My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In desperate need of distance from her inattentive fiancé, Nina Sheridan flies halfway across the world to rethink her engagement in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Unfortunately, Nina’s vacation in the cabin of her dreams is cut short when the owner, Holden ‘Max’ Maxwell, refuses her entry and she ends up in a ditch cold and sick. Nursing a broken heart, Max has no intention of allowing Nina into his life, but finds himself inexplicably drawn to her nonetheless. However, just as these two wounded souls take the first steps toward love and trust, secrets and lies emerge to threaten their fragile romance.
Kristen Ashley is one of those writers that a reader either loves to distraction or hates with every fiber of their being. The reasons for these divergent attitudes are usually the same, however. Obnoxious and domineering alpha male heroes; Mary Sue type heroines who are snarky yet sweet and a writing style that either appeals or repels.
One would think given my aversion to excessive repetition, insensitive heroes and nitwit heroines, that these books would be a huge turn-off. Interestingly enough, the opposite is true as Ashley consistently manages to captivate me with her charming characters and steamy romance. Nina and Max’s story is no exception.
Like every other Ashley hero, Max is seriously sexy and his initially cantankerous nature rapidly gives way to reveal a man who cares deeply about the people in his life. Nina is simply adorable with her cute English accent and quirky mannerisms. While there are moments when their flaws and insecurities grate on the nerves, it all makes sense in the long run and only adds to the charm of the story.
The minor mystery plot surrounding the death of one of Max’s neighbors is an additional bonus and it has some compelling twists and turns that fulfill my need for tension and suspense.
In sum, Ashley’s writing may not be for everyone, but I’m looking forward to getting to her entire backlist.