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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

ARC Review: Holding Aces by Nikki Groom

Holding Aces by Nikki Groom is not only the first book in The Kingdom series, but it is also her debut novel. I think that this book was a great first novel, and I am excited to see more from her in the future. I did have a few things that could have been a little better, but overall I think this one was a really solid debut. Beware that this is the first book in the series, and there is a cliffhanger. However, the next book is said to be the conclusion to the series so there isn't too much of a wait for things to be resolved. The next book is scheduled to be released sometime this fall.

Ari has had a pretty tough life, and has had horrible luck with men. She left her abusive fiance and started over far away from her home. She hasn't seen or spoken to her mom or best friend Lottie since she left. She met Aaron, and he treated her well, so even though she didn't love him she married him and planned to live a comfortable life with him. But when they get in a fight and he hits her, she knows that she needs to get out immediately. She decides to get back in touch with her mom and best friend, while she can't come home because of her ex-fiance her friend Lottie sets her up with a room in Vegas at her boyfriend's brother's hotel. She ends up meeting Denham King, the sexy owner of the hotel and casino. Things between them are instantly more than either of them have ever felt before, but with Ari's past still out there they have a long way ahead of them before they can see if they have a future together.

I liked Denham. I wasn't really a fan of his name, and for some reason it didn't really seem to fit him for me. That is probably just a personal preference though. He was sexy and sweet, and even though he had alpha tendencies he was really tender with Ari. He was thoughtful and patient, and was always looking out for her. I thought that he was really great for Ari, and he really seemed to want to help her out. He didn't have a problem being open and honest about his feelings, and that was really nice to see. Ari took awhile for me to warm up to. I felt bad for everything that she had been through, and she had been in some really horrible situations. I do feel like she didn't always handle things the best though, and that might have been why it was harder for me to connect with her. I'm not saying she deserved what she had been given by any means, but I do think that some things she could have done differently. She was a survivor though, and I liked that she was a feisty one with Denham. She wasn't afraid to say what was on her mind or turn him down. I also liked that she wasn't out to get whatever she could, and was always telling him when he was doing things that were over the top. I thought that Denham and Ari had a lot of chemistry and they were really smoking hot together!

Overall, this was a really good start to the series. I enjoyed the story and thought that the pacing was well done. I was interested to see where things would go, and this one was easy to get into. I thought that this one was a relatively quick read, because I was into the story. I was glad that this story didn't focus as much on Ari's past and that we really got to see her present and the start of her future. It was nice to know that she had a past and how it affected her, but to not have that drag down the story. I did feel like Denham's feelings developed rather quickly for Ari though, and were a bit more insta-love than I typically like. I understood the attraction, but they haven't really been together long or know each other well, and he is throwing around words like forever and always. I hope that the next book really shows more of the development of a relationship between the two of them, and that we get to see more of an emotional connection form. This one was more about the physical to me, and made their instant feelings seem less real and believable. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next after that cliffhanger, and hope that we won't have to wait too long to get the conclusion to the story. I would recommend giving this one a shot if you like your heroes wealthy and alpha and your heroines a bit broken but strong. This one is worth giving a shot, and I will be interested to read more from Nikki Groom in the future.

**ARC Provided by Love Between the Sheets**

Purchase: | Amazon | Kindle | B&N |


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