Sunday, June 9, 2013

Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery

Synopsis: He won't hesitate to put his life on the line...but will he ever risk his heart?  Falling for Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw's otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now, he's back in Fool's Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won't abandon her again-and her daughter, too?  When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He's returned to open a defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can't resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice's past doesn't make him husband, or father, material.  Patience and Justice think they'll succumb to just one kiss... Then one more... Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone's control.

My Thoughts: I am really torn about my feelings about this book. I enjoyed it but there were a quite a few things that really grated on my nerves. In this 11th full length Fool's Gold novel I have to wonder if they've run their course and the entire town should retire. On the other hand I truly love revisiting the quaint town. See, told ya', I'm torn.

This particular venture into Fool's Gold just didn't work for me. The town took on a Stepford feel to it where the children are just precocious, the teens are all heading to college with the highest honors, Mayor Marsha seems to pop in at a moments notice, as if she's hiding behind bushes and billboards waiting to pounce and new business ventures never fail.

Even Patience herself was irritating. Perfectly named, Patience was almost too kind and caring. When she did show some 'negative' feelings ie:jealousy, it seemed so out of character it tipped the scale toward shrew making her look petty and ugly.

There were several plot threads woven throughout the story and all were wrapped up quickly in bright shiny convenient bows. Speaking of convenient, at one point Patience is telling Justice that she wants nothing more than to open up a coffee shop. She even has the name and logo picked out but she is lacking the funds to start such a venture. Next thing we know a Great Aunt Becky has died, leaving her a whopping sum. She was able to pay her mom's mortgage and open up her business. Never mind that Patience didn't even know who the woman was.There were a couple other 'too convenient' happenings too.

I also had a problem with the ending. There were no hard feelings and all was forgiven by an 'I'm sorry' where there should have been massive groveling and some sort of wow factor to go along with the apology. At least the man should have brought flowers!

All of that really prevented me from fully enjoying this book but it wasn't a total loss...

The chemistry between Justice and Patience is sizzling and pretty awesome. I also appreciated that both characters were smart and prepared with condoms. In this day and age not having them mentioned is almost irresponsible.

There are quite a few characters that are super intriguing too. Angel, Ford and Felicia for starters. These are the people helping Justice start up his business. Also, Noelle is interesting as is Gideon. Looking forward to more of them.

Despite the many eye rolls I did during the reading of this book I still am a huge Mallery fan. Even with the issues I had with this particular book it still felt good getting back to Fool's Gold (even with the many shades of Stepford). These books are my comfort food and I'll continue reading them. I just wish I'd enjoyed this one more.

I'd recommend this book to other Fool's Gold fans but keep in mind that you'll have to suspend your disbelief a lot. I would also recommend that readers new to Susan's work or just new to Fool's Gold might want to start with another one, perhaps starting at the beginning with Chasing Perfect.


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