Title: Hold Me by Susan Mallery
Fool’s Gold Series Book Sixteen
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery’s classic blend of lighthearted humor and intense emotional conflict works its magic on two newcomers to the California town of Fool’s Gold, which Library Journal calls “a setting so real and appealing readers will want to start scoping out real estate.”
Destiny Mills believes passion has its place—like in the lyrics of the country songs that made her parents famous. After a childhood full of drama and heartache, she wants a life that’s calm. Safe. Everything that Kipling Gilmore isn’t. Her temporary assignment with the Fool’s Gold search and rescue team puts her in delicious proximity to the former world-class skier every day. Part of her aches to let go for once…the rest is terrified what’ll happen if she does.
Though an accident ended his career, Kipling still lives for thrills—and a hot fling with a gorgeous redhead like Destiny would be a welcome diversion. Yet beneath his new coworker’s cool facade is a woman who needs more than he’s ever given. With her, he’s ready to take the risk. But love, like skiing, is all about trust—and before you soar, you have to be willing to fall.
Hold Me is the sixteenth (sixteenth!!!!) installment in Susan Mallery’s warm and inviting Fool’s Gold series and it is just as fresh and appealing as the novels that proceed it. In this heartwarming addition, it is newcomers Destiny Mills and Kipling Gilmore turn to find their happily ever after.
Destiny, along with her teenage sister Starr, temporarily move to Fool’s Gold while Destiny sets up the software for the town’s new search and rescue program. Her job requires frequent travel, so she really has no permanent ties or friendships but she immediately connects with many of the women in town. As Starr’s newly appointed guardian, Destiny slowly realizes that it might be time to put down some permanent roots and Fool’s Gold might be her final assignment. Her tempestuous and unsettled childhood with her country music star parents has given her a rather unique outlook on sex, love and marriage and by choice, Destiny has never had a serious relationship.
After a career ending skiing accident, Kipling moved to Fool’s Gold to head up the new search and rescue team. He is also partners with several of the men in town and they are about to open a bar where the men can hang out and watch sports. He is a firm believer that actions speak louder than words so when someone he cares for runs into a problem, he springs into action and finds a way to fix things for them. His younger sister Shelby is often the recipient of his problem solving and despite her exasperation with him, the two have a close relationship.
Destiny and Kipling end up spending a lot of time together professionally and slowly but surely, an unexpected friendship forms between them. Kipling is attracted to her right from their first meeting, but he is only interested in a short term fling. Since Destiny witnessed firsthand how destructive strong emotion and passion can be, she decided to avoid romantic entanglements altogether. She does not recognize the strange yearnings that she feels around Kipling, but she does enjoy spending time with him. However, the one night Destiny unleashes her passion for music, their friendship takes an unexpected detour that could change the course of their relationship.
In Hold Me, Susan Mallery once again works her magic and provides readers with another enchanting addition to the Fool’s Gold series. All of the characters are multi-faceted with relatable flaws and believable problems to overcome. The setting is, as always, idyllic with a homey atmosphere. The storyline is realistic and delightfully angst free. It is another fun and heartfelt novel that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys sweet and steamy contemporary romances.