The unrelenting cheer in Fool's Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. She learned early on that Christmas miracles don't happen, at least not for her. And this year seems like no exception. An injury has forced her to return to the family fold, no matter that they're estranged. She won't add to the awkward scenario by being seduced by the bad-boy charms of her brother's best friend, the last man she should ever want to date. Even when she's recruited to stage Fool's Gold's winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move forward with her life anywhere but here.
Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the backwater town he now reluctantly calls home, but the pounding of little dancers' feet above his temporary office is more than any man should have to take When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he's unprepared for the attraction that sears him down to the soul. Evie is his best friend's sister-off-limits unless he's willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is the most dangerous force in the universe, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles "do" seem to happen....
Why I Read this Book: When I heard that A Fool’s Gold Christmas was Dante and Evie’s book, I was so excited. I may have even squealed. I had to read this book. Both characters were a great addition to the town and having them paired up was icing on the cake for me.
What I Liked: I like the we’re just having fun together but aren’t going to take this too seriously trope. I love seeing the hero and heroine fight the inevitable and then watching it all come together. Evie and Dante each have their own reasons they’re not looking for something long term or serious. If you’re current on the Fool’s Gold series then you know about Evie’s background and can understand why she’s a little apprehensive. Dante’s story is a little darker and I have to say, very unexpected.
The author did a great job of making Evie the outsider to the Stryker family. It came across on the page so well that there were times when I was reading and I would forget that Evie was even a Stryker. Dante had more of a connection with May and the Stryker brothers than Evie did, and understandably so. The author painted this picture of such great divide between Evie and the rest of the family so vividly that it gave weight to Evie feeling unwanted.
I love how keen Mayor Marsha is to what’s going on in Fool’s Gold. She seems to always have the inside scoop on just about everyone and everything. She also has a knack for planting the seed and stepping back to watch it cultivate. She cares about the town and its residents and wants it to flourish. Sometimes people need a little help sorting out their emotions and feelings and Mayor Marsha is happy to help love out with a little nudge.
One thing I love about this series in general is that I don’t have to wait a year for the next book. The books are usually released in three’s, with novellas released in between, and books in each trio are released within months of one another.
For the most part, the books in this series can be read as a stand alone. It helps to read the series from the beginning to get a sense of the town and its residents but if you wanted to start with a book from the middle of series to get a taste of the author’s writing style, you could do so without feeling lost because each novel features a different hero and heroine. With that said, the one exception to this would be A Fool’s Gold Christmas. Since this is Evie’s book, and her character’s background gets introduced in the Summer novels (Summer Days, Summer Nights, All Summer Long), reading the three preceding novels will greatly help you understand the segregation between her and the rest of the Stryker family. But if you’re like me, and love a contemporary romance set in a small town, you’ll want to start from the beginning so as not to miss out on any of the stories. Then you’ll be anxiously awaiting each new release.
What I Didn’t Like: Where smut can usually be found in a Fool’s Gold novel, there was none in A Fool’s Gold Christmas. Like the little old lady said: Where’s the
“Let me see if I have this straight. You’re warning me that you’re not someone I want to be involved with, and at the same time, you’re convinced you have enough going for you that I’ll give in anyway.”
Overall Impression: A Fool’s Gold Christmas was one of my favorite Fool’s Gold novels to date. It’s a great cozy romance that will put you in the mood for the holidays. Fool’s Gold is my go-to comfort series. I look forward to each new release and I’m definitely looking forward to the next trio of books – Just One Kiss (June 2013), Two of a Kind (July 2013), and Three Little Words (August 2013).
One thing I find myself doing when reading a Fool’s Gold novel is trying to figure out future heroes and heroines. I just can’t help myself! It’s fun to guess whose book will be next and who they’ll be matched up with. I’m thinking the heroes in the next trio of books will be Gideon, Ford Hendrix, and Angel – whose name was mentioned in A Fool’s Gold Christmas but nothing else was given away about his character. I’m wondering if Angel was Dominique’s bodyguard…? I would also love to find out the back story with the salon sisters. I want to know what started that feud. A man perhaps? Whatever it was, there has to be one hell of a story there. Who do you think the heroes and heroines for those books will be?