Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Book & Audio Review: All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

All Summer Long

Susan Mallery
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Series: Fool's Gold (Book 9)
Publication: HQN; Original edition (July 31, 2012); Brilliance Audio (July 31, 2012)
Length: 379 p.; 9 hours and 29 minutes

Description: Can a summer fling turn into love that lasts a lifetime?

Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he’ll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool’s Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he’s frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous…assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family—yet she can’t move toward the future while she’s haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?

My Thoughts: Firefighter Charlie Dixon is watching all of her friends falling love and having babies. She wants to have a baby too. But a rape when she was a freshman in college has left unhealed trauma. She hasn't had a relationship with a man since then.

Clay Stryker has come home to Fool's Gold after a successful career as a model and movie butt double. He wants to start a farm and run Haycations to let city folk see what it is like to live on a farm. He also wants to be a volunteer for the local fire department.

People in town have trouble seeing past Clay's past and accepting him for himself despite his physical attractiveness. Charlie is the exception and the two become friends.

When Charlie is looking for a man to help her get over her intimacy issues, she asks Clay to help her. Since Clay is still a heartbroken widower who hasn't gotten over the death of his wife Diane, he agrees never thinking that he could fall in love with Charlie. After all, he fell in love with Diane at first sight. 

As the two get to know each other and get Charlie used to the idea of intimacy, they fall in love. But it is a sneaky thing that neither expects nor really wants. Clay is busy trying to get his new business off the ground and seeming to suffer setback after setback. And Charlie is dealing with the reappearance in her life of her mother, the famous ballerina, who has decided she now wants a relationship with Charlie.

This was an engaging and entertaining romance. Tanya Eby did an excellent job with the narration. She's great at male voices. She also did a great job portraying all the emotions that filled this story.

Favorite Quote:
Sometimes a person simply had to sit with the pain and deal. That was probably healthier than what she'd done, which was try to pretend it had never happened.
I bought got the paperback December 27, 2013, from Paperback Book Swap. The Kindle and Audible copies are recent purchases. You can buy your copy here.

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