Review: Susan Mallery – Three Little Words

Fool’s Gold Series:

Book 13:

Three Little Words: Ford Hendrix and Isabel Carlisle

Three Little Words  (Fool's Gold #12)

Purchase on Amazon:  Three Little Words (Fool’s Gold)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Isabel Carlisle thinks she’s cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for another…man. So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she’ll pursue her real dreams. At least, that’s the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again….

Seeing Isabel all grown up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can’t take his eyes-or his lips-off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool’s Gold forever-if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same….

Review:

Another hit in the Fools Gold series, I mean really you can’t go wrong with this series when you are looking for something light hearted that will give you a little pick me up. Like the rest of the books it is quirky and humorous. In this one, Ford a Navy Seal is terrified of no one or nothing except his own mother! TO get her off his back he manages to convince Isabel to be his fake girlfriend. Isabel isn’t quite sure how he gets her to convince her to be his pretend girlfriend but here she is doing girlfriend duty. From the start of the arrangement it doesn’t really feel fake to the reader. The chemistry between Isabel and Ford is anything but fake. I like the angle of Isabel writing to him all of those years and a young girls letters becoming his anchor in the midst of war. It’s very sweet! This whole book is sweet. I really enjoyed how the whole book played out.

As an added bonus we also get Consuelas Happily Ever After. Consuela and Kent get almost as much page time as Isabel and Ford, which really picks up the pace of this book. Two books in one, score! Consuela is tough as nails but has always wanted a normal life, but her’s has been anything but. When she meets Kent she is terrified of him and what he makes her feel. There is no way someone as normal as Kent could ever go for a rough around the edges killer like her. Kent is great! He knows that Consuela has done some things she is not proud of, but he never lets that get in the way. He always treats her like a cherished female. He knows she knows at least 50 ways to kill him, but he trusts her with not only his body but his heart as well. We don’t get to know Kent as well as we do Ford, but you have a pretty good picture of him by the end of the book. This is not our first rodeo with Consuelo so we know more about her. It’s good to see her soften a bit, but not too much because that’s just not her. She stays pretty true to her character.

Three Little Words is another great installment in the Fools Gold seriesthat I thoroughly enjoyed! Great job Susan Mallery, we have come to count on your light hearted romances that will give you a good chuckle!

Rating:

Vintage Heart 4.5

*This copy was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review, no other compensation was provided.

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ARC Review: Susan Mallery – Just One Kiss

Fool’s Gold Series:

Book 11:

Just One Kiss: Patience McGraw and Justice Garrett

 

Just One Kiss (Fool's Gold, #11)

 

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

Purchase on Amazon: Susan Mallery – Just One Kiss (Fool’s Gold)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

He won’t hesitate to put his life on the line…but will he ever risk his heart?

Falling for Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw’s otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now, he’s back in Fool’s Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won’t abandon her again-and her daughter, too?

When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He’s returned to open a defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can’t resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice’s past doesn’t make him husband, or father, material.

Patience and Justice think they’ll succumb to just one kiss… Then one more… Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone’s control.

Review:

A tale of rekindled love! Well kind of rekindled… Well they find each other again after something like 12 years. Once upon a time a young man was in the witness protection program from his own father, for his own safety he was sent to Fool’s Gold. While in Fool’s Gold he broke all the rules and befriended a girl from his school. He’s not supposed to have any attachments but there was something about Patience that called to him and he didn’t fight their growing friendship. Patience found herself on the brink of young love when Justice up and disappeared in the middle of the night. She never forgot about her first real crush… When he steps into her salon years later all grown up and looking like sin she is happy to see her old friend, glad he is alive and well. They pick up their friendship pretty much where it left, only they aren’t kids anymore and they discover a very adult attraction.

Susan Mallery has a formula for this series and she doesn’t really break from that formula. True it is a successful formula and it produces heartwarming, light funny reads, but someday I’d like for Susan Mallery to surprise me and maybe the female will run off from the man. That surprise did not occur within this book. We get the same formula; man has some issues from his past. Woman loves him despite his baggage and just when things are about to get serious man gets scared and runs off only to come to his senses and come back. Where female promptly forgives him and all is well in Fools Gold! YAY!

With formula in place Susan Mallery creates a fun light-hearted story. Patience is easy to love as a character. She is warm and has a natural welcomness about her. She is a single mother who still has the heart to dream! I love that she has a dream and once has the means to go after her dream she goes forward full steam. She has natural dreams of failure but the presence of Justice helps her a lot. He has a calming influence on her. Justice had a brutal childhood. His father would not be winning any father of the year awards. It is because of his father that he had to enter in the witness protection program. Later he joins the Army, becomes a specialist and then a premier bodyguard. Pretty much his entire he has been adrift not putting down roots anywhere but Fool’s Gold and Patience keep tugging at him. When he decides to open a business he decides to check out Fool’s Gold and check in on Patience. Now Patience is all grown up and those feelings he kept under wraps at 18 have a chance to fully develop. The romance between Patience and Justice develops naturally aided by a previous relationship even if it was just friendship. They fall into each easily and it feels good and warm. I love when a couple (in this case not really but kinda) rekindles. It always makes me happy and this is no exception.

Overall, a solid installment in the series, not the best but a good showing, It also sets up nicely for the next three books.

Rating: 4 Romanticals

*Review copy was provided through NetGalley for an honest review.

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
Summary:
From Goodreads.com
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….

Review:
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

ARC Review: Susan Mallery – All Summer Long

Fool’s Gold Series:
Book 9:

All Summer Long: Clay Stryker and Chantal (Charlie) Dixon




Release Date: July 24th, 2012
Summary:
From goodreads.com
Can a summer fling turn into love that lasts a lifetime? Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he’ll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool’s Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he’s frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous…assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family-yet she can’t move toward the future while she’s haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?

Review:
I have to admit I’m torn on this book. On one hand you finish the book with the typical warm fuzzy feeling that you usually have at the end of a Susan Mallery novel. It was warm, funny and a crowd pleaser for most. Charlie and Clay were for the most part likeable characters. Charlie we have seen through most of the series a well known town member of Fools Gold. Clay was a newcomer, settling in Fools Gold to be near his family. On the other hand S. Mallery attempts to tackle a serious subject matter of date rape and for me it fell horribly flat.

So let’s tackle the date rape first, I do want to mention that I have had friends that have experienced sexual assault and my best friend has been a rape and domestic abuse councilor for close to 10 years. So I have strong opinions regarding this. For 10 years Charlie has been struggling as a survivor of date rape, her coping mechanism has just been to avoid all men and any intimate settings. Ok, totally out of character for someone like Charlie who tackles everything else head on, but I guess I can see why she would take this approach, it’s easier to avoid then to deal. Now she wants kids but realizes she will have to conquer this fear if she is to be a good mom. Her solution, get laid… So she approaches Clay, whom she barely knows, but hey he’s super hot so I don’t blame her. So this approach of, ok I’ll just get laid is ridiculous. This is not going to fix anything without any sort of counseling but whatever, we will pretend that it will. So I liked Clay’s approach to helping “cure” Charlie, he did research; he had some idea what to expect and was willing to put in the time and work. No matter what she threw at him he took it and maintained calm. It was Clay’s attitude that actually had me thinking that maybe S. Mallery would take this subject matter a little more seriously. However, this was not the case, so it started ok, Charlie was understandably freaked out after the first kiss and a little less so after the second make out. But, after two make out sessions she was practically jumping Clay’s bones and begging for it. I think it was their third or maybe fourth “session” that they were going at it like two teenagers. And then it was like a week after that she was fully “cured”. Really? I mean really? Two make out sessions is not going to cure someone who has been terrified of intimate relationships for 10 YEARS! It is completely unrealistic and completely blows off the seriousness of being a date rape survivor and their recovery. Charlie actually freaked out more that Clay was so attractive and an underwear model then the actual intimacy itself, whining about why couldn’t he be less attractive, then you shouldn’t have picked a model, I’m just saying. I don’t understand why authors take on serious subject matter such as this and then completely blow it off. What’s the point?! It’s almost insulting to those who have been assaulted and go through years of recovery.

Ok, so the date rape aside, I am now done with my rant, this was basically a warm fuzzy novel that is supposed to make you feel good afterward. Charlie is strong yet, kind. She goes above and beyond for friends and that includes Clay. She has a crazy mother who appears out of nowhere to make nice with her. After a difficult period, Charlie does open her heart to her mother and tries to make it work. I do have to admit Charlie’s mother is a piece of work, she is a total *itch, but for some reason I kind of liked her. I have no idea why, she was such a terrible mother, maybe it was because she was so honest in her witchiness. Lol But through it all Charlie keeps her heart open, so I liked that about her. However, when Clay dumped her, man did she run off and fast. I would have thought someone as strong as Charlie would have fought or at least stood up and faced him, but then we wouldn’t have had a touching mother daughter moment, so I guess that was a trade off.

Clay, on the surface I liked him. There is nothing to not like, he’s kind, down to earth and cares about his friends and family. He didn’t have a vain bone in his body, which was quite nice. He is a widower who absolutely loved his first wife and still misses her, which always makes you go AW a bit. He knows the value of love, he is just stubborn in thinking he would never have it again. With all of that, I didn’t really feel like Clay grew as a character much, by the end of the book he hadn’t accomplished much. He still wasn’t a firefighter and his Haycations was still kind of left as a disasterpiece. Poor guy, couldn’t he have had a bit more closure by the end, at least passed training? It felt like his life was still a jumble, the only thing that was different is he committed to Charlie, which took until the last couple of pages. Overall, he’s a very likeable guy, he was a lot different than I had expected with Rafe’s reaction to him and his choice in cars. I had thought he would have been a little more reckless and a little less responsible, but responsible works too. His obsession with research had me smiling, it seemed like he was doing a lot of research for everything that popped up in his life. It was kind of cute.

Overall, it was a light summer read, I had just wished that Mallery would have kept it light and not have introduced such a serious subject matter. I figure that many people will not have the same issue that I had with the date rape recovery and will thoroughly enjoy this Fool’s Gold novel.

*Review copy provided through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Rating: 3.5 Orchids

ARC Review: Susan Mallery – Summer Nights

Fool’s Gold Series:

Book 8:

Summer Nights: Shane Stryker and Annabelle Weiss


Release Date: June 26th, 2012
Summary:
Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he’s determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher’s wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill. Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can’t understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool’s Gold festival. And maybe while he’s at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too-some lessons, a girl shouldn’t learn from reading a book!

Review:
This is my second Susan Mallery read, I started with Summer Days which was the first Stryker brother Rafe, and I think I’ve been hooked into the Fool’s Gold world. The town is just so quirky and fun it’s hard not to get sucked in. Shane is returning after spending part of his childhood in Fools Gold, he always had fond memories of the town, its where his love of horses started. Now, he is back and starting his dream, his own ranch and breeding program of thoroughbred race horses. Annabelle is a librarian, she found Fools Gold after her disastrous first marriage, the town soothed her open wounds and now she is ready to possibly find love again, if that man can accept who she really is.

Shane, oh Shane, so incredibly sexy, so incredibly sweet, so incredibly a cowboy, so incredibly almost perfect if only you weren’t so dense. Shane was once married to a not so nice female who cheated mercilessly and always had to be the center of attention. So now he’s looking for a nice sedate woman who doesn’t set his blood on fire. So when he see’s Annabelle dancing on a bar, he knows she’s not the woman for him. Then when she shows up in his barn and sets his blood on fire he’s even more convinced this girl is nothing but trouble. Now, if only Shane could get his head out of his arse and see a good thing when it’s staring him in the face, even his horse is smarter than him! A one minute impression clouds the next several hundred pages of the book, which I understand we need some conflict but geez. Despite the fact that Shane has his head up his arse, I still loved the dolt, I just couldn’t help myself, he’s just such a nice guy. He tries to find a companion for an aging elephant, he gets roped into riding lessons for young girls, he teaches his million dollar horse to dance for Annabelle, you just can’t steel your heart against that kind of kindness, you just can’t and add to that, he’s a cowboy and you’re sunk. There is just no helping it. You’re in love before you know it, just like Annabelle.

Annabelle is cute, feisty and stubborn, once she gets her claws into an idea she does what she needs to see it through. Right now she wants a bookmobile and the way to achieve that is at the next Fools Gold festival, the only problem is she needs a dancing horse and a willing male sacrifice. Having never even sat on a horse before, she doesn’t know how she is going to get a horse to dance in front of a crowd let alone stay on top of one to do it, but she is determined. Enter Shane, the resident horse whisperer and her best friend’s fiancés brother. What she doesn’t know is the first time Shane see’s her, she’s on the top of the bar dancing, so now he sees her as a wild woman which couldn’t be further from the truth. What she realizes almost immediately following her impetuous dance is that all of her life she has been molding herself to fit someone else’s needs to be loved and decided that she would no longer do that again. So when she meets Shane at first she is attracted but doesn’t act on it but as time moves on they get closer and true to her word she does remain true to herself and who she is, which I was proud of her for, but this time she made a completely different mistake and decided she had to “prove herself” to him. Which come on, let’s face it, is just as bad as changing herself to please her current whatever. She shouldn’t have to prove herself to anyone. Despite this setback she does come to her senses by the end, yay Annabelle! As a character I really enjoyed Annabelle, she was a breath of fresh air, she was positive, upbeat and genuinely cared about everyone. She is someone you would be proud to call one of your best friends and would never let you down. I wish she would have smacked some sense into Shane earlier but hey no one is perfect, not even Annabelle.

Overall, it’s a light fun read, great for the summer. There is nothing not to like about this charming book, you’ll be sucked into Fools Gold like everyone else. If I was keeping a list of great beach reads this one would be towards the top of the list. If I had one complaint about this book it was all the baby talk, there was a lot of it, everyone was having babies or wanting babies. It was a lot and for someone whose biological cloak is NOT ticking it was a bit much. However, check this title out and be prepared to be charmed I sure was.

Rating:
4.5 Orchids

*Review copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review, no other compensation was given.

Susan Mallery Q&A – Summer Days

Susan Mallery Q&A on SUMMER DAYS (Fool’s Gold Book 7)
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women and the relationships that move them. Publisher’s Weekly calls Susan’s prose “luscious and provocative,” and Booklist says, “Novels don’t get much better than Mallery’s expert blend of emotional nuance, humor and superb storytelling.” Visit Susan online atwww.susanmallery.com.
Tell us about SUMMER DAYS.
SUMMER DAYS is the perfect beach read. It’s funny, romantic, sexy, and it’s light both in tone and in actual weight – you can toss the paperback into your beach bag and go. (It’s also available wherever ebooks are sold.)
Heidi Simpson had a vagabond childhood with her grandfather. The one thing she wanted most in the world was a home of her own. Now, in her late 20s, she finally has one, but her ranch is put on the line by a scam her grandfather pulled in order to pay for a friend’s surgery. Rafe Stryker is the son of the woman whose money was stolen, and the first of the Stryker brothers to move to Fool’s Gold. He’s on a tear when he arrives, determined to protect his mother’s interests at all costs.
Since possession is nine-tenths of the law, neither is willing to leave the ranch until a judge can decide the matter. Sparks fly right from page one between Heidi and Rafe! The people of Fool’s Gold take sides in a pretty hysterical way.
You can find SUMMER DAYS wherever books are sold – bookstores, online, even the grocery store check-out line. You can read a free excerpt on my website, http://www.susanmallery.com or in the free app for iPhone and Android (www.mobileroadie.com/apps/susanmallery).
Who are these Fool’s Gold cheerleaders I keep hearing about?
Oh, the cheerleaders are beyond fabulous! This year’s squad is made up of 60 Fool’s Gold super fans who are earning prizes all summer for telling other readers about Fool’s Gold. They’re driving around with Fool’s Gold car magnets, wearing Fool’s Gold T-shirts, handing out bookmarks like candy to everyone they meet.
For those of my followers who have never read a Fool’s Gold book, tell us about the small town known as the Land of Happy Endings.
SUMMER DAYS is the seventh book in my series set in fictional Fool’s Gold, California. Fool’s Gold is a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It’s a quaint place where people truly support each other – mostly with casseroles. And margaritas. Women rule in Fool’s Gold. For many years, there was a man shortage, which is just now beginning to level out, thanks to the town’s efforts to bring in some pretty spectacular men.
Fool’s Gold is the most popular series I’ve ever written. In fact, last year, one of the Fool’s Gold books hit #3 on the New York Times and #8 on the USA Today bestsellers lists. Those were personal bests for me and very thrilling.
Each book is written as a standalone, which means that you can jump in and start with SUMMER DAYS, and you won’t feel lost or confused. While previous characters make an appearance, you don’t need to know their stories to understand this one.
Why did you decide to write about three cowboy brothers?
With each year’s Fool’s Gold books, I try to create heroes who represent iconic male archetypes. The men of Fool’s Gold have been athletes, businessmen, pilots, surgeons. Each is a leader, powerful in his own way. His strength goes deeper than the physical. He does what’s right even when it’s not easy. When he falls, he falls hard… and he loves forever.
This summer, three cowboy brothers will ride into Fool’s Gold on horseback in SUMMER DAYS, SUMMER NIGHTS, and ALL SUMMER LONG. The Stryker men represent everything I love about a cowboy hero. They are protective, honest, tall and strong. And wow, do they do nice things to a pair of blue jeans!
Since this is Fool’s Gold, these cowboys come with a special twist – humor. Rafe is undone by Heidi the Goat Girl. Shane has to teach the local librarian how to do the ancient Dance of the Happy Virgin – while riding a horse. And Clay, the youngest, made his fortune as a Hollywood butt double.
What’s next for Fool’s Gold?
In SUMMER NIGHTS(July), Shane Stryker will meet Annabelle who, oh my WORD, do I love! Annabelle is my gift to all the librarians who have supported me so wonderfully over the years, putting my books into readers hands with a fervent, “You’re going to love this!” Annabelle is a librarian who defies the stereotypes – she’s fashionable, modern… a dangerous, pint-sized sexpot, as far as Shane is concerned. He’s completely undone by her the first time they meet, so much so that he can’t even remember his own name.
Then comes Charlie, to be paired with Clay in ALL SUMMER LONG (August). Oh, Charlie. She’s so tough and oh, so wounded. She’s got that hard-as-nails firefighter exterior, but when it comes to matters of the heart, she is as vulnerable as they come. Something happened in Charlie’s past that has made her afraid of intimacy with a man. She’s the kind of person who tackles her problems head-on, much to Clay Stryker’s delight.

ARC Review: Susan Mallery – Summer Days

Fool’s Gold Series:


Book 7:

Summer Days: Rafe Stryker and Heidi Simpson

Release Date: May 29th, 2012
Click here to Pre-Order on Amazon: Susan Mallery – Summer Days (Fool’s Gold #7)

Summary:
From goodreads.com
Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to – the Castle Ranch in Fool’s Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could’ve prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he’s finding Heidi – and life as a cowboy – much more compelling than he wants to admit. For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she’s always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won’t give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less…wholesome. As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they’ll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.

Review:

This is actually my first Fools Gold novel and I quite sad I didn’t get in on this series way before now. This book was a light, fun, sweet read with some humor thrown in. It was a solid read that I think any lover of romance would enjoy. S. Mallary writes a great story that you can’t help but find yourself engulfed in. Even without having read the first 6 books in this series I was never lost as I was immersed in this fun town of Fools Gold. The town itself is filled with memorable supporting characters, which you wish was your neighbor.

Rafe is a complicated man, at a young age he found himself man of the house after his father passed. His mother was left widowed with four young children to care for and next to no income so Rafe did all he could to help his mother keep things together and make sure everyone had something to eat even it meant he gave up his share. This sense of responsibility has followed him through the rest of his life. His desire to never be poor or at the receiving end of someone else’s generosity has made him a rich man but his overwhelming need to protect and provide has guided most of his actions good and bad for years. It is this sense of responsibility that has him back in Fools Gold where he swore he would never return to and ends up smack dab in the middle of a land dispute.  This attitude is both a blessing and a curse, for those he chooses to protect they have that protection for life, but it has also made him an unforgiving man who often pushes those who disappoint away. His mother was swindled out of the ranch that she loved so much, and there is no way that Rafe is going to let that happen! He never expected that the deed to the ranch wouldn’t immediately be handed over to him, he is that confident in himself and his best friend and lawyer, but next thing he knows he’s living on the ranch with his mother, Heidi and her grandfather. In a Rafe move, he starts planning for when he wins, not caring that he may be hurting Heidi, but then he never expected that he might actual come to care for the goat lady…

All Heidi has ever wanted was a nice stable home for her, her grandfather and her goats, now the fate of her ranch is in the hands of one small woman and her ruthless son and that does not sit well with Heidi. She is fully prepared to do whatever she needs to make sure the ranch remains hers, even possibly seducing the gorgeous but hostile Rafe. Heidi Is such a warm and caring personality Rafe quickly gets past her guards and they become tentative friends and sometimes more, but Heidi is gun shy about the whole love thing. After her best friend’s death she has made sure to close her heart to the possibility of love, so Rafe and his overwhelming personality scare the bejeezus out of her. Heidi is a girl that anyone would want to be friends with; she is fiercely loyal to those in her inner circle and is kind, warm loving person. If anyone could melt Rafe’s icy façade it would be Heidi. When certain plans come to light; Heidi realizes that she was right to want to protect her heart but she’s afraid it may be too late.

Rating:

4 out of 5 Orchids


*Review copy provided through NetGalley for an honest review