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?
I’ve been sitting on this book for quite a while. Generally, when I get my serving of Fool’s Gold, I inhale them end on end like jam out of a donut. For some reason, however, I missed reading this one. This was a real pity, because once I did read it, I quickly realised that this is just about my favourite one of the series so far.
Both Clay and Charlie have been judged on their looks unfairly. People assume Clay is only a pretty face attached to a body with a hot backside, and that Charlie isn’t feminine because she works in a traditionally male occupation. I loved that despite the pain and difficulties that each experiences and has been through in the past, you don’t feel pity for them but sympathy and a desire to cheer them on to their happy ending.
Their romance, while slow-burning to begin with, was passionate and real for me. Charlie was prickly and stubborn, and Clay’s patience and persistence complemented her really well.
I’m a real fan of Susan Mallery and this world she has created. I saw someone refer to it as a little cultish and too happy-happy, but that’s what I love about Fool’s Gold – I love that it’s positive and happy and full of people who care about those around them.
The next summer instalment of Fool’s Gold is on its way soon, and I am really looking forward to it. Keep them coming.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
Release Date: 31 July 2012