Title: Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery
Fool’s Gold Series Book 15.5
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 98 pages
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Step out of the winter chill and into the warmth of Fool’s Gold, California, the charming small-town setting for a new holiday novella from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery
Famous former NFL stars don’t date single working moms like Bailey Voss. She’ll allow herself to daydream about Kenny Scott’s muscles and killer smile, but wanting more would lead to post-holiday regret. Then Kenny volunteers to run a toy drive with Bailey, and she learns that he’s not just hot…he’s also generous, funny, nice. The whole package—tantalizingly out of reach.
The ache of past loss reminds Kenny why he needs to avoid getting too close to anyone. Especially to a gorgeous redhead and her adorable little girl. Mess it up, and he’d lose them both. Yet Kenny can only resist Bailey for so long. And as festive spirit spreads throughout the town, he’s all wrapped up in Bailey’s sweet, sexy kisses and determined to make this the first of many Christmases together…
Yours for Christmas by Susan Mallery is the much anticipated romance between retired football player Kenny Scott and single mom Bailey Voss. Fans of the Fool’s Gold series are going to love this sweet and sigh-worthy love story that brings together two favorite characters in this captivating series.
Thrown together working the Fool’s Gold toy drive, Bailey and Kenny enjoy an easy friendship that also includes Bailey’s daughter Chloe. There is also a simmering attraction between them, but Kenny has an ironclad rule that he has no intention of breaking: he does not date single moms. He is upfront with Bailey that he does not want anything more than friendship and although she is disappointed, she understands his position. Of course, it does not take long before they are hanging out together on a fairly regular basis, and their feelings soon go much deeper than friendship.
Bailey has been interested in Kenny for quite some time, but she feels like she has nothing to offer a man who has dated super models and movie stars. Although she cannot help yearning for a little more with him, she is a practical woman and she is happy with his friendship. She steps out of her comfort zone when Kenny invites her to some rather posh events, but Kenny is still the same down to earth man she has always known.
Kenny has a very good reason for not wanting to get seriously involved with Bailey and by extension, Chloe. His fear of getting hurt and some major trust issues are the driving force behind his decision but he does not let that stop him from caring about both Bailey and Chloe. He continues to help Chloe with projects and Christmas shopping for her mom and it goes without saying that this super nice man is first to volunteer to help Bailey when she needs a helping hand. But a sudden realization that his heart is at risk causes Kenny to withdraw from both Bailey and Chloe.
Kenny and Bailey’s relationship slowly evolves from their friendship but most of their interactions include their mutual friends and Chloe. The gradual shift in emotions is believable given their longstanding acquaintance and various encounters from earlier books in the series. Their conflict is also understandable considering Kenny’s fears and I really like how Bailey was not afraid to speak up about her feelings when he pulled away.
Yours for Christmas is a very charming romance that fans of Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series are going to love. This enchanting story is quite engaging and full of heartwarming holiday cheer. As always, it is a true delight catching up with characters from previous novels and in true Fool’s Gold fashion, the whole community pulls together and works a little holiday magic when needed. It is another warm and entertaining addition to a beloved series that I highly recommend.