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Holding Aces

(The Kingdom #1)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Tired of running, Arianna Fraser decides it's time to head home--to those she loves most. Finally putting the pieces of her life back together, she finds herself in the luxurious Kingdom in Vegas, meeting the wealthy and irresistible, Denham King.

And Denham King is everything she wants--and shouldn't have. Adding vibrancy and color to her grey and dismal world, Arianna ca
Published May 29th 2014 (first published May 27th 2014)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  347 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it

Title: Holding Aces
Series: The Kingdom #1
Author: Nikki Groom
Release Date: May, 2014
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cliffhanger:. Yes
HEA: (view spoiler)

With very interesting premise, gorgeous cover and promise of fast paced steamy romance, Holding Aces seemed to be ideal read just for me. I was very thrilled to crack this story open and meet the main characters. I really wanted to be blew away by it and I kept all of my fingers crossed till the end.

Holding Aces is
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
ARC generously provided by the Author in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 just call me Trouble, Stars.


Ari hasn't had the best luck when it comes to choosing men. Already hiding from one man that nearly broke her, Ari finds herself facing the same demons as before - this one just doesn't know who she really is. This time she's not going to wait around to hear the apologies, fleeing the life that was suppose to be her escape leads her down a completely unexpected path. Vegas was supposed t
**ARC provided for an honest review**

Title: Holding Aces
Series:The Kingdom #1
Author: Nikki Groom
Release Date: May 29, 2014
Rating:3 stars
HEA: (view spoiler)

Holding Aces is the first book in Nikki Groom's Kingdom series. This is also her debut novel and for her first shot out, I think she did a great job. The writing was there. The story was presented in a way that captured my interest and kept me reading at a steady pace until the end. So
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs

Arianna (Ari) seems to always pick the wrong guy. Her history of choosing men usually ends up in domestic violence. Her first fiancé left her in the hospital. After her husband hit her, she decides she's not going to stick around to wait on things to turn worse, so she runs to Las Vegas.

Denham King runs The Kingdom, a luxury casino/hotel. After running into Ari in his hotel, he's just as instantly drawn to her as she is to him. Even though they've just met, Denham sees it as his responsibility
Apr 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
"We have something Ari. I don't know what it is, but there's something. Everything is different with you, and I don't intend to let that go. When I see that sparkle in your eye, and it's coming in my direction, I feel like I'm holding all the aces."

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Holding Aces was a lovely read that has its potential to being a substantial duology.

Arianna is a girl running from her past and two abusive and troubled exes: one being her well connected ex boyfriend and the latter being her husband. Both of
Cassia Brightmore
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A girl on the run. An abusive ex and a farce of a marriage left in her wake. High stakes hands, lucky turns at the roulette table, luxurious hotel rooms and one hell of a sexy Casino owner. Welcome to Las Vegas ladies - the city of sin, and for Arianna, hopefully the city where she can leave her horrid past behind her and start anew.

Holding Aces is the debut novel from new author Nikki Groom. Its a fast paced, knock your socks off tale that’s as packed with delicious sexy steaminess as it is wit
Jerzie Bishop
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
~JERZIE’S REVIEW~ **5 Deliciously Wicked Stars**

He’s kryptonite to my intentions. The exception to all my self-imposed rules.”

I stumbled across this book one night, and boy was I glad I one-clicked. I loved the cover, I loved the premise, and I loved the writing! What can I say, Holding Aces hits on all the right places, making this such a fantastic read. Nikki Groom is one talented writer and she had me hooked right from the prologue.

Arianna makes some bad decisions, with picking the wrong m
~ Cariad ~
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Arc generously provided by the author (the first book by one of my oldest gr friends Nikki)

From the first 25% this could have gone anywhere (great start to a book) but perhaps where it did go just wasn't my cup of tea?

I liked the story, I didn't love it - I liked the characters, I didn't love them. I wasn't gripped.

For me it felt like there was quite a bit of padding, it didn't need to be that long and perhaps it wasn't as full a story as I would have liked. It felt a bit jumpy (like the whole
Lynsey Sabin
May 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Oh. My. God. I bloody loved this one. It's as hot as hell, sexy, fun, dramatic and mysterious. Everything you need from a debut novel although I could have done without the cliffhanger. But that just makes me even more anxious to read the next installment which I hope is soon as I definitely need more of Mr King. He is just so...... manly. That's the only way to describe him, he's handsome, protective, fun but also very gentle. The sexual tension throughout this book is extremely erotic, you're ...more
Zoë Lowdon
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Oh em actual gee!! I loved everything this book offered and now I'm impatiently awaiting book two!

So we meet Ari a girl in hiding after fleeing from an abusive relationship. She changes her name and tries to start again-cue life to throw more lemons at her! After a short marriage it's time to run again, only this time she runs (literally) straight into the chest of Mr King aka Denham...wise move!! That is one chest I would not mind running in to, yes Denham is that rich, super hot, self assured
Kelly  O'Connor
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Having just finished One Night: Promised by JEM I needed a strong book to pull me from that story.
I'd had lots of recommendations from friends and as it was already on my kindle I gave it a shot - I'm so glad I did otherwise a damn good book would have slipped me by.
Natalie/ Arianna has been running from a violent relationship for the past 18months, she now believes that she is settled in a marriage with Aaron but when that turns nasty she finds herself running again- this time to Vega
May 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, romance, read-in-2014
I started this book expecting nothing. The heroine was making one mistake after the other with men.
At one point I thought she just looked at the man’s wallet and learned the consequences of her poor decisions later. I began to not sympathy for her, but then I felt guilty for feeling that way. Later, I actually found Ari to be likeable. When she met Denham, I started feeling like I judged her too quickly. She was not so quick to give in to everything he was offering. Denham is kind, sweet, and ve
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend this read! Well written! If this is an example of what is to come from Nikki in her forthcoming books, we are in for a real treat! I would have liked a little bit more history on Natalie, but am wondering if it will be in the next book & Nikki is using this one to tease us.....

This story will keep you on your toes & oh my you will soon fall in love with Mr. King - HOT!!! You will love the chemistry between Denham & Natalie. Unbelievable chemistry - oh my!

Natalie is running awa
Jun 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: london-2015-read
3.5 stars. Not bad for a newbie but the fact he calls her "Stunner" is getting on my nerves a bit! Onto book 2....
Gwen ~the Book Diva
4-4.5 stars! This was a great debut novel!

*ARC provided to G the Book Diva blog in exchange for an honest review*

"Maybe you've kissed enough frogs and instead of a prince, you've found yourself a King..."

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Oh yes, I would love a Denham King for my very own, please! That is such a badass name and he definitely wears it well. I fell hard for the mega rich Las Vegas hotel and casino owner. I can't help feeling like he's up to a little bit of no good but I think his charm and
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review
4- I want a penthouse suite at The Kingdom Stars! Holding Aces starts off with our heroine on the run, she has been badly beaten and now she is on the run and in hiding. Things are not what they seem and she is keeping herself closed off from others. Fast forward a year and she finds herself in a marriage of convenience in another state, living a double life. She finds herself being a victim again, but this time walks at the first sign of trouble and flees to Las Vegas.

Natalie is done hiding (s
N.J. Frost
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous debut! Nikki Groom’s writing is wonderful. It’s beautifully observed and there’s a real affection for her characters – particularly the delectable Denham King. To say I loved Denham is a total understatement! He’s totally swoon-worthy and serious book boyfriend material – a take-control alpha but also a really genuine and sweet guy. He sees the fragility in Arianna and wants to take care of her and protect her – so I totally understand why she falls for him, even in light of her troub ...more
Zakirrah BookBlogger
3.5 Stars!

Review to come :)
Sammy ⭐️
Jan 23, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars review in progress
Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 STARS!

Exciting storyline but I felt the way the characters got together was a bit sudden. Didn't quite flow. But I can't wait to find out what happens next!
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Complimentary copy given by the author in exchange for an honest review

As I sit here writing my review of this really good debut novel by Miss Groom, I cannot help but keep thinking about the ending – that, to me, means that I have read a book that gripped me, moved me, yet a book that also, from time to time, made me a tad frustrated. But the latter in no way means that I did not enjoy Arianna’s story, I really did. And Denham made me sigh happily all…the…time. Allow me to apologise for ge
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Review originally posted at Ramblings From This Chick

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
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
False Name. False Life. False Sense of Security. For the past 18 months, that's how Arianna has lived. As Natalie Jamesson, she thought she could escape her abusive past, and for awhile, she was able to pull it off until her self preservation wins out, and she finds herself running again. Unlike last time, she asks her old best friend, Lottie, for help, and Lottie tells her to head to Las Vegas and go to The Kingdom Hotel and Casino. As Ari hides out in the extravagant hotel, she's able to recon ...more
Tbird London
Oct 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading the synopsis of this book I was excited to start diving into the world of Arianna and Denham. The author gave us a realistic story of a woman who found herself in a dangerous relationship with Jonny and then again with another man named Aaron. With the fight or flight mentality she was forced to decide what it was going to take to save her life. Not being strong enough to fight against these two strong and wealthy men, she ran. Lucky for her she ran to the Kingdom Hotel in Vegas.

Sheena Lumsden
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Holding Aces was a brilliant read for me, the way it was written was not only captivating but you could feel the emotion in the words, the feelings that Natalie had the fear, the hope and the love, it all came through in this book and I loved every single chapter

This book starts off telling by telling us exactly what Natalie has gone through in her life and in this day and age I feel it will touch a lot of people out there in that they will unfortunately relate to the circumstances here and to m
Kelly 'Perusing Princesses blog'
Book Review: Holding Aces (The Kingdom, #1) by Nikki Groom

Read and Reviewed for: Perusing Princesses
Twitter: @peruseprincess

A titillating, sexy, guilty pleasure read with great flow and strong, likeable characters. Nikki Groom is one to watch!

Holding Aces is a well thought out, contemporary romance with a dramatic edge. This is the story of Arianna; a woman running scared due
Badass Bloggettes
Holding Aces was a brilliant read for me, the way it was written was not only captivating but you could feel the emotion in the words, the feelings that Natalie had the fear, the hope and the love, it all came through in this book and I loved every single chapter

This book starts off telling by telling us exactly what Natalie has gone through in her life and in this day and age I feel it will touch a lot of people out there in that they will unfortunately relate to the circumstances here and to m
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-2014
Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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 he
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, arc
WOW is what I want to say first. Second this was a great read for Nikki's debut book.

You live in the dark for so long that when you step into the light you don't know what to do!!

We meet Natalie who really isn't who she says she is. She is actually running from her past, recently married and is coming into a sticky situation again. Her husband Aaron is a mess and wants to start a family. I think he is dealing with stress from work and takes his aggravation out on Natalie. What happens is every w
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think we (Nicola and Crystal) can both agree that this debut book by Nikki Groom certainly met and exceeded our expectations. It was definitely a page-turner that kept you guessing and on your toes. As far as debut novels go, it’s probably safe to say that Nikki Groom nailed it with this one.

The book begins tragically. A broken relationship and an even more broken woman. Arianna (Ari) was beaten by her fiancé badly enough to be put in the hospital. From there she gathers what strength she ha
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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

Other books in the series

The Kingdom (4 books)
  • High Stakes (The Kingdom, #2)
  • Lovestrong (The Kingdom, #3)
  • Headstrong (The Kingdom, #4)

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