Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"When We Met" by Susan Mallery

Angel Whittaker earned his scars the hard way, but the scars that can't be seen are the ones that haunt him the most. Since he moved to Fool's Gold, California, he's cobbled together a life for himself as a bodyguard trainer. If he's not exactly happy, at least his heart is safe.

Working with pro-football superstars taught tough-talking PR woman Taryn Crawford one thing—she can go toe to toe with any man. But then dark, dangerous former Special Ops Angel targets her for seduction…and challenges her to resist his tempting kisses.

Even in four-inch heels, Taryn never backs down. Unless, somehow, Angel can convince her that surrender might feel even better than victory.

My review:
** spoiler alert ** When We Met introduced a new group of young, single guys and girls to Fools Gold. Taryn has moved her PR firm to Fools Gold, at the request of her 3 "boys". While she was scouting the town last fall, she caught the eye of "Angel", who we knew from previous books that had him working at the "bodyguard school". Angel "decided" that Taryn was going to be his conquest, and early in this book, he "informed" her. Taryn was a strong female and needed an equally strong personality in her relationships - she got that with Angel. But their dynamic seemed so "stilted" and "unnatural". I didn't get the butterflies in my stomach as the romance developed, like I have in previous books. Angel and Taryn both have baggage - I felt that Angel's baggage was sufficiently explained and dealt with in this book, but Taryn's was glossed over. Her reactions to steps in her relationship with Angel seems "disproportionate" to her experiences with her father, and with Jack. I thought it a bit unusual that she went from "not trusting" Angel to save her life in the rapids, yet immediately made love with him on the creek banks.

And I wish she had delved further into how Angel got his injury - the scar on his neck was reference often but always with a "the other guy was worse" without more details. I wish we had learned more about Angel's military experiences.

There were lots of good parts of this book - I loved how Angel discovered things about himself by becoming a Grove Leader for a bunch of 7 year old girls ... I bet those girls LOVED him (and I'm surprised the moms didn't flock to him more). I loved how he became more and more comfortable with the girls over time, and in the end, wore the wreath on his head in the parade. I was glad that he came to the realization that he was wrong to leave Taryn, although I think she took him back too easily. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED how her boys constantly came to her rescue - with her "pity party" after Angel broke up with her, and when Angel approached her at the parade. I could literally see them squaring up to Angel in that scene.

So, I felt this was a good, but maybe not a great installment in the Fools Gold series. But, Susan has set up a lot of future romances that I really look forward to - Jack and Larissa, and Sam and Dellina. The "boys" have some great personalities and I look forward to reading their stories.
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