There’s nowhere better to spend the holidays than with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery in the town of Fool’s Gold, where love is always waiting to be unwrapped… Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of every minute. That’s why she ditched a frustrating legal career to open her own store in Fool’s Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that’s magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush.
Gabriel’s memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugar plums, thanks to a drill sergeant father who ran his home like a boot camp. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from injury sounds as appetizing as last year’s eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle…and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can’t stop sharing.
Gabriel didn’t think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse….
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I have so much love for the Fool’s Gold series. Every character, every romance, every secondary character pulls me in and gets me so hooked that I can’t put the books down. I was so excited to read about Noelle, and I have to say I absolutely loved her!
Noelle moved to Fool’s Gold to start over again. Her dream of opening a Christmas shop is finally come true, and her new life couldn’t be more perfect. However, a little romance definitely would be welcome as well. When Noelle meets the sexy and troubled Gabriel, she wonders if she could possibly get a little romance in with him, given their sexual chemistry is off the charts. Only, Gabriel doesn’t believe in ever after.
Gabriel was working so hard, and so long, that he made a huge mistake. Licking his wounds, he heads to reconnect with his family after years and years apart. But being around his father isn’t what Gabriel considers relaxing, and the only thing keeping him going is working and spending time with Noelle. Although their attraction is undeniable, Gabriel doesn’t do long-term, and although Noelle is the kind of girl he could see himself making the exception for, he isn’t sure he is at a place in his life where he is ready to take that leap.
I absolutely loved Noelle from the moment she stepped foot into Fool’s Gold. She was so optimistic, bubbly, fun, and sweet. She was such an endearing heroine and I couldn’t wait to read her story. I loved her with Gabriel, and although he did little things for her in his own way, he really needed the chance to get his head on straight before he could be everything that Noelle needed. I wanted him to get there quicker, so that we would have a little more groveling time and seeing some HEA moments between them. Instead, the end felt extremely rushed and it felt like within a matter of pages Gabriel left, realized his mistake, came back and they declared their everlasting love. The end turned me off a little, to be honest.
I did feel so bad for Gabriel, especially as we got to see just how painful his family life had been. With a drill sergeant father, he was practically forced into the military, when what Gabriel really wanted was something totally different. Each interaction we saw with him and his family was rough. Even toward the end when you could tell his dad was trying, it was hard to read. I wanted for his parents to support him unconditionally (as parents should), and instead he was put down and belittled, and it made me want to cry for him. But getting to see him stand up to his parents and really go for what he wanted was super special.
Getting to see so many secondary characters from this set of trilogies was great fun as well. I think Mallery really knocked this set of books out of the park, especially when it came to the strong female friendships. I loved getting to see Noelle with Patience, Isabelle, and Felicia. Their bond was so strong, and I can only hope that we get to see more and more of them. I adore this set of girls!
All in all I thought this book was a perfect way to round out the 2013 year of Fool’s Gold additions. Noelle got to bask in the awesomeness of her store at Christmas-time, while Gabriel was given the chance to heal and do some soul searching about his life goals. I loved their romance, as it built from friends to flirts to lovers. It was sweet and sexy. I’m anxious to hear all about the sports heroes in the next set of books though, and can’t wait to see what’s in store for Fool’s Gold in 2014.
I give Christmas on 4th Street a B