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Locked in an unexpected land dispute, Rafe Stryker is trapped in the one place he vowed never to return to – the Castle Ranch in Fool’s Gold, California. He made millions facing ruthless adversaries in the boardroom, but nothing could’ve prepared him to go head-to-head against stubborn, beautiful Heidi Simpson. No one is more surprised than Rafe to discover that he’s finding Heidi – and life as a cowboy – much more compelling than he wants to admit. For Heidi, the Castle Ranch is the home she’s always wanted. After a life on the road, the vivacious blonde has finally put down roots. She won’t give that up without a fight, not even for a man whose late-night kisses make her yearn to be a little less…wholesome. As the two turn from passionate adversaries to passionate, period, they’ll discover that summer love can last a lifetime.
Rafe Stryker just wanted to stay as far from Fools Gold as humanly possible, if only it weren’t for his mother. She seems to want to come back to this hole in the wall town because of some connection. As soon as Rafe was able to run screaming from everything and everyone that even began to remind him of his hometown he did. Being drug back by May Stryker, though, isn’t even close to being on his bucket list, but she is his mother and this boy will do anything for his momma. Getting embroiled in a legal battle with the quirkiest old man and his intriguing granddaughter sounds like a cake walk for Rafe, until he gets to looking at Heidi in a new light. Could this be his mother’s way of getting him to settle down (old matchmaker want-to-be that she is) or is this fate’s way of giving Rafe the life that he thought has passed him by? Will some half-baked ideas on his part push Heidi away and his hometown against him for good or will Rafe be able to change his ways in time to get the girl and the happily ever after?
Heidi Simpson just wanted a place to call home. When she came to Castle Ranch, Heidi finally felt at home, and with her grandfather and her goats she was starting to get everything she had dreamed of as a little girl. Finding out trouble is brewing at Castle Ranch at the hands of her grandfather, Glen, makes Heidi willing to do anything to keep the home she has come to love. But will finding Rafe be a dream come true or will he break her heart and take away everything that she has worked so hard for? Just how far is Heidi willing to go, and at what price?
This is a fantastic book!! I have been a fan of Susan Mallery’s work for quite some time and she has yet to disappoint me. I literally couldn’t put this book down (bad idea when reading at work). The story of Rafe and Heidi was so wonderful, and the quirkiness of each character made them so life like that I hated to see the ending come sooner than I wanted. The final page is always the hardest, and with this book, the worst for a reader. Several times, I felt myself tear up and laugh right along with the high jinx of Glen, Charlie and Athena the goat. Rafe and Heidi couldn’t have been more different in the beginning but sometimes someone completely different than what you expect is just what you need the most. I can’t wait to read about Rafe’s siblings more and hope that each of their stories are as wonderful as this one was. If you are looking for not only a great read, but a tale of love conquering insurmountable odds than this is the story for you. Susan Mallery has done it once again!
I had the hardest time deciding on a favorite quote from this story but I was able to narrow it down to two great ones.
“Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn from time to time” – Rafe
“Let me guess,” she said. “You want Nina to find you the right sort of woman. Educated, probably with a career, but not one that takes up too much of her time. You’re willing to let her work, but you’d prefer it if she stayed home with the kids. Smart, but not too smart. Pretty, but you’re not Interested in beautiful. She should be entertaining and talk about current events. Someone who won’t stray. You plan on being faithful, but you don’t expect her touch your heart. You’re saving what’s left of it for your children. Oh, you’ll settle for two but you’d really like three. And a dog.”
Rafe stayed where he was, which took a whole lot more effort than it should have. He felt as if she’d cut him open and laid him bare for everyone to see. She’d managed to reduce the sum of him and his wants to a moveable list. How had she guessed? “You don’t approve.”
“I don’t have an opinion,” she told him. “I guess the part I don’t understand is wanting to spend your life with someone you’re not in love with.”
“Love is an illusion.”
“You’re wrong about that. Love is very real and it’s dangerous. People do crazy things in the name of love. Bad things. Love is powerful and shouldn’t be played with.” – Heidi and Rafe.
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