Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Book Review: A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

A Fool's Gold Christmas

Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold (Book 10)
Publication: HQN Books (September 25, 2012)

Description: The cheer in Fool's Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. An injury has forced her to return home to her estranged family. So she won't add to the awkward scenario by falling for the charms of her brother's best friend, no matter how tempting he is. When she's recruited to stage the winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move on, anywhere but here.

Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the town he now calls home, but the pounding of little dancers' feet above his office is more than he can take. When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he's unprepared for their searing attraction. Evie is his best friend's sister—off-limits unless he's willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is dangerous, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles do seem to happen….

My Thoughts: This was another excellent romance in the Fool's Gold series. Evie Stryker was forced to come home when she suffered a broken leg while she was cheerleading at a professional football game. She was dragged back to Fool's Gold by her mother and older brothers. 

The relationship between her and her family is difficult. She was the result of a one-night stand her grief-stricken mother had after the death of her husband. Her mother's guilt, the difficult financial situation after, and the age difference between her and her brothers, left Evie feeling like an outsider in her own family. She would never have returned to Fool's Gold on her own since she can't forgive her mother or trust the rest of her family.

Dante Jefferson is her brother Rafe's business partner. He wasn't really happy when Rafe relocated the business to Fool's Gold after he fell in love with Heidi. Dante sees himself as a big-city kind of guy and is a rather noted playboy. His own life has made him afraid to love anyone since love leads to loss in his mind.

Since he and Evie are next-door neighbors, Rafe asks him to keep an eye on Evie. Evie has taken a job as a dance instructor and then the manager runs off with a man and leaves Evie stuck with the whole Christmas dance program - a tradition in Fool's Gold. But Evie isn't as alone as she thinks. Her sister-in-law and future sisters-in-law take her in and almost force her to be part of the community.

And Dante is there on the side pushing her to establish a new relationship with her mother since he would give anything if his mother was still alive and still in his life. They also bond together as outsiders more than a little baffled by the whole Christmas thing that has taken over Fool's Gold. They become friends and then lovers and gradually fall in love. 

This was an engaging story about forgiveness and taking a chance on love. The characters were wonderful. It was great catching up on some characters from earlier in the series and getting previews of some whose stories are coming later in the series. 

Favorite Quote:
Evie's recently injured leg began to ache. "Let me see if I have this straight. I'm going to talk to parents of my students to get videos of a production I've never seen so I can teach it to their daughters. In the meantime, I man who doesn't know me from a rock is going to let me into a warehouse so I can evaluate the sets. You're going to arrange a work party of perfect strangers to repair those sets -- all of which will happen for free. Then feuding sister stylists may or may not know who does the hair and makeup for my sixty dancers."

Charlie grinned. "That about sums it up. Now tell me the truth. Do you feel better or worse than you did before you got here?"

Evie shook her head. "Honestly? I haven't a clue."
I got this one from Paperback Book Swap December 3, 2013. You can buy your copy here.

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