I have been reading a ton of books lately, but haven't found the time to sit down and tell you all about them. Plus it's mostly romance, and well, that always goes over SO well around these parts. Regardless, I'm going to tell you about these two Christmas books by Susan Mallery. You'll remember a few years ago when I went on a Fool's Gold streak, right? Well I missed a few in the series, but when I saw these two on NetGalley I thought it might be time to dive back in. I had a few quibbles with them as a whole- namely that there are just so many characters that pop up from previous books, and so much alluding to previous books that it gets a bit annoying. Also, Fool's Gold is presented as a small town, but all the details lead one to picture a much larger place (a trauma center? really?) Despite this, both books were about what I would expect from a Fool's Gold novel.
A Fool's Gold Christmas was last year's offering. Evie Stryker is in town- temporarily- and finds herself running the local dance studio. She's got an awful history with her family, and is planning to leave town as soon as she gets a little money saved. Dante Jefferson is the lawyer downstairs from her studio, and is predictably annoyed by having little dancers over his head. He storms in to quiet them down and discovers Evie. Now, Dante and Evie are both supposed to be complete humbugs in a town dedicated to holidays and festivals, but I don't think Mallery really pulls this off. They said they hated the season, but they sure did participate in it. The humbug aspect and the family history are both very thin false fronts on the story (again with the details to make people interesting that really aren't pulled off well!) but under that is a solid story about the two of them falling in love. I really appreciated that they mainly acted like adults and didn't spend needless time fighting their attraction.
Christmas on 4th Street is the new Fool's Gold novel. Noelle is fairly new to town. She's faced down a devastating past and is ready to do something she loves, so she opens a Christmas shop in Fool's Gold. Gabriel is in town on leave from his job as an doctor in the Army. He's suffering from fatigue from the job and needs a break to decide if he's going to reenlist or not. Noelle and Gabriel really fight their attraction to each other, to a believable amount, and their ultimate happily ever after is well done. There's a nice solid bit of them snowed into a cabin alone, and the discovery of not one, but two litters of kittens. As always, Mayor Marsha knows more than she should, and behaves quite like a fairy godmother, but it's really lightly done. I preferred these two to Evie and Dante, and felt like it was a stronger book overall.
Much thanks to NetGalley for giving my the chance to catch up.