Isabel Carlisle thinks she’s cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for another…man. So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she’ll pursue her real dreams. At least, that’s the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again….
Seeing Isabel all grown up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can’t take his eyes-or his lips-off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool’s Gold forever-if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same…
Source: via Netgalley/Harlequin for an honest review
Favorite Quotes: (as this is an ARC, these quotes may not make it to the final draft)
“You’re messing with my head.”
“I’m not doing anything.”
“Then God help me if you start to try.”
Love gave a man courage when he didn’t have a right to any.
Isabel is a native of Fool’s Gold who just returned after living several years in New York. She’s recently divorced after her husband left her for another man. Isabel’s in Fool’s Gold temporarily to get her family’s bridal salon in updated in order to sell it so she can have the capital to move back to New York and open her own store with a designer friend of hers. She’s also been avoiding a certain Hendrix. Isabel’s been in love with Ford since she was 14 and he was engaged to her sister. When her sister dumped him, he joined the Navy and Isabel wrote to him consistently for ten years, never once receiving a letter in return. Now that they’re both back in Fool’s Gold, Isabel tries to avoid running into him, but it’s kind of hard to do now that he’s rented the apartment over the garage at her parent’s house.
Ford Hendrix has finally returned to Fool’s Gold. He’s been a Navy Seal for the past ten years and kept himself away from his hometown, preferring to meet up with his family elsewhere when he did see them. Now he’s started a business with friends of his and they’ve made Fool’s Gold their base of business. His mother is determined to make him stay and she thinks the only way to do that is to have him fall in love and get married to a Fool’s Gold resident, so she opens a booth collecting applications from women looking to date and eventually marry Ford and his brother, Kent. In order to fool his mother into thinking he doesn’t need her help, he asks Isabel to be his fake girlfriend. She’s pretty, smart, and keeps him on his toes, but there’s no chance of him falling for her because Ford thinks there’s something wrong with him because he’s never been in love. The lines of their fake relationship start to blur, though, when they start sleeping together.
There’s something about Ford Hendrix. I loved him. I think he’s probably my favorite Fool’s Gold hero, followed closely by Simon (Only Yours #5) and Clay (All Summer Long #9). He’s funny and doesn’t take himself too seriously. I usually go for the alpha male types, but I love a guy with a sense of humor. Isabel was also a very good character. She was funny in the other books of this series and I really enjoyed getting to know her more here. Her insecurities, hangups, and obvious embarrassment of her past with Ford was really endearing. I loved that she was ambitious and always there for her friends. Together, the two of them were a lot of fun, and their friendship was love in disguise, and it was very satisfying when they finally figured it out.
As for the subplots of the book, I am really anxious and happy, hoping that the next series is about the new business moving to town, owned and operated by former football players. I liked some of the new girls, too, that we’re introduced to. The conclusion to the secondary romance in this series was everything I was hoping for. It made me happy for both of these people who deserved finding love.
My one gripe is that I wish the men would man up already. They seem to always have the same attack of pigheadedness right before the end and I wish, for a little change up, that it would be the girl running away every once in a while. </rant>