long time to resolve the major issues. I also have problems with the amount of profanity, most of which is unnecessary. Hearing it spoken rather than reading it added to the negative impact; but, I'm from a generation that frowned on that kind of language and did not use it as adjectives and adverbs in casual conversation, which makes me a biased judge.

35 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Yvette
  • 25-06-14

PURE "HEART & SOUL" ROMANCE IN THE COLORADO MTS.

OH WOW! TAKE ME TO THE BEAUTIFUL BLUFF AND COLORADO FRESH MOUNTAIN AIR!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL AUDIOBOOK!

Nina resides in England and decides 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!

54 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mariaelena
  • 05-11-15

Very disappointing

I purchased The Gamble because it has such positive reviews. I am also from Colorado so I thought the setting would add an interesting element to the story. After listening to the audio book I am disappointed with most aspects of the work. The narration was quite good, but the writing style and characters leave a lot to be desired.

Ashley is particularly wordy in her descriptions. The result is a very long book and a narrative that does not add any new information or value to the story. Listeners understand how people move about in a scene without having every move detailed. It's enough to say "I went upstairs to shower and dress". It's long winded to say "I walked up stairs into the bedroom and picked out an outfit from my suitcase on the chair next to the bed. I walked to the bathroom turned on the light and closed and locked the door..." and so on.

The relationship between the main characters was the biggest disappointment. If this is the type of man women want to read about, than I am very unlike most women. The male love interest is overbearing, controlling, and short tempered in a way that seems less swoon inducing and more abusive. The female lead does little to stand up for herself in this relationship besides saying "Max" in a plaintive voice over and over, only to be interrupted and ignored.

The overall story had some interesting and unique twists and turns for a romance. However, if your idea of a good partner is someone who lets you get a few words in during a fight, lets you drive, and even occasionally lets you pay for things, then this may not be the story for you.

47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bette
  • 22-01-16

Perfect Audiobook

Every once in a while, I am lucky enough to find a perfect audio book in which some weird, alchemical mix takes place between writer, narrator and director and the result is a sublime listening experience.
The Gamble is one sublime listen.

It's a love story between headstrong English Nina and headstrong Colorado 'mountain man' Max with a liberal sprinkling of mystery, sex, gossip, sex, humour, intrigue and yet more of Ashley's inimitable sex passages. I almost always skip through sex scenes, but Ashley's sex scenes are so well written and pertinent to her stories, I often listen to them. She is better at capturing the mood, motivations and action of a sexual scene- be it playful or intense or just plain in the establishment of intimacy- than any of the great 'erotic writers' (NO- not EL James- think Nin and Miller).

The Gamble is a big, rollicking and engaging story with a vast cast of characters all told in first person by Brit Nina. Narrator Emma Taylor's performance is astounding, switching seamlessly between broad Colorado dialog and English dialects. (here, I ought to tell you that Nina's English dialect is a little Ronald Coleman-ish; a sort of American version of an upper class English dialect that took some getting used to for me who, like Nina holds both passports, but is still a monumental achievement in it's flawlessness).

I've listened to a couple of Kristen Ashley books and quite enjoyed them. Tired of the current glut of torture porn, which I keep returning to Audible (honestly, why don't they label that crap?), I thought, 'well, Ashley's safe' and bought The Gamble. I expected to enjoy it, but I never expected it to be as immersive and wonderful an experience as Outlander.*
Yes, it's that good.




*okay, okay fine: there is extreme torture in Outlander and other great books (American Psycho, the Collector) - and some violence in this- but it's not their raison d'etre.






13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michelle
  • 19-08-14

Enjoyable listen, bonus use in drinking game!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Really liked this audiobook even though it was reminiscent of the Dream Man Series. It kept me engaged through most of the book. I do have a couple of issues though. The first being that our main girl had tons of ums, sorries?, whats?. This caused quite a bit of the dialogue to be repeated. Maybe one reason why the book is so long. Also she said "Max" sooooo many times. The overuse of his name reminds me of the college drinking game (old days!) where you'd watch the Bob Newhart show and every time someone said "Bob" you took a drink! And on a side note the reason for the final fight between the two main characters was, in my opinion, very weak and detracted from the ending.

What does Emma Taylor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Love Emma Taylor! One of my new favorite narators!

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anne
  • 17-12-14

Narrator

Where does The Gamble rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I like Kristen Ashley's other books, so I wanted to try this series. I like the book, but this is the first time I can honestly say I am not crazy about the English accent. I never did get used to the voice. The male voice is not very good either.

What did you like best about this story?

Different from the other books and the story is fun, dialogue is fun, but the again, the narrator takes away from the fun part.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

No, I know the "heroine" is English, but the accent drove me nuts.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The female is going through alot and the male really helps everyone. They are real and easy to relate.

Any additional comments?

I hope the rest in the series are not this narrator. Or at least she won't be doing the English accent.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bookaholic
  • 04-06-14

The Gamble ~ One of my favorite KA books

The Gamble is one of my favorites, and after the narration on the Dream Man series I was kinda worried if the audio was going to be any good on this. As it turns out, they found someone who could pull off Nina's "slight" English accent and switch to non accented voices without a hitch....Max's voice seemed a bit awkward to me at first but in the end I was happy with it.

I can't wait for Sweet Dreams, there is a roughly 45 min excerpt for Sweet Dreams at the end that just leaves you wanting more. Now we just need the Ghosts and Reincarnation series to be released in audio.

14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K
  • 29-05-14

Fast Becoming my Favourite Author

I loved this book from start to finish. Made me cry several times. Can't really give more endorsement than that can I?

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Catherine
  • 29-09-14

I finally found an author as good as SE Phillips!

Love! Love! Love this book and how well it is written! I have been searching for an author whose writing I could enjoy as much as I enjoy Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and now I have!

The characters reveal themselves through dialogue and through actions, not from what the author tells you about them. Relationships DEVELOP, they don't just appear out of thin air. Good writing makes all the difference in good storytelling.

This book has lots of texture and layers. She develops a whole town full of characters and creates an armload of people you want to spend more time with. These are mountain folks, and may seem a little quirky to city-folk listeners .... but I am mountain folk too and they ring completely true to me. I loved Carnal, Colorado and its people.

Emma Taylor's narration was great. Each character was distinct and she read the dialogue well. Sometimes dialogue and narrative run together with no differentiation, but Taylor succeeds in keeping the storytelling clear.

I don't think I will be interested in Kristen Ashley's Rock Chick or Chaos books (they sound a little rough for me), but I'll be listening to more of the Colorado Mountain series for sure!

12 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Admirer of great books; critic of bad books.
  • Admirer of great books; critic of bad books.
  • 06-01-20

Bad

Just bad. Demeaning to women. sexist, guy, helpless female, no storyline. And bad narration. Too wordy.

3 people found this helpful