*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*
Published: May 27, 2014
Before We Kiss — Susan Mallery
Buckle your seat belts people, we’re going back to Fools Gold.
If you haven’t ever heard of Fools Gold, I feel bad for you. If you HAVE heard of Fools Gold, you’ll know all about this wonderful place. There are two towns from books that I wish were real places. Lucky Harbor, from Jill Shalvis’ books and Fools Gold. I don’t get to visit Lucky Harbor until the end of August (unless I do some re-reading) so for now, I’m happily wishing I was in Fools Gold.
Currently there are fifteen books in the Fools Gold world. That’s right. Fifteen. Before We Kiss is number fourteen. So, if you’re one of those poor unfortunate souls that’s never had the pleasure of visiting FG, you’ve got some catching up to do my friend.
Fools Gold is home to an elephant named Pricilla (yes, an elephant), a Tour de France winning bicyclist, a coffee shop named “Brew-Haha” (best name for a coffee shop EVER), Mayor Marsha who knows everything and three former NFL football players that are the newest residents. Okay, there are lots of other people in town… but you’ll have to read the books for those.
Before We Kiss revolves around one of those former NFL football players I mentioned. Sam Ridge has had the worst luck when it comes to women and all things related to love. He’s been stalked, cheated on, and his ex-wife wrote a tell-all book about their marriage. And I thought my love life sucked. Oh, I almost forgot… his parents aren’t exactly normal either. They’re sex therapists. Kind of… They help people realize how to do things correctly to maximize their pleasure potentials… but clothes aren’t always involved when they’re helping people. It drives poor Sam crazy.
With all of his history, he keeps women and prospective relationships far away. I can understand that, but it’s also quite sucky. Poor guy.
Enter Dellina Hopkins. Hometown sweetheart and event planner extraordinaire! Mostly. Sort of. She’s working on it.
Dellina and Sam get together at the beginning of the book and then they have a huge misunderstanding. In the middle of the night, Sam makes a wrong turn on his way back to Dellina’s bedroom and comes face to face with a room full of wedding dresses, and a whiteboard covered with a list of “ways to get him to propose”. Like any guy with a history like Sam’s (and maybe some that don’t…) he freaks out and then sneaks out of her house.
Dellina learns from one of Sam’s business partners about his past and spends the next few months making his life a bit of a living hell. She’s seemingly everywhere and it’s not really that easy to avoid people in a town the size of Fools Gold. Sam get’s backed into corner later and has to deal with Dellina because his business partners are throwing a party for some clients…and Dellina is the only one around that has the abilities to pull it off.
She’s finally able to give Sam some explanations about what exactly he saw when he made that wrong turn earlier. The dresses are being stored for a friend that owns a wedding dress boutique shop thing, and the board covered in ways to get him to propose? That’s Dellina’s sister Fayrene’s. Fayrene is dating Ryan (they had a book earlier in the series) and he proposed… but she asked if they could wait before they got engaged. Because he’s a good guy and loves her, he agreed. Now of course, she wants him to propose but she won’t just ask him. She wants him to just do it. But, he’s not a superhero or a mutant so he can’t read her mind. Thus, the board covered in ideas to get him to propose.
I so totally loved the relationship between Dellina and Sam. She was exactly what he needed. Someone who would understand his need for privacy, and be happy with him for who he is and not what he could do for them. She understood that he was wary about relationships thanks to his crazy past and didn’t push anything. She just accepted what he could give her. Did she want more? Sure she did.
I also loved the relationships between Sam and his business partners. Jack, Kenny and Taryn are like his siblings. Jack and Kenny are those annoying brothers that don’t hesitate to annoy the shit out of him, or give his ass a good kicking when he’s messed up. Taryn (her story is When We Met — book 13) is like the older sister that can give good advice, but also kick his ass. Sam’s relationship with his parents is a weird one. he loves them because they’re his parents… but he also keeps his distance from them because they drive him bat shit crazy.
When his mother and father first arrive at his house, his mother starts going through his things. In his bedroom. Sam’s bedroom. She tells him he’s using the wrong brand of condoms (I giggled… Sorry, Sam) and then she asks him where the pink vibrator she sent him to use on his lady friends went. The look of horror that’s described on his face sent me into a fit of laughter. I mean, who really wants their parents giving them sex advice? I know I don’t.
Dellina’s relationship with her sisters is a fun one to see. Their parents passed away when Dellina was seventeen. She’s the oldest of the three, so she basically raised Fayrene and Ana Raquel. Even though they’re all adults now, she still kind of mothers them. I don’t think she can help it.
When Sam messes up and breaks Dellina’s heart (it had to happen, it always happens) he’s surprised that he’s not cast out of the town. Normally when a woman gets her heart shattered by the guy she loves, she tells her friends and close family members. In a town the size of Fools Gold, that means EVERYONE. But… Dellina didn’t do that. She didn’t tell anyone their business and put on a brave face whenever she went out in town. Sam is shocked. And then of course he realizes what a mistake he made.
The way that he made it up to her was so cute and so out of character for him. I just loved it. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this cute little town. Book number fifteen is called Until We Touch (Jack’s story) and I’ll be reviewing that one too… so keep your eyes out for it!
I’d give this one a 10/10. You can’t go wrong with Fools Gold.