Launch Day Blitz: Kaleidoscope (Colorado Mountain #6) by Kristen Ashley ~ Ava and Kat's Reviews + Double Giveaway!
“This was a kaleidoscope of beauty, the dials spinning, ever changing, but never anything short of spectacular.”
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.*
Oh how good it feels to be reading KA again! It wasn’t until I started the first chapter, did I realise how much I missed Kristen Ashley’s sexy alphas and the Colorado Mountains. It was like snuggling up with a cosy blanket. So I did just that, and I devoured Deck and Emme’s story in less that 24 hours!
Deck is in Gnaw Bone for some PI business and to his surprise he runs into a blast from the past. Although now, Emme is all grown up with a new hair cut, sexy clothes and more confidence causing Deck to see her in a whole new light. Of course the couple don’t waste time to reconnect and within days they are closer than they have ever been. Deck takes charge, naturally, and wants to make everything right for Emme.
“This is, well…kinda weird.” Understatement! “And fast.” Extreme Understatement! “Met you twelve years ago and we’re just getting’ here. I don’t call that fast. I call that a waste of fuckin’ time I’m about to rectify.”
I loved Deck from the get go. KA’s alphas have that way about them. They want to take care of their women, in all aspects. Sure, the feminist in me should be urging these girls to want to do more, but who cares? I was swept up in the book, and what woman wouldn’t want her man to be all over her, protecting her at every turn?
“Fuck, don’t know whether to pack you up, take you to my place and save you from this nightmare or move in here and start work tomorrow…” he turned, locked eyes with me and finished, “and save you from this nightmare.”
Emme and Deck had a familiarity straight away and I love second chance romances. The history has already been set even though this was really the first time for both Deck and Emme as it was Deck’s ex-girlfriend and Emme’s best friend that stood in their way before.
“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.”
Emme was happy to reconnect with Deck but an event from her past reared its ugly head. Emme had convinced herself that she was over it but only when she got close to Deck, did she realise what his presence meant to her, especially if she lost him again.
“I don’t want to lose you again.” Jacob fell silent. “I missed you,” I whispered. “How bad?” He whispered back. “I wouldn’t allow myself to think about it, that bad.” “Baby-“ “Maybe we should just be us,” I suggested. “And maybe this was the us we were always meant to be and we should be that.”
Deck was exactly what Emme needed. They were both independent, smart characters and I liked them both. They could spar with each other one minute and then melt into the other’s arms the next.
“And baby,” he lifted his hand to my jaw and dropped his face closer to mine. “I’m gonna figure out why. Fix what’s broke in you. Then turn my attention to givin’ you the best life I can for the rest of the time you’re on this earth breathin’.”
Kaleidoscope wasn’t as drama filled as the previous books in the series and this surprisingly worked for me. With Emme’s past, I did worry KA might put her through that again but I should have known better. It was more about the characters, correcting their past mistakes and learning to live with who they were now. I was rooting for this couple from the beginning and literally couldn’t put the book down until I knew they were both ok and happy. And Deck was the one to see to that.
“Jacob didn’t allow me to fall apart. In his lap, on my couch, his big strong arms around me, he held me together so maybe… maybe… I could finally find me. And then be happy.”
Kristen Ashley has a certain writing style, yes sometimes the dialogue ties me up in knots and I have to reread a few times to understand it but I’m settling in now, I’m enjoying these books and KA’s writing style. Some may say the characters and storylines are repetitive but I say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So I’ll continue to read on because I love all that KA has to offer.
I’m sad this is the end of the Colorado Mountain series, I will always hold out hope Deke gets a book to find a girl of his own but if this is the end, then it went out on a high. The epilogue, like all the others was wonderful and not one to be missed!
If you have followed this series then Kaleidoscope is a must read or even if you haven’t, it works well as a standalone and you will want to go back and discover the other couples for yourself. Whatever the order, just make sure you read it.
Jacob is truly alpha. Like the, I-see-the-woman-I-must-mate-with-and-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-NOW kind of alpha. But first...He must steal her from that moron she's currently dating. I wouldn't have been surprised if he beat his fists on his chest as he went about it. But he's not only alpha he's a freaking genius! Smart as hell. Hot as hell. Alpha as hell. Have I said alpha enough yet? He also has a brilliant heart. . Determined to help Emme no matter what in order to make her see what's real. What she deserves, and what he knows she really want's, even when she can't.
"I'm gonna figure out why. Fix what's broken in you. Then turn my attention to givin' you the best life I can for the rest of the time you're on this earth breathin'"
So Emme and Jacob have know each other for a long time. He used to date her best friend, Elsbeth. They all hung all the time. Emme was never the third wheel in that relationship though, Elsbeth was, and even she knew it. Jacob and her had so much in common and a real intellectual connection. But when Jacob walked away Elsbeth, Emme ended up walking away from both of them.
"You've always in a way been my girl."
9 years later they ran into each other on the street. They had no clue they lived in neighbouring towns. And so the love story begins...
I loved so many things about this story. I especially loved Emme's back story, I've not read one like that before. It was well thought out and the way Emme dealt with it, or rather had not dealt with it yet, I thought was a great way to go. The way she forgave yet is still holding on to the past in a way no one would ever understand. Even though it's likely not the healthiest way to go about it, I can appreciate where she was coming from. Her heart is just so beautiful and forgiving and so full of love.
"You think you lost beauty, Jacob, but you didn't. Just turn the dial."
As with every romance story there is a separation point. And this brings us to something Jacob calls "A game changer".
Game changer...What's the game changer? TELL ME WHAT THE GAME CHANGER IS!!! And so it all falls apart, I could feel his frustration, her sadness. I felt it in my heart when they weren't together, I hated every moment of it. It wasn't one of those splits I could just go with and say "hey, they'll work it out. I can sit back and wait." NO! It was an OMG hurry the hell up and be all in love again!
Let's talk about Jacob's and Chace's bromance for a minute here...first, Chace names his first born son Jacob. And Jacob cannot get enough of the little guy. Hard to resist a mountain man cooing over a baby. Perhaps he'll do the same if he has a son? They will always have each other's backs, I really wouldn't mind reading some "guy time" at the bars with these two, I bet they are hilarious drinking buddies!
"We gave him your name, but it doesn't mean you get to keep him."
I loved the story of Jacob and Emme falling in love. I love their playfulness. I love when Jacob call's her by her full name "Emmanuelle". I love how all the woman in the group embraced Emme and brought her into the mix as if she's been there all along. The support they provide, the advice they give (although sometimes hilarious, most of the time very insightful, after all, they've been there before) all very cool of the former story stars. The whole story of the actual Kaleidoscope and just how much Jacob loved and cherished it. Oh just everything about everything in this book, LOVED!
I also loved that Harvey had a POV near the end. I'm not even sure why. Maybe it was the fact that he saw her get the love and life she deserved. Or maybe it was the fact that he finally got some closure too, and the weight of his guilt had lifted. I don't really know. All I know is I liked it!
I know I said "love" a lot when describing my feelings about this book, but it's all true! It was a close, very close, runner up to Lady Luck for me. I hope you all read and LOVE it as much as I did.
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 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 unfucked. Lookin’ 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.
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