Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley
Series: Colorado Mountain #6
Published by Forever on December 16, 2014
Pages: 376 pages
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 . . .
October 2017 Update:
What I am about to say is a testament to the fact that not all things are going to be received at any given time, there is definitely a time and place for everything.
The biggest bone I had with Kaleidoscope by Kristen Ashley was the fact that I felt that Decker was pressuring Emme into a decision that she wasn’t sold on, but if I had instead chalked this flaw and the flaws of the other characters that I felt were wrong up to a lapse in judgement on their part I would’ve been able to experience another great story by Kristen Ashley.
But as I am thinking about it, I have to wonder that if I had read Kaleidoscope all the way the first time around would I have been able to appreciate the entirety of its story, or would I have still been fixated on this one issue? I don’t know, but I do know that in re-reading Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series being able to read the entirety of Kaleidoscope made this series a definite favorite of mine, hands down.
After finding it difficult to actually read Kaleidoscope, I picked up the audiobook from Audible and was blown away with how much better I liked it to reading it myself. Emma Taylor did an amazing job with Kaleidoscope, I can definitely see myself picking up more books with her narration.
Other than The Gamble, I haven’t had any issues with a Kristen Ashley read. Also, other than wanting to put down With Everything I Am because of my inability to connect with the characters, I’ve never not finished a Kristen Ashley story.
According to how the first half of Kaleidoscope was going I didn’t envision that I would so angrily close this book for good 66% into it, but there’s only so much character shaming I could take!
Initially, I wasn’t a big Deck fan just with how the situation with Emme’s friend played out. and the fact that despite his chemistry with Emme he chose to say with Elsbeth. But it was when the scene of Deck taking Emme to task for being late in meeting his parents because she was working on her house, the stiffness she portrayed while in front of his parents having nothing to do with his dad being cold towards her, and trying to tell her she did it deliberately because she’s pulling away from him pissed me off. Realizing that the couples in almost every Kristen Ashley book goes through some uncomfortable and irritating fights, I let it go.
At Jacob’s call, I opened my eyes and announced in a quiet voice, “Time for me to be getting home.”
“You’re sleeping’ here,” he stated, and I shook my head.
“I think maybe your folks will want to have an Emme-Free Zone when they get up in the morning…It’s also important to me that they don’t think I’m a floozy.” “Today hasn’t been good, honey,” I pointed out quietly. “My fault, but also, I think maybe they need some quality time with their son.” “Okay, let me rephrase,” I began. “Today hasn’t been good for me. Your dad isn’t my biggest fan…he was totally pissed I was late. He didn’t get over it all day and let me know it.”
“Last woman I got serious about was Elsbeth,” he remarked.
I shut my mouth and leaned a bit away. “It’s been nine years and I’m not Elsbeth,” I replied.
“I been hung up on her for nine years and you’re not Elsbeth but you knew her. You know she was notoriously late for every-fuckin’-thing. He probably got a flashback and if you wouldn’t pull away or act like my touch burns every time I get close, he’d get over it.”
“Okay, how about this?” I asked. “I want to go home because I need a break. I need to regroup and maybe you can bring them around tomorrow for a tour of my house and I’ll try again.”
“Baby, I could [understand] if you hadn’t fuckin’ forgotten my fuckin’ parents were coming’ to town. Something’ you’ve known for weeks. Something’ we made concrete plans about days ago. Something’ you gotta know means something’ to all involved. Then you show and act not you, which, since we’re having’ this conversation, I’ll point out, you been actin’ not you for a while.”
“So I got close and whispered, “Okay, I was late. That was bad. I forgot. That was worse. I shouldn’t have done either, but I apologized. I know you love him and you’re close but it was your dad who was uncool with me, Jacob. All day. And if you’re so close with him and can’t see it, hard back to how your mom reacted to it. She was not pleased because she knows, like I know, it was uncool.”
It wasn’t until Emme expressed to Deck that she doesn’t want kids and his response was, “That’s a game changer,” that I moved from just pissed to being beyond pissed.
If you profess to love someone, having them express something as firmly and gently as Emme did to Deck, you should respect their decision and still work on building your relationship with them, unless that ‘something’ was so huge that you can’t see being in a relationship with the anymore. Love is uncompromising. Either you love the person and all that comes with them or you’re confusing that forever type of love with a friendship type of love with lust mixed in.
What bulldozed me from pissed to boiling mad was when the other ladies from the other books of the Colorado Mountain series tried to persuade Emme to change her mind or to bend a little to Deck’s side of things. I agree that there are some things you compromise on, but bringing another human being into your life should always be a mutual desire. If you are that adamant about something that life changing, stick to your guns because you feel and think that way for a reason.
Deck disappointed me in Kaleidoscope and so did the other heroines from the previous books. All of them did Emme a disservice all throughout this book, that if I wasn’t an avid reader of Kristen Ashley’s books I would be hesitant to read another book by her for a while.