Author: Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold, #17
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Published: June 2015, Brilliance Audio /HQN Books
Length: 9 hours / 384 pages
Source: Publisher / Netgalley
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery creates the small-town destination for romance in charming Fool's Gold, California—where a loner cowboy finds the one woman who can capture his heart...
After Phoebe Kitzke's kind heart gets her suspended from her job in LA, she swears off doing favors—until her best friend begs for help on the family ranch in Fool's Gold. Unfortunately, sexy cowboy Zane Nicholson isn't exactly thrilled by the city girl's arrival.
Thanks to his brother's latest scheme, Zane has been roped into taking tourists on a cattle drive. What Phoebe knows about ranching wouldn't fill his hat, but her laughter is so captivating that even his animals fall for her. One slip of his legendary control leads to a passionate kiss, but she's exactly the kind of woman a single-minded loner needs to avoid.
In his arms, Phoebe discovers she's a country girl at heart. Yet no matter how much the small town feels like home, she can't stay unless Zane loves her, too…but is this cowboy interested in forever?
My thoughts: This is the second book in this summer's Fool's Gold trilogy and boy oh boy are you in for a treat if you pick this one up! I decided to listen to this on audio and oh, did I find myself laughing out loud at times.
This is Phoebe and Zane's story. We've met Zane a few times in previous books, but now we really get to know him. He gets roped into taking a bunch of greenhorns on a cattle drive thanks to his brother's latest antics. Wanting to teach him a lesson, Zane decides to go through with it, making Chase do most of the grunt work. I really loved the relationship between these two brothers - loved watching them throughout the book. It was so clear that Zane struggled with his feelings towards Chase and how to best guide Chase as he finds his way in the world.
Phoebe may be my new favorite female character in this series - I just loved her! She always wants to help people and has a huge heart, but because of this, often gets taken advantage of. Having grown up in the foster system, she just wants a family and someone to love her. But, what I found most endearing about her is how she talked to the animals - especially Manny, the lead steer of the cattle. I admit, I talk to my dogs all the time!
I also loved the secondary characters -they really had their own stories this time around, which made this book have a little bit of a different feel to it. The two little orphans, Lucy and Tommy, just stole my heart and seeing how the foster parents, Thad and CJ, come to terms with them was both heartwarming and endearing.
And then there's Gladys and Eddie. I loved that they wanted to be part of the cattle drive - they actually paid off two people to take their spots, hoping they would see some hot cowboys during the drive. Oh, those two! They certainly provide some laugh-out-loud moments, but are also good to help diffuse tense situations or provide level heads when needed.
Once again we have a totally different story - one that takes place almost completely on a ranch. While there aren't any town festivals, Mayor Marsha does make a cameo as she does in every book. It's still my hope that one day we get her story!
Audio Thoughts: This is the second time I listened to a book in this series and I have to tell you - this was a great one to listen to! It was quite funny at times and Tanya Eby did a great job with the voices. It's an engaging story and I found myself wanting to keep listening, despite having gotten to my destination (I was listening in the car!). While the books are quick reads, listening to the books on audio is just as fun, and as long as Tanya Eby is narrating, I would consider listening to more of this series.
Books in this series:
1. Chasing Perfect 12.5 Christmas on 4th Street
2. Almost Perfect 13. When We Met
2.5 Sister of the Bride 14. Before We Kiss
3. Finding Perfect 15. Until We Touch
4. Only Mine 15.5 Yours for Christmas
5. Only Yours 16. Hold Me
6. Only His 17. Kiss Me
6.1 Only Us 18. Thrill Me
6.2 Almost Summer 19. Marry Me at Christmas - due out 10/15
7. Summer Days
8. Summer Nights
9. All Summer Long
9.5 A Fool's Gold Christmas
9.75 Halfway There
10. Just One Kiss
11. Two of a Kind
12. Three Little Words