Series: Fool's Gold #18
Published by HQN Books on August 1st 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: the publisher through NetGalley
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, Yours for Christmas, Hold Me, Kiss 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, Yours for Christmas, Hold Me, Kiss Me, Marry Me at Christmas, Best of My Love, The Ladies' Man, Second Chance Girl, Why Not Tonight
Meet the Mitchell brothers of Fool's Gold, California—five gorgeous men who've left a trail of broken hearts in their wake… Maya Farlow learned the hard way to depend only on herself, so when she fell too deeply for the bad-boy charms of Del Mitchell, she did the only thing she could—she ran. Stunned, Del left Fool's Gold to make his name and fortune in extreme sports. Now ten years later, Maya's been hired to promote her hometown's new slogan, The Destination for Romance. The celebrity spokesman is none other than Del, the man she dumped but never forgot. Awkward! Although Del's not the type to hold a grudge, he's determined to avoid falling a second time for the woman who broke his heart. He's a daredevil, not an idiot. Trouble is, in all his adventures, he never found a rush as exhilarating as Maya's kiss. Maybe risking his heart will prove to be the biggest thrill of all…
I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Thrill Me was light and fun, and for the most part, blessedly un-angsty. I really liked both Maya and Del, and their second-chance relationship was warm and believable.
Maya is Phoebe’s best friend (and matchmaker) and Zane’s and Chase’s stepsister from Kiss Me. Despite how take-charge and competent Maya appears in that book, she had a hard childhood, and it left its mark on her. Maya’s mom blamed Maya for her own unhappiness, constantly running Maya down and telling her she would never amount to anything. It made it hard for Maya to trust anyone to love her or rescue her. Of course, now she’s a talented video producer working for the town of Fool’s Gold; she doesn’t need rescuing anymore. She’s also a loyal and supportive friend – to Phoebe, and to Elaine Mitchell, the mother of Maya’s high-school love, Del. Her loyalty to Elaine puts her in a tough position vis-a-vis Del in this book, when Elaine asks Maya to keep something secret from him. (You know that’s going to end well!)
After Maya broke up with him a decade ago, Del fled Fool’s Gold and its memories. Now he’s back. Like Maya, he has matured well: he’s a successful businessman and a minor celebrity. He thinks he’s pretty well-balanced emotionally, though his relationship with his dad is strained and distant. Like Maya, Del has issues in his past due to a parent’s coldness. But he’s trying to mend fences with his brothers after his abrupt departure 10 years before. And he’s surprisingly comfortable around Maya despite what happened between them years ago.
Leave it to Mayor Marsha to do a little matchmaking. As soon as she knows Dell has returned, she arranges for him to work with Maya as the onscreen spokesman for the publicity footage Maya is producing for the town. It was fun to see the two of them resuming their friendship like mature adults while trying to ignore the attraction that still sizzles between them.* I didn’t have any doubt as to where things were going, but I enjoyed the ride anyway – complete with inevitable breakup and eventual reconciliation.
I’m a bit baffled by Del’s father and the relationship between him and Del’s mother; I really can’t see what she sees in him or why she loves and protects him the way she does. The Mitchell family has a lot of secrets; some of them are revealed in this book, and that causes some pain and turmoil for Del as well as his siblings. (I suspect there are books in store for Del’s brothers Nate and Aiden at some point, and possibly the twins as well.)
However, I am enjoying getting more glimpses into Eddie and Gladys, the two old ladies with an eye for a hot young guy – any hot young guy. But there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye, and beginning with the last book, we are starting to see them as people instead of caricatures. In earlier books it bothered me that the only older people we saw much of (except the mayor) were mainly there for comic relief, so I’m happy to get to know Eddie and Gladys as real people. They’re still as outrageous as ever, though – and I’m beginning to almost admire them for that.
Bottom line: Thrill Me is a good choice for poolside or beach reading this summer. It’s fun, it’s undemanding, and it should leave you, as it did me, with a smile on your face.
*As usual with Susan Mallery, there are a few steamy scenes. If you prefer your romance on the sweet side you can skip over them; you won’t miss any major plot developments.
Challenges: COYER Scavenger Hunt #38 – a book with a man fully clothed on the cover
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- COYER Scavenger Hunt - Summer 2015