Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he'll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool's Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he's frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous assets.
Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family—yet she can't move toward the future while she's haunted by painful memories.
Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?
In My Own Words:
What does a former underwear model do when he retires? He heads to Fools Gold to start a life with this family and a ranch of his own, with ideas of his own. What he doesn't expect is to find he is attracted to the town tom-boy, firefighter. Since losing the love of his life, he has long stated he would never risk his heart again, but can Charlie change that way of thinking?
Charlie comes from a life no one can understand. A famous mother that wants nothing more than to mold Charlie in to her own image, only to suffer disappointment when Charlie has no talent and isn't as attractive as a mother would want. Coming to Fools Gold was the best decision Charlie ever made. She has friends, a life and a job she loves. When she comes to Clay with a proposal, and needs his help in a very intimate way, she is afraid she has lost her marbles completely. To throw gas on that fire, dear old mom shows up and wants a Hallmark reunion.
"We're trying a new salad. It's seasonal, with apples and fried chicken. You can get it with grilled chicken, but then I'll pretty much thing less of you. I'm just saying."
The Fools Gold series has had some hits and misses for me and this was in the hit column. I loved that Clay took Charlie up on her proposal and their relationship grew slowly, not only romantic but also as friends. Being able to see Clay's brother's and mom a bit, I admit, was a bonus. I adored how the author didn't just throw the mother in there and have Charlie and her have a lovable moment and all was better, it was a struggle on both parts which made it way more real. Can't wait for little sis' book, gonna be an explosion.