Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
It's Friday! Time to PAR-TAY, right? Am I right? *looks around* Okay, well for some of you anyway. As for me, I'll be burning the midnight oil (i.e. working and then reading when I can) but that won't stop me from sharing my latest adventure through the pages with you. No, siree. So, let's get a move on...or should I say giddy up? ^-^
Okay, even trying to work that into my intro here for post's sake, sounded funny. What can I say? I'm not the girl that falls to her knees at the sight, thought, or appearance of a cowboy...but the rancher in today's featured title, would give even ME pause. Ladies and gents, but mostly the ladies, get ready for an adventure you weren't expecting with a potential couple you won't forget...and it all takes place right outside a lovely little place called Fool's Gold. That's right. Today's book of choice is...
(Fool's Gold #17)
About the book...
After Phoebe Kitzke's kind heart gets her suspended from her job in LA, she swears off doing favors—until her best friend begs for help on the family ranch in Fool's Gold. Unfortunately, sexy cowboy Zane Nicholson isn't exactly thrilled by the city girl's arrival.
Thanks to his brother's latest scheme, Zane has been roped into taking tourists on a cattle drive. What Phoebe knows about ranching wouldn't fill his hat, but her laughter is so captivating that even his animals fall for her. One slip of his legendary control leads to a passionate kiss that convinces him she's exactly the kind of woman a single-minded loner needs to avoid.
In his arms, Phoebe discovers she's a country girl at heart. Yet no matter how much the small town feels like home, she can't stay unless Zane loves her, too…but is this cowboy interested in forever?
I loved it.
I loved it...oh, who am I kidding?
I LOVED IT!
Despite my aversion to the cowboy image (my issue, not yours), this is one of my favorite additions to the series to date. Phoebe is a kind soul. She loves animals (she and Manny were so cute!), fights for the underdog (chooses to help first time homeowners versus the movie stars), and is just so genuine (she wanted to meet with the raccoon that kept stealing she shiny objects to negotiate) you can't help but want to be her friend. Her only flaw...learning to say "no" once in a while (a problem we share) and letting others save themselves. Well, as far as flaws go, that's not that bad in my book...and apparently not in Zane's either. *ahem* Zane is the man with the plan. He's the strong, silent type, much more comfortable with taking action than showing emotion, just the way his father was. They say we learn from the examples we're given and he's got an unfortunate past that shadows his every move but in his heart of hearts, he's a kind soul too...who just might need saving more than he realizes. *wink wink* The two of them together seem HIGHLY unlikely and yet...the more they open up to each other, the more you start to like the idea. Will it come to pass? Can't say...there's a long journey ahead with danger (flash flood!), heartbreak (unspoken emotions can sting just as much as rejection), and unavoidable distance (Phoebe is technically only vacationing....). You'll have to read it to find out.
Now, the whole time we're getting to know Phoebe and Zane, the rest of the story is still brewing. Take Andrea and Martin, the vegetarians that seem to clash like oil and water personally as well as with their chosen venue, though they'd gladly calm down if they could just avoid eating meat. C.J. and Thad, who may be filling in for other foster parents that couldn't make it but will learn a lot about the children (Lucy and Tommy) and themselves before this cattle drive is over. Gladys and Eddie, Fool's Gold oldest busy bodies is one way to describe them but tough times have a way of bringing out the best in people and we get to see another side to dear old Gladys...not that they were bad to begin with but they do have a keen eye for the fellas. (*chuckle*) Maya, Phoebe's best friend, and Chase, his/her half brother (and ladies man though he's in his teens!), are both in for a lot of surprises and lessons they didn't know needed to be learned. In fact, one of the scenes between Chase and Zane actually brought me to tears. *sniff* You see? There's the love story for two but also the love of many and THAT'S a big part of the magic that is Fool's Gold.
Overall, a GREAT addition to a series that just keeps getting better and better. With characters you grow to love, situations that leave their mark, and lessons of the heart coming at you from every corner, each time you journey to Fool's Gold, you're guaranteed to leave satisfied. So, if you haven't started this series yet, I highly suggest you do as it just keeps growing and growing and...well, you get the picture. There's not a bad place to jump in because they all work as stand alone titles but the journey is THAT much better when you already have your feet wet so to speak. Recommended read for adult Contemporary Romance fans.
About the author...
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has entertained millions of readers with her witty and emotional stories about women. Publishers 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." Susan lives in Seattle with her husband, her tiny but intrepid toy poodle, and two ragdoll cats who are not at all impressed with her growing fame.
Special thanks to Lisa at Harlequin for the ARC for review. (THANKS!) For more information on this title, the series, the author, or the publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title celebrated its book birthday this past Tuesday via Harlequin, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf (CLICK HERE for a $1 off coupon good through July 31st) or virtual retailer of your choosing. For fans of the series (and let's face it, you KNOW you are one of them), stay tuned for the next release, Thrill Me, in just a few weeks!
Until next time...happy reading!