Monday, August 29, 2011

Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery

Book Details
Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery
Paperback, 384 Pages
2010, HQN Books
ISBN: 0373774524
Series: Book 1 of Fool's Gold

Welcome to Fool's Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There's lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there's just one tiny problem in Fool's Gold: the men don't seem to stick around. Maybe it's the lure of big-city life, or maybe it's plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may be just the city planner to do it.

Charity's nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer—everything, that is, except its sexiest and most famous resident, former world-class cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she's not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he's perfect just the way he is. But maybe that's just what he needs—someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he's just chasing perfect.

Chasing Perfect was, well, perfect. I loved the characters, the plot, the romance, everything about this book. Most surprising was my over-the-top love of the setting. Small-town life can be hit or miss with me, but Fool's Gold is absolutely full of win.

Fool's Gold is the perfect small town, except it has a man shortage. For unknown reasons, most boys move away when they grow up and men don't move there. Charity is hired as city planner with the directive to lure businesses that will increase the male population of the town. This wonderful little town with the strange problem provides a wealth of possibilities for Susan Mallery to sweep readers off their feet with and judging by Chasing Perfect, she's more than able to fulfill our desires.

Charity and Josh are drawn to each other from the moment their eyes meet. On the outside, neither is the other's type, but chemistry can't be denied and the outside proves to hide the person underneath. Their romance, not without its difficulties, is realistic and almost painfully endearing. I wanted them together, needed them together, right from the moment they met. I reacted to every obstacle and awkward situation as if I was actually in the relationship with them. That kind of response to a romance is exactly what I look for in a book.

With so many singles (mostly women) living in Fool's Gold, I couldn't help but wonder which secondary characters would make it into a book of their own. Two I'd love to see are Pia (the town's event coordinator) and Marsha (the mayor). Completely different women and utterly charming in their own ways.

Chasing Perfect grabbed hold of my heart almost immediately. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I'm absolutely thrilled there are at least five more books in this series and have already started the next, Almost Perfect. I would move to Fool's Gold if I could, man shortage or not.


Susan Mallery's

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