Review: Summer Nights by Susan Mallery

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Summer Nights
Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #8
Published by Harlequin in 2012
Rating: ★ 

Synopsis: (taken from Goodreads)
Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.
Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too. Some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!

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Cover Comments:
The cover is beautiful as always! Susan Mallery books always have covers that just scream sweet romance story! I really like these new designs on the more recent books. The focus is more on the couple and not the surrounding land. My only complaint. Despite the cover drawing me in, I don't ever remember the main couple snuggling on a beach... did they even go to a beach? It would have been great to see them riding horses or something.

 My Review:
If you haven’t read the rest of Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series, you should just stop right now and go pick up Chasing Perfect. While each book in this series is its own free standing story, Mallery likes to revisit the characters from her past books and it can get confusing or annoying to those that have not read the rest of the series.

Summer Nights is the 8th book in the Fool’s Gold series, and the 2nd in the Stryker brothers mini trilogy (Summer Days, Summer Nights, All Summer Long). I will say that I enjoyed it quite a bit more than I enjoyed Summer Days, but I really feel like the series hasn’t been as captivating as it was in the beginning. I’m not sure what it is, but I feel like a bit of the magic that was in this series has disappeared in the last couple of books.

I loved Shane and Annabelle. Is there anything quite as great as a heroine that is a librarian? I love how Mallery DIDN’T make her a quiet socially awkward type of woman… something that I see a lot in contemporary romances. Shane is much more likable than Rafe was. He really is just a sweet guy, and someone I would totally have a crush on in real life. (Think sexy cowboy that enjoys teaching kids to ride horses!) Together, they had pretty good passion. I did feel like they fell together a bit awkwardly. One minute they are both still considering themselves just friends and two pages later he comes to her house for a booty call. I would have liked to see the romance build a bit more, but it was a bit more realistic I suppose.

As for the story, it was your typical small-town contemporary romance story. Shane is instantly attracted to Annabelle and vice versa, but they spend most of the book shuffling their feet refusing to give their love a try. I loved the little spin with the upcoming parade and the whole Khatar the impossible horse bit. I loved anytime that Khatar was around in the story. He’s probably my favorite character in the book, despite the fact that he is a horse. I also enjoyed catching back up with the past characters, something Mallery is known for. I love feeling like their stories and lives didn’t just stop because the book ended. Instead you see their lives continuing to evolve and their families growing.

Mallery’s set up for the next book (Charlie and Clay’s story) has me very intrigued, and excited to get into it! I hated Charlie at first… she was so hard, but Mallery has done so much with her in the bit that we see of the over the last two books. I’m not going to say anything, but she’s shaping up to be a favorite heroine, and a favorite book in the series, if Mallery does it right. I’ll be hoping to read that one here very soon!

Ultimately, I would definitely suggest this book to any contemporary-romance fan… especially if you have read Mallery before. Her books are always just super sweet and light. I love reading the happy sweet books when I’m miserable of this gross cold weather outside. Hope you enjoyed my review! Please let me know what you thought of the book if you have read it!

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