Not my favorite nor my least favorite Kristen Ashley book
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It isn't my favorite KA book and the hero and heroine weren't my favorites either. They didn't annoy me, but I didn't connect with them as much as other KA characters. I didn't figure out who the bad-bad guy was until very late in the game, but I wasn't surprised when he made his move because I had his number by then.
Nina had moved to England so although she was American, she had an English accent which led to her nickname of Duchess (which I did like). Max (full name Holden Maxwell, loved the name Holden so I am not sure why he went by Max, but whatever) lived in the Colorado Mountains, built a house on his own land their and took long jobs away from his home. Because of this he rents out his home when he isn't there. There is a mix up and both Max and Nina are slotted to be there at the same time. The book description does a good job of telling the reader what happens during that encounter, but sparks fly (angry sparks, not interesting sparks).
A man that no one in town seems to like (except of course his wife) ends up murdered and the rest of the book is spent with dealing with the aftermath of that, reading his will, catching his killer, etc.
There is an interesting (I say interesting the way that it kept my interest) with a friend of Max's, Mindy. This story line took up a good deal of the middle of the book. Mindy's ex-boyfriend is bad news and makes many cameo's spotlighting his jerkiness (and he has it in for Nina).
The very end of the book is where all the action happens as far as catching the bad guys. I wished that part took up a little bit more of the story line, but KA doesn't like to leave her heroine's too long in the clutches of the evil-doers.
I found it odd that Nina's dead brother would talk to her in her head. At first I thought that this was Nina's way of keeping Charlie close, but at the end Charlie says things that Nina wouldn't know (for example, Max is looking for Nina and Charlie tells Nina to yell because Max is close) so it's not just in Nina's head. I guess it was his spirit or something talking to her.
I got bored about 80% of the way through this and started reading another book. I did come back to it fairly quickly, but I feel like there could be a good many pages eliminated from this book and it would have been better. The entire book took place in a matter of two weeks. I have a hard time reading KA's descriptions of clothes. For one thing, it is too descriptive and another it is soo not my style that what I picture in my head actually makes me cringe thinking of people wearing these clothes (this is true mostly for all of KA's books, except for the Fantastical series which took place in another world so I loved their clothes). I have started just skimming her clothes descriptions and put my own images in my head to keep my heroines hip and cool in my head (not that I am super hip and cool, but I need my heroines to be).
The other annoying thing was that Nine would get interrupted constantly and she started all her sentences with "Mom-" or "Max-" and be interrupted three or four times in a row. Maybe this only annoys me because being interrupted is one of my personal pet peeves. Or maybe the problem was that Nina was interrupting people before they were done so they just kept talking, either way, it was super annoying to read that through the entire book!
I have already starting reading Sweet Dreams and am very much into those two characters. I don't think that you need to read The Gamble before you read Sweet Dreams, even though they are in a series I don't think any of the characters overlap.
Also, be careful, KA tends to use religious swear words often and it can be jarring to read them.