Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.
Susan Mallery has created a wonderful town. Because this is an ongoing series I think is very important not only to create good storylines but also to have a perfect background, otherwise it would be very easy to get bored. Fool’s Gold is a wonderful place to set these stories and that is why I’m very happy to see that Susan isn’t ready to move out of town yet.
Only Yours is book two in this new trilogy featuring the Hendrix sisters. Montana has been trying to find herself for a while now. Unlike her very driven sisters she didn’t really know what she wanted to do in life until she met Max and his dogs. Now she has finally found her niche training therapy dogs, and she loves it. After a very disastrous first encounter involving an unruly puppy and the hospital’s pediatric burn unit, she meets Dr. Simon Bradley. This guy is not only the most beautiful man she has ever seen but the crankiest as well (although after what the dog does he has every reason to be mad). Simon also has a terrible scar in half his face. Despite the very bad first impression they do feel attracted to each other, but Simon has more scars than the ones you can see in his body and so the road to their happily ever after won’t be an easy one.
This book had so many wonderful things going that I don’t really know where to start. Montana was a great heroine. It must have been very hard for her to see her sisters succeed and know what they wanted while she was kind of drifting and trying new things to find her place in life, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she picks herself up and throws herself into every new adventure to see if that was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She didn’t let her successful sisters overshadow her and she was never jealous. I think that lots of people can relate to her because sometimes figuring out who you are can be really hard. I loved to see how at home she felt with the dogs and what a loving person she was. She was the perfect match for Simon and the perfect companion for all the kids that are a very important part of the book.
Simon was an intriguing and appealing hero. He had a personality that reminded me a bit of a person with Asperger Syndrome. He was very smart, painfully awkward with people, ambitious and confident in his ability as a doctor, he was brutally honest, he only had one friend and I had never seen a hero in such need of someone to love him. He goes around the world helping children but never staying in one place more than necessary. There’s a reason why he has so many scars, both physical and psychological, and it was one of the saddest and most painful stories I have read in a long time. I loved him because he was strong in some aspects but vulnerable in others. Mallery said in an interview that this was a Beauty and the Beast story where the hero was both beauty and beast, and that’s the best description you can get.
Since the book’s hero is a reconstructive surgeon who specializes in burn children we spend a huge part of the book in the hospital. Because of that aspect this book could have been a crying-fest but Mallery managed to show us some very sad situations in a positive way, it wasn’t painful to read, it was actually uplifting. This story deals with some pretty dark subjects but it does it in a way that says that we can overcome adversity.
I had a hard time choosing my favorite thing about this book, but it has to be the dogs. I always love a good story with animals and this one had them in spades. My favorite was Cece the poodle. She does this really cute thing where she angles herself towards you butt first, they call it her “you can pick me up” position, it was adorable! I have a cat, every time I come near him he does this thing where he shows me his claws and hisses, I call it his “if you pick me up I’ll cut you” position, equally effective as Cece’s but not as cute…
Overall this was a wonderful book, it was funny, sad, touching and I can’t wait to read the next one. It stands alone well, but all the books in the series (not only this one but the original trilogy as well) are not only loosely connected but are wonderful reads as well, so maybe is best if you read them in order so you can get the whole Fool’s Gold experience.
It seems like Mallery is setting up the books that will come after this trilogy is done, I’m guessing that Kent, the other Hendrix sibling, will get his own book, so I’m happy to see that once Nevada gets her HEA in the next book we won’t be saying goodbye to Fool’s Gold.
Review by Brie
Montana Hendrix has found her calling—working with therapy dogs. With a career she loves in a hometown she adores, she's finally ready to look for her own happily ever after. Could one of her dogs help her find Mr. Right… or maybe Dr. Right?
Surgeon Simon Bradley prefers the sterility of the hospital to the messiness of real life, especially when real life includes an accident-prone mutt and a woman whose kisses make him want what he knows he can't have. Scarred since childhood, he avoids emotional entanglement by moving from place to place to heal children who need his skillful touch. Can his growing feelings for Montana lead him to find a home in Fool's Gold, or will he walk away, taking her broken heart with him?
HQN Books. August 30, 2011.