Random quick note: The whole thing with Cheyenne in this book (and I won't say what so I don't give it away) - but it really ruined this book. And itRandom quick note: The whole thing with Cheyenne in this book (and I won't say what so I don't give it away) - but it really ruined this book. And it rather disgusted me. I have to admit it's soured me a bit from wanting to read future books in this series....more
I do so enjoy this series. It's almost as good as Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" series, which is the all-time best contemporary romance series I've readI do so enjoy this series. It's almost as good as Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" series, which is the all-time best contemporary romance series I've read.
Series Note: 8th full length book in Mallery's "Fool's Gold" series which is set in the fiction town of Fool's Gold, California, where women outnumber men and then to rule the roost.
Summary: Shane Stryker is ready to settle down in his hometown of Fool's Gold, California. He's bought land for a ranch and is having a house built. And just maybe, he'll be able to find the right woman for him...something who is calmer and won't cheat like his ex-wife. So when he first sees local librarian Annabelle Weiss dancing on a bar, he knows she's a woman to stay away from.
But Annabelle isn't at all like what he thought. As he spends time with her, teaching to ride a horse, he can't help but want her. For Annabelle, Shane's desire for her is a revelation. But she's bothered by how often he compares her to his ex-wife. She knows they have a chance for a future if only Shane could learn to let go of old hurts.
Review: I've really enjoyed reading this series by Susan Mallery. It's chock full of great characters, sweet, sexy romances, and amusing, well-written situations that have you coming back for more whenever you put the book down.
Annabelle and Shane are both interesting characters. Annabelle's a library with sexy, fun side and Shane is yummy cowboy with some battle scars from a bad relationship...he acts like a jerk a few times but you can't help but forgive him. I enjoyed reading about them both. And they had some great chemistry together with some sexy scenes between them.
The storyline revolves around Annabelle learning to ride a horse for a town festival and Shane adjusting to life in Fool's Gold with his mother's odd menagerie of animals. I really loved the whole thing involving Khatar (a horse) and Annabelle. That was a really great addition to the story. And we can't forget the lonely elephant. Plus I enjoyed Shane getting suckered into giving riding lessons and being schmoozed by a dangerous deadly pony ;) All around it was just a great story set up that had me smiling, laughing and sighing. It was just the kind of storyline that I enjoy from a contemporary romance.
And of course there were parts involving the other characters from the series, which are great to read since you get to see what everyone is up to. I enjoyed the interactions with Annabelle and her friends. It was also interesting to learn more about Charlie, the tough-girl firefighter. I'm really looking forward to the next book that will feature her and the third Stryker brother, Clay (a movie butt-double and male model). Should be a really interesting story!
Just another winner from Mallery in this series, though. A fun, sexy, easy read that I highly enjoyed....more
Susan Mallery's “Fool's Gold” series may not be quite as book as Robyn Carr's “Virgin River” series but it's definitely close. I've enjoyed almost allSusan Mallery's “Fool's Gold” series may not be quite as book as Robyn Carr's “Virgin River” series but it's definitely close. I've enjoyed almost all the books of the series, this one included.
Series Note: Seventh book in Mallery's “Fool's Gold” series which is about a small California town that tends to be very woman-centric. This book starts the third trilogy in the series and I think it stands on it's own enough that you wouldn't have to read the other books first.
Summary: Heidi Simpson has finally found a home at Castle Ranch in Fool's Gold, CA. She loves raising her goats and has high hopes for her goat's milk products. Then her beloved grandfather tries to “sell” her ranch, leaving her locked in a legal battle with the new “owners.” Heidi will do anything to keep her home, even if she has to lock horns with hard-hearted Rafe Stryker.
Because Rafe isn't going to give up the ranch. His mother wants it, so she'll get it. He never expected to enjoy returning to Fool's Gold, and he certainly never expected to fall for a simple country girl who enjoys raising goats. But Rafe's controlling, power-hungry nature and his heart are at odds over how to handle the situation. And the one he follows will almost cost him everything.
Review: I really enjoy the tone of this series, bucolic meets progressive urban society. It's small town but not small minded. Great characters, great place, and an author who knows how to tell a story. It all adds up to good.
This new trilogy in the Fool's Gold series brings us a new set of characters to enjoy, the Stryker family. They grew up in Fool's Gold but were extremely poor and mostly depending on charity. As the oldest son, Rafe had to shoulder a lot of the burden and once they left he'd sworn never to return and to become successful and filthy rich.
For the most part, I like Rafe. He's a guy with some emotional scars over his childhood and you could understand why he acted the way he did sometimes – which was to be a total asshole. But even though you could understand, I didn't always like him in this book. He's definitely not one of my favorite heroes in this series. I didn't dislike him, but I just didn't always find him likable.
Heidi, on the other hand, I really enjoyed. She's a bit different than your traditional heroine. She grew up with her grandfather in a traveling circus but has now settled down on a ranch to raise goats. She wears country girl clothes and wears her hair in braided pig-tails. It made her more interesting because she's not quite so typical. And she just had a fun, loyal personality. I enjoyed read about her.
On the storyline front, the plot mostly focuses on the ranch and who gets it: Heidi and her grandfather, Glen, or Rafe and his mother, May. A bit of a simple storyline but it really worked. I enjoyed reading about it, how May and Rafe move in and how May just sort of takes over and all kinds of interesting things happen. There was just something about the storyline that worked. And there were some scenes that just cracked me up.
I also liked how Mallery gave a good set up for the characters in the upcoming books, which will feature Heidi's two best friends and Rafe's two brothers. Mallery definitely whets your appetite by giving just enough details to make them intriguing and to make you want to read their books when they come out. I am definitely looking forward to them.
And of course, you get some guest appearances by characters from the past books, which is always a fun thing. It's one of my favorite parts of these continuing series.
A great addition to this series, though. If you've been reading the Fool's Gold books then I think you'll definitely enjoy this one. And if you haven't and enjoy contemporary romance, especially small-town-centered series, then I'd definitely recommend giving this series a try....more
It's a Virgin River novel, so you know going in it's going to be fantastic in some way. And it was.
Series Note: 19th book in Robyn Carr's "Virgin RiverIt's a Virgin River novel, so you know going in it's going to be fantastic in some way. And it was.
Series Note: 19th book in Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" series about a small town set in the mountains of California and the struggles they deal with. I don't think you have to read the other first for this book, but really, this is an awesome series and you really should start at the beginning.
Summary: Nora Crane has had a tough life, especially the last few years after her lose addict boyfriend dumped her in the small town of Virgin River with two small children. She struggled to just survive, but with the help of the townspeople, she managed. She's just starting to get her life turned in the right direction and when she hears about a possible job picking apples at the local apple farm, she is determined to get it.
When Nora walks in, looking for a job, Tom Cavanaugh isn't inclined to hire someone so small...and beautiful, but his grandmother convinces him to give Nora a chance. And it works out better than he could have expected. The two soon develop a friendship. Tom fights his attraction to Nora...she's not at all the type of woman he is looking for. And for Nora, though she is attracted to Tom, she has more on her plate to worry about. Like getting her life back together, which is complicated by the sudden reappearance of her father in her life. But will their attraction to each other prove to be more than they can resist?
Review: I've read every Virgin River book and I think reviewed most or all of them. So it's a bit hard to find a new way to come at a review for one of the VR books.
I think one of the greatest things about this series is that even when one of the books is lacking in some way, the book is still fantastic. Most romance books that have some aspect that comes up short end up being average or just above average reads. Not books in this series. Whenever one has been a little off in one area, the book has still been awesome.
And I found that to be the case with this book. There was one aspect as I was reading and as I finished that I wished had been done better, but I still absolutely loved the book. It still made me smile, I still couldn't put it down, and when I got to the end, I wished there was still more to read.
So what did I wish had been a little better? The romance. It's very very slow in developing. It really isn't until you get near the end of the book that the two actually connect in a romantic way. Until that point, they have a friendship with Tom considering a relationship with someone else. I understand the buildup, but I think the romance could have developed sooner. Most of the book just focuses on the friendship but then you get to a point near the end and the romance just kinda explodes. It was just a little off for me.
Like I said, though, it doesn't take away much from how great the book is. Everything else about the story is fantastic. I enjoyed both characters. Nora is an awesome heroine and so fitting for a heroine in this series. She's got grit to have gone through what she has. I don't think I'd have managed to be as strong and determined as she was. Tom was pretty cool, but he's not one of the best heroes from this series. The friendship that develops between the two is great (even if the romance takes a bit too long to develop)
I also really enjoyed the storyline aspect where Nora reconnects with her estranged father. It was a heartwarming part of the story to read about and I think it was a great addition to the story.
And like always, there's a great supporting cast. You don't get quite as much of the series regulars like Jack, Mel, Preacher, etc, as you do in past books, but you still get you fix of the crew. And it's always a joy to get to catch up with those guys. They are some of the most memorable characters I've ever read about.
There's also a little bit about a new character, Coop, who is a friend of Luke's and who has a surprising connection to Jack. It was intriguing and I found Coop to be a very interesting character. Initially, I thought Coop would end up being a hero in a future Virgin River book, but after reading some comments from Carr in a website interview, I'm not so sure. It appears he me be a character used to spin-off the VR series into a new series. Which would make me sad. I don't want the VR series to end. I'm tempted to make a comment about something from this book relating to the series possibly being at an end, but I know there is at least one more book, a Christmas story coming out in Nov 2012 so I'm going to withhold that comment until I read that book.
Vrigin River fans will most likely love this book, though. It's exactly what you've come to expect from Carr for a book in this series. It's heartwarming, chock full of fantastic characters, has a great storyline, and it's a story that you wish didn't have to end. All things that make up a wonderful book. Sure, I wish the romance had developed quicker, but it hardly made a dent in how much I enjoyed the book. It would take a lot for a VR book to be only average. This one? Definitely well above average....more
Yet another wonderful addition to a series that is one of my favorite romance series ever.
Series Note: This is the 18th book in the VirgRating: 4.5 / 5
Yet another wonderful addition to a series that is one of my favorite romance series ever.
Series Note: This is the 18th book in the Virgin River series. I won't say you have to read the series in order to read this book, but it is a wonderful series and I think there are definite benefits of reading it in order. However, this book can stand on it's own pretty well, probably.
Summary: Katie Malone is traveling across country to stay in Virgin River, where her brother has settled, after a romance didn't work out and realizing her twin 5 year olds need some stability. She's hoping for some down time in Virgin River before deciding what the next step in her life should be. A flat tire just outside down leads to some unexpected consequences in her life when a mysterious biker happens by and helps her out.
A former child-star, Dylan Childress is on a motorcycle tour of the Virgin River area with some friends before he gets back down to work trying to figure out how to save his aviation business. When he meets intriguing Katie Malone on the road, he's mystified by her. She's everything he's ever wanted but told himself he couldn't have. Neither are looking for a relationship, but one finds them. Working it out isn't easy, though, as both are at a crossroads in their lives and trying to find a way to be together won't be easy.
Review: What is it about this series that is so enchanting and engaging? From the first book I've been hooked and I keep coming back for more. I haven't loved every book in the series, but even the ones that aren't my favorites are a pleasure to read. Maybe it's the continuity of the books...it's the best series I've ever read when it comes to keeping characters, setting, and romances going from book to book. Maybe it's the wonderful setting, or the fantastic characters, or the simplicity and realism of true romance and life issues. Or I guess it's a combination of all that. Whatever it is, Robyn Carr has created such a wonderful set of books with this series.
I really enjoyed this book. I can't say it's one of my top favorites, but it's definitely one of the more enjoyable ones. I loved both the main characters. Katie Malone is a spunky, widowed mother of twin 5 year-olds and Dylan Childress is a former bad boy child star who turned his life around and is now a quite reclusive owner of an aviation business. Both were a pleasure to read about.
The romance is sweetly done. I read a review that felt the romance wasn't developed enough, that the two fell in love too quickly and too simply. I couldn't disagree more. I thought the development of the romance was wonderfully done. Maybe it didn't take very long (a month of so) but I had no issues with the development. I could feel the chemistry between the two. And RC did a great job of portraying their inner conflict over getting involved. Especially with Dylan and his struggle to put his inner demons to rest and to allow himself to fall in love and hope for a future with Katie. I found Dylan to be a rather intriguing guy and I loved his storyline. Would he go back to movies? Would he save his business? Would he move to VR to be with Katie? Would he get eaten by a bear ;) It was great stuff. And I was really rooting for these two and just want to keep reading about them and how it would all work out.
Maybe the storyline isn't wildly original and maybe the tone is similar to a lot of the other VR books, but again, I didn't mind. Robyn Carr is such a wonderful storyteller that every book, no matter how different or similar to other books in the series, is a joy to read. You just get sucked into the story she is telling about Katie and Dylan, the town of Virgin River, and all the other people involved.
Plus, you can't get through a VR book without getting to read about a lot of the past characters. This book didn't involve them quite as much as some past books - the focus in this one was pretty centered around Dylan and Katie - but you get a nice dose of Jack, Connor, Leslie, Luke...some cameos from Preacher, Paige, Paul, Nora, some others, and an introduction the hero of the next book, Tom.
And like I've said in other reviews, every time I read a new Virgin River book it's like coming home because Robyn Carr has created such a heart-warming, vivid, wonderful place in Virgin River, California. I look forward to the next installment....more