Blog Tour: Holding Aces by Nikki Groom

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Title: Holding Aces (The Kingdom #1)

Author: Nikki Groom

Release Date: May 29th 2014

Genre: Adult contemporary romance

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Blurb

They say that time heals all wounds.
But mine are set in so deeply, they’ve taken on a life of their own, lurking in the shadows at every turn and haunting my thoughts.

The girl I once was has been replaced by a stranger.
I don’t even know who I am anymore.

I run.
And I hide.
Pretending to be someone I’m not…

Until I meet Denham King.
My burst of color in an otherwise grey world.
And for the first time in my life, I find myself running towards someone instead of running away.

But fate can be cruel,
and I can’t escape my past.
Can I?

**Holding Aces is part one of a two part Adult Contemporary Romance series that contains mature sexual content and language and is not intended for readers under the age of 18.**

 

Christina’s Review 3.5 Stars

Arianna has fled from one abusive relationship to another. Jonny, back in her small hometown in Nevada, is a respected businessman. When his abuse lands her in the hospital for nearly two weeks she escapes to LA where she assumes a whole new identity (as Natalie) and quickly finds herself married to Aaron, an entertainment executive. She then finds out that the man she married is not who he seemed to be and again finds herself in an abusive situation. So when the opportunity to flee to Vegas and start all over again presents itself, she is all over it. It is there Arianna is able to reconnect not only with her best friend, but also with her mother, whom she hasn’t seen in a year and a half, setting herself up to put her life back together.

Denham King is the owner of the hotel that Arianna is staying at. Her best friend’s boyfriend happens to be the brother of Denham and Denham, being the type of guy he is, takes Arianna in and allows her the use of a penthouse suite at the hotel. Denham is your typical tall, dark, rich, handsome alpha male. He knows from the beginning that Arianna is keeping secrets, it’s just a matter of time before he can break down those walls and find out what they are and get her to trust again.

The heat between Arianna and Denham is sizzling and makes for some major sexual tension. There is a lot of the back and forth angsty issues; self-doubt, ex-lovers, lack of communication, etc. that make it a little hard to connect with the characters. Add into it some stereotypical alpha behavior from Denham and you’ve got a formula that we’ve seen before. The storyline is interesting, but it’s not necessarily one that kept me on the edge of my seat.

Arianna and Denham are both holding on to a lot of secrets and couple that with secrets that Arianna’s husband Aaron has and sometimes you just feel a little left in the dark; like you’re just not being let in on the big secret. I really would have liked to see a little more resolution of some of the issues, but we’ll have to wait until the next book for those.

Holding Aces was a quick read and well written. Unfortunately it just lacked that “wow” factor that would make it stand out from any other book with a similar storyline. The simple fact that Arianna, after two abusive relationships would be so quick to jump into a brand new relationship with a relative stranger was unbelievable, and to be honest, made me not like or respect the character all that much. Yes, Denham seemed to be a much different man that the types Arianna usually goes for, however you would expected a whole lot more caution from someone that had been burned more than once.

The book ends on a pretty major cliffhanger so if they’re not your sort of thing, you may want to wait until the next book in the series, High Stakes, comes out this fall. I’m definitely curious as to how the story is going to play itself out and will likely stick around for the next book. A solid three and a half stars.
 

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Excerpt

“Don’t run,” he says before releasing my hands slowly, and I instinctively move to tangle my fingers in his thick dark hair. Both his hands move to my ass, squeezing and pulling me closer as he kisses me with a fierce tenderness I can’t explain. I vaguely register him flicking the lock on the door as he walks us backwards, never breaking contact.

 He turns me as we reach his desk, and I hear paperwork flutter to the floor and glass smash as he sends everything on the desk flying before lying me down on the cold, hard surface, his body pressed tightly against mine. I have a desperate need to touch him, to taste him, to feel every inch of this man. I slide my hands in the waistband of his trousers and pull out his shirt. I let my hands roam freely over his torso, realizing I’ve wanted to do this since the very first time I saw him at the elevator.

He runs his hands down the length of my body and pushes them back up again, skimming my thighs and taking my skirt with them, exposing my lace underwear. “Stunning,” he says before bringing his mouth to mine. 

Tasting…

Feeling…

Testing… 

Our teeth crash together as the desire grows, and we both know it’s impossible to stop this now. “Arianna,” he says breathlessly. His chest is heaving and there are little beads of sweat gathering on his brow.

“Yes…” I can barely form the word. I haven’t answered to my real name for a very long time, but it feels natural coming from him.

“Tell me you want this…” 

It’s a command, but I don’t feel threatened. I want this as much as he does.I nod my answer.

“Tell me, Ari. I won’t touch you until you tell me.”

“Yes, yes I want you…”

 

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About the Author

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Nikki Groom is a hopeless romantic, lover of all things happily ever after and firm believer that love makes the world go around. 
In her spare time, you will find Nikki laughing with her very treasured family, walking with her beloved dog in the hundred acre wood or curled up in a cosy corner with words and wine. 
She lives in East Sussex with her husband and two children. Having turned her hand to many things over the years, Nikki is now proud to add ‘author’ to that list. 
Having always been a dreamer, Nikki’s imagination stretches far and wide, which enables her to get lost in faraway places and imaginary people. 

Nikki loves to chat, especially about books! You can find her here…

Facebook | Twitter | Email | Booktropolous Social | Goodreads

 

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