Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.
This is the third and last book in this new trilogy set in the fictional town of Fool’s Gold. If you are new to the series you should know that each book features one of the Hendrix’s triplets. Only His is Nevada’s book and her turn to find her happily ever after.
Ten years ago Nevada was away from home about to start college and feeling like a fish out of water. It was the first time in her life that she wasn’t living at home and worse, it was her first attempt at being apart from her sisters. Her brother Ethan tells her to look up his old friend Tucker Janack who lives in town so she can at least have one familiar face while she settles into her new life. The first time she meets with him is love at first sight, but only for her. Tucker is infatuated to the point of obsession with a famous artist and only sees Nevada as the little girl he used to know. When Nevada finds that the artist left Tucker, she goes to console him and what she finds is a very drunk and heartbroken Tucker who ends up taking her virginity. And just when Nevada thinks he finally loves her, Tucker calls the artist’s name in the worst possible moment. Talk about humiliation…
Fast forward to the present and the Janack’s construction company is about to embark in the very ambitious task of creating a casino and hotel complex in Fool’s Gold. Nevada wants to expand her horizons and leaves her work with her brother to apply for a job at the construction site thinking that the person in charge will be Tucker’s father, but she ends up face to face with Tucker. This makes for a very awkward job interview and even though Tucker wants to work with Nevada and is somewhat sorry for what happened (he doesn’t quite remember all the facts) she is reticent about it. She ends up agreeing but will she be able to let go of the past in order to establish a good working relationship? And what about the current attraction they are both feeling? Evidently the road to the happy ending is a rocky one.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I love the premise and I like stories where the main characters share a past because that way when they fall in love it’s easier for me to believe that they can have such deep feelings in such a short period of time. In this particular case that shared history was cringeworthy, we get some flashbacks that show us what happened between Nevada and Tucker and all the time I was feeling so sorry for her. She was eighteen and in love with this dreamy guy who is obsessed with someone else, and of course once the guy shows a slight interest in her, even if that interest is a drunken groping, she interprets it like love, and her naïveté was hard for me to read because it was realistic and I could actually relate to her. And then I couldn’t even be mad at Tucker because he was young and naïve as well, so in this case everyone suffers and no one is to blame. This whole situation made me feel like I was in a love/hate relationship with the book, because I loved this new take on the jilted lover trope, but I felt uncomfortable while reading it.
My biggest issue with the book was the hero. I couldn’t connect with him and the fact that he was emotionally unavailable and hell-bent on never falling in love again was ridiculous. He was old enough to realize that what happened to him wasn’t love. He was in a sick and unhealthy relationship based on obsession, and he should know that at the time he was young and inexperienced, just like Nevada, and that he was in over his head when he got involved with that person. Overall I just didn’t care for him, is not that I disliked him, is just that I wasn’t emotionally invested in his story, he lacked the charisma and personality that Mallery’s heroes usually have. Maybe I just wanted more groveling on his part even when I understand that he didn’t really have reasons to grovel.
I did love Nevada and I was happy to see her get her happy ending. Of all the three sisters she’s the one I was more interested to see happy, I was sorry for what happened to her and I felt her pain when she had to be an outsider looking into her sister’s happiness and feeling very lonely while doing it. I admired her for toughing it up and showing unconditional support to her sisters even if she was feeling sad and a little jealous. I think Mallery did a great job at creating a flawed heroine who was strong and good. I know I said I didn’t particularly liked the hero but I must admit that Tucker and Nevada made sense as a couple, one of the things I liked about the book (and there were several despite of what may seem) was that their current relationship was as uncomplicated as their past relationship was complicated. The love story has a nice steady flow and is quite drama-free considering their history, even when the evil ex returns, they deal with it quite easily.
I was happy to see that Jo the bartender, a character who’s been present ever since book one in the original trilogy and who had a mysterious past, finally gets her shot at love and we finally get to see her backstory. All the loose ends get tied up, you will see what happens to the triplet’s mom and we also get to meet the heroines for the next books, three very interesting women who couldn’t be more different from one another.
Overall it was an engaging story. Even if I had some problems with it I read it in one night because I couldn’t stop, the ending was corny but I wasn’t surprised by it and you know it’s coming because throughout the book we get clues about it. I would recommend this book only if you are a fan of the series, if this is your first introduction to Susan Mallery, then maybe you should start with a different one. I don’t think this book stands alone quite as well as the previous two, mostly because it’s the final one, and I think all the books in the series should be read in order to get the whole Fool’s Gold experience.
Review by Brie
Wedding bells are ringing in Fool's Gold, but not for Nevada Hendrix. Her triplet sisters are engaged, and even her mother has a more active love life than she does. Determined to make a fresh start, she applies for her dream job, only to discover that her new boss is her first love. Maybe she could overlook the fact that they've seen each other naked, but she'll never forget the way he broke her heart. Tucker Janack agrees to Nevada's "business only" ground rules. After all, love is a trap that the construction millionaire has avoided his whole life. But when great business partners turn out to be so much more, every rule gets broken. Will either of them be willing to try again…or will their past get in the way?
HQN Books. September 27, 2011.