Reviewed by AllisonYet another fabulous story from Fool's Gold, California! In the eighth chapter of Susan Mallery's series of the women-centric small town of Fool's Gold, we finally get to read about the sweet tempered librarian, Annabelle & the new cowboy in town, Shane - brother to the sexy Rafe Stryker, the last book's hero. Shane comes into town looking to reconnect with his family, raise his prize winning horses on his own ranch, & definitely NOT succumb to any sort of temptation. However, ever since he walked into the only bar in town & saw Annabelle dancing on the table (a sure sign of a wild child who will never settle down), he can't get her out of his mind - but he's been hurt before by a wife who he loved feverishly & continually cheated on him. Little does he know little Ms. Annabelle was simply showing her friends an indian ritualistic dance that she wanted to use in her fundraising parade to raise money for the library's bookmobile so she can bring books to shut ins & underprivileged families.
When Annabelle convinces Shane to teach her how to ride a horse for the above mentioned parade, the twosome start getting closer & learning that first impressions are just that. Annabelle tries to keep her distance, choosing independence over attachment, she even goes so far as to try to hook him up with her best friend, Charlie, but their sizzling connection leaps off the page & they find they can't contain themselves for long.
I loved the real connection between Annabelle & Shane even as they tried to find every excuse to avoid it. I loved that they truly understood what drove the other & that at the base of each of their passions (books & horses), helping others was the bottom line for each. She loved bringing books & technology to those who might not otherwise get the chance for either, while he taught little girls how to ride even though it wasn't his favorite part & took good care of his mothe'rs crazy animals. I think a big part of why I liked them so much together was how much I actually liked them both as characters.
I disliked the part where her ex re-entered the scene just to stir things up because I didn't really see the point. The effort to simply have more conflict in order to bring the pair closer was a little too obvious and, in my honest opinion, unnecessary.
I love that we revisit old friends from other books in each new installment so that even though their book has come, we still get to see what's going on in their lives - like the Hendrix Triplets' baby fever! The next heroine to look forward to is Annabelle's other best friend, Charlie, who we met and got to know better in this book - looking forward to seeing her happy ending as well!
If you haven't started this series, DO! It's such a fun little town & their stories will only make you smile!
Click to purchase: Amazon
Summer Nightsby Susan MalleryRelease Date: June 26, 2012Publisher: HQN Books