Series: Fool's Gold #15.5
Published by Harlequin on 2014-11-01
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Also in this series: Three Little Words, A Fool's Gold Christmas, Christmas on 4th Street, When We Met, Before We Kiss, Until We Touch, Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me, Marry Me at Christmas, Best of My Love
Also by this author: Three Little Words, A Fool's Gold Christmas, Christmas on 4th Street, When We Met, Before We Kiss, Until We Touch, Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me, Marry Me at Christmas, Best of My Love, The Ladies' Man, Second Chance Girl
Step out of the winter chill and into the warmth of Fool's Gold, California, the charming small-town setting for a new holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.
Famous former NFL stars don't date single working moms like Bailey Voss. She'll allow herself to daydream about Kenny Scott's muscles and killer smile, but wanting more would lead to post-holiday regret. Then Kenny volunteers to run a toy drive with Bailey, and she learns that he's not just hot…he's also generous, funny, nice.
The whole package—tantalizingly out of reach.The ache of past loss reminds Kenny why he needs to avoid getting too close to anyone. Especially to a gorgeous redhead and her adorable little girl. Mess it up, and he'd lose them both. Yet Kenny can only resist Bailey for so long. And as festive spirit spreads throughout the town, he's all wrapped up in Bailey's sweet, sexy kisses and determined to make this the first of many Christmases together…
A short, sweet holiday romance. I really like Bailey; she’s a war widow and a single mom with a hard-won optimism. She’s strong and determined as well as kind and loving. (She’s also curvy – a tad overweight in her eyes but not in mine – which helped me relate to her even more.) Her daughter, seven-year-old Chloe, is a darling and completely stole my heart. Is it any wonder Kenny can’t stay away from the two of them?
Kenny is almost too good to be true – almost. He’s the quintessential nice guy (and that’s just my type!) Of course he’s handsome as well (it’s a romance, for heaven’s sake!), but due to something in his past, he’s determined to keep things on the level of just friends. And that emotional baggage — when the truth of it was revealed my heart just hurt for him. No wonder he steers clear of entanglements with single moms!
Fool’s Gold is its usual charming and slightly unusual self. I always enjoy reconnecting with characters I’ve gotten to know through other books. In this case, because it’s a novella, we don’t see quite as much of them, but there are still some good moments.
The only drawback – and it’s a hallmark of this series – is that the resolution is too fast and the book ends too soon afterward for my taste. I’d like to enjoy their togetherness a while longer. Also, the Fool’s Gold plots almost all seem to follow the same pattern (Taryn and Angel’s story was an exception): the heroine wants a relationship, the hero has emotional baggage and won’t commit or tries not to get involved, the hero comes to his senses and proposes, The End. I could wish for a little more variety, but it’s a formula that works. Mallery is excellent at building the central relationship and making you care about both main characters, and she writes with humor and insight. She makes Fool’s Gold feel like a real if slightly idealized place full of people I would love to know. I expect to go on enjoying my visits there for a long time to come.