Monday, September 17, 2012

A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

Evie Stryker has a complicated relationship with her family. Years ago, Evie’s mother May became a widow to a man who was her one great love. Shortly thereafter, she was intimate with a stranger and became pregnant with Evie. May was a widow and an adult and there was nothing shady about what May did but in her mind she was betraying her late husband. Consequently, she never had, or acted like she had normal maternal feelings toward her daughter. Evie always felt like she was an outsider within her own family. She felt like her mother favored her older brothers, and her brothers didn’t know how to act with her. When she was old enough, Evie moved out and lived on her own. Up until recently she was working as a cheerleader for a big name team. She had an accident while working and seeing it happen on television, her family came down to get her and bring her back to their small town of Fool’s Gold to care for her and repair the family relationships. Evie ends up living & working next to her brother’s partner and family friend Dante Jefferson. They begin hanging out and develop a kinship. They are both have painful pasts, and are a little overwhelmed at times by the cozy small town atmosphere and holiday enthusiasm. Reading the previous book in this series, I was unsure if I would like Evie. I should have known better. The author has created a series with textured stories and complex, interesting characters. Evie still has a lot of hurt from the past but throughout the book she grows as a person and heals emotionally. It was great to watch her interact with her dancing students and the cat she adopts. You don’t read as much about Dante’s inner life, but you get little bits here and there that help you understand why he is the way he is. Before reading this story, I was hoping that at some point she would have a heart-to-heart with Charlie or her ballerina mom, since they could both relate to Evie in different ways. I was happy that those conversations did happen. Overall, great story once again, nice romance, and great characters. I look forward to reading more books in this series and other books by this author.

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