Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to – the Castle Ranch in Fool’s Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could’ve prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he’s finding Heidi – and life as a cowboy – much more compelling than he wants to admit. For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she’s always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won’t give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less…wholesome. As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they’ll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.
*Blurb from Goodreads*
When I first read Susan Mallery I was an instant fan. Her books are full of friendship, family and such sweet and wonderful romances that I often find myself turning the pages till the very end, and wishing for more. The Fool’s Gold Series, in my opinion, keeps getting better and better!
Heidi, the goat girl, has finally found a home. She has a place she can go to at the end of the day, a place to raise her goats, and make her cheese and soap. But her grandfather has made a huge mistake, one that could end up costing her everything she has worked so hard for. Especially when Rafe barges into the situation and takes her to court.
Rafe has been providing for his family since he was a boy, now that his mother has been conned, he wants to do anything and everything to get her the ranch she has always considered home. But with the court ordering Heidi and his mother to come to an understanding, Rafe is put in the situation when he might not be able to win this one. Not without breaking the heart of either his mother, or the one woman who has managed to get under his skin like no other had before.
I adored Heidi from the first moment we saw her walk into Fool’s Gold. She was simple and sweet and loved her goats. She made me smile, and getting to see her get her happily ever after was just wonderful. I really enjoyed everything about her: her backstory of having grown up as a carny, her sweet and innocent ways, and even her dedication to making sure that she did everything possible to keep her grandfather out of trouble.
I had a harder time connecting to Rafe, especially since he was so wishy-washy on what he wanted. It was obvious that he loved working on the ranch, loved being in the small town. Yet at the same time, his words indicated he hated everything about Fool’s Gold He complained about the memories, he complained about the town and the people within it. There were times I wanted to shake him, wanted Heidi to shake him, and make him either leave and go back to his big city life, or quit the complaining. Once he came to terms with Fool’s Gold and how much he really loved it, I felt better about him.
One of the things I loved about this story was the romance between Rafe and Heidi. They had such incredible sexual chemistry and tension throughout the first portion of the book. They danced around each other, they flirted and teased and by the time they sealed the deal, it was smoking hot to read! The drama with the legal proceedings with having to share the house just added another dynamic to their relationship that I couldn’t get enough of. I just wish they didn’t have to go through so much crap at the end in order to be together.
I am also super excited for the next two books in this mini-trilogy. Heidi’s girlfriends Annabelle and Charlie are the kind of girlfriends I would love to have in real life, and watching them get paired up with Rafe’s two brothers is going to be a hoot, especially when we get to tomboy Charlie and the youngest Stryker brother, the underwear model.
All in all Susan Mallery continues to be a must-read author for me, and the Fool’s Gold series remains one of my favorite contemporary romance series. I thought that Heidi was such a wonderful heroine, one I could really get behind and cheer for. And although Rafe had some real d-bag moments that had me alternately loving and hating him, their romance was so well done I couldn’t help but fall in love right along with them.
I give Summer Days a B+