Two of a Kind
By Susan Mallery
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Felicia Swift has a genius I. Q., the social skills of a six-year-old, and a hunger to be “normal.” Her extraordinary intelligence made her parents so uncomfortable that they abandoned her to be brought up by scientists and scholars. She has come to Fool’s Gold to help her friends from her days as a logistician with the Special Forces set up CDS, their bodyguard school. But even though she knows she can continue to work with them, Felicia wants a job that is closer to normal. She’s ready to become part of the Fool’s Gold community and find someone with whom she can settle down and create a home and family. The first step toward her goal may be the job she’s just been offered a job. Pia Moreno, pregnant with her fourth child, has decided it’s time to become a stay-at-home mom, and the mayor thinks Felicia will be the ideal replacement. Torn between elation at the opportunity and fear that she’ll mess up, she turns to Gideon Boylan for advice, a man she remembers too well from their single encounter four years ago.
Gideon Boylan has found his place on the fringes of the Fool’s Gold community, literally and metaphorically. He bought a house outside town, isolated on the side of a mountain, and bought a radio station where he fills the air waves with classic rock during the night hours, his low, sexy voice winning fans among the ladies while he maintains his distance. Gideon may look like other people, but marked by his years as a warrior--especially the two he spent in captivity being tortured and watching his comrades die until he was the only one who survived long enough to be rescued, he is convinced that an essential part of his humanness has been lost. He believes he lacks the capacity to love. His capacity for desire however is unabated as just the sight of a certain redhead with whom he enjoyed one unforgettable night reminds him. Four years has not been long enough to dim the memory of his time with her nor its abrupt ending when Justice Garrett and Ford Hendrix stormed in the next morning to end the idyll. What were the chances that their connection with Ford would lead them all to Fool’s Gold?
Felicia’s circle of friends is enlarging, and she loves her new job. There’s still no potential husband in sight, but when the wary Gideon accepts her proposal that he be her partner in “practice dating” to develop her social skills, life seems good. If she can only make her heart accept the fact that Gideon is adamant that he’s no candidate for a happily-ever-after relationship. When the son Gideon never knew he had shows up, Gideon may not know what to do with him, but Felicia opens her heart and accepts him as family, even though she knows she’s asking for heartbreak if Gideon can’t lose his fear of love.
Susan Mallery adds more heart-stealing characters to the Fool’s Gold community with the twelfth book in her long-running series. Gideon has suffered immeasurably, and he wins the reader’s sympathy even when she’d like to shake him for his stubborn refusal to accept the gifts that are his for the taking. Felicia is wonderful, one of my favorite characters in the series. Her impressive intelligence is minuscule compared to the size of her heart and her eagerness to embrace life. Some of the most touching scenes in the book are those she shares with her girlfriends and with Gideon’s thirteen-year-old son, Carter, who is a delight. Two of a Kind brought a tear to me eye and a smile to my face, my favorite kind of story.
As always with the Fool’s Gold books, part of the pleasure of reading is the secondary characters. The characters new in the bodyguard trilogy are an appealing group, and series fans will enjoy brief appearances by favorite characters from earlier books. Mallery shows readers a new view of Justice, who has been Felicia’s only “family” for years, and Mrs. Hendrix, so intent on seeing her two single sons married and settled in Fool’s Gold that she sets up a booth at the festival for prospective wives to complete application, is one determined mama. I especially enjoyed seeing Pia and the uncannily perspicacious Mayor Marsha.
I look forward to every trip to Fool’s Gold. I already have my ticket to return on July 30 for Three Little Words, Ford and Isabel’s story, and I hope Angel’s story is in the future.
Are you a regular visitor to Fool's Gold? Who is your favorite character?