Title: Before We Kiss by Susan Mallery
Fool’s Gold Series Book 14
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
New York Times bestselling sensation Susan Mallery returns to Fool’s Gold, California, where it’s true that sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs…
Former pro-football kicker Sam Ridge has notoriously bad luck with women—from cheaters to fame chasers. Still, the gorgeous brunette at the bar in Fool’s Gold looks harmless—until she takes him home and he discovers a room devoted to securing a man, for life.
Dellina Hopkins never guessed that storing gowns from a friend’s bridal boutique would chase away her first and only fling. After her parents died, she skipped her “wild youth” to raise her sisters. She doesn’t want forever from Sam, but one night—all night—would’ve been nice.
His clean getaway gets messy when his firm hires Dellina to plan an event. As long hours lead to late nights, the two succumb to temptation again. Has Sam’s luck finally changed? Or this time, will Dellina be the one to run?
In the previous novel in Susan Mallery’s captivating Fool’s Gold series, Sam Ridge’s intriguing avoidance of event planner Dellina Hopkins left me dying to read their story and I am delighted to say Before We Kiss exceeded all of my expectations!
Following her parents’ untimely deaths, Dellina gladly took on the responsibility of raising her teenage twin sisters. Both of them are now grown up and Dellina is not looking for a serious or permanent relationship when she meets Sam. She is wildly attracted to the very sexy retired football player, but Dellina maintains a professional distance until their smoldering passion explodes in an unexpected encounter. Sam and Dellina agree to a casual fling, but love has a funny way of sneaking in when least expected, but will Sam’s lingering trust issues from his previous disastrous relationships keep them from finding their happily ever after?
Dellina and Sam are wonderful characters and they are very well suited as a couple. At this point in her life, Delinna’s primary concern is getting her event planning business on firm financial ground and this event could be just what her struggling company needs. Sam likes Fool’s Gold, but unlike his business partners, he has kept his distance from the rest of the town. Sam and Dellina work well together and while they like and respect one another, neither of them is looking for a lasting relationship. A family is the last thing on Dellina’s mind and while Sam does dream of having kids one day, a wife does not really fit into the picture.
In addition to Dellina and Sam’s burgeoning romance, Before We Kiss has a few secondary storylines as well. A story arc with one of Dellina’s sisters provides an unexpected revelation for Dellina. Mayor Marsha is on vacation but she is quite busy maneuvering events behind the scenes and the introduction of two new characters sets the stage for future novels in the series.
Although Before We Kiss is a light-hearted and very entertaining addition to the Fool’s Gold series, Susan Mallery does address some a few serious topics as well. Sam’s trust issues are realistic and a visit from his family is quite hilarious, but also shows the importance of respecting other people’s boundaries and need for privacy.
Before We Kiss is another lovely romance set in the warm and inviting town of Fool’s Gold. This sentimental and heartwarming story gives fans a chance to catch up with their favorite characters as Dellina and Sam fall in love. A few tantalizing tidbits about Jack’s mysterious past leave me eagerly awaiting, Until We Touch, the next novel in this wonderful series.