Three Little Words (Fool’s Gold #12) by Susan Mallery
Publication Date: July 30th 2013 by Harlequin HQN
Can first love turn into the real deal in a sizzling new Fool’s Gold story from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery? 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….
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Three Sisters by Susan Mallery
Series: Blackberry Island #2
Published by Harlequin, Mira on February 26th 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary
Buy the Book • Goodreads
After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life – buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together, but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house.
When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she opens up a Pandora's Box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the problem. The terrible thing is, he's right. In her quest to be the perfect woman, she's lost herself, and she's in danger of losing her entire family if things don't change.
Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart would be married forever. Their passion for one other has always seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she's not so sure. Now it's time for them to move forward, with or without one another.
Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of friendships, these three women will discover what they're really made of: laughter, tears, love and all.
As the synopsis says, Three Sisters had laughter, tears, love and all. I was incredibly happy to jump back to Blackberry Island. It sounds like a place I want to visit, though I don’t know how I’d do living an island life. I actually applaud Andi for taking the plunge and moving there on her own after being left at the altar. That takes serious guts. The setting this time around was at the highest point of Blackberry Island, where three historical houses sit. They are the Three Sisters. I loved that by being up there on their own, the three residents are kind of destined to be like their own little family and that their kids can all grow up together.
Each of the ladies in Three Sisters has their own issues to deal with. I loved that they were able to bond over talking about them to each other and drinking lots of wine helped too. I think the easiest to like is Andi because she’s so caring. And I enjoyed Boston’s eccentricities. But I think I empathized the most with Deanna because she’s the mom of the group, so all the problems she has with motherhood really made me care for her. She was the only to make me cry a few tears! lol
While the ladies take the spotlight in this book, I really enjoyed the men too, even if at times I wanted to yell at some of them. They were definitely not without flaws, which I appreciated because it made the relationships more real. And you know I love all those smexy moments! :D
I think people will be able to find something or someone in this book to relate to. Three Sisters really is book that has it all. Amazing characters, beautiful setting, and touching stories…what more could you ask for? I look forward to more books from Susan Mallery set in this wonderful island.
Q&A with Susan Mallery, Author of Three Sisters
With more than 25 million books sold worldwide, New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery is known for creating characters who feel as real as the folks next door, and for putting them into emotional, often funny situations readers recognize from their own lives. Susan’s books have made Booklist’s Top 10 Romances list in four out of five consecutive years. RT Book Reviews says, “When it comes to heartfelt contemporary romance, Mallery is in a class by herself.” With her popular, ongoing Fool’s Gold series, Susan has reached new heights on the bestsellers lists and has won the hearts of countless new fans.
Susan grew up in southern California, moved so many times that her friends stopped writing her address in pen, and now has settled in Seattle with her husband and the most delightfully spoiled little dog who ever lived. Visit Susan online at www.SusanMallery.com and www.facebook.com/susanmallery.
1) What are some writing quirks or rituals that you have in order to keep you focused?
I’m not sure I’d call it a quirk or a ritual, but looking at my mortgage statement helps me focus. Writing is a joy – I love it – but it’s also my job, and I have a lot of people depending on me to meet my deadlines. A good work ethic is something I admire in others, and it’s something I require of myself.
2) What does your writing space look like?
I work at a big wooden desk in my home office. One of the biggest luxuries of working at home is that my dog Nikki comes with me to the office every day. She snoozes while I write, but still, she’s good company. When the characters make me laugh, Nikki will run over to join the fun. She’s very wiggly when she’s excited.
By the time I reach the end of a book, the desk surface is littered with sticky notes, reminding me of something that needs to happen. Then I clear it all away and start the next book.
3) The Three Sisters Queen Anne houses and Andi Gordon’s home restoration play a large role in your new book. How are architecture and home renovation a part of your real life?
I’ve moved so many times that my friends stopped writing my address in pen. (Not as much of an issue now as it was before we saved all our addresses digitally.) Which means I’ve spent many a happy hour staring at paint swatches, trying to decide between shades of taupe. I never had a contractor as sexy as Wade, though, I’m sorry to say.
I’m addicted to HGTV. My new favorite show is the Property Brothers. You can’t go wrong with two cute brothers. I’m especially fond of the one who knows his way around power tools.
However, I’m not sure I’d have the patience to take on a renovation project as extensive as Andi’s. She was in a bad state when she bought the house on Blackberry Island. She had just been left at the altar by a man she’d dated for ten years. He wasn’t ready, he said. After ten years. So when she saw this beautiful old Queen Anne house in need of love, it called to her.
4) What do you love about writing romance novels?
I love the happy endings. As a reader, I get angry when I’ve invested my emotions into a book and then it ends badly for the characters. I have been known to throw a book against the wall. I don’t think an unhappy resolution makes a book deeper or more realistic. When readers pick up my books, they can relax into the experience because they’ll know that no matter what pain the characters might feel, they will find their way to a happy ending. I can’t even imagine writing a book that doesn’t end happily. The characters would haunt me for the rest of my life!
5) If you could choose one romantic character from literature to jump off the pages and become real, who would you pick?
Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy – oh wait, he did come to life. He goes by Colin Firth now.
Summer Nights by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool's Gold #8
Published by Harlequin, HQN on June 26th 2012
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy the Book • Goodreads
Horse whisperer Shane Stryker is done with passion. This time around, he's determined to meet someone who will be content with the quiet life of a rancher's wife. And the fiery, pint-size redhead who dazzles him at the local bar definitely does not fit the bill.
Small-town librarian Annabelle Weiss has always seen herself as more of a sweetheart than a siren, so she can't understand why Shane keeps pushing her away. Shane has formed the totally wrong impression of her but only he can help her with a special event for the next Fool's Gold festival. And maybe while he's at it, she can convince him to teach her a few things about kissing on hot summer nights, too—some lessons, a girl shouldn't learn from reading a book!
Summer Nights has got to be Susan Mallery’s steamiest book in the Fool’s Gold series to date! I found it completely fun, flirty, and sexy.
Shane Stryker was a breath of fresh air. He started off this book by falling completely in lust with our heroine, Annabelle. We don’t get to read many books where the guy completely loses it over the girl right off the bat! It was satisfying reading about him stumbling for words in her presence. And oh, my lord, was Shane Stryker a sexy character once you got him alone in a bedroom!! Wowza! He did have a few hang-ups over his evil ex-wife that he needed to get over, but I understood that Annabelle being the first person he’s been serious about since the ex, he would have some reservations. But if anyone would get through that wall it would be Annabelle.
Annabelle is the type of woman a lot of us want to be. She’s smart, and funny, and sexy in a low-key way. She cares about making a difference in peoples lives, she’s kind and thoughtful, and can make her man go crazy in the bedroom. That’s what we all want to be like, isn’t it?! Well, maybe not everyone, but a lot of us, yes. I loved her chemistry with Shane and the way she kept things light and fun in their relationship, but she also stood her ground when it came to what she wanted and what she didn’t need.
The town is still as charming as ever, and there were a few hints of possible new businesses and also the status of the casino! I wonder if we’ll know by the next book in the series what and who the next three books after All Summer Long will be about. I’m definitely very intrigued to see how All Summer Long will play out, actually. It will most certainly be entertaining, and I suspect very touching as well. I look forward to it!
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery was asked to speak this summer at the American Library Association national conference in Anaheim, California, on a panel called “Isn’t It Romantic?” Mallery’s latest book, SUMMER NIGHTS (Fool’s Gold book 8 – Available now!) is dedicated to librarians who have done so much to introduce readers to her books. This is the speech she prepared, which I’m happy to be sharing with all of you today. :)
The appeal in romance is that our books offer readers a celebration of community. Romances are all about connecting. Sure the boy-meets-girl part is fun and exciting, but often what really brings a reader back again and again are the connections made within the novel.
Most romances happen in a larger context of relationships. Families and friends play an important role. We want to experience falling in love with a hunky guy, but we also want a sense of belonging. The most popular books feature a cast of usually likeable, sometimes annoying, generally realistic characters who are amazingly like people we know. Or people we get on an emotional level.
These other characters, sometimes seemingly unimportant, can be the glue that holds our books together. Our hero and heroine are revealed through their relationships with secondary characters. The gruff solitary man who unexpectedly cares for a wounded puppy wins our heart forever. The exhausted single mother staying up until midnight to frost cupcakes for her son’s first grade class reminds us of ourselves. While the romance is central to the story and the reason we think we read “those kind of books” I believe the real truth is we love the sense of community a romance brings to the table. The sexy guy on the cover draws us in, but the heroine’s relationship with her sarcastic best friend turns out to be just as satisfying and meaningful.
The majority of romance readers are women. Women are usually the keepers of relationships in their lives and the lives of those around them. We are the ones who maintain the friendships, remember birthdays, make sure each of our children has a moment to feel special. We can spend a weekend with our girlfriends and when we get home, still think of something we could have told them. When I travel to a writers’ conference and hang out with my writer friends for days, then return home and get a call from one of them, my husband can’t believe there’s anything left to say. I’ve tried to explain there’s always more to talk about but he just shakes his head.
In our lives we want friends and family. We want connection. Romances offer that in our fiction. We can meet women we want to have lunch with and men we want to fall in love with. Romance isn’t man against nature or man against himself. It’s man and woman falling in love in a much bigger context. One or both of them have a family, there are friends, coworkers, pets. It’s a real world populated by the funny and the strange and if done well, it’s a world we want to return to again and again.
For years now, romances have been written in groups. Trilogies, sisters, brothers, a band of warriors. Sherrilyn Kenyon gives us her immortal warriors. Debbie Macomber gives us Cedar Cove. In between lie stories only limited by the imaginations of the writers who create them. It is the combination of the familiar and the unknown that draws us back.
I started writing in category romance. I wrote about 80 books for Silhouette. I wrote about sisters and cousins and brothers and even neighboring sheik kingdoms. The longer a series went on, the more readers responded. When I moved into writing single title, I continued with families. One day a very successful writer friend sat me down and said, “Write about a town. It’s limitless.”
From that very intelligent advice, my Fool’s Gold series was born. www.foolsgoldca.com It’s a small town set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. I started with the idea of a town suffering a man shortage, which gave me the chance to put women in non-traditional jobs. I decided to write the books in trilogies, with the idea each trilogy would stand on its own, allowing readers to join at any point. By the second Fool’s Gold trilogy I’d realized the man shortage wasn’t that interesting, but the non-traditional jobs were, so modifications were made.
Reader response has been terrific. They love the town. Mayor Marsha, California’s longest serving mayor, is a fan favorite. I keep track of previous heroes and heroines using a data base and often feature births in subsequent books. I use social media to increase the level of connection with my readers. We have the usual interactions, but there is another level on my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/susanmallery. Readers help me name characters, pick careers and suggest new businesses for the towns. When a former heroine is due to give birth, readers usually vote on the gender of the baby and offer name suggestions. Next year three new businesses will open in Fool’s Gold and each one of them is the result of something a reader said to me.
A romance can take place nearly anywhere, in any time. We have smart ass heroines who rescue themselves, timid virgins and librarians who dance on bars in our books. Every romance writer has a specific vision for what she wants to write, but what we all have in common is connection. Sisters who are drawn together because of a dying parent. Vampires fighting enemies while protecting the women they love. Handsome dukes who marry the most unlikely of spinsters, drawn to her against all odds, in part because she takes care of her younger siblings.
In romances we find the relationships that matter most to us personally. Those who adore babies in books can be endless entertained by the antics of newborns. If you prefer sexy, sassy heroines, there are dozens of writers to give you exactly that. The appeal of romance is how the stories speak to us so personally. They show us women who are brave, who overcome odds, who always have a snappy comeback and in the end find not just love, but also a place to belong. Romances celebrate the very best of us, and that ideal state is often illustrated in the connections our characters make with each other.
Romances are a reading escape that also touches the heart. Romances affirm what is most important to each of us—the people we love, who love us back.
I love Susan, and this speech only makes me love her more. I just felt like yelling “PREACH!!” with my hand raised. Thank you, Susan and Jenel, for letting me share this with my readers. :)
1. Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols – I had been salivating over this book since it was unveiled and I actually just finished this book last night!! I had no idea I’d get to read it early. (Thank you, Ginger (Greads!), for lending it to me. :)) Let me tell you…YOU WANT THIS BOOK!! Sexy tension/times ABOUND! :D
2. The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead – So now that I finally have this book in my hands, I get to finally read it!! AND AND AND!! I get to meet Richelle Mead tonight at a signing!! Eeeeep!! :D
3. This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers – Now that it is finally available, I get to finally read it!! YAY!!!
4. Enshadowed (Nevermore #2) by Kelly Creagh – After waiting about two years for this book (maybe a year and a half), it will finally be in my hands come August. I can’t wait!!
5. Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1) by Andrea Cremer – I loved Andrea’s Nightshade trilogy and her world building is so interesting that a prequel makes perfect sense. I cannot wait to get my hands on this book.
6. Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost – I LOVE me some Vlad! And his own series is exactly what he needed!! Really looking forward to reading it!
7. At Last (Lucky Harbor #5) by Jill Shalvis – This is a great contemporary romance series by Jill and I cannot wait to read more of them. :)
8. Summer Nights (Fool’s Gold #8) by Susan Mallery – Everybody and their mom’s know I love me some Fool’s Gold books! So you are probably not surprised to see this here. :) I love it!
9. Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard – This just sounds SO GOOD!!! And right up my alley! “A modern-day retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with a chilling twist.” Sign me up!!
10. I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan – So many people have read and loved this book! It’s been in my TBR pile for quite some months now and this summer will be when I read it. :)