Rating: ★★★ | 05/27/2014 | Contemporary Romance | 8 hrs 57 minutes | HQN
It’s the job offer of a lifetime for event planner Dellina Hopkins when she gets asked to plan a weekend party for a local sports PR firm. The only problem? Her contact for the event is Sam Ridge a former pro football player….and her Valentine’s Day one-night stand.
Now, you may be wondering why a sports PR firm is located in a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. To that all I can say is. . . you must be new here.
My first Fool’s Gold was Hold Me and it is one of my lowest reviews on this blog and just re-reading that review made me mad all over again, but as much as I hated Hold Me’s plot I was charmed by parts of Fool’s Gold and wanted to dig back into the series. Before We Kiss has a wonderful balance of humor and romance as Sam and Dellina build a slow-burn romance that worked waaay better than the one in Hold Me.
My favorite thing about these books is all the Competency Porn. Mallery really digs into the nuances of her heroine’s chosen professions and it’s fun to follow along with them. I know an event planner and Mallery seems to have captured the work they do expertly.
I picked this book up because I needed something kind of light after finishing some heavier series and there is just something so cathartic and emotionally satisfying about Fool’s Gold. I couldn’t figure out what it was until I got to a scene where Sam, who is new to Fool’s Gold , looks out the window :
“After parting the curtains, he stared into the night. Not that there was anything to see. They were in a residential area of Fool’s Gold. Everyone was asleep. Nothing bad ever happened here.”
I think what makes this town feel so cozy (aside from everyone and their mother falling in love) is that nothing bad ever happens within the town’s limits. Yes, there are darker background stories involving abusive fathers, war widows and career-ending injuries but once a character comes to Fool’s Gold they are protected and cared for.
Tanya Eby lends her pleasant voice to this audiobook. While some of the men sound similar, she has a wide range of female voices. There are 20 + books in this series so kudos to her for creating all those voices. I did this on CD (Library FTW) and at the end and beginning of each CD there is just this delightful music. I really enjoyed it. It was fun.
My only criticism is that Mallery tends to have her characters carry idiot balls to make a plot work. I was really annoyed by one where Dellina had to basically have Sam mansplain billing to her. Also at the last 11% Mallery throws in like two quick plot lines that threw off the perfect pacing. I think she was trying to really drive home the ‘look how nice everyone in town is’ and it felt heavy0handed.
Before We Kiss officially has me on the Fool’s Gold train and if I find out this town exists, I am packing my bags immediately.
In this book we get to see the backstory of how Kipling Gilmore, the injured Olympic Skier protagonist of Hold Me ended up in Fool’s Gold. He will eventually accidentally gets a virgin pregnant when they are both drunk and then immediately marry her even though she’s not interested in a relationship. Needless to say, the moment he agrees to come to Fool’s Gold I was like: