Wednesday, August 03, 2011

ONLY MINE (Fools Gold series) - Susan Mallery

In the first three books of Susan Mallery's Fools Gold series (Chasing Perfect, Finding Perfect and Almost Perfect), one learned that the small town of Fools Gold, California had a shortage of men.  That was until a young woman wrote her thesis about the town and then all sorts of men and the media started showing up.

The first three books revealed a lot about Denise Hendrix, the triplets mother, the girls themselves and their brother.  They were such a close family, one any reader would wish for their own.  Every one's dream to be apart of a family like this, sharing in their joy, wanting to be there to help with any pain any of them would suffer.  They were simply a loving and caring family who lived in a small town where everyone helped each other.  Reading each of their stories has been a heartwarming experience for me and one hard to describe at times, because in each of these stand alone books, I have read some of the pages over and over, the stories are that amazing and comforting. 

The next three books in the series are Only Mine, Only Yours and Only His will be about the Hendrix triplets.  Many of the wonderful characters who appeared in the first books will also be a part of Only Mine, like Marsha the mayor, the triplet's mom Denise, Raoul, an ex-Dallas Cowboy quarterback and more.  This particular book begins with Dakota Hendrix being on loan to the film company who is in Fools Gold to shoot a reality dating show. Dakota was single, not really looking for that someone special because she has a lot on her plate.  Her regular job working with Raoul, plus the fact that over the past year she's had some health issues, she wanted  a baby and was not willing to wait for for a mansd to come into her life.  You know the old saying it will "happen when you least expect it?"  Enter handsome Finn Andersson, an Alaska pilot who had barged into Fools Gold to convince his brother's to return home to Alaska to complete their college education.  Demanding they return to Alaska and give up the idea of staring in True Love or Fool's Gold.

When Finn's parents died in an airline crash, it was Finn who took over and raised both of his twin brother's.  On top of that, he also ran an air cargo business.   He gave up most of his freedom and  he was furious because his brother's had left college a semester early to star in a reality dating show.  Their first encounters with their brother were very intense, and with her profession and a sympathetic ear, Finn and Dakota forged a friendship and began a sensual and emotional a journey which ended up in one "hot" romance.  However, Finn made it very clear to Dakota that he would return home to Alaska once he got his brother's sorted.

Ms. Mallery always delivers a message to her readers.  In this case it's about love, family, trust, acceptance, and friendship.   She also gave her readers a "miracle".  As Dakota's mother pointed out to her when she revealed her secret concerning her health issue which would mean she could never conceive a child,  There was always a chance she could meet someone and adopt.  However, she wasn't willing to wait, she wanted a child now.  That's exactly what happened for this charming young woman, a little girl came into her life because she was next in line on the adoption list to receive an infant.

Finn and the entire town stood behind her every step of the way.  A phrase Dakota's mother said stuck in my mind while reading Finn's and Dakota's story, "Loving someone and being loved was a gift".  And I only hoped if they both relaxed and got to know each other, would that happen?   So many wonderful Fools Gold residents, reminding me of the first books in the series.
Finn and Dakota spent a lot of time together. He wanted to be close to his stubborn twin brothers because they refused to go back to college and Alaska.  One brother, Sasha wanted to become an actor and that was why they had both dropped out of school, to star in the reality show.  The other twin, Stephen had dreams of his own, to become an engineer. Both boys and the ladies they were starring with drove Finn crazy.  And let us not forget the two women dating the twins on the show.  They also have a story; one who wants fame and one who wants to be free of her mother, who only desires her love and respect.  As for Finn,  he just couldn't sit around waiting for "stuff" to happen, so like Dakota, he worked part time for the film company, "ferrying" around passengers and sightseers using the Fools Gold Airport and renting a plane.

They spent time together due to the reality show but they also had dinners at her home  talking about their respective small towns and their family.  They actually liked each other, felt the sexual pull, became close and took their relationship to the next level.  The adoption went through, Dakota's little girl arrived in Fools Gold.
Finn and the entire town gathered and all pitched in to help.  From her own immediate family, to the Mayor, the entire town, it was so very heartwarming to read.  Especially Finn's help from feeding the little one, to changing her, and taking Dakota to LAX to pick up her new daughter, basically supporting Dakota. 

However, always there was the fact lurking in the back of my mind, after the series filming, would Finn stay in Fools Gold or go back to Alaska?  Because as he pointed out to Dakota and his Alaska partner, once the boys were settled it was "now his time", he had earned his freedom.  It didn't include Dakota nor her daughter.  So when the bombshell was dropped that on the first night they made love, a "miracle" child had been conceived, what would he do........stay or leave?

Only Mine at this very moment is my favorite book in the Fools Gold series.  The family dynamics of the Hendrix family and their extended family (the town folks) were incredible to read.  Add to the mix, a secret and the guilt Finn was carrying around.  There was also the fact that Finn was getting too close to Dakota and baby Hannah.  So many emotions for this man who had given so much of himself  for his brother's.  But now it was time for him to step away and "trust" that they would be OK and make good and sound decisions.

But the most important lesson for me was reading how the entire town came together, not just for Dakota and her daughter, they came together for each other as well.  Every town should be like Fools Gold, don't you think? Because as this author states, "Fools Gold is the Land of Happy Endings" and Dakota and Finn, plus a few others also got that........their happy ending!  Happy endings?  After watching the end of the Bachelorette last night bachelor had his heart broken and I thought would this happen to Dakota because she was so loving and caring?  In his own way, Finn was also honorable and he certainly cared for his brother's and Dakota.  But he didn't seem happy as her mother pointed out to him.  Would Dakota be OK if Finn walked away especially now that she had revealed to Finn and her family, her "little miracle. Most definitely she would survive because she had her family and a town full of caring residents.

In Only Mine, so much was shared.  It focused on the power of love and friendship.  Reading this marvelous book by one of my favorite authors, Susan Mallery, warmed my heart yet left me feeling some sadness because now I have to wait for Montana's and Nevada's stories which will be released in September and October.

Book Description:

You can't win if you don't play...

Her town's lack of men may make headlines, but it isn't news to Dakota Hendrix. The beautiful blonde has bigger problems to deal with, such as overseeing the romance reality competition filming in Fool's Gold. Screening eligible bachelors is a difficult enough task, but Dakota hits an unexpected snag when a sexy stranger comes to town.

Finn Andersson will do anything to keep his twin brothers— the perfect contestants— off the show. Despite Dakota's better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious outsider. Like her, Finn knows about heartbreak and how a family can fall apart, so she doesn't dare to hope for anything more than a fling. After all, even in the Land of Happy Endings, finding true love is never as easy as it looks on TV.

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