Me thinks everyone and their grandmother loves Kristen Ashley’s The Gamble, except yours truly and a handful of other readers on Goodreads. Personally, I enjoyed the first part of the story, as I immensely liked the premises and set up of the book and took quite a liking to the hero. After about 40% through, however, my mind started wandering in earnest, and it was rather difficult to keep myself from falling asleep.
As far as my opinion is concerned, The Gamble needs some serious editing. It is, roughly estimated by Amazon, over 600 pages long, with way too little plot development in the middle. And I am not only talking length here but also phrasing and writing style. Sometimes the hero's name, Max, can be read up to three times in a rather convoluted sentence. And the heroine starts her sentences so often with Max, but can't continue them because he interrupts or distracts her, that I wanted to pull my hair out. It's Max, Max, Max all the time, and not in a particularly sexy way.
Halfway through, I also really started to have problems with the heroine. At thirty six she can look back at a string of very bad relationships, having been confronted with cheating, beating, lying and, to top it off in the end, neglecting boyfriends. She also is having a father issue, which, too, is largely responsible for the armour she has built up. But sometimes I just wanted to shake her and say "Honey, I get it, you dated some real bastards. But don't you think, there might be a teeny tiny pattern here, seeing you having eight asshole boyfriends in a row. Don't you think maybe some counselling would be advisable?"
Furthermore, she often jumps to conclusion in a very young adult, childish way. And, to top it off, they haven't even yet had sex together, Max starts talking about her moving together with him and giving up everything she has built up so far in England. Arggg.
And last but not least, the plot made me crazy, too. As Nina and Max rarely get the chance to spend some quality time together. There's always someone interrupting them, be it neighbours, family, Nina's mother and husband, Nina's father and various town people.
In the beginning there really was a time when I felt some serious author glomming coming on, but it vaporised into thin air after passing the middle part of The Gamble. DNF