Monday, February 11, 2013

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery
2012, HQN
Series: Book 9 of Fool's Gold

Synopsis: Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he'll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool's Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he's frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous… assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family—yet she can't move toward the future while she's haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?

Why read: Requested from NetGalley

What impressed me: The assumed-to-be-dumb underwear model and the tough firefighter, in a complete role reversal that is more difficult that you could ever imagine. I've never been a large fan of Charlie, but I feel like I understand her now. In All Summer Long, Susan Mallery finally explains by Charlie is so uninterested in men and everything starts falling into place. This was perfect plot planning and went a long way to endear Charlie to readers. Clay is something other in the Fool's Gold world - a male love interest that doesn't immediately come off as an undeserving jerk. It's Clay you love from page one and Charlie you have to warm up to. Switching things up, I like it.

What disappointed me: Charlie had enough on her plate, emotion-wise, without having to add in her mother. Dredging up another part of her past and playing on her insecurities in yet another way is sort of overkill.

Recommended: Oh yeah. I have yet to read a Fool's Gold romance I didn't enjoy.

Continue series: Definitely. I'm still waiting for Mayor Marsha's love story.

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