Book Talk Tuesday: Two of a Kind

Two of a Kind

Fool’s Gold, in California’s Gold Rush foothills, is everyone’s hometown. If you aren’t lucky enough to be born there, you get there as soon as you can.

I just finished Susan Mallery’s latest Fool’s Gold novel, Two of a Kind*.

Felicia and Gideon were introduced in Just One Kiss and now we get to read their story.

Felicia is scary smart and socially awkward. She thinks literally and often responds to others’ words, forgetting about the meaning and intent behind the words. She moved to Fool’s Gold to put down roots and make a family. She assigns herself the task of learning how to fit in. After a few months, the community has taken her in and made her one of their own. She loves Fool’s Gold and feels she finally has a home.

Gideon was a military hotshot who spent nearly two years in Taliban custody being tortured and disavowed by his own government. His body was rescued but his mind is still a prisoner. He moved to Fool’s Gold on a friend’s recommendation and bought a couple of radio stations. He spins oldies on the night shift and keeps to himself, an arrangement he likes and has no intentions of changing.

Four years ago Felicia and Gideon had a one night stand in Thailand. They never expected to see each other again. When they do, sparks fly again.

Felicia and Gideon agree their relationship is only to help Felicia learn to relate to men so she can go on and fall in love with someone more suitable.

Before you can say “Meet me at Brew-ha-ha,” their plan unravels. A son named Carter, whom Gideon never knew he had, arrives in Fool’s Gold and Felicia steps in to help out during their adjustment period. She doesn’t expect to fall in love with the teenager much less know how to mother him. She’s surprised at the depth of her feelings for both the father and the son.

Gideon is overwhelmed by his sudden fatherhood and retreats into his own mind, convinced he’s too damaged to love or be loved by anyone.

Carter yearns for a family and conspires to get Felicia and Gideon to realize their feelings for each other. His plan backfires in a way. And it also succeeds in a way. You’ll have to read Two of a Kind to find out how.

I love Susan Mallery and I love Fool’s Gold. As with Just One Kiss, the sex is a bit graphic for me. I like closed door love scenes. But that’s just me. I know plenty of other readers feel differently. So for my friends and regular blog and review readers, remember that caveat, and go on and enjoy Two of a Kind.


*  I received a free copy of Two of a Kind in exchange for an honest review. We both kept our end of the bargain.

Book Talk Tuesday: Just One Kiss

cv_kiss  I want to know where Fool’s Gold, California is and how soon I can move there. Like the romantic fiction I love best, Just One Kiss is set in an idyllic small town populated by some quirky characters but where everyone knows and loves everyone else and accepts them as they are, foibles and all.

Patience had a crush on her best friend when they were in high school. Just as she worked up the nerve to tell him how she felt, Justice disappeared from her life and from Fool’s Gold.

Fifteen years have passed and Justice is back. Patience and Justice have both changed. He’s finally free to tell her that he was part of the Witness Security Program and he had to leave town because his father, who had threatened to kill him, had been seen in the area. Patience was married briefly and she’s now a single mom, living with her mother. Patience dreams of opening a local coffee shop in Fool’s Gold. An unexpected bequest makes her dream possible.

Justice and Patience find that their feelings for each other haven’t lessened through the years.

Patience is dealing with opening her new shop, her mother’s health and new boyfriend, her daughter’s grandfather returns to town, and Justice … well, it can’t be safe for Patience’s heart, or her daughter’s stability, to let Justice back into her life.

Justice has spent years in the military and doing private security. He’s decided to settle down in Fool’s Gold-the town he never forgot.

Yes, it’s a romance, so you can figure out where the story is going. That doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. I liked Patience and Justice, although I found his reluctance to form an emotional attachment to Patience a bit thin. It worked, but don’t examine it too closely, is all I’m saying.

The secondary characters, Patience’s girlfriends, all have unique personalities and I’m sure we’ll be getting their stories in future novels.

I like my romance novels to close the door when the couple starts to have sex. This one does not close any doors. Although it’s not porn, it’s definitely more sensual than my usual fare. I always debate how highly to recommend the books that stretch my boundaries. I know some people love this genre and feel the hotter, the better. Others are uncomfortable with even a passionate kiss so it’s a definite tightrope for me to walk. In this case, I believe the fun story outweighs the sex. The sex scenes make up a small percentage of the book and are easily skipped if they make you uncomfortable.

There’s a bit of suspense, a lot of romance, some sex, and a totally fun package. Just One Kiss is worth a visit to Fool’s Gold, California.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.