Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Launch Blitz - "KALEIDOSCOPE" by Kristen Ashley

by Kristen Ashley 
Published: February 4, 2014; Forever 
E-Book; $3.99

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Sexy, gifted, and loyal, PI Jacob Decker is a tall, cool drink of perfection who had Emmanuelle Holmes at "hello." His relationship with Emme's best friend kept them apart for years, but things have changed. Now that a case has brought him to Gnaw Bone, Colorado, the road is wide open for Emme and Deck to explore something hotter and deeper than Emme dreamed possible. So why is she sabotaging the best thing that's ever happened to her?

It isn't easy to catch Deck off guard, but Emme does just that when she walks back into his life after nine long years. The curvy brunette had her charms back in the day, but now she's a bona fide knockout . . . and she wants to rekindle their friendship. Deck, however, wants more. Emme's always been the one; she excites Deck's body and mind like no other woman can. But a dark chapter from Emme's past overshadows their future together. Now only Deck can help her turn the page-if she'll let him . . .

(Colorado Mountain #6)
by Kristen Ashley
ARC Review
Published: February 4, 2014, Forever

My Rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️

Last time Jacob "Deck" Decker, saw Emmanuelle Holmes, she had come to his door after he had been given the heave-ho by her best friend and what he thought at the time was the love of his life. The only thing he recognized about her now was her voice and her dimples, the rest of her had gone through a dramatic change. But boy was it good to see her. The two of them had had a great connection back then, a friendship that was swept up in the aftermath of his breakup with her best friend. But with the knowledge that Emme apparently was living in Gnaw Bone, where he would be working for the next foreseeable future on a case, he planned to rectify that.

Bumping into Deck brought home how much Emme had missed him over the years. She tried not to think about how much she lost when she lost her friendship with him, but now that she found him again, she wasn't going to let the opportunity slip away. After the year or so she has had struggling, she was ready to bring some positives back in her life, and she couldn't wait to catch up with Deck. 

But Deck seems determined to not only pick up where they left off before, he intends to take it to a whole new level. Seeing Emme has clarified some things for him he should have seen years ago. She has always been the right one for him, challenging him intellectually and enticing him physically. But although Emme has always harboured more than just 'friendly' feelings for Deck, the future he is looking for is difficult to imagine when the ghosts of your past still haunt you....


It has taken me weeks to write this review.... Normally I am jumping up and down after reading a KA book, not able to purge the words and thoughts fast enough. This time. No jumping involved....I loved the book, don't get me wrong.....but my reaction was less adrenaline-infused.

I have had a 'thing' for Deck, since we first were introduced to him, found him to be deep and mysterious and utterly intriguing, but with his rather obscure profession, I thought for sure his story would be more suspenseful. The fact that it deviated not only from the character I had seen built up in earlier encounters with him, but also from my expectations from a KA book, threw me for a bit of a loop. 

Oh, as an alpha male Deck worked well, real well. I liked this rather mellow person, who could turn fierce on a dime when those he cared for were threatened in any way. And I particularly loved his focus and patience with Emme, the way he interacted with her and built a strong bond, even before they reconnected after nine years of separation. But what didn't sit well with me, is the sudden realization of what he has in Emme, or rather what he lost in her nine years ago. Brought about by the jolt of her altered appearance. Out of the blue Deck has this wake-up call, that she should have been his all along, but for nine long years he couldn't be bothered to waste a minute finding out where or how she was. It's a hard sell for me to buy that it has nothing to do with the way she looks now versus the way she looked then. 

Emme seems a pretty simple and straightforward kinda gal, but is anything but. She has some deep-rooted issues that may give the appearance of being involved, but she never quite trusts herself to become invested. She had been in love with Deck since he had been head over heels for her friend, and still was able to maintain a great friendship with him. That is the way Emme functioned, she could push things she didn't want to deal with so far down, they wouldn't see the light of day. That is, until some particularly dark memories would bubble to the surface and completely blindside her. Never properly processed or dealt with, they can wreak havoc on the psyche and cause all kinds of damage. 

I enjoyed this book, even though it may have been a bit of a change of pace from what we have become accustomed to with a Kristen Ashley book, it had a deeper exploration of an emotional nature and frankly, less action. Enough Alpha behaviour from Deck to make my knees rubbery, and that's always good, and Emme had enough bite on her to create some decent friction to keep all types of sparks flying. No nail-biting, last minute rescues in this one, but an overall satisfying knowledge where the years are going to lead.

A deliciously steamy, spirited and honest interaction!✨

**ARC provided by NetGalley and Forever in return for an honest review.**

I dropped my leg so I was sitting cross-legged in the couch and leaned into him. “Honey, you remember everything so I don’t have to remind you I haven’t seen you in nine years. I dig it that we reconnected and I love having you back.” I again threw an arm out, this time toward him and back to me. “This is great. You and me spending time together, shooting the breeze. I missed that. And I get it that friends make gestures, but this is too much.”
His eyes warmed during this speech and he took his arms from the couch, bent his legs, leaned into them, and me, and put his elbows to his knees, never releasing my eyes.
“Baby, I want you warm and liquid. The first bein’ physically, the second bein’ financially. You stop payin’ so much for heat, you’ll have more money for the rest of the shit you gotta do.”
This made sense.
But he’d again called me “baby.”
And I needed to address that.
So I asked, “What is that?”
His head cocked and his eyebrows drew together. “What’s what?”
I drew in breath and on the exhale, stated, “You calling me baby.” Then I went on quickly, “Not that I don’t like it. It’s sweet. It’s just not…” I hesitated, “us.”
Something happened to his eyes, his face, his whole big body and that something made me brace at the same time it made my heartbeat escalate.
“You know what it is,” he said softly.
I didn’t.
“I don’t,” I shared.
His eyes stayed locked to mine and I knew him relatively well, or I used to. But even if we hadn’t been separated for years, I still would not have been forewarned to the fact he was about to blow my mind.
“Before, we had Elsbeth between us. My head was fucked about that, about her, and it took almost a decade to get it unfuckedLookin’ back, havin’ you back, I now know and I reckon you know, that’s the way it was. She was between us. She knew it too. And she didn’t like it. But it didn’t matter. My head was fucked so I couldn’t see clear of her and not doin’ that, I didn’t see you.”
I knew my lips had parted. I also knew my eyes got big. And last, I had no clue what to say.
So I said nothing.
“Now she isn’t between us,” he finished.
It was then I knew what the “baby” business was.
I just had no idea how to react to it because I never considered it. He was beautiful. He was kind. He was smart. He was funny and interesting and affectionate.
But he was my best friend’s boyfriend.
That didn’t mean my mind didn’t go there in vague ways, not stupid enough to wish for something I could never have, just silently covetous of what Elsbeth had. And, because of all that he was and that Elsbeth had it, in the end, infuriated she threw it away. Angry enough to end an important friendship because of it.
Sitting there, all that was Jacob, and all that being spectacular sitting across from me, holding my eyes, I finally understood that the reason I was angry at my friend was because, in throwing Jacob away, she took him away from me.
And now I had him back, but also, he was saying I’d always had him a different way, we just didn’t go there and he was going to take us there.
Yes. I had no clue what to say but my body had a clue how to feel. Warm and there were a lot more tingles.
“Jacob—” I started on a whisper.
But he interrupted again.
“You saw me, asked me out to dinner that same night, no fuckin’ around. Since then, you’ve called twice for no reason except to connect, and, baby, before you freak that I noticed that and what it said, I’ll tell you, I’m fuckin’ glad you did and I’m also fuckin’ glad about what it said. The boyfriend you were on the fence about, you got off the fence in less than twenty-four hours after seein’ me again and decided to get shot of his ass. And you didn’t waste any time gettin’ me right where I am tonight. That is not friends reconnecting. You know it. So do I.”
“Don’t deny it.”
I shut my mouth.

Kristen Ashley grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana, and has lived in Denver, Colorado, and the West Country of England. Thus she has been blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her posse is loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write.

Kristen was raised in a house with a large and multigenerational family. They lived on a very small farm in a small town in the heartland, and Kristen grew up listening to the strains of Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon, and Whitesnake. Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music and love was a good way to grow up.  And as she keeps growing up, it keeps getting better.


On February 5, Forever will be hosting a LIVE Spreecast Chat with Kristen Ashley at 7 PM EST. 
Please check this link for more information: 

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