Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley

By 8:12 AM , , , , ,

Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain #6)
    by: Kristen Ashley

Publication Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Source: e-galley received via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 416 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 2/5 stars

When old friends become new lovers...anything can happen.

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 . . .

I was very excited to start my first Kristen Ashley book, as I've heard some really great things about them. Unfortunately, I had a lot of issues with this book, so maybe this wasn't the best one to start off with. I'm very picky with my adult romances, as they can be very hit or miss with me. I'm not sure why some just really vibe with me and others don't. Sometimes adult romances feel too flowery and don't have enough angst to get me invested in the characters.
I enjoyed Ashley's writing style and I did like the plot of this one. However, the execution of both were what threw me. The dialogue between Deck and Emme was really harsh and choppy. I felt like they talked like country bumpkins, instead of the two intelligent people they are. I kept asking myself, 'Is this really set in Colorado and is this how they talk there?' I also didn't like the constant, two days later...., the next night...., etc. that were used to transition time periods. To me, it was more like, day to day activity, two hours later- have sex, the next day- argue about something, later that night- have more sex.... It just didn't flow well for me at all. It was too long of a story and I felt a lot of the details could have been eradicated to make the story flow better and not have the transitions seem so forced. This took away from the action and suspense of the plot.
There are alpha males and then there are dick males. Deck fell into the latter of the two categories and I really didn't like some of the things he did and some of his reactions when it came to Emme. She is a strong individual woman and his protecting and taking care of her came across as belittlement to me. The scene that pops into my mind most is the one where Emme meets Deck's parents for the first time. It does not go very well and all she wants to do is go home and have some time to herself, but Deck refuses to let her go. I wanted to scream at her for letting him dominate her feelings and take away her choices! What would it have taken to let her go regain her composure after having a crap day with a father who is being a douche to her?! No, Deck's reasoning is that she's disconnecting and that's why he won't let her go. There's a difference in disconnecting and just needing some freaking breathing space!
This brings me to my next issue. I realize Emme went through a traumatic experience as a child and still feels very conflicted over it and has some displaced feelings, but.... it was all just too creepy for me. Deck feels this event is what keeps her from connecting to people and he isn't wrong, but I just don't like how he dragged it out of her (essentially raging at her). She does get her head squared away and realize the event for what it was and why she has held so many people at arm's length all these years.
There wasn't enough build up for me in the romance department. Deck doesn't even recognize Emme at first sight and then it's all, I'm going to make her mine and get her to ditch this guy she's currently seeing because he's bad news.... The 'baby' and 'honey' endearments didn't work for me either. They just felt forced and awkward by how often they were inserted into the dialogue. I also felt the same with how many times Emme refers to Deck as 'nice'. What? She's never met another nice guy in her life? Or was it that she was used to how big of a creeper her current boyfriend was and that he didn't really do anything for her?
I did like the symbolism of the kaleidoscope though. It was sweet that Deck kept it with him after all those years, still unconsciously holding on to a girl he thought he lost years ago.
I was really disappointed after I was finished with this one. I was so happy when it was over at 91% on my Kindle because I was so bored. I seriously considered DNF'ing this one, but pushed through because I hate not finishing a story and I wanted to see how the suspense part ended. (Quite anticlimactically, I might add). I will have to try another KA book in the future and hope I don't have the same issues I did here.

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  1. I haven't read a KA book either but I have heard nothing but great things about all of them, so its a shame this one didn't work for you. I know that if I do ever decide to give KA a try I will be avoiding this one since we usually agree. Deck does not sound like a guy I would like. Great review!


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