Susan Mallery calls her fictional world of Fool’s Gold, California, “The Land of Happy Endings.” The growing cast of appealing, distinctive characters and the uniqueness of Fool’s Gold with its man shortage and the history behind that shortage make this series a standout among the ever-growing subgenre of small-town series. I’m a long-time Susan Mallery fan, but I knew she had hit upon something special with this HQN series when I read the first book, Chasing Perfect, in April 2010. I’m hooked for the duration.
Mallery recently added three more happy endings for citizens of the small town with three books about the Hendrix triplets, younger sisters of Ethan Hendrix, hero of Almost Perfect, (Fool’s Gold Book 2).
Only Mine (July 26, 2011) is the story of Dakota, a psychologist who joins the production staff of a reality show filming in Fool’s Gold to protect the interests and image of the town and Finn Andersson, a pilot from South Salmon, Alaska, who plans to be in Fool’s Gold only long enough to make sure that his twin brothers give up their absurd idea of being contestants on the show and return to complete their final semester of college. I gave Dakota’s story four stars in my review at The Romance Dish in early August. Books 5 and 6 arrived on bookshelves on the heels of Only Mine.
By Susan Mallery
Release Date: August 30, 2011
Only Yours is Montana’s story. While her sisters found their vocations, Montana has wandered, but since she has begun working with therapy dogs, she has found the sense of purpose that’s been missing. A hospital visit with a rambunctious canine called Fluffy leads to a stormy confrontation with Dr. Simon Bradley.
Simon, a plastic surgeon temporarily on staff at the Fool’s Gold hospital, is fiercely devoted to his patients, so despite his contretemps with Montana and Fluffy, when a young burn patient begs to see the puppy, Simon requests a visit from Montana and a therapy dog smaller and less exuberant than Fluffy. Prepared for a professional relationship, Simon is blindsided by the powerful attraction he feels for the sunny-natured Montana.
Physically and emotionally scarred by an abusive childhood and an isolated adolescence, Simon is a loner who defines himself by his medical practice, flying all over the world to treat burn victims. He has no family, few friends, and no place he calls home. He is the opposite of Montana with her large, closely connected family, her circle of friends, and her roots in Fool’s Gold. Their differences add to the attraction, but they also magnify the obstacles that stand in the way of an HEA.
As much as I have enjoyed the Fool’s Gold books, I have been troubled more than once by what seemed to me the real jerkiness of several of the heroes. Unlike those heroes, Simon’s past is so horrific and his coping strategies so entrenched that his behavior is understandable and forgivable. Montana is a delight and her openness, compassion, and joy are exactly what Simon needs. I loved these two together, and the developing secondary romance between the triplets’ mother and Montana’s boss was a wonderful bonus.
By Susan Mallery
Release Date: September 27, 2011