Happy Monday! Welcome to Fool’s Gold, California in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, this charming town is Small Town, USA at its best with one minor problem: men or the lack thereof. Men are the minority in Fool’s Gold, by a large margin.
There are twelve books in the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery, and a few novellas as well, mostly Christmas themed. My mother gave me two of the FG books to read, unfortunately for me they were books 8 & 9, Summer Nights and All Summer Long respectively. At the time I didn’t realize that I only realized there was supposed to be one book before the two she gave me. Susan Mallery writes this series as many authors seem to do these days, in trilogies. So I hit the library and found Summer Days, while reading this set, I began thinking there had to be more books set in this town. I hopped on the computer to find that I had started with book 7. Off to the library again to pick up 1-6, along with those in between novellas!
The first set of three books, the Perfect trilogy: Chasing Perfect, Almost Perfect, and Finding Perfect are a great intro to this little town. Charity Jones has just moved to town to take the job of City Planner. She spent her childhood years moving a lot, so settling down in this little town is just what she’s looking for, Josh Golden local boy done good is not. Josh is a cyclist, think Tour de France and he’s home again facing some problems of his own, he can’t race anymore. This “bad” boy is intrigued by Charity and determined to catch her eye, she is equally determined to ignore him. Liz Sutton left town years ago pregnant and with a broken heart but now she’s back with her son and facing the man she left behind Ethan Hendrix who seemingly wanted nothing to do with their son. Little did she know he knew nothing about the boy, something about a crazy wife. Finally Pia O’Brien is shocked and devastated as is much of the town when her best friend dies from cancer. Her friend has left Pia a gift: frozen embryos. Pia’s friend was married to a soldier who died. Pia decides she must carry those embryos and have her best friend’s children. Raul Moreno has recently come to town, former foster kid now rich guy wants nothing to do with women, except Pia and her situation has caught his attention. These three books seem to have little to do with each other besides being set in the same town. The next “trilogies” are more connected.
Between the first two trilogies or perhaps somewhere in the middle is the novella Sister of the Bride. We meet Katie the main character at a pity party in one of the first books. Her sister is about to marry the man she stole from Katie and Katie has no date for the wedding. She reluctantly agrees to a set-up for the big day only to find that maybe this isn’t such a bad thing after all.
The second trilogy the Only Books: Only Mine, Only Yours, Only His center around the Hendrix triplets. Dakota, Montana, and Nevada named by their big brothers are very different in their careers and their searches for love. We see FG become the setting for a reality dating series, the beginning of a therapy dogs ranch, and the fight for a woman to do a typical “man’s job” with the catch being that her boss is an ex-sweetheart. This set is followed with an e-novella released as Only Us, and then in paperback with another short story in the book A Christmas Bride.
Trilogy Three is the Summer trilogy, the one I started with. This set is all about the Stryker brothers: Rafe, Shane, Clay, with the first book also being about their mother. The Stryker family lived in Fool’s Gold when the boys were young. Their mother was the housekeeper for a Scrooge-esque old man. The man had promised Mrs. Stryker his ranch when he died, a lie. Now the boys are back and falling for some very unique women in FG: a goat rancher, the town librarian, and a firefighter who happens to be one of the biggest tomboys I’ve ever come across in literature. This set is preceded by Almost Summer which I’ve only seen in e-format and followed by A Fool’s Gold Christmas about the Stryker’s little sister Evie. Another novella follows this and as it was released only as an e-book I’ve just learned of it, going to have to see if I can check it out from the library or see if my mom has Halfway There on her Nook.
The most recent trilogy revolves a group of former soldiers including Ford Hendrix, one of the triplets big brothers. These men and women have come to town to create a bodyguard school, or at least that’s what everyone in town calls it. The counting series (ok I made that name up but you’ll see why) includes: Just One Kiss, Two of a Kind, and Three Little Words. This set is also followed by a novella, but as its new I’ll save that for a new fiction Friday post. If you’re a series reader or a reader that likes to see what the guy is thinking and not just the girl you should check out Fool’s Gold.
As a bonus Susan Mallery has also released the Fool’s Gold Cookbook: A Love Story Told in 150 Recipes. I have yet to pick this up but after reading about all the foods read throughout the series I just might have to do that.