All Summer Long by Susan Mallery ( website | tweet )
Part of the Fool’s Gold series.
Publication Date: 7/31/2012
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: mother/daughter relationships, second chances, Â stereotypes
Format read: ARC from NetGalley. (Thanks!)
Summary: Charlie is used to people misjudging her, but who would believe she would have this in common with Clay, an ex-butt model who has been living it up in the big city? Convinced she can help others see him for more than his good looks, she propositions him with hopes of getting over her own painful past.
I had heard the rumor that All Summer Long sizzled even more than the previous book in the Foolâ€™s Gold series, Summer Nights.
And golly, that rumor was true.
From the start, Charlie and Clay have this easy chemistry, and despite the lack of trust she has had in men all of these years (and rightfully so) she has a hunch about Clay. Can he possibly get her to the place where she can date men again and not shrink away from their touch?
Iâ€™ll give you one guess.
For all the touchy feely goodness and the slow, sensual scenes (that are so ridiculously hot) Mallery manages to weave in a sub-storyline about stereotypes and the roles and expectations of sexes in society. Charlie is a firefighter and Clay is an ex-model. Charlie gets treated like sheâ€™s one of the boys and Clayâ€™s career seems to make it okay for every single woman to hit on him and think heâ€™s all about having a good time and doesnâ€™t have a brain in his head.
It was nice to see that from both sides.
In addition, Charlieâ€™s mom, a famous dancer, makes an unexpected (and unwanted) appearance in Foolâ€™s Gold and Clay is trying to get a business off the ground. Despite these interlaced storylines, the book remains light and fast-paced but still suffers from Malleryâ€™s tendency to overcompensate and repeat certain key phrases and emotions.
All of that is forgotten, though, when Clay and Charlieâ€™s relationship overwhelms their agreement and the two start to open up to one another. While their steamy scenes are more than comparable to Shane and Annabelleâ€™s in Summer Nights, thereâ€™s this urgent intimacy that resonates with them and makes their relationship even sexier and more meaningful. (Although at one point Annabelle confides in Charlie about her relationship with Shane: â€œWe each want to be the person who gives more.â€ I just loved that.)
While Malleryâ€™s work is a bit formulaic itâ€™s all in good fun and, like the best romance novels, so incredibly addicting. Foolâ€™s Gold feels like a little piece of paradise, and itâ€™s lovely that you can just jump in and out of the series as you please, as well as reunite with old characters andÂ try to decipher who will take center stage in the next volume.