Best of My Love by Susan Mallery
Description: An irresistible new love story from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold series, set in a town Library Journal calls “so appealing, readers will want to start scoping out real estate.”
To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool’s Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her?
Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the “adventure” in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he’s inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby’s boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect.
As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool’s Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they’re just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!
Susan Mallery is one of my go-to authors for small town romances. She’s up there with Jill Shalvis for creating towns that I just want to move to, find an attractive guy, and live happily ever after. Her new book, Best of My Love, features characters who have been introduced in previous books. Shelby is the sister of a previous hero and Aidan is the brother of another hero. They both have ties to Fool’s Gold, though Aidan grew up there while Shelby moved there. Shelby had a traumatic childhood in the hands of an abusive father. She is trying to move on with her life and recognizing that she has been choosing the wrong type of men to have relationships with due to the scars of her past. In attempt to grow as a person and become more comfortable with men, she decides to have a six month friendship with a man. She presents this friendship idea to Aidan. Aidan runs the local outdoors adventure tour company. He too has a difficult family life, though less so than Shelby’s. He limits himself to relationships with tourists, ensuring short term affairs. When this blows up in his face, he reevaluates his life and takes Shelby up on her friendship offer.
What I really liked about this book is watching the friendship between Shelby and Aidan grow and become strong. Before their romantic relationship develops, there is a strong friendship foundation that they work hard to develop. Each make concessions for the other, such as alternating between girlie and manly activities. This was just a heartwarming book. However, there was nothing which made me sit up and say “This is my new favorite book!”.
I’m left wondering if Susan Mallery is planning a spin-off series. Three of Aidan’s brothers (the fourth being a previous hero) have left Fool’s Gold. It seems like she is setting up a potential new series with their stories. If so, I’ll be sure to read it. Susan Mallery books always evoke that warm sense of familiarity you get when you return home after being away for a while.
Rating: 4 out of 5!
Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.