ARC Review: Susan Mallery – A Fool’s Gold Christmas

Fool’s Gold Series:
Book 9.5:

A Fool’s Gold Christmas: Dante Jefferson and Evie Stryker

Release Date: September 25th 2012
The unrelenting cheer in Fool’s Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. She learned early on that Christmas miracles don’t happen, at least not for her. And this year seems like no exception. An injury has forced her to return to the family fold, no matter that they’re estranged. She won’t add to the awkward scenario by being seduced by the bad-boy charms of her brother’s best friend, the last man she should ever want to date. Even when she’s recruited to stage Fool’s Gold’s winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move forward with her life anywhere but here.

Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the backwater town he now reluctantly calls home, but the pounding of little dancers’ feet above his temporary office is more than any man should have to take When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he’s unprepared for the attraction that sears him down to the soul. Evie is his best friend’s sister-off-limits unless he’s willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is the most dangerous force in the universe, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles “do” seem to happen….

I quite simply adored this book! It is the final book of the Stryker’s I have to say I’m going to kind of miss them, although as true to Fool’s Gold tradition I am sure we will still see them in following Fool’s Gold installments. I started this series with the Strykers, but I certainly am not going to end this series with the Stryker’s. I am quite curious for the returned and returning home military men! This book was true to Susan Mallery form in that it was funny, fun and sweet. You leave the book with a warm happy feeling of a good Happily Ever After!

I do have to warn, that some of my love of this book could have something to do with Evie being a dancer and teaching the young ones to dance. I danced from the age of 2 until I was 13, so I tend to love when books incorporate one of my other loves into it. Susan Mallery did a fantastic job in recreating the feel of the little ones recital. The flury of rehearsals, costumes, make up and the excitement, I remember all of that from when I was little and I am sure anyone else who went through the same thing will also remember and it will bring a smile to their face like it did me. It was fun to remember being small sitting back stage with all the other girls waiting your chance to dance on stage for your family. This aspect was one of my favorite parts of the book, but worry not, non-dancers there was plenty else to love…

Evie and Dante are a lot alike, very different circumstances of their childhood have basically had the same outcome in their adult lives. They trust no one and refuse to give their hearts, they keep it light and then keep it moving. So what seemed to be a great idea, two people mutually attracted, stuck in a town they don’t like, with the holidays they don’t celebrate looming, scratching an itch; of course this great idea turned horribly wrong and you know that the makings of a great story are there. Evie and Dante made a very sweet “non-couple”, he was very supportive of her especially when it came to her mother. He helped her in so many ways including getting the big show off the ground, but where he helped her the most was mending the fence with her mother. Due to his own circumstances he knows the value of family and expresses to Evie that she has a right to her anger, but stresses what she could miss if she holds on to the iceberg on her shoulder. Evie shows Dante that he can open his heart again, that he won’t always be hurt. Evie is great for Dante in this aspect, she kind of sneak attacks him, he never saw it coming until it was too late and true to Fool’s Gold tradition, he runs.

One thing I would like to see with this series is the tables to turn. It’s always the guy that runs as soon as he figures he’s in too deep. I’d like to see the female run and to have the male run her down and talk some sense into her. Women run too! It would be a nice change and deviation from an obvious formula.

ARC provided through NetGalley for an honest review, no other compensation was provided.

Rating: 5 Orchids


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