Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Book & Audio Review: Summer Nights by Susan Mallery

Summer Nights

Author: Susan Mallery
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Series: Fool's Gold (Book 8)
Publication: HQN; Original edition (June 26, 2012); Brilliance Audio (June 26, 2012)
Length: 381p.; 8 hours and 59 minutes

Description: Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.

Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too—some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!

My Thoughts: Recently divorced, Annabelle Weiss is rebuilding her life as a librarian in Fool's Gold. She left her marriage because her husband didn't really know her and expected her to fill a role that wasn't really her. She hasn't given up on love, but her next romance will be with someone who lets her be herself.

Shane Stryker has come back to Fool's Gold to open his horse breeding operation in a town he loves. He is also divorced. In his case, his wife was serially unfaithful to him. For his next relationship, he wants a woman who will be faithful and maybe even a little boring. He isn't looking for drama in his next relationship.

Shane first sees Annabelle when he walks into Jo's Bar and sees her dancing on the bar. It really was innocent; she's demonstrating a Maa-zib dance. But Shane sees a woman that reminds him too much of his ex-wife. 

They meet when Annabelle needs to learn to ride a horse in order to take part in a fundraiser for a new bookmobile for her library. They are attracted to each other but their conflicting desires for new relationships and baggage both are still carrying means a lot of difficulties for the couple.

I like that there are strong friendships among the characters. I really like the time spent at Castle Ranch where Shane's mother is building quite a menagerie including an elephant named Priscilla who is lonely and in need of companionship. Shane's Arabian stallion Khatar is also a great character. He has a bad reputation but falls in love with Annabelle and follows her around like a puppy.

This is a great entry into a long-running series which catches the reader up on characters from earlier books and spends time with characters who were side characters in earlier books who might have their own romances in future books. 

Favorite Quote:
She wanted more than conditional love. She wanted it all - or nothing. Messy, inconvenient love, where both parties gave with their whole hearts. 
I bought the paperback December 27, 2013, and the audiobook recently. You can buy your copy here.

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