Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery

Book Details
Almost Perfect by Susan Mallery
Paperback, 384 Pages
2010, HQN Books
ISBN: 0373774907
Series: Book 2 of Fool's Gold

Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she'd stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they'd ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool's Gold, California—forever, she thought….

Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn't know of their son's existence. And this time she won't have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can't deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?

Almost Perfect didn't work for me as well as Chasing Perfect, the first book in the Fool's Gold series. The enjoyment of books in a series of this nature, that focus on different couples in each installment, can vary widely depending on how much I enjoy the characters. As I already mentioned in my review of Chasing Perfect, I absolutely love the town of Fool's Gold. I loved Charity and Josh's romance in Chasing Perfect. I even loved Liz in Almost Perfect. I just had trouble understanding Ethan for most of this book and in the end couldn't get past some of his actions to embrace the relationship that was the central story line here.

Ethan was a difficult character to read or sympathize with, which I found surprising because I enjoyed him as a secondary character in Chasing Perfect. In Almost Perfect, we see more of his past and get to know him on a deeper level and honestly, I just could not see his appeal. He's been hurtful to Liz in the past, repeated the exact same action again in the present day, committed even further atrocities in the name of taking what was his and one big apology later, Liz forgives him. I just don't buy it.

Beyond Liz's attraction to Ethan, I was also confused by the choice of lead characters. Fool's Gold is the wonderful little town with an embarrassing man shortage. I never expected the second book in the series to focus on pairing up a man already in town with a woman who wasn't currently living there. That doesn't exactly help with the man shortage, but rather take one of the lone Fool's Gold bachelors off the market. I found this to be an interesting choice.

I love, love, love Fool's Gold and am beginning to see that even if I sort of despise a specific books lead characters, I can't help but love the rest of the book. When faced with unlikable character, I love that the rest of the Fool's Gold community is wonderful enough into carry the series onto the next book.


Susan Mallery's

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