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This was a very good story. I really liked both Emme and Deck and got in to their story. There wasn't a major action plot but it was still engaging and a very enjoyable read.
Emme is a sweet but damaged woman. She has known fear and loss and it affected her greatly. She's made a life for herself but holds herself back and has few friends. Recently she's made more of an effort to come out of her isolation and has changed some things about herself. She even started dating a man named Dane for the last few months but she's not sure about him and is considering breaking it off.
Deck is a P.I. (for lack of a better definition...he doesn't always do things by the book) and the best friend of Chase (the hero from Breathe) and has shown up in a few previous books. He's a good guy, VERY smart and is a loyal friend. He is someone you do not want to get on the bad side of. Deck is also a bit of a ladies man and doesn't usually do serious relationships. Deck's been feeling like something is missing lately and thinks he needs to find the right girl.
Deck is in Gnaw Bone to talk to the police about a possible job when he and Emme first run in to each other. She's changed a lot in the 9 years since he last saw her and he barely recognizes her but is way happy when he realizes who she is. Deck and Emme used to be very tight for years. Deck was going out with Emme's best friend and the 3 of them hung out all the time. Deck and Emme had a special friendship that his girlfriend was jealous of but there was never a hint of something more at that time because Deck was majorly hung up on his girlfriend. When she dumps Deck for a man with more money, Emme tried to bring him some happiness, giving him a beautiful kaleidoscope and an offer for friendship. Deck kept the kaleidoscope but was too torn up to keep the friendship going and it was 9 years before they saw each other again. When Deck sees Emme again and gets to talk to her, he realizes just how much he missed their friendship and their connection. They make plans to do dinner that evening (which Dane is there to see and not to pleased about) and when they do Deck starts realizing just how stupid he was to have lost Emme from his life.
Deck's job actually has some ties to Emme's boyfriend so there's a little bit of a conflict of interest that makes things interesting but that part get done relatively quickly. Emme was already planning to break up with Dane so when things go down she's not unhappy about Dane being out of her life. She does feel a bit unsettled though because Deck makes it quite clear that as soon as Dane is out he's in and proceeds to make it that way. I liked the way Deck treated Emme, he was bossy but could be reasoned with and wasn't an alpha-hole. He decided that he wanted Emme and wasn't going to balk on that and he made a concerted effort to take care of her in important ways. Emme cares deeply for Deck and has since they first met but because of some of her past issues, Emme has trouble with letting people close and the growing seriousness of their relationship throws her into retreat. This happens on multiple occasions but fortunately, Deck is very smart and figures out that there are deeper issues. There's some drama as those issues are discovered and worked through and I liked how things worked out. There was a bit more on the action plot before the end but nothing too serious. The ending/epilogue was really good and had some touching moments (keep a tissue handy) and I enjoyed seeing Deck and Emme getting their well deserved HEA.
This was a very good story. I really liked Emme & Deck and how they interacted and worked through things. I loved the kaleidoscope as part of the story and the meanings/emotions behind it. I particularly loved the part it played in the epilogue. As always, the secondary characters are great and I loved seeing some of my faves from previous books. I did notice a few editing errors but not too many. This was a very good addition to the series and I'm looking forward to the next book. I'd recommend this book. Thumbs up. :D
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
OMG, even though I was loving each of the Colorado Mountain books, when it came to Jagged, plainly, I hated it. I hated the love "set up" so much that I was really upset with K.A. because I didn't feel she delivered a romance that readers could believe was undoubtably a "forever romance" between Ham and Zara (due to February...in my heart I believe Zara was Ham's second choice since February was taken). Sooooo, I ended up taking a sabbatical from reading anything K.A. When I finally decided to listen/read Kaleidoscope, it was like coming back home to VINTAGE KRISTEN ASHLEY.
In Kaleidoscope, you have a second chance at love, but one that you KNOW, as a reader, was Jacob Decker's first heart choice. There was no doubt that Emmanuelle Holmes was the only love of his life, as his previous relationship paled in comparison. The love development progressed very nicely and solidly. I loved the chemistry, intellectual banter and overall moments between Jacob and Emme.
The focus of this book was more on the relationship, as opposed to the unraveling of a complicated plot. This was really nice. Yes, there were A LOT of sex scenes, but I enjoyed that aspect. From many of K.A.'s work, I always come away feeling as though she solved the gender war between the masculine and feminine in the love relationships in her characters. I always feel as though K.A. celebrates equally strong male and female leads. Yet, in this book, there was an added dimension to that, as both Jacob and Emme are on opposite side of the political spectrum---which was like whoah!!! I thought exploring the political views of her leads was ballsy, because of the triggers it can evoke from readers. However, I thought she did a very good job with that. I absolutely DID NOT agree with Emme's political views, but fortunately, I never disliked her character for it.
Now, I thought Jacob was the absolute bomb! He was dominant in all of the right ways. Emme was emotionally shaken due to a past experience, and Jacob senses this and serves as a strong anchor, especially when Emme's emotions became unclear and confusing. Jacob was a strong "uber alpha" who helped center his woman and, in essence, heal her emotional wounds. Wow! Beautiful! Just beautiful! I was completely enthralled and impressed with the integration of the kaleidoscope in the love story. It was a very sweet and touching aspect that made a sweet listen/read.
Narrators: Emma Taylor always does a fantastic job, and she was no different in this book. The listening experience was great!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Finally Kristen Ashley is back on track. Story line is great and surprising. You need to read the previous books to understand the characters and their stories. Emma Taylor has improved out of sight with the flow of her reading. Very happy with this book.
Each book in this series gives me more than an Alpha male or two and the counterpoint of strong, opinionated, gorgeous women. I love the conflict, the point of impasse, the surprise as the story builds and the tension of an unexpected threat or set-back. I love the hard and tenderness and that with each book I get a little more of the characters which have become my friends. Through it all is the thread of courage, of taking a bite out of life, not timidly, but with determination and I find that extremely important in the characters I spend so much time considering. I'm intrigued by the mountains, and should I ever place my toes on USA soil I will be visiting Colarado. Give me more of your Denver and your Indiana too Kristen Ashleigh, and the characters with enough bad to make them thoroughly interesting.