Title: Best of My Love
Author: Susan Mallery
My Rating: A
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fools Gold #20
Main Characters: Shelby and Aidan
Release Date: April 2016
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool's Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her?
Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the "adventure" in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he's inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby's boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect.
As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool's Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they're just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!
One of my favorite tropes is friends to lovers and this was a great one, just because these two have a deal. There is no possibility of the lover part. Aidan and Shelby have a plan. This friendship was developed to help them both become better people. Aidan needs to learn to see women as people not just the means to an orgasm. And after growing up with an abusive father, Shelby needs to learn that she can trust men. Adding sex or emotions to that would ruin everything they are trying to do. So they set out to become friends...and quickly develop a REALLY good friendship. In fact, soon it's so good and natural that the town doesn't even question the fact that the two are in a relationship and falling in love. Everyone can see it...except Aidan and Shelby.
I liked everything about this story. While I usually enjoy Susan Mallery's stories, this one is right up there at the top of my favorites. Aidan and Shelby together were incredible. I liked how perfectly they fit together. When they first started hanging out, they really didn't know one another so they quickly decided to take turns...one time they'd do a chick activity, the next they'd do a guy one. I loved the way this played out over the course of the book, but by the end of the story, it really played out perfectly. I was laughing out loud about how the two characters dealt with the town when they were down and out about how to fix things between them.
There was so much to love about this story. Aiden's dog, Charlie, was classic. I loved Aiden's scenes with his brother, Nate...that whole family history still makes my heart hurt. But I have to wonder...is Susan Mallery setting up another small town series with the three brothers who have moved to Happily, Inc (? not sure about the town name...it was something like that.) If so, I approve of this plan. I'm dying to know how the "twins" are dealing with the shocks they've been dealt. I also really loved hearing all the possible business expansion ideas for both Shelby's bakery and Aiden's Adventure company. These are both fabulous careers and it was fun to see little glimpses of them through the story.
Overall this was just another really phenomenal installment to what has been a great series. I can't believe there's been 20 stories. I think I've read all of them. It's been a great series. But don't worry...you can jump in at any book and I don't think you'll be lost. It will just leave you searching out the other 19 in the series.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.