Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Christmas on 4th Street by Susan Mallery

Title: Christmas on 4th Street
Author: Susan Mallery
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fool's Gold #12.5
Main Characters: Noelle and Gabriel
Release Date: September 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
There's nowhere better to spend the holidays than with New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery in the town of Fool's Gold, where love is always waiting to be unwrapped... Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of every minute. That's why she ditched a frustrating legal career to open her own store in Fool's Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that's magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush.

Gabriel's memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugar plums, thanks to a drill sergeant father who ran his home like a boot camp. Spending the holidays with his family while he recuperates from injury sounds as appetizing as last year's eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle...and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can't stop sharing.

Gabriel didn't think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse....

My Review:
This book is a classic example of opposites attract. Gabriel is a glass half-empty kind of guy whereas Noelle is a glass half full type. They've both been truly tested the last couple of years...Gabriel as an Army doctor on the front lines; Noelle in several different life-altering ways. But they've handled those trials with VERY different attitudes. Gabriel has shut himself off from living whereas Noelle believes that every moment is made to be savored and lived to the fullest.

The entire book takes place during the six weeks surrounding the holidays in Fools Gold, plus Noelle runs a Christmas store so there is tons of seasonal romance that I love...there's even a romantic cabin during a snowstorm. All good things. I really enjoyed both these characters. 

Gabriel is a doctor who is worn out, but facing pressure from his father to continue on with the Army. He's seen too many people suddenly die and doesn't want to get close to anyone...the risk is too great to suffer another great loss. The only reason he's home for the holidays is because he got hurt so is home recuperating. Otherwise, he does everything possible to avoid his family, including his twin, Gideon. He's so alone. It's truly heartbreaking.

Noelle is also alone, but she has made a place for herself in Fools Gold and become one with the town. She has layers that I never saw coming...a past that is truly tragic for this upbeat, happy girl. She and Gabriel have a connection and they form an unlikely bond way early. I liked them together and LOVE that Gabriel comes to work in the Christmas store simply as a way to escape his family. I thought that was a fun twist to throw these two together especially for a doctor.

And this remains a Fools Gold book. You get to see glimpses of everyone from the town, but there are a lot of scenes with Felicia and Gideon which I loved. There are also festivals, holiday kitsch, some mayoral meddling, and the wonderful romance and sweetness that I've come to expect from this series. This book is set at Christmas and worked for me on every level. I'd LOVE to spend the holidays in Fool's Gold, too...maybe next year when the NFL players show up....

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

Felicia S said...

I felt the same about this book. It really put me in the Christmas spirit though. I am getting the audiobook soon so I am going to listen to a bunch of it (all my favorite parts) in Oct :)