A solid 3.5 but with a good edit, I think this would have easily been a 4/4.5 star read for me.
There are elements of this book that I really like but there are also lots of things that are annoying. Overall I actually like the main characters and the secondary characters too...the overall plot was nice and kept me interested, the secondary plot of the murder/mystery wasn't TOO predictable either which was good. There were a lot of things and back stories going on which kept it pretty interesting and it dealt with some tough topics such as rape and abuse, loss and families, which I was quite impressed with. In fact I found parts quite emotional - I don't know if I am just having a sappy week or if those parts were actually pretty well written. I definitely felt invested in the characters.
The majority of the issues I had with this book could all have been overcome with a good edit...it seems too long, lots of detail about insignificant stuff like clothing and getting ready, there are a number of mistakes of missing words, and lots of repetition of similar phrases or actions, especially in the love/sex scenes between our H/H. I also particularly didn't like the way Nina always asks "sorry?" or "what?" to practically everything Max says when they have a conversation and repeatedly says Max's name as a one-word answer throughout conversations.
There are also a few niggling annoyances with macho man Max and his domineering ways, and the apparently strong-willed but actually doormat ninny Nina when it comes to Max.
However, all that being said, it kept me interested until the end, I want to read the next in the series and will definitely be looking into Ashley's other books.