High Stakes is the conclusion to The Kingdom Series. It is not a stand alone. Holding Aces is book 1 and should be read first.
“Stupid. Beautiful. Girl. How did you ever think you could be free?”
The last words I heard before the darkness took me and my dreams were shattered
I was on my way to having it all.
Friends, family and a future.
Everything I had wished for but never thought possible.
Denham King showed me just how good life could be. A life where love and happiness were within reach.
I should have known it would never last.
My past is a dark, damp cloud, that has seeped into my skin and left a cold promise.
A promise of hurt and pain.
A promise of a long, hard fight, where the stakes are high and the risks threaten lives.
When your world gets thrown in all directions, and your dreams for the future are torn from your grasp; how do you go on?
Can I fight the demons that haunt me?
Can love save me from fate’s cruel path?
What I love about this book is the way the characters drag you in, you can’t help but fall under their spell. Arianna is damaged and following her past it’s heartwarming to see how far she’s come since that first chapter in Holding Aces. Having said that she doesn’t overcome old wounds easily and at times I was frustrated with her and I just wanted her to demand more for herself. There is a particular shower scene that broke my heart and i just wanted to jump inside the book and hug her.
As for Denham, well he is hot as ever and wow did that bath scene do things to me, it’s safe to say i added bubble bath to the shopping list that week! He remains the sexy, caring protector we fell in love with in Aces only this time we learn more about his background and I defy you not to fall harder for him.
Then we have secondary characters, Spike, Lottie, Tara and Jack and in all honesty I don’t think calling them ‘secondary characters’ does them justice as they play such an integral part in Ari and Denham’s story but thats what they are so i’ll just have to get over my massive Lottie crush and deal with it! The book wouldn’t be the same without Lottie’s straight talking ways and Spikes playful nature. The fact I adored these characters as much as the main characters is testament to the Nikki’s writing.
The book flows perfectly, I love the way we see the relationships grow. I felt like i was truly invested in the daily lives of these characters and then bam you hit the 80% mark and wow does it put you through the wringer! I loved the pace of the book and although there’s drama it’s never too much every ounce of detail within the story is completely necessary its not just there to keep us interested it adds the depth that makes you feel like you're part of the story yourself. As well as the typical love between Ari and Denham I feel the love between Ari and Lottie is one I can’t overlook Lottie plays that friendship role perfectly and the love they share touched my heart and was the cause of most of my tears. This book evoked just about every emotion i laughed, cried, swooned and cursed but most importantly I loved, I loved the characters, I loved the story and I loved their sense of family and their dedication to protect what they loved.
Some books leave you feeling whole and complete and some leave you thinking I’d like more, well for me it isn’t a case of ‘I’d like more’ it’s a case of ‘I need more!’ I need Lottie’s story I need to feel complete! So I implore you all to read this and then pester Nikki until she caves and writes Lottie’s story.
All that’s left to say is I award 5 ‘ace’ stars for this ‘stunner’ of a book.
Amazon US http://amzn.com/B00OSDWCPG
Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00OSDWCPG