I loved this contemporary romance by Ms. Mallery; it’s the second book in her “Fool’s Gold” series for Harlequin. The hero of this story, Ethan Hendrix, was a secondary character in the first novel, “Chasing Perfect”. I don’t usually read books that have characters getting a “second chance” at a failed romance; however, this book was a very pleasant surprise. I’m eagerly anticipating the third book in this series, Finding Perfect.
Liz Sutton is a successful writer and single mom living in San Francisco. She receives an email from a young woman claiming to be her 14 year old niece stating that both she and her sister are in desperate need of assistance and that they are living in their old family home in Fool’s Gold, California. Liz decides to investigate the young woman’s story so she and her 11 year old son, Tyler, drive to Fool’s Gold. It’s a town she doesn’t want to visit since she had left under less than perfect circumstances. Liz had spent her youth dealing with being from the “wrong side of the tracks” and from having a reputation at school that she had done nothing to earn. She’s also been avoiding Fool’s Gold because it is where Tyler’s father, Ethan Hendrix, lives and she has been under the impression that he wants nothing to do with her or their son.
Ethan Hendrix is a successful businessman and a prominent descendant of one of the founders of Fool’s Gold. He’s handsome, financially comfortable and has always prided himself on doing the “right thing”, something that his father had stressed was absolutely necessary in life. He is surprised when he spots Liz in town and decides to visit her home. He is surprised when she tells him that she is not there to cause him any trouble and that she will be leaving as soon as she can get things straightened out for her nieces. At first Ethan doesn’t understand what Liz is talking about but as their conversation continues he discovers that the brief fling that they had indulged in one summer had resulted in their son, Tyler. Ethan is shocked and infuriated at not having been told of his child’s existence and is determined to have a relationship with his son and in the process he has to acknowledge that his feelings for Liz have never gone away.
The interaction between Liz and Ethan is not smooth or tension free, there are some difficult emotions that they both have to handle and some decisions that have to be made that are not easily reached. Ethan is a flawed hero and has many lessons to learn but he does learn them. Liz is an exceptional heroine and was easy character to love. The dialogue was sharp and the secondary characters were well written. The plot moved at a satisfactory pace and the ending was appropriate for the story.
Back in high school, Liz Sutton was the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. Then she’d stolen the heart of the most popular boy in town, and their secret romance helped her through the worst of times. Until Ethan Hendrix betrayed her and everything they’d ever meant to each other. Devastated and pregnant, Liz left Fool’s Gold, California – forever, she thought…
Now Liz must return to town and face the man who doesn’t know of their son’s existence. And this time she won’t have the option of making a quick getaway. Ethan and Liz can’t deny their passionate attraction, even after all these years. But will their desire be enough to spark a second chance at love?