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The Amazon Book Review
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Top reviews from the United States
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Fair yet predictable plot with loveable characters, and a theme based on forgiveness and second chances. A quick read.
My main problem with the story was May, the Mom, yes she was sorry, and yes she wanted a relationship with her daughter. To find out how really crappy she had been, when in all the previous Stryker books she was warm, loving, and best Mom award kind of women. It kind of made me irritated and that she got forgiven to easily, and I got the other small room and made you sleep on the couch when you were growing up to the let's me best friends was a bit of a stretch for me. I'm all about forgiveness but it seemed a little forced in this book.
The other problem was that is was very PG-13 on the romance department and it followed the same pattern as all the other books. The sex scenes could have been a little juicer.
If you want a pleasant read for a afternoon it's a great series, but I would start with the 1st book as you will have no idea who, is who in the story if you don't.
Since there are so many reviews already that tells the story I will say that I did like Dante & Evie. I found them to be a great couple, both hurt by love and family issues from the past. I like that they clicked right away, I wish there would have been some hotter love scenes, I would rate the few PG-13 maybe. The bulk of the book is about Evie teaching dance and trying to figure out the Christmas Eve dance production. Dante and her fall into a couple routine all while telling each other they are just friends helping each other through the holidays. The whole town comes together to help Evie get ready for the Christmas Eve show, it was great seeing ALL the previous book characters and catching up with their marriages & families. Over the month of December Evie realizes she is falling in love with Dante. Dante remembers he never wants to be in love and pushes Evie away which breaks Evie's heart. And like all the previous books all the women in town showed up on Evie's doorstep to help get over her broken heart. I think Susan Mallery cut, copy, and pasted that scene from the previous books. Than the books ended with the big Christmas Eve production and of course the drama of how we get to the happy ending.
All and all it was a cute story that I enjoyed reading, I like the characters, the town and of course the happy ending but I just didn't LOVE it. I do look forward to reading Gideon story soon and continuing the series.
Top reviews from other countries
The romance between Evie and Dante was fine and as believable as it ever is in these books but it was quite lightweight as the author wanted to ram home messages about forgiveness and helping one another and so we had lots of scenes where everybody is very supportive and rallies round to help. When cute children dancing, Christmas and a public declaration of love were added to the story I found it all a bit too much.
The book isn't badly written but I found that the heartwarming elements were too much. I also thought that Evie's relationship with her family was mended in an unbelievable way. It was all too sugary for me.
The heroes are invariably good guys, while the women are lovable and strong, probably helped by the fact that, by some fluke, women in Fool's Gold are in the majority and this man shortage has allowed them to shine in jobs that are normally held down by men and made them self-confident and self-reliant.
I read the first three boxed sets of this series and was a bit disappointed that the story of Evie, found in the last book of volume III was not satisfactorily resolved, therefore imagine my delight when I downloaded this volume arbitrarily, because I love the author's skill in telling a satisfactory story, and it practically picked up where the last volume of the 3 box sets let off. A very pleasant coincident.
Three cheers for Evie for being willing to forgive her less than perfect youth and for her desire to reconcile with her family, three cheers for her mother May for being willing to acknowledge the mistakes she had made ... three cheers for the author for writing stories of forgiveness and redemption and unconditional love in such a warmhearted and humorous way.
She has written herself right into my list of favorite authors by sticking with familiar names and characters throughout this whole series, making us feel at home in every book, yet coming up with an original, different and gripping romance in each. This must have been hard to do, despite her basic writing skills, so how can I give her less than a five for this and the fact that she gave me closure in connection with Evie!!! <smile>
Just one little plea: Susan Mallery could you please give us a short epilogue to the books, I always find the endings a bit too abrupt!
So weit, so gut. Die Liebesgeschichte ist wirklich schön erzählt und die Personen wie immer sympathisch, natürlich haben auch alle anderen Bewohner von Fools Gold Gastauftritte wobei es langsam beängstigend ist, dass nicht nur jeder verheiratet ist, sondern auch wahlweise schon Kinder hat oder zumindest schwanger ist oder davon spricht Kinder zu bekommen. Als wäre dies das einzige Modell zur Glückseligkeit.
Was hat mich nun aber gestört?
- da wurde die ganze Firma nach Fools Gold verlegt, aber die Mitarbeiter (wie viele?) bleiben komplett außen vor, so als würden sie gar nicht existieren
- Dante war total gegen den Umzug, jetzt hat er sich aber an den Ort gewöhnt und findet es gar nicht so schlimm? Wie ist das so plötzlich passiert?
- Dante ist bis jetzt der eher sarkastische Typ gewesen, der undurchschaubare. Hier ist er von Anfang an ein herzensguter Mensch, das verwirrt doch ziemlich.
Eine wirklich schöne Geschichte, aber mal ehrlich, langsam wäre es gut Fools Gold in Ruhe zu lassen, dabei sind in diesem Buch schon wieder zwei weitere Geschichten (Gideon und Ford) angedeutet.