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.
Heidi’s grandfather, the man who raised her since her parents were killed when she was three, fraudulently sold her ranch to May Stryker in order to get money to pay for medical procedures for a friend dying of cancer. When May comes to Fool’s Gold to claim the property, she doesn’t want to press charges on Glen, the grandfather, and wants to work with Heidi to reach an agreement that will be beneficial to all parties concerned. But of course, her son, Rafe, whose name is also on the paperwork, doesn’t think his mother should be so willing to work with the Simpsons.
Rafe doesn’t like being back in the town where he grew up with his family after their father died. What he remembers about being there is getting charity from his neighbors and the pity in their eyes. Rafe’s made something of himself and he thinks that people will only see him as the poor little boy; he expects to be overcome by those memories and the helpless feeling he had when he was a child. But what he finds are people who are willing to help their own.
When Rafe sees all the changes and growth that Fool’s Gold is going through, he wants in on the action and, together with his business partner and lawyer, makes tentative plans to use part of the ranch for housing. When Heidi finds the plans, she feels she has to resort to low measures to do everything in her power to keep her home.
Heidi and Rafe don’t get along initally because he’s some big shot business man who always wins, and she raises goats. They are just about polar opposites on the surface. Despite the fact that they were both duped by Glen, no one wants to put the seventy-five year old in jail. The two of them forge some kind of tentative truce, because the Strykers move into the Ranch and start to make improvements.
Of course I loved the book. Why? To start with, it’s a Fool’s Gold book. The characters that inhabit this town are priceless and fun. I especially love Mayor Marsha. I like to think that there is a town like this somewhere and I wish I could move there. I love how they come to Heidi’s defense, despite the fact that Rafe and his mother were the wronged parties. I love that the friendships and relationships in this town seem genuine and uncomplicated. I love reading about past Main Characters and where they are now.
I liked Rafe because, despite his initial impression on me (he seemed a little snooty), he took to the ranch like a seasoned pro. He was made out to be selfish, but he went out of his way to do all he could for his mother and even helped Heidi improve her business, as well as doing other selfless things in the book. He was a little misguided, sure, but he needed to grow in order to truly be capable of loving Heidi.
Heidi was a trip. I’ve loved this character since she was first introduced with her friends Annabelle and Charlie. She comes from a circus background, which was interesting and different, and that really explained her need for stability and a home. I could totally sympathize with her in that respect. Her grandfather’s actions made her feel impotent because she felt indebted to him and she loved him, despite his many and varied idiosyncrasies.
The next books in the series follow the Rafe’s two brothers and Heidi’s two friends. Rafe’s brother Shane was introduced in this story and I really liked him, so I am very much looking forward to his story.
We received a few promotional items (below) from Susan Mallery and would like to pass them on to you, along with a copy of this book, which comes out next week. To win the top prize, the book, as well as the rest of the swag and a couple surprises, send us a tweet by Monday, May 28th (@gone_pecan) or email us @ gonepecanla @ gmail dot com. I will use a randomizer to pick a winner, and anyone else who wants one, we’ll send a Fool’s Gold bookmark. Thanks for playing & have a nice day!